Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Extensive Comparison

Today, we will be looking at two specialist cameras from Sony – a giant camera brand in the industry. These cameras are quite similar at the intrinsic core of what these cameras are, to be honest. However, they also have unique abilities that make them different from the other and more tailored to a particular audience.

Sony a7S vs a7RII
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Sony is a strong brand in the camera industry and besides its amazing full frame cameras (and a few crop sensor cameras), it also carries what we like to call specialist cameras. These are cameras found in its alpha R and alpha S line.

The Sony alpha R contains cameras with super sharp sensors. These are high resolution cameras with megapixel counts of up to 42 megapixels. They are your poster camera for the perfect studio buddy when you need to do those really detailed portraits and so on. This is where the Sony a7RII falls.

Then there’s the Sony alpha S series which contains Sony’s most ISO sensitive cameras. These cameras are specifically made to address your low light needs. This is where the Sony a7S falls. And, in fact, in the industry, the Sony alpha S line is about the most sensitive cameras.

Today, we see much beyond all these to the actual performance of these cameras even in their respective strengths. Let’s get into it. But before then, you can check out how the Sony a7S compares with another equally excellent camera here.

Table of Contents

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Comparison Overview

In this section, we will be looking at a summary of this lengthy review. This review is definitely going to be long considering everything we have to cover. It’s an intense side-by-side comparison of all the major (and not so major) features of these cameras.

So, if you need to make a quick decision, you can do that from this part of the article. Our advice, though, is to read through to the end so as to make the best decision without buyers’ regret.

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Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Where Both Cameras Get It Right

These cameras both come with fantastic RAW support, full frame sensors, as well as face detection focus. So, altogether, image quality is quite great on both cameras. They do amazing work.

Screens articulate to an extent on both cameras. There’s also an external flash shoe which allows for you to connect an external flash. Besides that, other ports on these cameras include the two ports for an external microphone and the other for headphones.

The Sony a7S and a7RII both come with viewfinders. They are both high resolution electronic viewfinders with a 100% coverage.

For video, these cameras are exceptional. You get the XAVC-S codec for your videos. But you also get dual recording in which the camera records both a high quality XAVC-S and low quality mp4 for those times you need a faster upload.

You also get picture profiles which are typically reserved for Sony’s more professional camcorders here as well. Autofocus is fast on both cameras as well.

The two cameras feature AE bracketing, as well as dual-axis electronic level and time lapse recording although that one is only available with the optional app.

There’s built-in WiFi in both cameras. But there’s also NFC as well as a smartphone remote control app for the camera.

Finally, these cameras are weather-sealed to keep them safe even with the constant exposure to the elements of the weather.

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Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Where The Sony a7S Does It Better

The Sony a7S is a fantastic camera in low light which is its unique selling point. It has a wider ISO range and max ISO of 409,600 stops. Its low light ISO is also higher at 3702 stops. Plus, sensor pixel area is about three times larger at 71.24µm2  as well.

Lastly, of the two cameras, the Sony a7S is lighter and also has the stronger battery.

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Where The Sony a7RII Does It Better

The Sony a7RII has an excellent sensor resolution with 42 megapixels of resolution which produce high quality, well detailed pictures that are easy to crop and zoom into.

The camera also comes with a built-in image stabilization which the Sony a7S lacks.

Of the two cameras, the Sony a7RII has a faster autofocus system even though the difference is not that wide.  Color depth is also much better with the Sony a7RII, so less chances for color banding. And then dynamic range is also higher on the Sony a7RII so it’s better at preserving highlights than the Sony a7S.

Finally, the Sony a7RII supports UHS memory cards so it means transfer rate is much faster for the Sony a7RII in comparison to the Sony a7S.

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Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Where Both Cameras Get It Wrong

They both do not come with a built-in flash although they both feature an external flash shoe.

The Sony a7S and a7RII records 4:2:0 internally. However, to record 4:2:2, you would need an HDMI output. But even at that, these cameras can only do 8 bit which is quite disappointing.

The screens of these cameras do not fully articulate which we find a little disappointing as well. Plus, Sony still didn’t deem it fit to give us touch sensitive screens on both cameras as well and we didn’t appreciate that.

