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Sony announced the latest updated body in its Alpha 7 line, the A7S II, a month ago, but it wasn’t until last night that the company offered the U.S. a chance to shoot with final production samples of this full-frame mirrorless interchangeable-lens compact (ILC) camera. The “S” in the name stands for sensitivity, and that’s just what the new 12.2MP 35mm-format CMOS sensor turns up, with ISO reaching 409,600.
Sony added 14-bit uncompressed RAW, though you’ll still be able to save file space with the compressed RAW format available in the higher-resolution A7R II. The camera captures 4K video internally—no external recorder needed. There are lots of other features that distinguish this $2,998 (street, body only) camera, but with just a couple of hours in our hands, so far, Philip Ryan and I decided to concentrate on the characteristic that sets the A7S II apart: low-light performance.
We used it with a variety of lenses at a press event Sony hosted at Carroll Place Bar and Restaurant in Greenwich Village and then out on the streets, cranking up the ISO and engaging Sony’s five-axis image stabilization. All of the images in this gallery are JPEGs straight out of the camera with no editing, shot handheld.
We’ll run the Sony A7S II through our full gamut of tests in the Popular Photography Test Lab and in the field as soon as we have a sample we can keep for a few weeks. (Check back here in November!)