You get to the top of a climb or the end of a run or a hike, heart pounding, and there in front of you is a family of jackalopes, grazing in perfect light. With most cameras, the shaking of your hands would capture little more than an indistinguishable blur, and your friends would mock you on social media and in person. With the Sony Alpha 7 II, though, your pictures are practically ready for the front page of the New York Times.
The reason is less magical than the mythical jackalope: The Alpha 7 II contains an in-camera sensor stabilizer that cuts vibrations in five axes—X and Y, as well as pitch, yaw, and roll. What does that really mean? It means that you can shoot in much lower light, at lower shutter speeds, without pulling out the tripod—anywhere from two and a half to three f-stops. It’s effective in video mode, too.
All that internal juju had to go somewhere, so the Sony is larger than most full-frame mirrorless cameras. Whether this bothers you depends on your reference point. If you’re coming from other mirrorless models, it might seem bulky. If you’re accustomed to DSLRs, it’s as cute and tiny as a wee little button. A button that can capture jackalopes.
Get It: $1,700 (body only); sony.net