Sony A7R II Hands on Review (and comparison vs. the 5DS-R, D810, GH4, a7 II & a7S)

On this video photographer Tony Northrup and his wife Chelsea compare the new A7R II to a whole range of other cameras including the Canon 5DS-R, Nikon D810, Panasonic GH4, and finally the Sony A7 II and A7S.

This is still not a full fledge review but more of a quick first real world hands on with the camera which is just now getting into stores around the world.

When compared to the D810 the results seems very similar (although the base ISO of the D810 is a slight advantage), against the Canon EOS 5DS-R we see the Sony ahead in sensitivity and dynamic range but with less detail.

Going to video – the A7R II showed very impressive sensitivity results especially in super 35 mode (which is much better than the FF mode) although the A7S is still about a stop better.

The Northrup‘s also tested the A7R II with the Metabones IV adapter and it was usable (with AF) on many lenses – keep in mind that long telephoto lenses don’t seem to work well with it – at least not at the moment – but being able to work with Canon (and 3’rd party EF and EF-S mount lenses) with decent AF at all is amazing and will help the new Sony gain much more popularity in our view (a Nikon adapter is also on the way).

Here is a reminder of the A7R II specs (see our original post on the camera – here):

  • 42MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor (the first ever FF back side illuminated sensor).
  • BIONZ X Image Processor (improved/updated and 3.5x faster than the one on the A7R).
  • Internal 4K XAVC S Video & S-Log2 Gamma, 100MBit in 4K and 50MBit in 1080p (a first for Sony).
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot in-body stabilization (similar to the one on the A7 II).
  • 399 Phase-Detect AF Points & 5 fps Burst (on paper the most advanced AF system ever created).
  • Shooting speed – 5 fps (with AF).
  • 0.5″ 2.36M-Dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF (improved EVF).
  • 3.0″ 1,228.8k-Dot Tilting LCD Monitor (but no touch screen sadly).
  • ISO 102,400 with a silent shutter mode (thanks to the electronic shutter).
  • Durable reduced-vibration shutter design and weather-resistant magnesium alloy body.
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC.
  • Price: $3200 (on Amazon).

We are hoping to give the A7R II a test ourselves in the not too distant future and see what we shall make of this interesting camera – so make sure you stay tuned.

More guides and comparisons of photographic gear can be found on our photography gear guides – here on LensVid. If you liked Tony and Chelsea Northrup you can check out more of their videos here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.


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