Sony a9 vs a7II – Detailed Review

In today’s review, we will be comparing two professional Sony full frame sensor cameras: Sony a9 vs a7II.

Our comparison of the Sony a9 vs Sony a7II is quite lengthy. So, if you need the information to make a really quick decision, the next three sections are for you.

We, however, encourage you to read on to the very end if you can. The thoughts of customers who have used these cameras and our take on them are contained in the last two sections of this review.

By the way, if you would like to see how the Sony a9 does when compared to a camera from another brand, check out our Sony a9 vs Panasonic GH5 comparison article here.

Sony a9 vs a7II
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Table of Contents

Comparison Overview – Sony a9 vs a7II

This section is divided into 4 major subsectors to help you better grasp this summary. Without further ado, let’s zoom right in.

Where Do They Both Get It Right – Sony a9 vs a7II?

Sony graced the two cameras in comparison with incredible sensor resolutions. They both have 24 megapixel full frame sensors, a sensor size which is the favorite of professionals.

When it comes to shooting in challenging weather conditions with these cameras, Sony has got you covered.

This is because these cameras come with environmental sealing, which ensures their resistance to water and dust particles.

Another thing these two cameras got going on for them is the presence of built-in stabilization. This reduces the likelihood of shooting blurry images.

The Sony a9 and the a7II come with electronic viewfinders which have great resolutions. This guarantees that what you see while shooting perfectly matches what you get later in the image.

The LCD screens on these cameras are articulating screens. This will allow you the freedom to shoot from different flexible positions.

Also, both cameras under review come with built-in wireless connectivity. This makes the transfer of photos from the camera to nearby compatible devices easier.

The Sony a9 and the a7II both have RAW Support, so you are sure to have better image quality when you shoot in RAW with either of the cameras.

Another great thing going on for these cameras is that they both have a great shutter speed of 1/8000 seconds.

They also provide better video recording control, as they come with microphone port and headphone port.

A Sony a9 Demonstration Video – Sony a9 vs a7II

Where Do They Both Get It Wrong – Sony a9 vs a7II?

For reasons best known to Sony, neither the a9 nor the a7II was made with a built-in flash. This means they both require that you use an external flash on them to improve lighting.

Also, as with almost all full frame cameras, these two – Sony a9 vs a7II – are bulky.

How Do They Differ From Each Other – Sony a9 vs a7II?

An important difference between the two cameras is the presence of a touch screen on only the Sony a9 which makes it the easier to control.

In addition to that, you can connect to other devices via Bluetooth with only the Sony a9, as the a7II does not support the feature.

Further, while the a7II has just 117 focus points, the Sony a9 tops that with a very impressive 693.

Concerning battery life, the Sony a9 offers you 300 shots more than the a7II’s 350 per full charge.

Action photographers appreciate a camera with fast continuous shooting, and while both cameras under review allow this, the Sony a9 is 15 frames per second faster.

An a7II Demonstration Video – Sony a9 vs a7II

What’s The Price/Value Like – Sony a9 vs a7II?

The Sony a9 and a7II are high-end cameras. This is not surprising, seeing as they have full frame sensors.

Anyway, it is important to point out that the a7II is the less expensive one of the two cameras, and by far, too.

The a9 is a very expensive camera, and yes, it does wonders, but we still think it could have been made a little more affordable.

This camera is 4 times the price of the a7II, but we don’t think that there is a commensurate difference in performance levels.

This is why we think that the a7II is the one with the better price/value ratio. The a9 might be more dazzling, but we think the a7II will give you more value for your money spent.

Brand Strength – Sony a9 vs a7II

For high-quality cameras, whether they are for beginners, enthusiasts, or pros, Sony is a brand you can trust.

Sony, which has been declared the producer of the world’s best image sensors, is a major player in the market for cameras.

You can rest assured that whichever of these pro cameras you choose, you are getting a camera from a brand you can count on.

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Comparison Table – Sony a9 vs a7II

  Sony a9 Sony a7II
Announcement date 19 April 2017 20 November 2014
Weight 673 grams 599 grams
ISO range 100 – 51,200 100 – 25,600
Viewfinder resolution 3,686k dots 2.359k dots
Continuous shooting 20.0 frames per second 5.0 frames per second
Touch-sensitive screen Yes No
LCD screen resolution 1,440k dots 1230k dots
Number of focus points 693 117
Battery life 650 shots per full charge 350 shots per full charge
Maximum video resolution 3840 x 2160 1920 x 1080
Video formats MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264 MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S
Flash sync port Yes No
Bluetooth Yes No
Storage slot 2 1
Real-time Animal Eye Autofocusing Yes No
DxOMark Overall Score 92 90
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Which Situation Is Each Best Suited For – Sony a9 vs a7II?

