Sony Alpha 7S II
When the Sony Alpha series was refreshed, we were very impressed with the improved low-light capabilities of both the A7 II and the A7R II. Both showed greater usable high ISO performance. Given how the A7R II's backilluminated sensor managed to eke out commendable performance from the 42.4MP sensor at ISO 12,800, we were naturally interested to see what Sony would apply the same to the 12.2MP A7S II, pushing the limits of high ISO photography even further.
After all, if Sony can get 409,600 on a regular sensor, what could they do with a one more year of research and development? Well, it seems Sony has opted for a conservative approach this time. No new back-illuminated sensor, though the A7S II does get the upgraded body design and new 5-axis in-body image stabilization system.
We feel the new body design makes handling the camera much easier as the larger handgrip allows you to better wrap your fingers around the camera. It's more ergonomic, especially when you have larger lenses, as the new handgrip allows you to really get a good hold on the camera. As we mentioned in our A7R II review, shifting the shutter button down is another small, but noticeable change as it just places the controls better within reach.
Another major change is in the AF system of the camera, as the A7S II gets 169 contrastdetect AF points this time, up by more than six times from 25 points on the original A7S. This translates to better, speedier AF performance, and the new camera certainly proved steadier in low light, as we found that it was able to get focus in conditions that would have caused AF hunting before. Images seem to exhibit just as much detail as before, but we do think the auto exposure and auto white balance system is fairly improved, as captures seem to be truer to life.
While its predecessor required an external recorder