Sony A7R II vs A7R
The Sony Alpha A7R II and the Sony Alpha A7R are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2015 and October 2013. Both the A7R II and the A7R are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The A7R II has a resolution of 42.2 megapixels, whereas the A7R provides 36.2 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 A7R II||Sony A7R|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Sony E mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|42.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor||36.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-25600 (50-102400)||ISO 100-25600 (50-51200)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2400k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (2400k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1229k dots||3.0" LCD, 1230k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second||4 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|290 shots per battery charge||340 shots per battery charge|
|127 x 96 x 60 mm, 625 g||127 x 94 x 48 mm, 465 g|
Body comparison: Sony A7R II vs A7R
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony A7R II and the Sony A7R is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the A7R II – 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 A7R is somewhat smaller (2 percent) than the Sony A7R II. Moreover, the A7R is markedly lighter (26 percent) than the A7R II. 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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left 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 camera comparisons there.
|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 A7R«||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||16.4 oz||340||Y||Oct 2013||2,299||-||Sony A7R|
|Canon 5DS R« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||32.8 oz||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS R|
|Nikon Z7« »||5.3 in||4.0 in||2.6 in||23.8 oz||330||Y||Aug 2018||3,399||Nikon Z7|
|Nikon D810« »||5.7 in||4.8 in||3.2 in||34.6 oz||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299||-||Nikon D810|
|Pentax K-1« »||5.4 in||4.3 in||3.4 in||35.6 oz||760||Y||Feb 2016||1,799||-||Pentax K-1|
|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 A99 II« »||5.6 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||29.9 oz||490||Y||Sep 2016||3,199||Sony A99 II|
|Sony A7S II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||22.1 oz||370||Y||Sep 2015||2,999||Sony A7S 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 A7« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||16.7 oz||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699||-||Sony A7|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The A7R was launched at a markedly lower price (by 28 percent) than the A7R 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.
Sensor comparison: Sony A7R II vs A7R
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the A7R II offers a higher resolution of 42.2 megapixels, compared with 36.2 MP of the A7R. This megapixels advantage translates into a 8 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the A7R II has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.52μm versus 4.88μm for the A7R). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the A7R II is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 7 months) than the A7R, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The A7R II has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.
The Sony Alpha A7R II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A7R are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-51200..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Sony A7R II»||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||13.9||3434||98||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7R«||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.6||14.1||2746||95||Sony A7R|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.6||12.4||2308||86||Canon 5DS R|
|Nikon Z7« »||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Nikon Z7|
|Nikon D810« »||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97||Nikon D810|
|Pentax K-1« »||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60i||25.4||14.6||3280||96||Pentax K-1|
|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 A99 II« »||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||25.4||13.4||2317||92||Sony A99 II|
|Sony A7S II« »||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||4K/30p||23.6||13.3||2993||85||Sony A7S 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 A7« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||14.2||2248||90||Sony A7|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the A7R II provides a higher video resolution than the A7R. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the A7R is limited to 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Sony A7R II vs A7R
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The A7R II and the A7R 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony A7R II, the Sony A7R, and comparable cameras.
|Sony A7R II»||2400||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7R«||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||8000||4.0||n||n||Sony A7R|
|Canon 5DS R« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Canon 5DS R|
|Nikon Z7« »||3690||Y||3.2||2100||tilting||Y||8000||9.0||n||Y||Nikon Z7|
|Nikon D810« »||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D810|
|Pentax K-1« »||optical||Y||3.2||1037||full-flex||n||8000||4.4||n||Y||Pentax K-1|
|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 A99 II« »||2400||Y||3.0||1229||full-flex||n||8000||12.0||n||Y||Sony A99 II|
|Sony A7S II« »||2400||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7S 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 A7« »||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Sony A7|
One feature that differentiates the A7R II and the A7R is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A7R II reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the A7R 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 A7R 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 A7R II and the A7R write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.
Connectivity comparison: Sony A7R II vs A7R
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 Sony Alpha A7R and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony A7R II»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7R«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7R|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 5DS R|
|Nikon Z7« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y||Nikon Z7|
|Nikon D810« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D810|
|Pentax K-1« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax K-1|
|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 A99 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A99 II|
|Sony A7S II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7S 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 A7« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7|
Both the A7R II and the A7R have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A7R was replaced by the Sony A7R II, while the A7R II was followed by the Sony Alpha A7R III.
Review summary: Sony A7R II vs A7R
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Sony A7R II or the Sony A7R – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A7R II:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (42.2 vs 36.2MP) with a 8% higher linear resolution.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.3 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 7 months after the A7R).
Advantages of the Sony Alpha A7R:
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 160g or 26 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (340 versus 290) out of a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (28 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in October 2013).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A7R II is the clear winner of the match-up (8 : 4 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the A7R II or the A7R. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
Expert reviews: Sony A7R II vs A7R
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Sony A7R II»||HiRec||90/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jun 2015||3,199||-||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7R«||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||2,299||-||Sony A7R|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Rec||83/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS R|
|Nikon Z7« »||Rec||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2018||3,399||Nikon Z7|
|Nikon D810« »||-||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||3,299||-||Nikon D810|
|Pentax K-1« »||-||84/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||1,799||-||Pentax K-1|
|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 A99 II« »||-||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||3,199||Sony A99 II|
|Sony A7S II« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Sep 2015||2,999||Sony A7S 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 A7« »||HiRec||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,699||-||Sony A7|
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.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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 1000D vs Nikon D3200
- Canon 750D vs Sony A6300
- Canon G7 X vs Canon T6s
- Canon M100 vs Canon 50D
- Canon T5i vs Panasonic FZ300
- Fujifilm X30 vs Canon G5 X
- Nikon D40 vs Nikon D50
- Nikon D850 vs Leica TL
- Nikon D90 vs Canon 1D X Mark II
- Olympus E-P1 vs Sony A99 II
- Panasonic LX15 vs Leica T
- Sony A7 III vs Fujifilm GFX 50R
Specifications: Sony A7R II vs Sony A7R
|Camera Model||Sony A7R II||Sony A7R|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||June 2015||October 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 3199||USD 2299|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.9 x 24.0 mm||35.9 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||861.6 mm2||861.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.2 mm||43.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||42.2 Megapixels||36.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||7952 x 5304 pixels||7360 x 4912 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.52 μm||4.88 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.90 MP/cm2||4.20 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50-102400 ISO||50-51200 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||1229k dots||1230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||4 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|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)||290 shots per charge||340 shots per charge|
127 x 96 x 60 mm
(5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4 in)
127 x 94 x 48 mm
(5.0 x 3.7 x 1.9 in)
|Camera Weight||625 g (22.0 oz)||465 g (16.4 oz)|
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