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Sony's A7 II mirrorless camera adds faster autofocus and better image stabilization

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One of the best gets better

Sony has upgraded its pioneering A7 full-frame mirrorless camera with a few improvements that should make it more responsive and enjoyable to shoot. The A7 II's headline feature is 5-axis image stabilization, an ability first seen on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 back in early 2012 but never before on a full-frame camera. This is, in fact, the first mirrorless camera from Sony to feature in-body image stabilization at all, meaning you'll be able to take longer (and therefore brighter) exposures in low light no matter what lens is attached.

Next, Sony has improved the A7 II's autofocus system, claiming that it will lock focus around 30 percent faster than its predecessor; a welcome addition if true, given the A7's poor performance in that area. The company has also remodelled the A7 II's grip for a chunkier in-hand feel, with a more traditional DSLR-style front-mounted dial. Sony doesn't appear to have changed fundamental features like the 24-megapixel sensor, but overall it looks like a fairly significant update to the A7, a camera in a series that already stands alone in offering a full-frame sensor in a compact mirrorless body.

Sony has only announced the A7 II for Japanese release so far. The camera is set to go on sale in Sony's homeland on December 5th with an expected retail price of ¥190,000 (about $1,600).