Sony a9 Sony a7II
Considering its really fast burst mode speed, this camera is easily your better choice for action, wildlife, sports photography, as well as any other type of photography that involves moving people or objects.

It is also super awesome to shoot with in low light as it offers a 100 per cent higher ISO maximum than the a7II.
If you are on a pretty tight budget, then this is the camera to go for.

The a9 is really good for it is not an affordable camera at all. And the price difference between the two is a very large one, so, you wanna save money? Opt for this one.
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What Do They Have In Common – Sony a9 vs a7II?

Since we are done with giving you a quick summary, we will move headlong into more details from this point on.

In this section, we will focus on some of the features which the Sony a9 and the a7II have in common.

Some of these features will be the same, while others may differ slightly.

Maximum Sensor Resolution

Sensor resolution is one of the most popularized determining factors of a camera’s worth. And with these cameras – Sony a9 vs a7II – Sony didn’t disappoint at all.

They both come with 24 megapixel full frame sensors. However, they differ slightly in size.

While the Sony a9 has a 35.6 x 23.8 millimeter-sized BSI-CMOS sensor, the a7II has a 35.8 x 23.9 millimeter-sized CMOS sensor.

Therefore, with these cameras, you are sure that even images that are cropped or blown out won’t lose sharpness nor details once they are printed.

Built-In Image Stabilizer

When using a camera that comes with built-in image stabilization, the likelihood of shooting blurry images is greatly minimized.

How this works is that the camera’s lens is automatically steadied against vibrations or movements in the camera’s position.

Fortunately, each of the cameras under review come with a 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization. The Sony a7II has been acclaimed to be the world’s first full frame camera with this technology.

The 5-axis technology reduces blurs caused by camera shakes from 5 different directions – horizontal, vertical, pitch, yaw and roll.

Even as you run or walk while shooting, this stabilizing system that is present in the Sony a9 and a7II has got you covered.

Your mounted lenses can also utilize this built-in 5-axis image stabilization.

Electronic Viewfinder

A viewfinder is that part of a camera where you look through to correctly focus and compose your picture before shooting. There is the optical viewfinder and then, there is the electronic viewfinder.

Using the viewfinder helps to reduce the need for cropping your images later, as it will ensure the image correctly fits within the frame.

With the electronic viewfinder, you see exactly how the image will look when shot, compared to optical ones which show you images exactly how they are.

We are all for technological advancement, and so is Sony with an electronic viewfinder on each of the a9 and a7II.

Both cameras have the same 0.5-inch size OLED electronic viewfinder with a 100 percent coverage. However, they differ slightly in resolution and magnification.

The Sony a9 has a viewfinder with a resolution of 3,686k dots, a 0.78x magnification, and a refresh rate of up to 120 frames per second.

On the other hand, the a7II has an OLED electronic viewfinder with a lesser resolution of 2360k dots, a 0.71x magnification and a refresh rate of 60 frames per second.

Environmental Sealing

To ensure optimal performance and durability of your camera functions, proper care needs to be given to it.

If you are more inclined towards outdoor photography and travel photography, you will agree that your camera should not be left unprotected from the elements.

This is because the major causes of damage to cameras used in such conditions are moisture and dust getting into them.

But with environmental sealing, your camera is provided with added protection against the negative effects of the elements.

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Articulating Screen

An articulating screen is an LCD screen that is not fixed but can be turned in different directions without turning the camera body.

This type of screen allows you to shoot from various positions. Talk about creative shoots!

The articulating screen is one of the prominent features of each of the Sony a9 and the a7II. Both cameras have 3-inch articulating LCD screens with a resolution of 1440k dots for the Sony a9 and 1230k dots for the Sony a7II.

The LCD screens of these two cameras come with the WhiteMagic technology that significantly improves visibility in very bright daylight.

External Flash Hot Shoe

As earlier mentioned, none of the cameras we are comparing today comes with a built-in flash. This means that you will need to rely on the use of an external flash when shooting in low-lighting conditions.

This hot shoe is where the external flash will be mounted.

Automatic Exposure Bracketing

When shooting in tricky lighting conditions, it is most confusing to pick what exposure is best for your image. In such times, exposure bracketing becomes highly essential.

Exposure bracketing involves you shooting an image at a particular exposure, and then two (more or less) other images at adjusted exposures.

When you take a look at the three images shot, it becomes easier to determine the best shot, and then decide what you want to do with the other two.