Finally, the shutters of these cameras are not exactly the quietest. The Sony a7RII is stealthier though but not totally mute.

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Our Opinion On The Price/Value Ratio

Of these two cameras, the Sony a7S is the more expensive camera. The two cameras are quite expensive considering everything. They both sell for under two thousand bucks. However, there’s about a five hundred dollar difference between both cameras.

So, are these cameras worth the money? Definitely. The Sony a7RII, for instance, has an amazing sensor. It takes amazing photos and amazing videos. Right now, it sells for under a thousand five hundred bucks which we think is just right for all the features you’ll be getting.

The Sony a7S is also fantastic for its price as well.

Now, these aren’t the most sophisticated cameras in Sony’s offerings. However, the more sophisticated ones cost close to four thousand bucks. Of course, except you’re cashing out big time from photography, such cameras might be way out of your league even though their features could make you drool.

So, in the meantime, while you work on getting photography to pay big time, we think the features on these cameras serve. They serve both the intermediate and professional audience and we think they are well worth the money you’d spend.

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Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Comparison Table Of Major Specs And Features

 

Sony a7S

Sony a7RII

Announcement Date 6th April, 2014 10th June, 2015
Sensor Size Full Frame CMOS Sensor BSI-CMOS Sensor
Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 42 Megapixels
ISO Sensor 100 – 409600 100 – 25600
Low Light ISO 3702 3434
Built-in Image Stabilization None Sensor-shift
Focus Points 25 399
Dynamic Range 13.2 13.9
Color Depth 23.9 26.0
Support for UHS Memory Cards None UHS-I
Sensor Pixel Area 71.24µm2 20.33µm2
Battery Life 360 shots 290 shots
Dimensions 127 x 94 x 48 millimeters 127 x 96 x 60 millimeters
Weight 489 grams 625 grams
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Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Which Situation Is Each Camera Better For?

Sony a7S

Sony a7RII

The Sony a7s seems to be better known as a video camera than as a stills camera. That much is obvious from a number of things but most apparent is its sensor resolution. The camera only has a 12 megapixel sensor which isn’t useful for much when it comes to cameras used for still photography.  

The Sony a7S is wonderful in low light thanks to a number of factors. For one, the Sony a7S has the larger sensor pixel area of the two cameras. Plus, it also has a wider ISO range than the Sony a7RII. So, although the Sony a7RII is also great in low light, the Sony a7S is far more superior.  

For the Slog lovers, the Sony a7S is a great camera choice for you. In fact, in Slog, the native ISO of the Sony a7S is 3200 which is another reason the Sony a7S does so well in low light.  

If you’re into stills photography, we won’t recommend the Sony a7S. Yes, it takes wonderful photos, however, the 12 megapixel count is a bit of a drawback as it reduces the quality of the image just a little bit. Plus, it closes all doors to cropping and printing large sized photos.  

Finally, if it’s a compact camera you need for daily photography, the Sony a7S is great. It comes in a nice size and light weight that’s easy to carry around.
The Sony a7RII is a camera for a different audience from the Sony a7S. It comes with a truckload of megapixels that are equal to the task when it comes to quality images. Photos from the Sony a7RII are great for cropping, downsampling, or even printing in large sizes.  

If you want a camera that’s easy to carry around, the Sony a7RII might not exactly be your best bet. It’s quite bulky at 625 grams, at least in comparison to the Sony a7S. So it might not be so convenient to move this camera around. Keep that in mind.  

The Sony a7RII although not a low light maven like the Sony a7S is quite great in low light. However, understandably it won’t be as sensitive as the Sony a7S.  

The Sony a7RII is also great in video mode. In fact, it might be a little difficult naming one camera over the other as the better camera for video because both cameras are great and shoot in 4K.

Nonetheless, the Sony a7S is more popularly known as the video camera of the two cameras.  

Just like the Sony a7S, the Sony a7RII is not great for photographers looking to take shots or videos of wildlife, sports or any activity that involves intense movements.  

This is an amazing camera for studio work.
Get the Sony a7S here! Get the Sony a7RII here!

We have successfully summarized the full article on the Sony a7S vs a7RII. Nevertheless, feel free to come along with us as we delve into the full stretch of this article. We will be comparing every major feature of these cameras in full to help you make a most informed decision.

