I bought the a7ii as my first full frame camera and I'm struggling to get the IQ I want. The AF is slow and finicky, especially Eye-AF, the ISO performance is really disappointing (ISO 800+ is too noisy for my taste) and the low light focusing, well, it's just not good. Has anyone had similar problems with this camera and knows how to get the best IQ and performance out of this camera or do I have to get the more advanced a7rii or a faster DSLR?

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    The strength of the Sony FF mirrorless cameras is at ISO 100 when fast, accurate AF is not critical. Read reviews of any of the Sony a7 family of cameras written by photographers who need high ISO and fast, accurate AF in low light and you'll see complaints similar to those in your question. And don't even begin to talk about battery life! – Michael C Mar 20 '17 at 8:43
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    "(ISO 800+ is too noisy for my taste)" - well, that's your taste. You can try developing raw files of modifying image settings. – Euri Pinhollow Mar 20 '17 at 10:46
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    @MichaelClark Yea I read that. I guess the only option is selling it. – Chris Mar 21 '17 at 5:20
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    @Chris That depends on what you're trying to shoot with it. – Michael C Mar 21 '17 at 7:47
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    Some examples will help. What are you trying to do, and what are you comparing it to? – mattdm Mar 25 '17 at 15:07

Perfect focus in the dark can be obtained with the SharpStar2 Filter Mask: https://youtu.be/9WgCPTrCv60 .

It's a Bahtinov Mask that produces diffraction lines around a bright object (even a Star) and allows exact manual focusing. See: http://www.lonelyspeck.com/sharpstar/ .

A more expensive method with limited distance is to use a "Auto Focus Illuminator" which projects a high contrast pattern on your subject. Few Cameras have this but you can add the feature to those that don't using a Speedlight with such a feature.

More Info here: https://fstoppers.com/originals/how-achieve-fast-autofocus-low-light-situations-112577 .

  • It sounds like OP isn't doing astrophotography (i.e., "the AF is slow and finicky"). If slow AF is a complaint, well, there's not much slower than a Bahtinov mask. A Bahtinov mask is only good for focusing on stars. – scottbb Mar 24 '17 at 22:06
  • Search for this text "The mask can be used not only for astrophotography, but also for normal photography." on this Webpage: translate.googleusercontent.com/… - works on Streetlights. Fixing the AF isn't possible without altering the Hardware unless the Firmware is at fault. He could buy a new Camera, as he suggests he is willing to do, or make his own mask using many Tutorials available. – Rob Mar 25 '17 at 0:41
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    Fair enough, I certainly did not consider the creative ways in which the mask could be used. But I think my point still stands – Bahtinov masks are not a general solution to the OP's issues, which are basically just the main 2 or 3 drawbacks of most MILC systems. – scottbb Mar 25 '17 at 3:56
  • @scottb - I've improved the answer with a different Hardware addition they could use. If he wants both to wait and buy a new Camera he should wait for the a7s III (which will focus in low light and will likely have more MPs). If he wants to stick with Sony apparently the a6300 or larger number has great low light AF. - Thanks for your reply Scott. – Rob Mar 25 '17 at 15:09
  • The a7ii has a low-light focus assist already. I'm not sure the other idea is much of an improvement for Chris's (unclear) situation — I don't think it's less "slow and finicky", to say the least. The a7ii already has a good manual-focus aid built in (focus peaking), and I don't think an external one adds much. – mattdm Mar 25 '17 at 15:13

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