Sony A7 vs A7S II
The Sony Alpha A7 and the Sony Alpha 7S II are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in October 2013 and September 2015. Both the A7 and the A7S II are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The A7 has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the A7S II provides 12 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Sony A7||Sony A7S II|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Sony E mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|24 MP, Full Frame Sensor||12 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-25600 (50-51200)||ISO 100-102400 (50-409600)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2400k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (2400k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1230k dots||3.0" LCD, 1229k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|340 shots per battery charge||370 shots per battery charge|
|127 x 94 x 48 mm, 474 g||127 x 96 x 60 mm, 627 g|
Body comparison: Sony A7 vs A7S II
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony A7 and the Sony A7S II. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the A7 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A7S II is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Sony A7. Moreover, the A7S II is markedly heavier (32 percent) than the A7. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Sony FE Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Sony A7»||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||16.7 oz||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699||-||Sony A7|
|Sony A7S II«||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||22.1 oz||370||Y||Sep 2015||2,999||Sony A7S II|
|Nikon D610« »||5.6 in||4.4 in||3.2 in||30.0 oz||900||Y||Oct 2013||1,999||Nikon D610|
|Panasonic GH4« »||5.2 in||3.7 in||3.3 in||19.8 oz||500||Y||Feb 2014||1,499||-||Panasonic GH4|
|Samsung NX1« »||5.5 in||4.0 in||2.6 in||19.4 oz||500||Y||Sep 2014||1,499||-||Samsung NX1|
|Sony A7 III« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||22.9 oz||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||22.9 oz||650||Y||Oct 2017||3,199||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A9« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.5 in||23.7 oz||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499||Sony A9|
|Sony A6300« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.9 in||14.3 oz||400||Y||Feb 2016||999||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7R II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||22.0 oz||290||Y||Jun 2015||3,199||-||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7 II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||21.1 oz||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999||-||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A7S« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||17.2 oz||380||Y||Apr 2014||2,499||-||Sony A7S|
|Sony A7R« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||16.4 oz||340||Y||Oct 2013||2,299||-||Sony A7R|
|Sony RX1R« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||2.8 in||17.0 oz||270||n||Jun 2013||2,799||-||Sony RX1R|
|Sony RX1« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||2.8 in||17.0 oz||270||n||Sep 2012||2,799||-||Sony RX1|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The A7 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 43 percent) than the A7S II, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Sony A7 vs A7S II
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the A7S II is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 24MP, the A7 offers a higher resolution than the A7S II (12MP), but the A7 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 8.40μm for the A7S II). Moreover, the A7S II is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 months) than the A7, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The A7 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.
The Sony Alpha A7 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 50-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha 7S II are ISO 100 to ISO 102400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-409600..
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the A7 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the A7S II (overall score 5 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1.2 bits higher color depth, 0.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Sony A7»||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||14.2||2248||90||Sony A7|
|Sony A7S II«||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||4K/30p||23.6||13.3||2993||85||Sony A7S II|
|Nikon D610« »||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/30p||25.1||14.4||2925||94||Nikon D610|
|Panasonic GH4« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||23.2||12.8||791||74||Panasonic GH4|
|Samsung NX1« »||APS-C||28.0||6480||4320||4K/30p||24.2||13.2||1363||83||Samsung NX1|
|Sony A7 III« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III« »||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||14.7||3523||100||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A9« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92||Sony A9|
|Sony A6300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.4||13.7||1437||85||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7R II« »||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||13.9||3434||98||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7 II« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A7S« »||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||1080/60p||23.9||13.2||3702||87||Sony A7S|
|Sony A7R« »||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.6||14.1||2746||95||Sony A7R|
|Sony RX1R« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||13.6||2537||91||Sony RX1R|
|Sony RX1« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.1||14.3||2534||93||Sony RX1|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the A7S II provides a better video resolution than the A7. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the A7 is limited to 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Sony A7 vs A7S II
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The A7 and the A7S II are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 2400k dots. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony A7 and Sony A7S II along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Sony A7»||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Sony A7|
|Sony A7S II«||2400||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7S II|
|Nikon D610« »||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||4000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D610|
|Panasonic GH4« »||2359||n||3.0||1036||swivel||Y||8000||12.0||Y||n||Panasonic GH4|
|Samsung NX1« »||2360||Y||3.0||1036||tilting||Y||8000||15.0||Y||n||Samsung NX1|
|Sony A7 III« »||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III« »||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A9« »||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||8000||20.0||n||Y||Sony A9|
|Sony A6300« »||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||4000||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7R II« »||2400||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7 II« »||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A7S« »||2400||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Sony A7S|
|Sony A7R« »||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||8000||4.0||n||n||Sony A7R|
|Sony RX1R« »||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Sony RX1R|
|Sony RX1« »||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Sony RX1|
One feature that differentiates the A7S II and the A7 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A7S II reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the A7 has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the A7S II features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A7 and the A7S II write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.
