The previously leaked Sony A7 II has been officially announced by Sony Japan. It’s not coming to the US just yet; however, I think Sony is probably saving the A7 II US launch for CES 2015 in a couple months.
Overall, the A7 II is a modest upgrade over the A7; however, there are a couple of exciting new features and several smaller ones that makes the refresh worthwhile.
First, Sony added 5-axis in-body image stabilization to the sensor, which provides up to 4.5 stops of shake reduction with any lens. That’s a big deal and the first time we have seen this tech in a full frame camera. For a demo of how the 5-axis stabilization works, check out the video below.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svbUXedWsbA&w=700]
Next, the camera gets a significant bump in video features with the addition of the XAVC S codec and 50Mbps bit rate. Picture profiles now include S-Log2 and S-Gamut, which will offer much greater dynamic range. It essentially matches the video features of the Sony A7S without 4K.
Other less-drastic updates include improved AF algorithm for faster focus and subject tracking. It still has the hybrid AF system with 117 phase-detection pixels and 25 contrast detection points. The grip has been redesigned for a more natural fit and the body has received an overall improvement in weather-sealing, along with a magnesium alloy top and front like the A7R and A7S models.
Again, there is no word yet on pricing or availability for the US market; however, I would be willing to bet that Sony launches it in the US market at or around CES 2015 in early January.