Sony builds some of the world’s best camera technology-so good that even competitors like Apple and Nikon buy their sensors. Now, Sony’s cramming some never-before-seen, next-generation guts into three of its hottest cameras. The new A7R II, RX10 II, and RX100 IV are promising unheard of levels of performance.
From the outside, they may not look all that different from its excellent
predecessors, but the new $3200 Sony A7R II sounds like a beast for low-light photography and videography. Sony’s says it’s created the first full-frame backside illuminated sensor
, a 42.4 megapixel monster with a native ISO range of 100-25600 (expandable to 102400), a ridiculous 399 phase detection autofocus points (plus 25 contrast AF points) and the 5-axis stabilization system that wowed us on the A7 Mark II
In other words, Sony’s promising this camera will basically see in the dark, lock onto targets like a guided missile, and keep them centered in its view till you’re done shooting. Oh, and it’ll shoot 4K video using the entire full-frame sensor, rather than cropping or skipping lines. That should mean fewer jaggies. (Sony says that’s a first, too.) Plus a redesigned grip, shutter button, and upgraded OLED viewfinder-and a optional 5-inch 1080p monitor you can mount right on the hotshoe for a live view while you’re shooting video.
Where does that all leave Sony’s $2500 A7S, the previous full-frame video champ?
But let’s talk about Sony’s other two new cameras, the new RX10 and RX100. The high-end compact and high-end superzoom also share a crazy new sensor-a stacked CMOS chip
that shoves the circuitry and some high-speed memory right up against the sensor for way faster performance. Sony says the image data comes out 5 times faster, and it lets even the pocketable new RX100 Mark IV do some amazing things: like 40x super slow motion video capture (at 960fps-no word on resolution, though!), 16fps continous shooting, and an incredibly fast shutter speed of 1/32000 second.
For comparison, the awesome RX100 Mark III
topped out at just 1/2000 and Sony had to add a (much appreciated) neutral density filter to make it useful in bright light. Now, capturing shots in blinding conditions shouldn’t be a problem. (Sony says it can shoot wide open at up to EV19.)
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Contact the author at sean.hollister@Virusdefense.com.