Sony A7S II Comparison Review
The Sony Alpha 7S II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was announced in September 2015 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 12 megapixel.
Is the Sony A7S II a good camera? The A7S II has a Camera Elo of 2368. This rating puts the A7S II below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the A7S II ranks among the top 50 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.
|Sony A7S II|
|Mirrorless system camera|
|Sony E mount lenses|
|12 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 102 400 (50 - 409 600)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2400k dots)|
|3.0 LCD, 1229k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)|
|5 shutter flaps per second|
|370 shots per battery charge|
|127 x 96 x 60 mm, 627 g|
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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Sony A7S II vis-à-vis a credit card. 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.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony A7S II alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|1.||Sony A7S II||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||627 g||370||Y||Sep 2015||2,999|
|2.||Sony A1||129 mm||97 mm||81 mm||737 g||530||Y||Jan 2021||6,499|
|3.||Sony A7S III||127 mm||97 mm||81 mm||699 g||600||Y||Jul 2020||3,499|
|4.||Sony A9 II||129 mm||96 mm||76 mm||678 g||690||Y||Oct 2019||4,499|
|5.||Sony A7R IV||129 mm||96 mm||78 mm||665 g||670||Y||Jul 2019||3,499|
|6.||Sony A7 III||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999|
|7.||Sony A7R III||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||650||Y||Oct 2017||3,199|
|8.||Sony A99 II||143 mm||104 mm||76 mm||849 g||490||Y||Sep 2016||3,199|
|9.||Sony A7R II||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||625 g||290||Y||Jun 2015||3,199|
|10.||Sony A7 II||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||599 g||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999|
|11.||Sony A7S||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||489 g||380||Y||Apr 2014||2,499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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 A7S II was launched in the US market at a price of $2,999. 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 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. 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. 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 A7S 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 A7S II among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|1.||Sony A7S II||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||4K/30p||23.6||13.3||2993||85|
|2.||Sony A1||Full Frame||49.8||8640||5760||8k/30p||25.9||14.5||3163||98|
|3.||Sony A7S III||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||4K/120p||23.7||13.9||2520||86|
|4.||Sony A9 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.0||3434||93|
|5.||Sony A7R IV||Full Frame||60.2||9504||6336||4K/30p||26.0||14.8||3344||99|
|6.||Sony A7 III||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96|
|7.||Sony A7R III||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||14.7||3523||100|
|8.||Sony A99 II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||25.4||13.4||2317||92|
|9.||Sony A7R II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||13.9||3434||98|
|10.||Sony A7 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90|
|11.||Sony A7S||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||1080/60p||23.9||13.2||3702||87|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The A7S II indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the A7S II can use is 4K/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A7S 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 tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Sony A7S II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Sony A7S II||2400||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y|
|2.||Sony A1||9437||n||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|3.||Sony A7S III||9440||n||3.0 / 1440||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|4.||Sony A9 II||3686||n||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|5.||Sony A7R IV||5760||n||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|6.||Sony A7 III||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|7.||Sony A7R III||3686||n||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|8.||Sony A99 II||2400||Y||3.0 / 1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||n||Y|
|9.||Sony A7R II||2400||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y|
|10.||Sony A7 II||2400||n||3.0 / 1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y|
|11.||Sony A7S||2400||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
The LCD screen on the Sony Alpha 7S II is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD can be tilted vertically to facilitate odd-angle shots in landscape orientation. This tilting design is often preferred, for example, by street photographers to a fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment, as it is more unobtrusive during shooting than a screen that flips out to the side.
One feature that differentiates the A7S II from many older cameras is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A7S 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.
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 7S II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Sony A7S II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Sony A1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Sony A7S III||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Sony A9 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|5.||Sony A7R IV||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|6.||Sony A7 III||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|7.||Sony A7R III||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|8.||Sony A99 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|9.||Sony A7R II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Sony A7 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Sony A7S||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the A7S 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.
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 A7S II handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).
|1.||Sony A7S II||5/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2015||2,999|
|2.||Sony A1||5/5||o||4.5/5||93/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2021||6,499|
|3.||Sony A7S III||..||+ +||5/5||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2020||3,499|
|4.||Sony A9 II||..||..||5/5||90/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2019||4,499|
|5.||Sony A7R IV||5/5||+||4.5/5||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2019||3,499|
|6.||Sony A7 III||..||+ +||4.5/5||89/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999|
|7.||Sony A7R III||..||+ +||4/5||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2017||3,199|
|8.||Sony A99 II||..||..||4.5/5||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||3,199|
|9.||Sony A7R II||5/5||+ +||5/5||90/100||5/5||5/5||Jun 2015||3,199|
|10.||Sony A7 II||5/5||+||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Nov 2014||1,999|
|11.||Sony A7S||4/5||..||..||86/100||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2014||2,499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Sony A7S II FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the A7S II.
What technology is the imaging sensor in the A7S II based on?
The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.
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 A7S II with the BIONZ X image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the A7S II?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 102400, which can be extended to ISO 50-409600.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Sony Alpha 7S II?
Sony mentions a shutter rating of 200 000 actuations for the A7S 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 A7S II over, say, three years, one would have to take about 200 pictures each and every day.
How do I find the shutter count on my A7S II?
Sony embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your A7S II has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the free online shutter count finder app.
Is completely silent shooting possible with the Sony A7S 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 A7S II?
The A7S 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 A7S 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 A7S II's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.
Does the Sony A7S 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 A7S II use?
Is there a vertical grip available for the A7S 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 A7S II?
Camera to camera comparisons
If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon G1 X Mark III vs Sony A7S II
- Canon XC10 vs Sony A7S II
- Fujifilm X-Pro2 vs Sony A7S II
- Fujifilm XP120 vs Sony A7S II
- Nikon D3100 vs Sony A7S II
- Pentax 645Z vs Sony A7S II
- Pentax MX-1 vs Sony A7S II
- Pentax Q vs Sony A7S II
- Samsung NX1 vs Sony A7S II
- Sony A7S II vs Sony HX80
- Sony A7S II vs Sony NEX-5
- Sony A7S II vs Sony NEX-6
|Camera Model||Sony A7S II|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 2 999|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.6 x 23.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||847 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||42.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4 240 x 2 832 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||8.40 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 102 400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 409 600 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||85|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||2993|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2400k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen|
|V-logging Friendliness||No front-flip|
|Touch Input||No touchscreen|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||200 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-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|
|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|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||NP-FW50 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||370 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging|
127 x 96 x 60 mm
(5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4 in)
|Camera Weight||627 g (22.1 oz)|
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