Sony A7 II Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally good performance, but startup and buffer clearing are still slow.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~1.7 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~1.0 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Powerup to first shot was still somewhat sluggish, but improved over the 2.1 seconds we measured for the A7. Switching from Play to Record mode and taking a shot was however a bit slower than the A7, at about one second versus about 0.7 second.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode

0.221 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (AF timing performed with the Sony FE 35mm f/2.8 lens.)

Manual Focus

0.151 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.053 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Looking at the Sony A7 II's ability to determine that it's properly focused when shooting the same, static target multiple times without defocusing between shots (our standard test), its autofocus speeds were good for a CSC, and about average compared to most consumer DSLRs. The Sony A7 II's full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) was 0.221 second in Single-area (center) AF mode. This is very similar to the 0.227 second result we got for the A7. With electronic first curtain disabled (enabled is the default), full AF shutter lag increased to 0.359 second.

When manually focused, the Sony A7 II's lag time dropped to 0.151 second, which is good, but a bit slower than the 0.132 second we got for the A7. The Sony A7 II's prefocused shutter lag was 0.053 second which is also good, but oddly once again slower than the A7's 0.023 second.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Extra Fine JPEG

0.74 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.79 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous Hi mode
Large/Extra Fine JPEG

0.20 second (5.00 frames per second);
52 frames total;
36 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 52 frames, then slows to an average of 0.88s or 1.14fps when buffer is full.

Continuous Hi mode
RAW

0.20 second (5.00 frames per second);
28 frames total;
15 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 28 frames, then slows to an average of 0.69s or 1.44fps when buffer is full.

Continuous Hi mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.20 second (5.01 frames per second);
24 frames total;
21 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 24 frames, then slows to an average of 1.02s or 0.98fps when buffer is full.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle time was about 0.7 second when shooting Large/Extra Fine JPEGs. This increased slightly to 0.8 second when shooting RAW+ Large/Fine JPEG files. This is a little sluggish compared to most DSLRs, but pretty good for a CSC and very similar to the A7.

The Sony A7 II's Continuous Hi burst mode is rated at 5 fps, and our lab results agree. Note that continuous AF is supported in burst mode, and Sony no longer calls it Speed Priority Continuous mode so there shouldn't be any aperture limitations. While not quite as fast as most full-frame DSLRs this isn't bad considering the resolution and price point. There's also a Continuous Lo mode rated at 2.5 fps, but we didn't test that mode.

Buffer depths were very good at 52 frames for Large/Extra Fine JPEGs, 28 for RAW and 24 for RAW+Large/Fine JPEGs (like many Sonys, the A7 Mark II does not support RAW + Extra Fine JPEGs). In Continuous Lo mode, buffer depths are likely even better. Note that our target for this test was designed to be difficult to compress, so maximum JPEG burst lengths should be even longer with typical subjects.

Buffer clearing times were slow even with our fast UHS-I card, but perhaps not unreasonable given the deep buffers and file sizes, ranging from 15 seconds after 28 RAW files to 36 seconds after 52 Large/Extra Fine JPEGs.

Bottom line, the Sony A7 II's overall performance is generally good for its class, however while Startup time was a bit better than its predecessor it's still slow, as is buffer clearing. We were not able to validate Sony's ~30% faster autofocus claim, however we do not defocus between trials in our AF lag tests.

Battery Life

Fair battery life for a Compact System Camera.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard, LCD Monitor)
340 shots
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard, EVF)
270 shots

The Sony A7 II uses a custom NP-FW50 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and AC adapter for in-camera charging via USB. The battery is rated for 340 shots per charge when using the LCD monitor and 270 shots when using the electronic viewfinder, tested according to the CIPA standard. Battery life is fair compared to typical CSCs though pretty good considering its size and sensor, but poor compared to most DSLRs. We definitely recommend getting a second battery for your A7 II if you plan any extended outings or shoot a lot of video. An optional VG-C1EM vertical grip is available which doubles battery life with two batteries.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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