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Which Features Do They Have In Common?

This aspect of this Sony a7S vs a7RII covers all the aspects of these two cameras where they share similarities in their features. Like we mentioned initially, intrinsically, and at the core of these cameras, these two alpha cameras are pretty much the same.

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Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Common Feature 1: Full Frame Sensor

Like most Sony cameras, the Sony a7S and a7RII both come with full frame sensors. This offers loads of advantages naturally. Because full frame sensors are large, they naturally do better in terms of dynamic range and ISO.

This is the reason that, though the Sony a7RII isn’t actually an alpha S camera, it still does great in low light. In fact, it only pales because it’s in comparison to the Sony alpha S. In comparison to other cameras from other brands, the Sony a7RII actually shines.

Besides that, the full frame sensor of these cameras help the image quality of photos which these cameras produce. Especially when it comes to depth of field for taking beautiful portraits, these cameras do excellently.

The full frame sensors of these cameras also make the cameras great for taking landscapes, architecture, and similar genres. This is thanks to the more encompassing field of view which full frame sensors offer.

The full frame sensor also has a few disadvantages in that it is predisposed to giving the rolling shutter effect which can be quite annoying. Besides that, full frames are known to be large and expensive. However, we’d say that Sony did a pretty good job with sizing these cameras.

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Common Feature 2: High ISO Range

The disparity between the max ISO of the Sony a7S and the a7RII is actually quite wide. The max ISO for the Sony a7S is much higher than that of the a7RII. Now to how these cameras actually perform in low light beginning with the Sony a7S.

First things first, the Sony a7S was specifically made for low light. It’s been tested and proven, the Sony a7S performs superiorly even in the most extreme of low light conditions. With the Sony a7S, noise only begins to creep in at around 25600 stops. This is definitely a lot more than you can say for so many cameras.

In fact, if the low light conditions are not so extreme, you could even probably get up to 51200 stops of noiseless photos. The Sony a7S is that sensitive.

Again, the Sony a7S has a native of ISO of 3200 in Slog which is another reason it does so well in low light. Of course, you’d need to take your ND filters along. Other reasons include the fact that the camera has a pretty large sensor pixel area, about 71µm2. Plus, its low light ISO is about 3702 stops.

The Sony a7RII, on the other hand, is not sensitive as the Sony a7S, nonetheless it still does quite well in low light. To put things in perspective, the Sony a7RII has a low light ISO 3434 stops which is not much lower than the low light ISO of the Sony a7S.

Its sensor pixel area of the Sony a7RII though is much smaller than that of the Sony a7S which is another aspect of the Sony a7S that Sony optimized of low light conditions. The sensor pixel area of the Sony a7S is about 3.5 times larger than that of the Sony a7RII which, of course, puts the low light performance of the Sony a7S ahead of the Sony a7RII.

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Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Common Feature 3: Dynamic Range

In terms of dynamic range, these cameras perform at about the same level again. As expected, the Sony a7RII does better than the Sony a7S in dynamic range, even though the difference is not exactly so gaping. While the Sony a7S stands at 13.2, the Sony a7RII stands at 13.9 stops. We say this was expected because the Sony a7S was specifically optimized for low light, so, naturally, less emphasis would be placed on the dynamic range. All the same, at 13.2 stops, the Sony a7S still knocks so many cameras out of the park in the sunlight.

Usually, we’d peg a dynamic range around 12 to 14 stops. In this case, these cameras are pretty close to 14 stops which means they are great. Whichever camera you go for, these cameras will beautifully preserve your shadows and highlights.

Of course, this is another plus they get as a result of their full frame sensor.

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Common Feature 4: Articulating Screen

Both of these cameras come with articulating screens. This is important for interaction with your camera whether you’re getting older or you just find it a bother bending at awkward angles just to take photos or shoot a video. This is why articulating screens are necessary.

In this case, both cameras have a 3-inch LCD screen that tilts but only partially. This is something we are waiting on Sony to improve – the fact that their screens only tilt partially when they could make the screens fully articulate.

Another thing we are missing on these screens is touch sensitivity. The screens are not touch sensitive which makes the cameras feel somewhat old school. It also limits the level of interactions you can have with the camera.

