Last week Sony Japan hit us with a surprise announcement of the A7 Mark II, an upgrade over the popular full-frame mirrorless camera. The initial launch was only for Asia, which left people on this side of the pond a bit confused. Well, we now have pricing and U.S. availability for the new cam that sports wicked in-body 5-axis stabilization, along with other improvements.

The A7 Mark II will go for around $1700 for the body and $2000 with the 28-70mm kit lens. It should ship as early as December 9th. The marquee feature, 5-axis stabilization, could be a game-changer that draws even more enthusiasts and pros toward the Sony camp. Olympus and Panasonic have both used a similar stabilizing system in their micro four thirds mirrorless cameras, but Sony will be the first to feature the technology around a full-frame sensor. Previous Sony DSLRs did have in-body stabilization, but it was only a 2-axis version.Other improvements on the A7 Mark II include a beefier grip with re-arranged buttons, as well as video options pulled over from the A7s, like picture profile control, S-log gamma, and the X-AVC-S codec.

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An awesome residual effect of this camera launch is a price reduction of the original Sony a7. That model will drop to $1300 down from $1700. That's a pretty good bargain!

Here's a video showing the sensor shifting in place inside the A7 Mark II:

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