Connectivity comparison: Sony A7 vs A7S II
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Alpha A7 and Sony Alpha 7S II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony A7»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7|
|Sony A7S II«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7S II|
|Nikon D610« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D610|
|Panasonic GH4« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GH4|
|Samsung NX1« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||Y||Y||Samsung NX1|
|Sony A7 III« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A9« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A9|
|Sony A6300« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7R II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A7S« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7S|
|Sony A7R« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7R|
|Sony RX1R« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX1R|
|Sony RX1« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX1|
The A7S II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the A7 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A7 was succeeded by the Sony A7 II.
Review summary: Sony A7 vs A7S II
So what is the bottom line? Is the Sony A7 better than the Sony A7S II or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Sony Alpha A7:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 12MP) with a 41% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.2 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
- Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 153g or 24 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (43 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in October 2013).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha 7S II:
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 10 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A7 emerges as the winner of the contest (8 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the A7 and the A7S II in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
Expert reviews: Sony A7 vs A7S II
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Sony A7»||HiRec||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,699||-||Sony A7|
|Sony A7S II«||Rec||-||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Sep 2015||2,999||Sony A7S II|
|Nikon D610« »||HiRec||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,999||Nikon D610|
|Panasonic GH4« »||HiRec||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||1,499||-||Panasonic GH4|
|Samsung NX1« »||-||87/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,499||-||Samsung NX1|
|Sony A7 III« »||HiRec||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III« »||HiRec||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2017||3,199||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A9« »||HiRec||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Apr 2017||4,499||Sony A9|
|Sony A6300« »||Rec||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7R II« »||HiRec||90/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jun 2015||3,199||-||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7 II« »||Rec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Nov 2014||1,999||-||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A7S« »||-||86/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2014||2,499||-||Sony A7S|
|Sony A7R« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||2,299||-||Sony A7R|
|Sony RX1R« »||-||-||4/5||rev||4.5/5||Jun 2013||2,799||-||Sony RX1R|
|Sony RX1« »||-||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799||-||Sony RX1|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 4000D vs YI M1
- Canon 750D vs Leica Q Typ 116
- Canon 7D II vs Fujifilm X-E2S
- Canon M50 vs Nikon P900
- Canon T3 vs Canon T6i
- Fujifilm X-T3 vs Canon T3
- Fujifilm XF10 vs Canon 2000D
- Leica M10-P vs Leica M10
- Nikon D1X vs Nikon D850
- Panasonic FT7 vs Nikon D3400
- Panasonic FZ300 vs Canon 6D
- Panasonic LX100 vs Canon G3 X
Specifications: Sony A7 vs Sony A7S II
|Camera Model||Sony A7||Sony A7S II|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||October 2013||September 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 1699||USD 2999|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.8 x 23.9 mm||35.6 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||855.62 mm2||847.28 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43 mm||42.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||4240 x 2832 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.97 μm||8.40 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.80 MP/cm2||1.42 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||100-102400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50-51200 ISO||50-409600 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X||BIONZ X|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2400k dots||2400k dots|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1230k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter||Electronic Shutter|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||NP-FW50 power pack||NP-FW50 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||340 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
127 x 94 x 48 mm
(5.0 x 3.7 x 1.9 in)
127 x 96 x 60 mm
(5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4 in)
|Camera Weight||474 g (16.7 oz)||627 g (22.1 oz)|
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