Besides, Sony cameras do not exactly have the easiest menu systems. So you’d have to mess around with the buttons, dials, and all of that constantly. Especially when you’d rather work fast-paced this could easily become frustrating.

In resolution, these cameras have screens of about the same resolution. They are pretty clear and sharp which makes them even easier to use.

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Sony a7S vs a7RII
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Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Common Feature 5: RAW Support

The Sony a7S and a7RII both have fantastic RAW support. So, you have the options of taking photos in JPEG for internet use and the likes. But you also have the option of taking photos in high quality RAW mode.

Now, unlike some cameras we’ve met (the Fuji XT2), for example, none of these cameras allow you process your RAW photos (to some extent) in-camera. It’s not such a big deal since most are used to doing all their work in post anyway.

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Common Feature 6: Electronic Viewfinder

This is one feature that might put some people off from both of these cameras. These are mirrorless cameras and the absence of mirrors might understandably put off some purists from the camera. However, electronic viewfinders are fast catching up and many are beginning to switch to mirrorless cameras from DSLRs.

Since they lack mirrors, mirrorless cameras are typically more compact and lighter making them the better camera for travel. Besides, electronic viewfinders are easier to interact with even though they have their shortcomings like how they reflect sunlight and how they deplete batteries faster.

But mirrorless cameras are beginning to function and produce excellent results comparable to DSLRs. So, of course, more people are beginning to buy into the idea.

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Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Common Feature 6: Shutter

Shutter speed for these cameras are the same as the shutter speed for nearly all professional Sony cameras. They both max at 1/8000s and at the bottom border, they slow down to 30 seconds. This is a wide range of shutter speeds which gives you enough room to create all kinds of effects with your shots.

You could either take sharp quality stills of moving subjects, or make photos brighter or blurry by reducing the shutter speed. There’s a lot you can achieve with the shutter speeds available on each camera.

Now, to the silence of the shutter which we’re sure many have questions concerning. Let’s begin with the Sony a7S.

The Sony a7S comes with an electronic first curtain. Of course, it reduces the level of noise the Sony a7S’ shutter produces. Nonetheless, that’s not to say that the Sony a7S is very quiet because it’s not. It’s just a little quieter than the Sony a7r, for instance.

If you want a totally silent shutter, then you’re looking at working with an electronic shutter. The problem though is that, in electronic shutter mode, the rolling shutter effect has been known to be made worse.

So, if your subject is moving laterally (sideways), you’d find the roller shutter effect showing up in your images which isn’t nice.

Also, if the lighting you’re working with at that point is a florescent light, electronic shutter could create a weird cycling effect in your photos.

Now to the Sony a7RII… First off, the Sony a7RII was designed to be much stealthier than its predecessor which many found to be too lousy.

Like the Sony a7S, the Sony a7RII also comes with an electronic front curtain reduces noise. Nonetheless, for a silent shoot, you’d still need to use the electronic shutter just like on the Sony a7S.

In silent mode, the Sony a7RII seems to perform much better in terms of noise making it more suitable for press and wedding photographers.

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Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Common Feature 7: Continuous Shooting / Burst Mode

Both these cameras are lousy when it comes to continuous shooting or burst mode. They each have a burst mode of 5 frames per second which would be limiting for the kind of work continuous shooting in a camera is used for.

In essence, these are not cameras for field work. You’d be pretty much frustrated if you had either of these cameras for shooting say wildlife, sports, or any similar activity. It’s best to leave these cameras strictly for studio work where you want to focus on detail and take your best stills or videos.

So, in summary, these cameras are not for shooting stills or videos of activities where there are many intense movements occurring.

Get the Sony a7S here!          Get the Sony a7RII here!

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Common Feature 8: Video Mode (3840 x 2160 – 4K)

The Sony a7S and a7RII both shoot 4K which we assume is good news for most people. Of course, performance varies somewhat from the a7S and the a7RII. In this section, we explore these differences.

Both cameras have an amazing dynamic range which ensures that your camera always gives you beautiful video with all highlights preserved. Whichever camera you decide to go for, there’s no doubt it would do your videos justice even in extremely backlit settings.

