We all knew that the Sony A7s successor would arrive sometime this year – it was hinted as much during the A7r II press event we attended a few months ago – but none of us really knew when.
Then today, during the Sony IBC Press Conference, the announcement was finally made. Just as Sony took flaw-ridden A7 and A7r and transformed them into the extremely functional A7 II and A7r II, the company has added all the right bells and whistles to the new Sony A7s II.
The body has been upgraded to match that of the A7r II, and if our experience with the latter is any indication, it will definitely be more comfortable to use for video shooting thanks to the more substantial grip.
According to the press release, it has the same XGA OLED Tru-Finder as the A7r II with 0.78x magnification and Zeiss T* Coating. The lens mount has been reinforced for use with third party lenses and the camera can now be used while charging via the USB port. There is also a new, quieter shutter mechanism that reduces shutter vibration by 50%.
Though the 12MP image sensor, BIONZ X image processor and ISO sensitivity range of 50-409600 remain unchanged, the camera now incorporates the same 5-axis in-body stabilisation found on the A7 II and A7r II. It works for both stills and video recording, which is a big advantage for those who enjoy using third party lenses.
Speaking of video, the Sony A7s II now records 4K in-camera in XAVC S format with full pixel readout and no pixel binning. This shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone as the A7r II can do the same. It incorporates new video profiles (S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3 and S-Gamut3/S-Log3) and delivers 14-stop latitude in the S-Log3 gamma setting. There is a new function called Gamma Display Assist that allows you to monitor your images or check your focus while recording S-Log movies, and the Zebra function has also been improved.
Another exciting addition is 120fps recording at 100Mbps with full pixel readout without pixel binning. This footage can be edited into slow motion footage in Full HD and played back in camera.
The autofocus system too has been upgraded. It now offers 169 AF points, which is good but still quite a few points shy of the 399 phase detection points of the A7r II. Since there is a general absence of noise in the images produced by the A7s II, the AF mechanism can detect contrast more easily and accurately even in low-light situations.
The Sony A7s II will be available in Europe in November 2015 for the price of €3400.
Are you interested in the new Sony A7s II? Tell us why (or why not) in the comments section!