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The Sony A7II: 5-Axis Stabilization Under $2K

Caleb Ward

5-axis stabilization is going to shake up the filmmaking world.

Sony has announced their new A7II, a sibling to the popular A7S. The A7II has a powerful feature set and looks like a great multi-purpose photo/video camera for under $2k. In this post we’ll look at a few of the cam’s features – notably the impressive 5-axis stabilizer.


5-Axis Stabilization

The A7II is the first-full frame camera to have 5 axis in-camera stabilization. This means that even if your lens doesn’t feature any stabilization you should be able to see a noticeably smoother image in both photographs and videos. Photographers will be able to shoot at a slower shutter speed and still minimize camera shake. In fact, Sony is claiming that by using the built-in 5 axis stabilization you will be able to get 5 extra stops of image stabilization! Filmmakers will love this feature because it means you can get stabilized footage just from holding the camera by hand.

In the following video shot by Andrew Reid of EOSHD you can see just how good the A7II’s 5-axis stabilization is when shooting video:

From the footage you may notice that when it comes to dynamic range the footage isn’t astounding, especially when you compare it to that of the A7S.

24.3 MP Images

At 24.3 megapixels the A7II outputs raw 14-bit images that are even larger than the Canon 5D Mark iii, and at a fraction of the price. Photographers will also love the improved autofocus which is 30% faster than it’s predecessor.

Tech Specs

Sensor CMOS, 35.8mm x 23.9mm
ISO 100 – 25,600
Frame Rate 24, 30, 60 fps
LCD Screen 3″ Tilting Touch Screen
Reference Output HD via Mini HDMI Cable
Subsampling  4:2:0 In-Camera, 4:2:2 Output
Compatible Cards SD & Memory Stick
Resolution 1920×1080, 1440×1080, 640×480
Video Compression AVCHD, MPEG-4, XAVC S, Uncompressed via Mini HDMI
Audio Compression AAC LC, Dolby Digital 2ch, Linear PCM (Stereo)


Other notable features include:

  • 5fps Burst Shooting Mode
  • 2.36M-Dot OLED Viewfinder
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity

If you’re seriously considering the A7II as a potential camera purchase, I highly recommend watching the following video by photographer Tony Northrup. In the video Tony examines the A7II on a variety of criteria and compares the A7II to the A7S.

Initial Thoughts

Will this camera make a splash in the filmmaking world? Possibly, but it’s got steep competition against the Lumix GH4 (similar price points). With certainly we’ll see more 5-axis stabilization introduced in future cam models, especially from Sony. As test footage is only now coming out, it will be interesting to see more test shots, especially in regards to the cam’s dynamic range capabilities.


Pricing and Availability

The A7II body is available for Pre-order for $1,698 and will be available December 9th (in time for Christmas!)

Recommended Reading:

A7II Tech Specs– B&H
Sony A7II Arrives in the U.S. – NoFilmSchool
Sony Officially Announces A7II – PetaPixel