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Sony A7R II Comparison Review

The Sony Alpha A7R II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was officially introduced in June 2015 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 42.2 megapixel.

camera

Is the Sony A7R II a good camera? The A7R II has a Camera Elo of 2562. This rating puts the A7R II among the top 40 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the A7R II also ranks among the top 40 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3.5-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Sony A7R II
Mirrorless system camera
Sony E mount lenses
42.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/30p Video
ISO 100-25600 (50-102400)
Electronic viewfinder (2400k dots)
3.0" LCD, 1229k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen)
5 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilization
Weathersealed body
290 shots per battery charge
127 x 96 x 60 mm, 625 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The physical dimensions of the Sony A7R II relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Sony A7R II vs credit card front
A7R II versus credit card top view
A7R II and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony A7R II alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7R II 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.0 oz 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
 
Canon 5DS R« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
 
Nikon Z7« » 5.3 in 4.0 in 2.6 in 23.8 oz 330 Y Aug 2018 3,399 i i Nikon Z7
 
Sony A7R IV« » 5.1 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 23.5 oz 670 Y Jul 2019 3,499 i i Sony A7R IV
 
Sony A7 III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199- i Sony A7R III
 
Sony A9« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
 
Sony A99 II« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
 
Sony A7S II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.1 oz 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7R« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.4 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony A7R II was launched in the US market at a price of $3,199. 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.

Sony A7R II:
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Sony A7R II features a full frame sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Sony A7R II among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.

Sony A7R II sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7R II Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.9343498Sony A7R II
 
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.612.4230886Canon 5DS R
 
Nikon Z7« » Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.314.6266899Nikon Z7
 
Sony A7R IV« » Full Frame 60.2 9504 63364K/30p----Sony A7R IV
 
Sony A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096Sony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100Sony A7R III
 
Sony A9« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792Sony A9
 
Sony A99 II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792Sony A99 II
 
Sony A7S II« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.3299385Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7R« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.614.1274695Sony A7R

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The A7R II indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the A7R II can use is 4K/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A7R II has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 2400k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.78x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Sony A7R II along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7R II2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7R II
 
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 5DS R
 
Nikon Z7« »3690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 n Y Nikon Z7
 
Sony A7R IV« »5760 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Sony A7R IV
 
Sony A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Sony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Sony A7R III
 
Sony A9« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y Sony A9
 
Sony A99 II« »2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 n Y Sony A99 II
 
Sony A7S II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7R« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 4.0 n n Sony A7R

One feature that differentiates the A7R II from many other cameras is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A7R II reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while cameras without IBIS have to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.

 

Connection comparison

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 A7R II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7R IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R II
 
Canon 5DS R« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS R
 
Nikon Z7« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-YNikon Z7
 
Sony A7R IV« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7R IV
 
Sony A7 III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7R III
 
Sony A9« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A9
 
Sony A99 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A99 II
 
Sony A7S II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7R« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R

It is notable that the A7R II has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

 

Expert reviews

While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the A7R II handle or perform in practice. 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. This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7R II+ +90/1005/54.5/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
 
Canon 5DS R« »+83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
 
Nikon Z7« »+89/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2018 3,399 i i Nikon Z7
 
Sony A7R IV« »+---5/5 Jul 2019 3,499 i i Sony A7R IV
 
Sony A7 III« »+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« »+ +90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199- i Sony A7R III
 
Sony A9« »+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
 
Sony A99 II« »-85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
 
Sony A7S II« »+-4.5/55/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« »+82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7R« »+ +82/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Sony A7R II FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the A7R II.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the A7R II?

The camera has a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Sony equipped the A7R II with the BIONZ X image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the A7R II?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Sony Alpha A7R II?

Sony mentions a shutter rating of 500 000 actuations for the A7R II. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the A7R II over, say, three years, one would have to take about 500 pictures each and every day.

How do I find the shutter count on my Sony A7R II?

Sony embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your A7R II has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the online shutter count app.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Sony A7R II?

The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Sony A7R II?

The A7R II offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Sony A7R II feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The A7R II's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.

Does the Sony A7R II support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the A7R II use?

The camera gets its power from the NP-FW50 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Is there a vertical grip available for the A7R II?

Yes, Sony offers the VG-C2EM as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.

Where can I find the best deals for the A7R II?

Grey imports from Asia, as found on eBay, are often very attractively priced. However, these cameras come without a warranty from Sony.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Sony A7R II
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date June 2015
    Launch Price USD 3199
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 861.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 42.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 7952 x 5304 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.52 μm
    Pixel Density 4.90 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-102400 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 98
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 26.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 3434
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.78x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2400k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy500 000 actuations
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-FW50 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)290 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 127 x 96 x 60 mm
    (5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 625 g (22.0 oz)

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