Sony has announced an update to its α7 interchangeable-lens camera, the α7 II (ILCE-7M2), which features optical 5-axis image stabilisation.


Angled view of the ?7 II camera with FE55F18Z lens. (Source: Sony.)

The new stabilisation system, a ‘first’ for a full-frame image sensor, provides up to 4.5 steps faster shutter speed of correction, according to Sony’s press release. It detects and corrects camera shake along five axes for still images and video, covering angular shake (pitch and yaw) that tends to occur when shooting with a telephoto lens, shift shake (along the X and Y axes) that becomes noticeable as photographing magnification increases, and rotational shake (roll) that often affects shots at night or when recording video. Users can monitor the corrected image in real-time on the camera’s LCD screen or in the OLED viewfinder.  


The diagram above shows the operation of the ?7 II’s stabilisation system. (Source: Sony.)

Modifications to the camera body design have resulted in improved usability. The shutter button has been shifted forward into a more natural position and increased in size. The new camera provides ten buttons which can be customised to operate one of 56 functions. The XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder has a resolution of 2.36 million dots and displays the entire view when APS-C lenses are used.


Angled rear view of the ?7 II camera, showing the adjustable monitor and control layout. (Source: Sony.)

The Fast Hybrid AF system has been improved with a more advanced algorithm to detect the subject position, enabling optimal lens drive. Sony claims a 30% improvement in AF speed and 1.5x the tracking ability of the previous model. AF and automatic exposure (AE) continue to track the subject during high-speed continuous shooting (up to 5 fps) and the Bionz X processor enhances images in several ways: through ‘detail reproduction technology’, which recreates natural-looking textures; ‘diffraction-reducing technology’, which prevents loss of detail when the aperture stopped down; and ‘area-specific noise reduction’, which maintains detail and texture in poorly-lit conditions, such as night time and indoors.

Sony has added support for the XAVC-S recording format to the standard recording in AVCHD Ver. 2.0 Full HD (1920 x 1080) 60p (50p)/60i (50i)/24p movie mode. This offers Full HD video quality at a high bit rate of 50 Mbps. Long GOP compression is used, targeting differences between frames, along with the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec for video. Linear PCM is used for soundtracks and files are saved in the MP4 format.

Picture profiles enable convenient in-camera tone adjustment. The ?7 II also supports the S-Log2 gamma function, which preserves a wide dynamic range, and a wide S-Gamut mode. Other features include Time Code/User Bit (useful in editing), Rec Control (for synced recording with compatible external recorders), marker display/settings, and dual video recording.

The ?7 II is equipped with Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity for mobile linking and supports Sony’s PlayMemories Camera Apps which allow features to be expanded. An updated Lens Compensation app enables lens information to be stored in Exif data and supports compensation of recorded video, and import/export of lens compensation values. users can manually set correction values for lens peripheral shading, chromatic aberration, and distortion.

Announced concurrently with the ?7 II are the VG-C2EM Vertical Grip, LCS-ELCB Soft Carrying Case, FDA-EP15 Eye-piece Cup and a new 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM II (SAL70300G2) A-mount lens. The ?7 II (ILCE-7M2) from Sony will be available in Australia from mid-January 2015 for SRP $1999 (body only). For details visit


Lens compatibility

Sony E-mount lenses

Image sensor

APS-C type (23.5 x 15.6mm), Exmor CMOS sensor

Number of pixels (effective)

Approx. 24.3 megapixels

Recording format


JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver.2.3, MPF Baseline compliant), RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format)


XAVC S / AVCHD format Ver. 2.0 compliant / MP4


Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick XC-HG Duo, SD memory card, SDHC memory card (UHS-I compliant), SDXC memory card (UHS-I compliant)

Focus system


Fast Hybrid AF(phase-detection AF/contrast-detection AF)

Focus point

179 points (phase-detection AF) / 25 points (contrast-detection AF)

Sensitivity range

EV-1 to EV20 (ISO100 equivalent with F2.0 lens attached)

Exposure control

Metering type

1200-zone evaluative metering

ISO sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index)

Still images: ISO 100-25600 (1/3 EV step),

AUTO (ISO 100-25600, selectable lower limit and upper limit)

Movies: ISO 100-12800 equivalent (1/3 EV step) / AUTO (ISO 100-12800 equivalent, selectable lower limit and upper limit)


Shutter speed

Still images:1/4000 to 30 sec, Bulb,  

Movies: 1/4000 to 1/4(1/3 steps)

Electronic Front Curtain Shutter



Speed (approx., max.)

Continuous shooting: Hi: max. 6 fps, Lo: max. 3 fps

No. of frame recordable(approx.)

JPEG Fine L: 56 frames, JPEG Standard L: 75 frames, RAW: 23 frames, RAW&JPG: 22 frames



7.5cm (3.0-type) wide type TFT electrostatic touch screen

Number of dots (total)

921,600 dots

Adjustable angle

Up by approx. 180 degrees



Built-in stereo microphone


Built-in, monaural


HDMI micro connector (Type-D), Multi / Micro USB Terminal

Wireless LAN (built-in)

Wi-Fi Compatible, IEEE 802.11b/g/n(2.4GHz band)


NFC forum Type 3 Tag compatible

PlayMemories Camera Apps



Built-in / Guide No. 4 (in meters at ISO 100, Flash coverage 16mm)


One rechargeable battery pack NP-FW50


With battery and Memory Stick PRO Duo included: Approx. 283 g(approx. 10oz),   Body only: Approx. 224 g   (approx. 7.9oz)

Dimensions W x H x D (excluding protrusions)

approx. 109.6 (W) x 62.8 (H) x 35.7 (D) mm (approx. 4 3/8 x 2 1/2 x 1 7/16 in.)

Operating temperature

32 – 104 degrees F /   0 – 40 degrees C