The Sony a7II and 5-Axis Image Stabalization


I’ve been a doubter of Sony and their ability to compete with Canon and Nikon for a while now. However, it’s time to take Sony seriously and put them in the same category as Canon and Nikon, if not above them. Today came the news that Sony has introduced the Sony Alpha a7II. I was afraid that the Sony a7II was going to be a disappointment since “upgrade” models of cameras sometimes are. However, Sony has done a very good job tying the new Sony a7II to its roots, while introducing amazing new features not seen in any other full frame camera (but more on that later).

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Here’s the release video from Sony’s YouTube channel:

Looking at the specs list, the Sony a7II might remind you of its predecessor, and you’d be right. But, Sony has added a couple great new features to make photographers who are ready to switch the mirrorless excited. They have made their AF system faster and more adaptable to shoot fast moving objects, and they have installed a 5-axis stabilization system.

Sony says that the new hybrid AF system in the Sony a7II is now able to perform 30% faster. I’ll let them tell you in their own words (this taken from Sony’s website):

“The newly enhanced Fast Hybrid AF system delivers extremely high-speed response, highly accurate prediction and wide area coverage for autofocusing and tracking you can always depend on. Remarkably fast for a full-frame camera AF system, it ensures maximum speed by optimally employing phase-detection or contrast-detection AF depending on the scene.”

I’m glad they decided to upgrade the AF system in the Sony a7II because that was one of the main reasons holding a lot of photographers back from switching to mirrorless, myself included.

Like I mentioned earlier, they also installed a 5-axis image stabilization system. Now, that may sound like an unnecessary feature to some, but let me assure you that it’s extremely useful, especially since the Sony a7II is the only full frame camera to have one.

So, what is a 5-axis image stabilization system? Let’s break it down. Normally when you zoom close to any subject, camera shake becomes more noticeable in the photo. It’s more difficult to keep your hands steady to capture a tack sharp photograph without any blur while you’re zoomed in.

With the 5-axis image stabilization, the Sony a7II will reduce the amount of camera shake from the pitch and yaw, the x and y, and the roll. So, if you’re having trouble stabilizing the camera because you’re either moving the camera around, side to side, up and down, or rolling the camera body, the 5-axis image stabilization will hold the sensor in place for clear photographs.

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Sony really helps clear the 5-axis image stabilization up with this quality video from their YouTube channel:

In conclusion, Sony has really impressed me with the a7II upgrades. If photographers aren’t ready to start paying attention to Sony as a legitimate contender to Canon and Nikon, they are falling way behind. Sony is here, and it looks like they’re ready to take command of the camera market. I’m ready to switch.

Want to see more of my recommended gear? Take a peak at the Photography Roundtable recommended gear page!