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Bitrate

Next up, we discuss the codec. In both cameras, we have the regular AVCHD which you find in most cameras. But besides that, we also have the high quality XAVC-S codec. This codec is really impressive and quite easy to use as well.

But when it comes to bitrate, these cameras perform somewhat differently. While the Sony a7S records at a bitrate of 50 megabits per second, the Sony a7RII performs much better. It does twice of what the Sony a7S does at 100 megabits per second both in full frame and in a 35 millimeter crop.

Frame Rate

The Sony a7S is high performance when it comes to its frame rate. The camera shoots as high as 120 frames per second but this is only in 720p. The same applies to the Sony a7RII which only records at a frame rate of 120 frames per second in 720p as well.

In 1080p though, both these cameras record at a lower frame rate of 60 frames per second. In 4K as well, these cameras do 60 frames per second. That’s a shame, right? Well, you’ll survive.

Either way though, both cameras give you enough raw materials to create a slow motion effect in post.

Also, besides the 120 and 60 frames per second, the Sony a7S and a7RII also come with other frame rates like 30 and 24 frames per second as well.

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Picture Profiles

On both cameras, you’d find that Sony has included picture profiles from some of its pro video cameras on these cameras. Of course that’s good news for users as you can now access the high quality picture profiles found on the expensive pro video cameras on your more affordable mirrorless camera.

Picture profiles on these cameras are really nice and impressive. Especially once you’re able to do some boosting, grading, and sharpening, you find that the colors pop and the dynamic range improve significantly as well.

It’s also really nice that the picture profiles are really flexible which means that you have more than enough to work with in post.

Buttons and Ports

These cameras are really customizable which is nice and important. A lot of users find Sony’s menu system somewhat frustrating which makes customization quite important.

Besides those, they come with ports for an external microphone as well as headphones. With these, you can be assured of quality sound.

Well, we will have to commend Sony here though, even without an external microphone, these cameras still do quite well when it comes to their on-board mic. Stereo separation is excellent and as such, users can work with these cameras in relatively quiet environments or for shoots where audio quality isn’t top priority.

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Dual Recording

Another feature of these two cameras when it comes to video recording is their dual recording format. These cameras automatically record your videos in two formats – a high quality one and a lower quality one. So, at the end of your shoot, you get a high quality XAVC and you also get a lower grade mp4 720p format as well.

This feature is really helpful especially in times when you need to make a fast upload or quick edits. Using the lower grade, mp4 format becomes handy in such cases as that.

4K Video Resolution

A 4K video resolution is what you get with either of these cameras. Both record 4K internally. However, that’s only possible at 24 or 25 frames per second and at 8 bit 4:2:0. Like we mentioned, the format used is the XAVC-S codec.

On the other hand, if you want to record at 4:2:2, then you’d have to use an external recorder. This is something that Panasonic got right on its GH4 and GH5. You can do that internally.

On either of the Sony a7S and a7RII, recording at 4:2:2 has to be with an HDMI output. Challenge is it’s still just 8-bit. Panasonic, on the other hand, does 10 bit even though a few customers complain that it’s a bit slow. It seems that, for now, Sony has decided to reserve 10 bit with professional cinema cameras and camcorders.

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Sony a7S vs a7RII
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Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Common Feature 9: Wireless Connection

Like most modern cameras, the Sony a7S and a7RII both feature built-in WiFi. This enables them to transfer files from the camera to other devices easily and without hassle. Since all that is required is internet service, you eliminate the need (and clutter) of using a cable.

Of course, there are times that internet service might not exactly be as smooth as expected. Or you might even find yourself in a location where there isn’t internet service, in that case, you have the NFC.

Near Field Communication allows two devices send files to and from each other simply by being within inches from each other. It’s a contactless, cordless transfer as well and is really nifty and convenient.

Finally, under wireless connection, we have smartphone control. Sony has a smartphone remote control app which enables you to trigger the shutter, compensate for exposure (both in aperture and shutter mode), set a 2-second timer, as well a transfer JPEG photos to your phone without touching your camera.

So, in short, you are using your phone as a remote control for your camera which is cool. In fact, there’s also the option of livestreaming feeds from your camera on to your smartphone. This further retains remote control of your camera within your smartphone.

