Sony to launch A7S II

Low-light filming

Sony A7S II with 28-135 G video lens
Dark shooter: Sony’s A7S II capitalises on the low-light performance of its predecessor, but adds 4K

IBC 2015: Sony has announced its replacement for the popular A7s, low-light compact system camera.

The Sony A7S II keeps the full-frame 35mm, e-mount lens format of the earlier model. The A7S II, though, is capable of 4K recording internally. It also gains the five-axis image stabilisation system Sony has already fitted to the A7 II and A7R II.

The A7S II features the same level of sensitivity as the previous model – ISO 409,600 – but Sony claims lower noise and a better dynamic range across all levels of gain. The sensor is capable of 12.2 megapixels.

Shutter unit from Sony's A7S II
The shutter unit from Sony’s A7S II

The new camera comes with S-Gamut3.Cine and S-Log 3, and records 120fps in full HD, rather than the 720p of the original A7S. Sony says that autofocus has been improved, and the five-axis stabilisation system will improve the camera’s performance handheld, or on a gimbal.

The most significant improvement, though, is likely to be internal 4K recording.

The A7S II records 4K in XAVC, whereas the A7s was only cable of 4K via an external HDMI recorder. Sony says the new model records a full pixel read out without pixel binning, even in the full-frame 35mm format. The full-pixel readout is also used for HD recording.

Other upgrades include a new autofocus system, with 169 AF points and AF performance in video mode which is twice as fast as on the older model. Sony has improved the camera’s OLED viewfinder. There have been several ergonomic changes to the camera body, and Sony has strengthened the lens mount.

And, in a move that will appeal to videographers working at events and other long-form productions, the A7S II can now be powered by USB, charging the battery at the same time.

Sony expects the new camera to go on sale in November, with a suggested price of €3400.