- Many Lens Options
- Long Battery Life
- Intuitive Menu Interface
- Full Format Sensor
- Low Light Shooting
- Many Lens Options
- Awesome Picture Quality
I have equally as much respect for the Sony A7SII as I do for the Panasonic GH4 and I’m curious to see if it’s worth all the extra money. It would be a big leap having been such a massive fan of the Panasonic GH4. Now, I’m really looking forward to the Panasonic GH5 which is supposed to come out in mid 2017 and may further exceed its groundbreaking predecessor.
The Sony A7SII is a brilliant mirrorless camera that competes with some of the best professional video cameras out on the market. It’s Sony E-Mount is easy to adapt a variety of lenses and the full format sensor renders beautiful images. It’s main selling point though is its ability to shoot in low light situations.
Normally, I shoot in well-lit locations with the GH4 which is where it performs best but the ability to shoot in dimly-lit rooms may be the best reason to switch. It goes without saying that if you’re an event videographer routinely shooting run and gun, then the Sony A7SII is the right camera to go with. You will need to buy some additional accessories to make it fit your needs, but the A7SII really is the best camera for those jobs. I ultimately chose the GH4 because I did not need it for a lot of events and you can start working professionally with it right out of the box.
From the start, I realized how hard it was to navigate through the Sony menu. It was nothing like my GH4 which is incredibly intuitive and built almost perfectly for my hands. Granted I’ve had much more experience using the GH4, but it was far easier to navigate through its menu without the aid of guides. I had to use a guide just to find out how to switch between different ISO settings on the Sony A7SII. That’s not something I want to be fiddling with on a shoot.
Also, by the time I was ready to hit record, the battery life had already been drained down to 12% after having started with a fully charged battery. Luckily, I had two extra batteries with me but I was very unimpressed with the A7SII’s battery life. By comparison, I have 3 batteries for my GH4 and those will last an entire day of continuous shooting with extra power to spare. Just to compare the difference between battery life, the Sony A7SII battery lasts about an hour recording 4K video while a single battery for the Panasonic GH4 lasts about 2.5 hours.
After we get beyond those hiccups, it’s incredible to see the image difference between the two cameras in low light. I’m afraid to shoot anything above 200 ISO on the GH4 and it’s clear to see why. The grain becomes immediately apparent but the Sony A7SII holds up in image quality every step of the way.
For now, I’m going to hold out until the GH5 makes its debut next year, but if there’s no significant improvement in its low light capabilities, then I may have to reconsider buying the Sony A7SII. The internal software within the GH4 is an absolute godsend compared to the menu interface offered within other DSLR cameras, but that’s something I’m willing to deal with if it makes for a much better image. Also, the shorter battery life within the Sony A7SII is a major drawback but I’d be willing to buy even more batteries if this camera produces much better results.