Sony gets ultra-sensitive with the 4K-shooting A7S II

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The Sony A7S II is so sensitive it can pretty-much see in the dark

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After updating its line-up of full frame mirrorless cameras with the A7 II and then the A7R II, it was a matter of when, not if, Sony's low light specialist, the A7S, would receive an update. Announced today, the ultra-sensitive A7S II boasts full frame internal 4K movie recording without pixel binning, in-camera 5-axis image stabilization, and an extended ISO which reaches all the way up to 409,600.

Sony's A7S was a hit with photographers and film-makers who shoot with available light, thanks to its ability to deliver the goods in low light situations and shoot 4K video (albeit externally). Its A7S II successor (or α7S II, or Alpha 7S II) looks set to build on that with a number of key improvements.

The new camera still uses a 12-megapixel full frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm) Exmor CMOS sensor paired with BIONZ X processor to deliver a standard ISO range of 100 to 102,400, which is expandable to ISO 50 to 409,600. However, 4K video recording at 24/30 fps is now possible internally in the XAVC S format and with full pixel readout and no pixel binning. What this means is crisper video and negligible moiré compared to some rival cameras, whether shooting 4K or Full HD.

Add to this the same sort of in-camera 5-axis image stabilization as we've seen on the A7 II and A7R II, and the A7S II looks like a tough compact camera to beat for videographers. This is extended further with the addition of new movie shooting options such as S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3 and S-Gamut3/S-Log3 which deliver a wide 14-stops of dynamic range and improve post-processing options. Being the first A7-series to shoot Full HD at up to 120 fps, also means the new camera can be used to produce buttery-smooth slow motion footage.

The low light credentials of the A7S II are also shown in its Fast Intelligent autofocus system which has been upgraded and now offers 169 AF points. Combined with the image sensor this is said to deliver fast and precise focusing even in low light situations down to EV-4, allowing it to focus on things you'd struggle to see with the naked eye.

The camera also boasts an XGA OLED electronic viewfinder with 2,359k dots, which has been upgraded and now offers a viewfinder magnification of 0.78x.

The E-mount camera has a magnesium alloy body, and measures 126.9 x 95.7 x 60.3 mm (5 x 3.8 x 2.4 in) and weighs 627g (22 oz) with a battery and memory card. As you'd expect for a camera of this caliber there are plenty of physical and manual controls. On the rear is a 3-inch tilting LCD screen with 1,229k dots, and the camera has both Wi-Fi and NFC to make the sharing of content quick and easy.

The Sony A7S II will be available from October, priced at around US$3,000.

You can check out the promo video below to see what the Sony A7S II is capable of.

Product page: Sony A7S II

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