To use the smartphone remote control app, you’d have to first set up an account with Sony, if you haven’t. You’d also need to do this to be able to use the built-in WiFi feature as well. But once this is done, you can enjoy all the wireless functions on your Sony cameras to the max.

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Common Feature 10: Weather-sealed Bodies

Finally, the last common feature we will be considering on this topic is their weather sealing. The Sony a7S and a7RII both have a robust weather-sealing. This makes them quite rugged and impervious to certain levels of deterioration that come with prolonged use.

More importantly, it keeps them protected in iffy weather. But that said, it’s important to note that weather sealing does not necessarily mean that you should expose your camera to heavy downpours of rain or snow.

Your best bet would be to get a waterproof pack for your camera to keep it safe. Of course, you weather-sealing comes in handy for those slight downpours where you can’t afford to stop shooting. Also, between the time when the downpour begins and till you find shelter, weather sealing keeps your camera safe.

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Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Unique Features

Here, we discuss each of the unique features these cameras bring to the table. You’d most likely be making a final decision here as this section contains the deal breaker for each camera.

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Features Unique To The Sony a7S

Low Sensor Resolution – 12 Megapixels

You are bound to be sorely disappointed when checking out the sensor resolution of the Sony a7S just like we were. Although excellent in most other features, a 12-megapixel sensor is somewhat of a big setback. It just limits you in several ways.

But then again, the Sony a7S isn’t exactly a camera for stills. From all indications, the camera was made by Sony with video in mind. It’s probably the reason Sony didn’t do too much as concerning the sensor resolution.

That’s not to say that this camera doesn’t take incredible images. After all, the Sony a7S has wonderful RAW support and a full frame sensor to boot. However, the details lost by virtue of the much fewer megapixels make it difficult to work with photos from the Sony a7S for anything beyond internet use. Things like aggressive cropping, or enlarged photo sizes are not achievable with photos from the Sony a7S.

Get the Sony a7S here!          Get the Sony a7RII here!

25 Focus Points

The Sony a7S only has 25 focus points which is too few if you ask anyone. Few focus points are a pain because they affect the speed of the autofocus and also affect how the camera’s focus picks up on moving subjects or numerous subjects in a frame. Of course, the fewer, the tougher the challenge.

However, the Sony a7S is a pleasant surprise. The camera’s autofocus isn’t so bad and it happens to do a nice job of tracking moving subjects rather nicely. It definitely isn’t the fastest autofocus you’d ever find but it does a nice job all the same. It’s something vloggers and Youtubers can use for selfie videos.

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Sony a7S vs a7RII
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Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Features Unique To The Sony a7RII

High Sensor Resolution – 42 Megapixels

All cameras in the Sony alpha R line are known for their high resolution sensors and so is the Sony a7RII. It comes with a sensor resolution of a whooping 42 megapixels. That’s a high sensor resolution by any standards. So, with the Sony a7RII, detailing is one thing you’ll definitely not lack at all.

If you’re big on cropping and the rest, you’d find the Sony a7RII a great camera choice. You have so much room to crop, zoom in, print in large sizes, downsample, nearly everything you can think of. The 42 sharpness and detailing you’re bound to get from the Sony a7RII is something you won’t want to miss in your studio sessions.

399 Focus Points

Unlike the Sony a7S, the focus system of the Sony a7RII is amazing. First off, there are many more focus points on the Sony a7RII than there are on the Sony a7S. Sony truly takes autofocusing to a whole new level on the Sony a7RII.

First, we notice the addition of two new cool features on the camera which are eye focusing and face tracking. This helps the Sony a7RII follow rather nicely for moving subjects, a lot better than the Sony a7S does actually. By using contrast and face tracking, the camera is able to pin the exact location of a moving subject for a beautiful, clean shot every time.

But hey, a few things to note about the autofocus of the Sony a7RII before we move further.

The first is the issue of focus hunting. Yes, the Sony a7RII suffers that problem especially when taking stills or videos of a stationary object in autofocus mode. So, rather than the camera locking on to the initial focus point, it continues “hunting” for the accurate focus point after already getting it. This could slow down your process, naturally.

