Best Mirrorless Camera for Professionals: Sony Alpha A7 II
As I’ve gotten older my hands are less able to handle a heavier DSLR and while I’ve been putting it off the time has come and that’s what I found the Sony Alpha A7 II Mirrorless. Mirrorless cameras are so much lighter and it’s just a pleasure to hold in comparison to my D5 at only 600g for the body.
With 24.7 MPx it’s got more than enough resolution to keep me happy and the 5fps speed isn’t bad either. It’s a good size and bigger than its predecessor with several upgrades.
I really appreciate the 5 axis stabilization as it keeps images steady, I’ve never had a camera with this feature before outside the lenses. With hand issues this is very helpful and great if you don’t want to hand hold a heavy camera but don’t want to be died down to a tripod.
The 5 axis design means it works a bit like a gyroscope so your images are always in focus. Pretty clever and the first of its kind ever created. It makes all your lenses have stabilization to some degree even if they’re 40 years old and well before such technology existed.
There’s a full range of customization and settings and it has impressive noise control even when it reaches high ISO (which goes up to 25,600). While I have no use for the wireless capability it is pretty cool that you can send your shots instantly to the computer or a smartphone.
It has a Bionz X full frame sensor with 117 point phase detection autofocus, which while I’m not using most of the time, has also worked well when necessary and has 25 detection points for accuracy. The AF is about 30% faster than the original A7 but since I’ve never used that one this seems to be fast. It also does 1080 video at 50MBPs and you can also use the shoe interface for a professional microphone kit.
It has an electronic viewfinder and 3” tiltable LCD on the back. The viewfinder has a .71x magnification and also has a 2.36 Mpx view so you’ll get bright images and be able to see the detail well.
The screen itself is 3” which is more than enough to see what you’re doing and the fact that it tilts makes using it at odd angles much easier because you can still frame the shot even if you can’t see into the viewfinder. The screen tilts 107 degrees up and 41 degrees down which makes it ideal for tough shots and better than a screen which only tilts in one direction.
Features And Specifications
- 24.3 MP CMOS Full Frame Sensor
- 5 Axis image stabilization built into the body
- Hybrid AF system with 117 phase-detect points and 25 contrast detect points
- E mount for lenses FE and E and A mount compatible with adapter.
- Bionz Image Processor
- 3” Tiltable LCD with 640×480 resolution RGBW
- 1080 video at up to 50Mbps
- WIFI and NFC capable with matching apps for Apple and Android
- Magensium Alloy front panel
- 600g weight (body only)
- Maximum ISO of 25,600
What Customers are Saying
The image stabilization which this body is known for really steals it. By having the 5 axis design built into the body it means that all lenses, even ones build long before such a thing existed now have image stabilization. This is especially helpful for telephoto lenses and while you won’t get 5 axis for those older manual lenses the body will compensate with 3 so you still get the best results. The steadyshot feature works for video as well.
The menu is a little difficult to navigate, especially compared to other brands, and it almost seems like there’s no cohesion with where anything has been put. But hopefully with use it will become a bit more familiar. The sensor is also not the most impressive FF but it does what it’s supposed to and does it to a professional standard still.
The buttons are well placed and the shutter is at the front of the grip so you don’t have to adjust or twist to hit it and has a nice downward angle.
I’ve been a photographer for almost 14 years now and I’ve used a lot of different bodies in that time. I’m very pleased with what I’ve seen of the A7 ii and how it works so it’s easy to recommend this body to other professionals.
Who Should Buy this product
Any professional photographer that wants to step down from a bigger DSLR to something more comfortable. It’s probably also good for intermediates and hobbyists as well and there’s enough settings to keep most tinkerers happy without making it into a point and shoot.
This is also an ideal camera if you’re already working with Sony equipment since you can still use all your lenses. The image stabilization feature is ideal for someone who does a lot of telephoto shots (nature shots probably) and doesn’t want to use a monopod or tripod necessarily and it’s also great if you’re older and might not have the hand strength anymore.
Who Shouldn’t buy this Product
If you’re looking to shoot 4k or high end video as well as stills this just doesn’t have the capability. The 24 MP is also a little over the top and while it’s not the most expensive body you could size down to their 12 for less money if that was an issue and still get most of the same features.
This is also not ideal if you’re swapping from another brand as the electronic adapters for lenses are costly, and you don’t really get all the features of the body with the software compromises.
This seems a pleasure to work with and, while it’s not ultralight, it’s much lighter than most DSLRs which makes it easier and more comfortable to use. The 5 axis stabilization is worth it alone, even if you’re having to swap over from another brand, but you’ll eventually need the Sony lenses to get the full joy of it. All in one, this is the best mirrorless camera for professionals.