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  • Alexander Nachev

Mirrorless King Mark 1

Nowadays it's so hard to impress people with tech, even harder if you just miss small details in order to optimize product. It's been a while since the camera landscape have seen such harsh storms and wind changes.

And right now the storming Sony A7 RII is causing havoc amongst the armies of photographers.

Reviewers are mainly ecstatic, and there are some opinions that are quite criticizing. This camera is not the holy grail in photography, all in one best camera yet, and that's good.

It's almost the best though.

I hope we never see camera that is best at everything. The fact that this camera is "ripped apart" in so many ways is the sign that, no matter what, this will be the camera of the Year.

Now to the actual point, we forgot how far we are going with each iteration of technology.

It's 2015 and now there is full frame 42 Mpx A7 RII for 3,200 $ In 2007 best camera was 21 Mpx Canon 1Ds Mark 3 and cost 5,500 pounds ~ 8570$.

Sensor tech is so advanced nowadays that 42 Mpx sensor has photographic Dynamic Range at least 6 times higher than 21 Mpx from 2007. Before 2-3 years this would sound impossible.

A7 RII is the green line, showing much higher dynamic range than top models of Canon

A7 RII is on top light green. In both graphs higher is better.

Graphs are taken from Bill Claff website, based on DxO graph measurements.

Another thing that sounded impossible a year ago was "Mirrorless system to compete with high end DSLR".

Well A7 RII is at least on par with the best photographic dynamic range (at least at the level of best DSLR).

Main reason for that is the Back Illuminated full frame sensor.

Another thing that changes the rules is the 5 axis sensor stabilization. According to real life testing it will allow for at least 3x longer exposure times in handheld.

And how about the fact that it will maximize resolution out of the studio, due to less impact of the high density pixels over sensitivity to shake (Nikon and Canon don't have on-sensor stabilization).

Images source

In addition, something that nobody expected - free from mechanical movement silent shutter. I would sum up in one sentence - A weather sealed, compact and lighter than DSLR, high resolution 42mpx, optical low pass filter canceled, full frame back illuminated sensor, stabilized, fast hybrid AF with 399 phase focus points, internal 4k recording, extremely durable shutter, EVF, put any lens you like, camera.

Sony camera department is doing what Nikon and Canon are not - they are bold.

Not flawless, and it's good that there is criticism over the small issues. Firstly because it means that this product is catching enough attention to produce a feedback for even tinniest detail, for an even better product. In second hand there is a good competition between brands - we don't need a single best camera maker like Canon so far - they are behind in innovation brought to the market.

Anyway A7 R II is the king of mirrorless for now.

Every photographer will decide if new king is what he needs (it's pricey), but it will be ignorant to say that there is no danger for DSLR crown to fell.

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