Cameras that come with the automatic exposure bracketing (AEB) feature (like the Sony a9 and a7II), allow you to automatically set this up.

This feature on these cameras enables you to set the width of the three shots to be taken.

This works such that the first shot taken will be in the set exposure, while the second shot will be underexposed by the set number of stops. And the third shot will be overexposed by the same number of set stops.

Also, auto exposure bracketing makes it easy for you to get lovely HDR photos.

RAW Support

Shooting in RAW ensures that your images are stored as uncompressed files that contain nominally processed image data from the camera’s image sensor.

This means that the camera stores your images in such a way that no data is lost when you need to carry out post-processing.

On the other hand, when you shoot in JPEG, the images are stored as compressed files, and so, they lose a lot of image data.

However, JPEG images are smaller in size than RAW images. Plus, you will have to process the RAW files and convert them into suitable formats to print the images or share them online.

With cameras that allow you to shoot in RAW, you still get access to any of those image formats when the need arises.

Face Detection Autofocusing

Face detection is the function of a camera that automatically sets its focus and exposure for a shot once it detects human faces within the frame.

Both equipped with this autofocusing system, when it is time to shoot portraits or film people, the Sony a9 and a7II will come in handy.  

Shutter Speed

To do away with unintended blurs when shooting images in motion, you will need a camera with a quick shutter speed. The fast shutter speed helps keep the moving subject in focus by freezing the motion.

Both cameras under review have an amazing shutter speed of 1/8000 seconds. This means that with either of the two cameras, you are sure to have beautiful motion pictures, all things being equal.

It is, however, important to point out here that blurs do not necessarily have adverse effects on your images when they are planned for.

A good example is that when capturing a car race – as in sports photography – you might need to introduce some blurs. This is so that the vehicles do not look so still as if they were parked in a garage, instead of speeding down a race track. Panning is a technique that will help you out with this.

In addition to controlling blurs, fast shutter speed is an amazing tool for correcting exposure challenges and producing awesome effects.

Microphone Port

If you intend to shoot videos with your camera, you sure will appreciate being given high-quality audio recording options. These options are what both the Sony a9 and a7II provide with the microphone port they come fitted with.

Headphone Jack

In addition to the microphone port, these cameras also come with one headphone port each. This provides you with better video control, making both cameras worthy choices for high-quality videography.

Wireless Connectivity

In today’s fast-paced world, being able to upload pictures from your camera to your computer or the web is a photographer’s desire.

Fortunately, both cameras provide better connectivity as they each come with a built-in wireless connectivity support.

Smartphone Remote Control

These cameras are fitted with the remote-control feature which allows you to control your camera with your smartphone. This sure makes photography more fun and more convenient.

Near Field Communication

The near field communication (NFC) feature on a camera allows wireless connectivity with compatible devices simply by touching them together.

Sony a9 vs a7II
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How Different Are They From Each Other – Sony a9 vs a7II?

Here, we will look at some distinct features of both cameras. We will also look at what differentiates them in instances where they share a common feature.

Touch Screen

One of the first noticeable differences between these two cameras is a touch-sensitive screen. Of the two cameras, only the a9 comes with a touch-sensitive screen. 

Having a camera whose screen is touch-sensitive facilitates ease of use, such as easy control of camera functions.

However, it is necessary to point out that the absence of one may not be considered as a deal-breaker if you know your way around a camera.

Battery Life

As a photographer, knowing the battery performance of your camera helps you keep a lot of things in perspective before going on a shoot. The average battery life of mirrorless type cameras is 362 shots per full charge.

The Sony a9 comes with a newer and larger NP-FZ100 battery pack that provides you with a good-enough 650 shots per full charge. On the other hand, the a7II comes with the older NP-FW50 battery pack that affords you a not-just-okay 350 shots per full charge.

While the a9 has a good battery life, the a7II does not impress us. It will, therefore, be profitable to invest in spare batteries, especially if you will be going on long shooting sprees. After all, you never know when you will come upon an unexpected picturesque view.

Number Of Focus Points

While the Sony a9 presents you with 693 focus points, the a7II offers just 117. This large gap will greatly affect the quality of pictures gotten from these different cameras when you compare them.

Maximum Video Resolution

With the Sony a9, you will be able to shoot 4K videos at up to 30 frames per second and 100 megabits per second with full pixel readout.

On the other hand, the a7II will only be able to produce a Full HD (1920 x 1080) recording at about 60 frames per second and 50 megabits per second.

