Sony a7R II Field Test Review – Part 2

Published: June 17, 2015

After getting my hands on a new 42mp Sony a7R II camera ($3,198 – Order Here), I put it through its paces on the streets of New York! I’ve already covered the key new features of the camera in my Sony a7R II Field Test Review – Part 1 in June, so it was a treat to simply go out and shoot for a couple days now that the RAW files are supported in Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw and Capture One for Sony.

Sony a7R II Field Test Review New York Skyline
Sony a7R II + Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS | 1/60 sec | F5.6 | ISO 100

Sony a7R II Brooklyn Bridge New York Field Test Review
Sony a7R II + Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS | 1/80 sec | F8 | ISO 100

Sony a7R II camera test review New York
Sony a7R II + Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS | 1/20 sec | F7.1 | ISO 100

Sony a7R II New York City Municipal Building
Sony a7R II + Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA SSM II + Sony LA-EA3 Lens Adapter | 1/100 sec | F8 | ISO 100

Sony a7R II review New York
Sony a7R II + Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS | 1/320 sec | F8 | ISO 100

Sony a7R II Tribeca New York architecture
Sony a7R II + Sony FE 90 F2.8 Macro G OSS | 1/160 sec | F8 | ISO 200

I loved being able to use my all-time favorite lens, Sony A-Mount 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA SSM II with lighting fast Phase-detect AF using a Sony LA-EA3 Lens Adapter in both AF-C and AF-S Focus Modes.

Sony a7R II New York
Sony a7RII + Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA SSM II + Sony LA-EA3 Lens Adapter | 1/125 sec | F2.8 | ISO 800

I didn’t really put high ISOs to the test in my first Field Test, so I was happy to see how clean ISO 12,800 when processing the a7R II RAWs in Lightroom CC.

Sony a7R II Field Test New York
Sony a7R II + Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS | 1/20 sec | F4 | ISO 12,800

Sony a7R II New York at night
Sony a7R II + Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS | 1/15 sec | F4 | ISO 12,800

Equipment List:

• Sony a7R II Camera (Order from B&H Photo)
• Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens (Order from B&H Photo)
• Sony A-mount 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA SSM II Lens (Order from B&H Photo)
• Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Lens (Order from B&H Photo)
• Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS (Order from B&H Photo)
• Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS Lens (Order from B&H Photo)
• Sony LA-EA3 Lens Mount Adapter (Order from B&H Photo)
• Sony 64GB UHS-I SDXC Memory Cards (Class 10/U3) (Order from B&H Photo)
• Oben CT-3481 Carbon Fiber Tripod with BE-126T Ball Head (Order from B&H Photo)

For more tips and tricks about getting the most out of your Sony a7 series camera, check out my book ‘Sony a7-Series: From Snapshots to Great Shots’. It’s your guide to all of the Sony a7 Series I & II cameras. While the camera manual explains what the camera can do, it doesn’t show how to use the camera to create great images! Starting with the Top Ten things users need to know about the cameras, author Brian Smith, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and Sony Artisan of Imagery, carefully guides you through the operating features of Sony a7, a7R, a7S, a7II and a7RII and how to use them. Get practical advice from a pro on which settings to use when, great shooting tips, and assignments at end of chapter to practice what you’ve just learned.
‘Sony A7 Series: From Snapshots to Great Shots’ is available NOW from Amazon


Order Sony a7R II from B&H Photo | Amazon | Sony

Apply for B&H Photo Payboo Card

Thank you for supporting this website through purchases from our affiliate partners! We always strive to bring you the best deals and lowest prices.


Sony Alpha 9 III Wins Camera Grand Prix 2024

Published: May 17, 2024 Sony Alpha 9 III continues to rack up awards as it wins the top prize at Camera Grand Prix 2024 The

Read More »

Sony Releases a7S III Firmware Update 3.01

Published: May 15, 2024 Sony releases a7S III Firmware Update 3.01 with ISO and network connectivity bug fixes. Applicable Model ILCE-7SM3 Required Downloads Read this

Read More »

Sony Doubles Warranty for Registered Products in USA & Canada Thru 9/30/24

Published: May 7, 2024 Sony customers in the USA & Canada can enjoy an additional one-year extended limited warranty on their purchases, doubling the existing

Read More »

37 thoughts on “Sony a7R II Field Test Review – Part 2”

  1. Pingback: Sony a7RII High ISO Comparison with 5Ds R, a7S, Rolling Shutter Test, and more Sample Images, Videos | Camera News at Cameraegg

  2. Pingback: Sony a7RII High ISO Comparison with 5Ds R, a7S, Rolling Shutter Test, and more Sample Images, Videos | Photohangout

  3. Pingback: New A7rII review by Mark Galer. A7rII now shipping at SonyStore Europe and US. | sonyalpharumors

  4. Thanks Brian! Question about the A-Mount 24-70 ll…how do compare it to the Canon 24-70 ll? Sharpness and color rendition? Thanks again!

      1. Hi Brian. I have a question regarding using the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA SMM II on the A7R II. According to the information I could find, there’s no penalty for using A-mount lenses on the A7R II with the LA-E3, unlike using third-party lenses with other adapters, which would limit the AF modes (no AF tracking or eye-tracking, for example) and have far less PDAF points. Can you confirm if this is true?

        Currently, I’m a Canon shooter with a 5D Mark III, and my favorite lens is the EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II. As you probably know, it’s a legendary lens and I love it. I was hoping to use it when I buy the A7R II, but after finding out there will be limitations, I was very disappointed.

