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Upgraded full-frame from Sony (in January)

Sony has announced January availability of the A7 II, an addition to the full-frame Alpha range featuring an optical 5-axis image stabilisation system.

(Sony says the A7 will remain in the range – it is not superceded by the A7 II.)

sony-a7_ii_smlSony claims the stabilisation system is a first for a full-frame image sensor, and provides up to 4.5 steps faster shutter speed (using a 55mm lens). It detects and corrects camera shake along five axes, covering angular shake (pitch and yaw), shift shake (along the X and Y axes), and rotational shake (roll). Users can monitor the corrected image in real-time on the camera’s LCD screen or in the OLED viewfinder.

The camera design has also been improved:  The shutter button has been shifted forward into a more natural position and increased in size. The XGA OLED viewfinder has a resolution of 2.36 million dots and displays the entire view when APS-C lenses are used.

The  hybrid AF system has been improved with a more advanced algorithm to detect the subject position. Sony says there’s a 30 percent improvement in AF speed and 1.5x the tracking ability of the previous model. AF and automatic exposure (AE) continue to operate during high-speed continuous shooting up to 5 fps.

According to Sony, the Bionz X processor recreates natural-looking textures, prevents loss of detail when the aperture stopped down; maintains detail and texture in low light, and will make you a nice cup of tea if you ask it nicely.

Sony has added support for the XAVC-S recording format – a consumer format derived from the professional XAVC format – which  offers Full HD video quality at a high bit rate of 50 Mbps.

The A7 II also supports the S-Log2 gamma function, which preserves a wide dynamic range, and a wide S-Gamut mode. Other features include Time Code/User Bit (useful in editing), Rec Control (for synced recording with compatible external recorders), marker display/settings, and dual video recording.

The A7 II has Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity for mobile linking and supports Sony’s PlayMemories camera apps. An updated lens compensation app enables lens information to be stored in Exif data and supports compensation of recorded video, and import/export of lens compensation values. Users can manually set correction values for lens peripheral shading, chromatic aberration, and distortion.

Announced concurrently with the A7 II are a  vertical grip (VG-C2EM), soft carrying case (LCS-ELCB), eye-piece cup ( FDA-EP15), and a new 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM II A-mount lens. The A7 II  will be available in Australia from mid-January, with an RRP of $1999 (body only).

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