But there’s a way around that…

What we advise is that you turn autofocus mode off the minute your camera latches on to the initial point of focus if you’re shooting a video of a stationary object. For stills, turn off continuous shooting once initial focus has been achieved.

That said, it’s quite impressive that Sony’s fast autofocus also works on non-Sony glass, although it only works in stills mode. In video mode, non-Sony glass are so slow, it’s not even worth it trying to use non-Sony glass if you’re shooting a video.

Get the Sony a7S here!          Get the Sony a7RII here!

Sony a7S vs a7RII
what-camera.com

Get the Sony a7S here!

Get the Sony a7RII here!

Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization

Sony mostly goes for sensor-shift image stabilization when including an image stabilization system in its camera. The Sony a7S lacks an image stabilization system which means that you’d have to with get image stabilization lenses (Sony does not have a lot of that and they can be a tad bit expensive). Or users could also use a tripod (your best bet).

We especially love the sensor-shift image stabilization system because it’s a more cost-effective system. It works with any glass which means you don’t have to spend extra getting additional glass. It reduces cost and also reduces the amount of gear you have to carry around.

And the image stabilization used here is actually top quality. It’s a 5-axis image stabilization system which stabilizes images on every plane possible including rotationally as well.

Get the Sony a7S here!          Get the Sony a7RII here!

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Unique Pros

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Pros Unique To The Sony a7S

  • This is a camera specifically made for even the most extreme low light situations.
  • Max ISO is much higher than that of the Sony a7RII at 409,600 stops.
  • Low light ISO is higher at 3702 stops.
  • The Sony a7S has a larger sensor pixel area at 71.24µm2.
  • It’s a much lighter camera than the Sony a7RII.
  • Battery life on the Sony a7S is much stronger than on the Sony a7RII.

Get the Sony a7S here!

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Pros Unique To The Sony a7RII

  • The Sony a7RII has a super sharp sensor with a sensor resolution of 42 megapixels.
  • Comes with built-in sensor-shift image stabilization.
  • Camera has a faster autofocus system as well as more focus points than the Sony a7S.
  • The Sony a7RII has way better color depth than the a7RII so it does a better job with displaying and preserving colors. Photos from the Sony a7RII have a low chance of displaying color banding than those from the Sony a7S.
  • Dynamic range is also much better than that of the Sony a7S.
  • The Sony a7RII supports UHS memory cards which makes it easier and faster to transfer files.

Get the Sony a7RII here!

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Unique Cons

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Cons Unique To The Sony a7S

  • Sensor resolution is only 12 megapixels which can be a bit of a restriction. You can’t do much from cropping to downsampling, to printing large sized photos.
  • It lacks any form of image stabilization.
  • Fewer focus points than the Sony a7RII and performs slightly below the Sony a7RII n autofocus speed.
  • Does not support UHS memory cards which means that transfer rate from the Sony a7S will be much slower than on the Sony a7RII.
  • Electronic shutter mode brings about rolling shutter effect as well as other weird effects with certain lights.

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Cons Unique To The Sony a7RII

  • Battery life is not quite strong.
  • It’s a much heavier camera than the Sony a7S.
  • Sensor pixel area is about three times smaller than that of the Sony a7S.
  • The Sony a7RII is quite heavy at 625 grams.
  • Has a small challenge with focus hunting.