        It seems Sony’s 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA SMM II is also quite good (if not quite as good as the Canon), and if there are no penalties for using it with the LA-E3 on the A7R II (behaves exactly like a native E-mount lens, and can use all AF modes including AF tracking and eye-tracking, can use all 399 PDAF points, and no loss of AF speed/accuracy), I would consider selling off my entire Canon system and start over with the A7R II and the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA SMM II, then slowly build the system with an ultra-wide angle zoom and maybe a portrait prime.

        1. Personally I’d use the term ‘opportunity’ as opposed to ‘no penalty’. But to answer your question, while A-Mount lenses do not respond exactly the same as native E-mount, their AF performance is greatly improved on a7RII. There is far to much to detail in the comments section so I’m working on a post detailing A-mount performance on Sony a7RII.

          1. Thanks, Brian. Looking forward to the new post about the A-mount performance on A7R II. Please make sure you cover AF modes like Eye-tracking and subject tracking.

  5. Thanks for the review, and very nice images. Curious how well the AF system works with A-mount lenses. You seem to indicate it works well, at least with the 24-70/2.8, but I’m wondering how it does with other, slower lenses such as the 70-400/4-5.6. A friend recently tried the A7R II with his Canon 200-400 and was very disappointed in the AF performance. I’m hoping it’s a different story with A-mount lenses that also have a similarly slower maximum aperture (e.g., f:4, 5.6). Also, look forward to seeing you again at PhotoPlus in October.

  6. If the camera has In-Body Image Stabilization, why do the lenses have Optical Stabilization? Or will Sony be providing compact lenses to compliment the a7 compact body, to ‘make happy’ those of us who wish to escape Canon bulk?

    1. Sony makes a whole line of E-mount cameras, but currently only two feature in-camera image stabilization so the idea is to ‘make happy’ all E-mount users not just those who own a7II and a7RII.

  7. Hey Brian,
    Long-time reader, but first post. Thank you so much for all of your reviews. I will be buying either the A7 II or A7r II to replace my Canon gear soon.
    I would love to hear what you think about the A7r II compared to an A7 II.
    I keep hearing about how fast the AF is with the A7r II and how it has improved greatly with 3rd party lenses (and you have confirmed it).
    I would love to know if it’s even faster (in both situations) than the A7 II? If it is, could you ask your Sony contacts if the A7 II could expect a firmware update to improve AF speed? You would think it would be possible since the both have the BIONZ X.
    Thanks Again!

    1. On Canon EF lenses where AF is possible, only a7RII offers AF-C and it’s MUCH faster than a7II. This is thanks to the a7RII’s first fullframe on-sensor PDAF that’s capable of focusing DSLR glass so it’s hardware – not firmware.

  8. Pingback: Sony a7RII Field Test - Part 1

    1. It’s up to 5 FPS instead of 4 FPS, but the old speed was more than fast enough for me.

      Some users who don’t understand the cameras don’t realize that certain settings including HDR, DRO and long-exposure noise reduction require in-camera image processing between shots, so turn those off when you don’t need ’em.

  9. Why does every review talk about high ISO and how clean the image is? What is 10X more important than a little noise at high ISO is DYNAMIC RANGE at that high ISO!!! Given a choice of clean noise and poor DR or a little noise and high DR which would you rather see for your scene? Apparently, only thing anyone care’s about is noise and not how horribly compressed the a person’s skin tones are when you only capture 6 or so stops of light, IMHO.

  10. Pingback: HUGE Shipment of Sony a7RII Coming Soon!

  11. Hi Brian. Appreciate you doing this for all of us.

    I am a wildlife photographer and we all know how the conditions get out there in field, hence, the ISO management is def a motivating factor to get the A7R II.
    Currently I use a Canon 5D Mk III and Canon 7D Mark II with Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II.

    I read up about the Metabones adapter for using Canon lenses, and that it will autofocus and also just about as fast as on a Sony lens.

    I was wondering if you can let us wildlife photographers know, whether or not it is a good idea to even move to this a7rii for wildlife?
    Will it perform well (autofocus accuracy and speed) with the adapter on a Canon 600mm II lens?
    How about BIF (birds in flight) shooting with the Canon setup?

    All in all, will the setup of – Sony A7RII + Metabones adapter (any specific model?) + Canon EF 600mmL IS II – give crisp sharp pictures especially for fast moving subjects?

    Thanks so much in advance for taking the time out Brian.
    Sincerely appreciate it!!

  12. Pingback: Tech Talk: Sony a7RII & a7SII

  13. I do a lot of macrophotography in the range of 1:1 to 2:1 — would I see a noticeable increase in detail with the a7RII and 90mm macro lens as opposed to a Canon 5D and their 100mm or 180 mm macros?

  14. Thank you for the quick response to my macrophotography question, but my reason for writing was actually something else. I understand the DOF issue. My question is this: For 1:1 macrophotography, will I see a noticeable improvement in resolution and fine detail if I exchange my Canon 5D and 100mm macro for the Sony a7RII and 90mm macro?

  15. Thanks, Brian. It works. If anyone else is interested in this and is, like me, unfamiliar with the old style of cellphone message entry, it might help to know that the upward arrow key will get you to the caps keyboard, and that, where multiple letters are displayed on one button, you click either twice or three times to get to the second or third letters, respectively. You have to do all clicks before you are timed out, then wait to be timed out before going on to the next letter.

  16. Brian – I really want to love my new Sony a7rII but I often get images that have a line or lines of what I would call hot pixels. I see this most often in low light situations with really slow shutter speeds or when I deliberately under-expose a shot. Last night, I took some shots of my wife’s christmas decorations with white lights in the background using the Sony/Ziess 55 lens at f1.8, ISO 100 and a 0.8 second exposure. Most of my shots had rows of bright pixels in them. Is this a camera problem or my lack of experience? I really don’t remember seeing this with my Sony a7.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *