I am having trouble deciding which of the above cameras is right for my budget. It basically comes down to the question of how close the A7R with a stabilized lens comes to the A7II in terms of low light "EV"-gain, as in how much longer I can expose while handheld when comparing: A7 II + integrated stabilizer vs A7R + no stabilization vs A7R with stabilized lens. Also, does lens stabilization for adapted lenses work, that were made for different mounts than native FE-mount?

  • Did you ever buy one of the cameras? I wonder if image stabilization lenses counter the bad shutter shock in the a7. – Leo Nov 30 '16 at 9:26
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    I decided to go for the A7R without internal stabilization because I still have my A77 as a backup for when I need it. For the A7R I currently have only one stabilized lens, the Zeiss 24-70 F4. Apart from this not being a very sharp lens, it does a fine job stabilizing, though it is noticably worse than an internal stabilizer. Still this is fine because the FF sensor can handle the higher ISO to be fine with shorter exposure. The A7R also has a loud and clicky shutter, but I never noticed any movement caused by this even with unstabilized lenses. – Andreas Hartmann Dec 1 '16 at 8:08
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    Another update: I didn't keep the A7R for very long. I sold it for the A7R2. It turns out that I am missing the IBIS too much and it's really hold me back for what I'm using it for, which often involves low light. I'm not using the 24-70 stabilized lens a lot, instead I'm adapting unstabilized lenses to it most of the time. My rationalization about having a stabilized backup camera was wrong because I never even picked it up because the A7R was so superior in every manner. In hindsight, if you need low light performance, I recommend the A72 or save for the A7R2 which is the best of all worlds. – Andreas Hartmann May 14 '17 at 15:45

The official number if a 4.5 stop gain from the 5-axis image-stabilization system in the A7 II. This is the difference compared to having no stabilization.

For lens based stabilization, it varies and it is different for each lens. Expect 2 stops at least but there are lenses which claim 4 stops or so too.

The A7 II has built-in stabilization, so it works with all lenses, including adapted ones. With the A7R, adapted lenses extremely unlikely to work since adapters would need good communication between the camera and lens. Many adapters do not even have electric contacts which would be needed to power lens stabilization.

So to answer the final part of your question:

  • A7 II vs A7 with unstabilized lens: 4.5 stops.
  • A7 II vs A7 with stabilized lenses: 0 to 2.5 stops.
  • A7 with unstabilized lens vs A7 with stabilized lenses: 2 to 4 stops.

Keep in mind that these are official numbers usually measured according to the CIPA standard. Your mileage will certainly vary. From experience, I rarely reach the numbers quoted. I don't consider myself shaky but it seems official numbers are based on best-case performance.

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