Also, the a9 comes with Sony’s S&Q mode that enables you to set frame rates between 1 and 120 frames per second for slow or quick motion playback.

However, the a7II is much more limited to 1080p videos at 60 frames per second, with no Quick mode.

ISO Range

The ISO of a camera tells us, in numbers, how sensitive that camera’s sensor is to light. It tells us how much light the camera can capture when it is set to a certain number.

When shooting in conditions where there is a lot of light, the camera needs to be set to a low ISO. This is because the camera takes minimal light on a low ISO to ensure that the photos come out well, without the light hiding all the details.

In low light conditions, however, the camera is to be set to a high ISO to make up for the lack of light. You sure do not want grainy photos.

In all, the wider the ISO range, the better you can play around whatever lighting condition you find.

That said, the Sony a9 is the leader in this regard. While it has an ISO range of 100 to 51,200, the a7II has a range of 100 to 25,600. That is a 100 percent difference in their maximum values.

Animal Eye Autofocusing Tracking

In addition to the face detection autofocusing, the Sony a9 has a sophisticated feature called the Animal Eye Autofocusing.

It enables the camera to identify the eyes of an animal in the scene and focus on them. It proceeds to track the eyes around the frame and keep them sharp for the shot to be taken.

Since the eyes are already sharp, there is no need for extra depth of field, and so, you can shoot at wider apertures.

This autofocusing system is as beneficial for wildlife photography as it is for taking cute pictures of your dog at home.

Unfortunately, the a7II does not come with this feature.

Bluetooth

Of the two cameras we are comparing today – Sony a9 vs a7II – only the Sony a9 comes with Bluetooth connectivity.

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What Are The Unique Pros Of Each Product – Sony a9 vs a7II?

What Are The Unique Pros Of The Sony a9 – Sony a9 vs a7II?

  1. This camera has a 100 percent wider ISO range than the a7II.
  2. With its touch-sensitive screen, you can more easily control the a9’s functions.
  3. Unlike the a7II that comes with one storage port, the a9 has two.
  4. This camera assures better focused images as it has 576 more focus points than the a7II.
  5. The Sony a9 has a better battery life than the a7II; it affords you a whopping 300 more shots than its counterpart.
  6. You will enjoy continuous shooting with this camera with its remarkable 20 frames per second speed on burst mode.
  7. Of the two cameras, only the a9 can shoot 4K videos.
  8. At 3,686k dots, this camera’s viewfinder resolution is 56 percent higher than that of the a7II.
  9. This camera allows you to connect an off-camera flash to it, as it has a flash sync port.
  10. With a resolution of 1440k dots, the a9’s LCD is 17 percent higher than that of the a7II.

A Sony a9 Demonstration Video – Sony a9 vs a7II

What Are The Unique Pros Of The a7II – Sony a9 vs a7II?

  1. With a weight of 599 grams, the a7II is 74 grams lighter than the Sony a9 that weighs 673 grams.
  2. This camera’s dynamic range is higher than that of the a9 by 0.3.
  3. The chances of moiré occurring in certain scenes are greatly reduced with this camera’s anti-alias filter.
  4. This camera is by far the more affordable of the two.
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An a7II Demonstration Video – Sony a9 vs a7II

What Are The Unique Cons Of Each Product – Sony a9 vs a7II?

What Are The Unique Cons Of The Sony a9 – Sony a9 vs a7II?

  1. With a bodyweight that is 74 grams heavier than the a7II, this camera can become a physical burden.
  2. The Sony a9 has a lower dynamic range than the a7II.
  3. Without an anti-alias filter in this camera, the chances of moiré occurring in some images are increased.
  4. The a9 is a really expensive camera; far from being budget friendly.

What Are The Unique Cons Of The a7II – Sony a9 vs a7II?

  1. This camera’s LCD screen is not as detailed as that of the a9.
  2. The a7II does not come with a touch-sensitive screen.
  3. This camera’s battery life is quite unimpressive, as it provides 300 fewer shots per full charge than the a9.
  4. This camera does not come with the Animal Eye Autofocusing.
  5. The a7II cannot afford to shoot 4K videos, as its maximum video resolution is 1920 x 1080.

What Pros Are Common To Both Products – Sony a9 vs a7II?

  Sony a9 Sony a7II
Maximum sensor resolution This camera’s 24 megapixels sensor allows you to shoot at a maximum resolution of 6000 x 4000 pixels with aspect ratios of 3:2 and 16:9.

Its native ISO range can be boosted to 50 to 204,800.
With this camera, you can shoot at a maximum resolution of 6000 x 4000 pixels with aspect ratios of 3:2 and 16:9.

