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Sony a7R II Has World’s First Back-Illuminated 35mm Full-Frame Sensor

Sony a7R II Has World’s First Back-Illuminated 35mm Full-Frame Sensor  – Sony has announced the a7R II, featuring the world’s first back-illuminated 35mm Full-Frame sensor.

This new flagship mirrorless has 5-axis image stabilisation, internal 4K video recording, silent shooting and Fast Hybrid AF which Sony claim is 40% faster than the original a7R thanks to 399 focal plane detection points.

The 42.4 megapixel sensor has high sensitivity and the ISO level is expandable up to 102400. It features a gapless on-chip lens design and anti-reflective coating on the sensor’s glass seal which Sony say will dramatically improve light collection efficiency.

The new α7R II interchangeable lens camera features the world’s first back-illuminated full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensori, which delivers high resolution (42.4 MP approx. effective megapixels), high sensitivity (expandable up to ISO 102400) and high speed AF response up to 40% faster than the original α7R thanks to 399 focal plane phase detection AF points.

The camera also includes a 5-axis image stabilisation system borrowed from the acclaimed α7 II model and can shoot and record 4K video in multiple formats including Super 35mm (without pixel binning) and full-frame format, a world’s first for digital cameras. Additionally, it has a newly refined XGA OLED Tru-Finder with the world’s highest (0.78x) viewfinder magnification.

The newly developed 42.4 MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor is the most advanced, versatile and highest resolution full-frame image sensor that Sony has ever created, allowing the α7R II to reach new levels of quality, sensitivity and response speed. In the past, many photographers have been forced to choose between high-resolution and high-speed or high resolution and high sensitivity when selecting a camera. The new α7R II eliminates that sacrifice thanks to its innovative image sensor.

The 42.4 MP sensor combines gapless on-chip lens design and AR (anti-reflective) coating on the surface of the sensor’s glass seal to dramatically improve light collection efficiency, resulting in high sensitivity with low-noise performance and wide dynamic range. This allows the camera to shoot at an impressive ISO range of 100 to 25600 that is expandable to ISO 50 to 102400.

Additionally, the sensor’s back-illuminated structure, with an expanded circuit scale and copper wiring design, enables faster transmission speed and ensures content can be captured in high resolution without sacrificing sensitivity. Data can also output from the sensor at an approximately 3.5x faster rate compared to the original α7R.

An ideal match for Sony’s extensive collection of FE lenses (35mm full-frame compatible E-mount lenses), the new α7R II features a high-speed BIONZ X image processing engine that allows images and video from the camera to be captured with supreme details and low noise. There is also no optical low pass filter on the camera, ensuring that scenery and landscapes are captured in the highest possible resolution and clarity.

The α7R II has a new highly durable reduced-vibration shutter that delivers 50% less vibration from shutter movements compared to its predecessor, and has a cycle durability of approximately 500,000 shots. The camera can also be set to Silent Shooting mode in order to shoot images quietly without any sensor vibration or movement.

The new image sensor features 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points – the world’s widest AF coverage on a full-frame sensori – that work together with 25 contrast AF points to achieve focus response that is about 40% faster than the original model. The α7R II utilises an advanced motion-detection algorithm combined with this Fast Hybrid AF system to achieve up to 5fps continuous shooting with AF tracking.

Additionally, the focal plane phase-detection AF system on the α7R II works well with Sony A-mount lenses when they are mounted on the camera using an LA-EA3 or LA-EA1 mount adapter. This allows users to enjoy the wide AF coverage of 399 focal plane phase-detection AF points, high-speed response and high tracking performance with a wider range of lenses. This marks the first time that the AF system of a mirrorless camera can achieve high performance with lenses originally designed for DSLRs.

The new flagship α7R II model is equipped with an innovative 5-axis image stabilisation system that has been fine-tuned to support its high-resolution shooting capacity. Similar to the system launched on the acclaimed α7 II model, this advanced form of image stabilisation corrects camera shake along five axes during shooting, including angular shake (pitch and yaw) that tends to occur with a telephoto lens, shift shake (X and Y axes) which becomes noticeable as magnification increases, and rotational shake (roll) that often affects video recording. This camera shake compensation system is equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed approximately 4.5 steps faster[iv].

Additionally, the 5-axis stabilisation works cooperatively with Sony α lenses with optical SteadyShot (OSS) to provide maximum stabilisation and clarity, while also performing admirably via a compatible mount adapter with Sony α A-mount lenses[v] without on-board stabilisation. Effects of the stabilisation can be previewed via live-view on the LCD or OLED viewfinder of the camera.

The impressive video credentials of Sony’s new α7R II camera include the ability to record movies in 4K quality (QFHD 3840×2160) in either Super 35mm crop mode or full-frame mode.