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Common Pros

Sony a7S

Sony a7RII

The Sony a7S comes with built-in WiFi with which the photographer can transfer files easily via the internet to other devices. Also comes with built-in WiFi.
Both cameras feature an articulating screen which makes it more convenient to use the camera even at awkward angles. Comes with an articulating screen as well.
External flash shoe makes it possible to fit an external flash onto the camera. Also comes with an external flash shoe.
The Sony a7S comes with a viewfinder – an electronic viewfinder. Viewfinder also present on the Sony a7RII.
Wonderful RAW support on the Sony a7S. Also comes with fantastic RAW support as well.
Face detection focus feature present to identify human faces and give them the right exposure and whatnot for a perfect shot. Also, comes with the face detection focus feature.
LCD screen resolution is quite high. Same goes for the Sony a7RII
Ports for an external microphone and headphones are present on the Sony a7S. The Sony a7RII also comes with ports for an external mic and headphones.
Features time lapse recording although it’s only available with the app. Also comes with the time lapse feature with the optional app.
Dual-axis electronic level present on the Sony a7S. Also present on the Sony a7RII.
Comes with the AE bracketing feature. AE bracketing also present on the Sony a7RII.
NFC Connection present on the Sony a7S. The Sony a7RII comes with NFC as well.
Smartphone remote control is also available on the Sony a7S. Same goes for the Sony a7RII
Weather-sealing keeps the Sony a7S protected from elements of the weather including slight rain, snow, wind, and dust. The Sony a7RII is also weather-sealed.
Video mode comes with dual recording which allows you record in two formats at once – XAVC-S and Mp4. Same goes for the Sony a7RII.
Picture profiles from Sony’s more professional camcorders are found here. Also found on the Sony a7RII.
Autofocus is quite fast on the Sony a7S. Autofocus is also fast (faster even) on the Sony a7RII.
Get the Sony a7S here! Get the Sony a7RII here!
Sony a7S vs a7RII
what-camera.com

Get the Sony a7S here!

Get the Sony a7RII here!

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Common Cons

Sony a7S

Sony a7RII

The Sony a7S lacks a built-in flash So does the Sony a7RII
Can only record 4:2:2 onto an external HDMI output but even that is only 8 bit. Same goes for the Sony a7RII.
Screen only articulates partially and lacks touch sensitivity. Also a con of the Sony a7RII.
Continuous shooting is only 5 frames per second which makes it unsuitable for on-field work. Also comes with a burst mode of 5 frames per second.
Shutter isn’t exactly silent except in electronic shutter mode. Same goes for the Sony a7RII.

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – General Feeling Among Users

Sony a7S

Sony a7RII

The Sony a7S obviously had a good run with the customers. Its 4K video resolution was a welcome upgrade. In fact, it seemed like most people came for the 4K video and they weren’t disappointed.  

The low light performance of the Sony a7S also impressed many. We got testimonies about the camera’s stellar performance even in the most extreme low light situations.  
Alright, now to the complaints. Of course, a lot of people wished they could have a more flexible screen. Something that articulates fully and something with touch sensitivity. They believed it would have made interaction with the camera more fluid and intuitive and they were not wrong.  

Menu system was another challenge users encountered while using the Sony a7S. The customizable layout though made it easier to use the camera.  

However, apparently, the camera is quite rugged. We got reports from many users on how the camera lasted them quite a long time of use.
The hefty price tag on the sony a7RII seemed to scare a few customers away at first and many said as much. However, for those who tried, they found it worth their money.  

Menu system, again, wasn’t great just like on the Sony a7S. So, again, users complained about that.  

However, when it came to image quality, the Sony a7RII did an amazing job an customers loved it. In fact, there were even those who declared the sensor of the Sony a7RII the best in the world. That amazing.  
The video mode also scored huge points with the users as well which was great.  

Now for the bad, we already mentioned the messy menu system. And then battery life was another pain point as well. But many saw that one coming.  

There were also those who thought that the camera was a little overpriced. However, this was only a small percentage. Most others found this camera a steal for the price.
Get the Sony a7S here! Get the Sony a7RII here!

Sony a7S Vs a7RII – Conclusion

So which of these cameras would we go for if we had to choose? Well, we have to mention that these are wonderful cameras. And we are not just saying that because we want to say that. We are saying it because it’s true.

However, if we had to choose one, we’d choose the more all-round camera of the two over the more specific one. In that case, the camera which fits that description would be the Sony a7RII. The Sony a7RII has competencies in nearly every area as the Sony a7S and one more.

We found from our comparison that the Sony a7RII does great in image quality, video, and even in low light which is the primary strength of the Sony a7S. If you shoot weddings and the likes, there’s no way the Sony a7RII won’t serve.

We will only recommend the Sony a7S if you work in the most extreme low light conditions. Otherwise, the Sony a7RII will be our choice. Truly amazing sensor – one of the best we have seen – amazing 4K abilities, altogether fantastic buy.

The Sony a7RII is our clear winner in today’s comparison.

Get the Sony a7S here! Get the Sony a7RII here!

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