Its camera ISO range can also be boosted to 50 to 51,200.
Electronic viewfinder You will properly compose your pictures with this camera’s electronic viewfinder. The Sony a7II also comes with an OLED electronic viewfinder.
Built-in Image stabilization The use of longish lenses without placing the camera on a tripod or rig will have no adverse effects on photos, due to its image stabilization feature. With this camera, your photos are steadied against shakes.
Environmental sealing This camera can survive being exposed to the elements, as its environmental sealings secure and protect it from the harsh elements. Same as the Sony a9.
Articulating screen This camera’s 3-inch sized fully articulating screen makes it very selfie-friendly. This camera’s screen makes it great for framing low angle shots.
RAW support The RAW support feature of the Sony a9 allows you to store your images as uncompressed files. The RAW support of the a7II ensures no loss of image data as images are stored unprocessed.
Face detection autofocusing With this feature, the camera intelligently takes a shot of every face it detects within its frame. The face detection autofocusing of the a7II makes it a wonderful choice for shooting portraits and filming people.
Automatic exposure bracketing Efficiently shooting in tough lighting conditions with the Sony a9 is possible because it comes with auto exposure bracketing. When shooting high dynamic range (HDR), this camera’s automatic exposure bracketing comes in handy.
External flash shoe Your external flash will find room in this camera. Same as the a9.
Headphone jack Video control is easier with this camera as a headphone can be attached to it. Same as the a9.
Microphone port High-quality video recordings are possible with this feature. The a7II also has a microphone port.
Near field communication As already pointed out, file transfer is a lot easier with this camera because of the near field communication feature it comes with. This camera also has a near field communication feature.
Built-in wireless connectivity This camera allows you to use Wi-Fi to send files quickly and easily to nearby compatible devices. This camera comes with a built-in Wi-Fi, too.  
Support for Ultra High Speeds memory cards This camera has support for Ultra High Speeds (UHS) memory cards. The a7II is also compatible with fast Ultra High Speed cards.
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What Cons Are Common To Both Products – Sony a9 vs a7II?

  Sony a9 a7II
No built-in flash For reasons best known to Sony, this camera does not come with a built-in flash.

This means that you have to be with your external flash to shoot in low lighting areas.
You will also need to have your external flash nearby as this camera has no built-in flash.
Heavy bodyweight If you are familiar with Full Frame cameras, the heavy bodyweight of the a9 will not come as a surprise. Although a little lighter than the a9, this camera is also in the clunky and bulky Full Frame category.
No built-in GPS You will not be able to geo-tag images with the Sony a9. Same as the Sony a9.

What Do People Think About Both Products – Sony a9 vs a7II?

Sony a9 Sony a7II
Users of the a9 commended the camera’s focusing, especially in extremely low lighting conditions.

The “no black-out” viewfinder got a lot of users pumped up. They enjoyed tracking their subject as they carried on with continuous shooting.

The innovative Animal Eye Autofocusing was another thing users were impressed with.
The a7II is a camera loved by many. A great number of users agreed on the excellent sensor resolution of this camera. They said the sensor affords them plenty of room to crop.

Its low light performance has been tagged by many as incredible.

This camera’s Steady Shot Inside technology kept a steady smile on the faces of users and got them raving about its amazing stabilization.

The general opinion was that getting a new full frame camera this good at the price of the a7II was a fantastic deal.
Users of the Sony a9 were surprised to find no S-log modes designed to produce better footage for grading. They also pointed out that Sony’s Picture Profiles were also absent.

They did not expect this, as even the older a7II has S-log2 and Picture Profile options.

Anyway, though, they figured the a9 was a great purchase altogether.
A lot of users complained about the weight of this camera, which is much heavier than its predecessor – the a7.

The battery life of this camera puts a damper on people’s pleasure. Almost every user hinted that they had to get spare batteries.

The interesting thing is users were quick to overlook the individual flaws. They pointed out that the a7II had many other great things going on for it.
Sony a9 vs a7II
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What’s Our Take On Them – Sony a9 vs a7II?

Sony a9 Sony a7II
Looking at the feature set of the cameras under review, the Sony a9 is the undisputed champion.

Still, as we always emphasize, choose according to your photography needs, as they differ from photographer to photographer.

Get a camera that works for you. If your budget accommodates the Sony a9, then you should get it.
The a7II is a worthy choice for some reasons, including affordability. It is the less expensive of the two pro cameras.

And as always, it still depends on what you want in a camera.

Consider your needs and budget, and get a camera that you will derive optimum utility from.
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