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How to use APS-C Crop on the Sony a7S II

Full-frame shooters are famously proud of their sensor size. It takes a brave soul to move away from the shallow depth of field that full-frame sensors provide. More commonly, APS-C shooters make their big move up to Full Frame and never look back. Which is why it may seem strange at first that the Sony a7S II has a built-in APS-C mode. Upon closer consideration though, this opens up a whole world of Super 35 glass, and even lighter-weight lenses built for crop-sensor systems. It’s not a general-use tool, but if you know you need it, here’s how you can use it.

Press the menu button, then scroll all the way over to the sixth menu under the gear icon. The first option, at the very top, is APS-C/ Super 35mm. Here you will find a simple on/ off option, but also a very intelligent “Auto” function. This is an always-on option that, when selected, will keep an eye out for any situations where the image circle from the lens covers significantly less than the full width of the sensor. When it spots this shrunken image circle, it crops into the center of the sensor so that you can record an image with no vignetting and no wasted space on the edges of the frame. 

However, it should be noted that since you have to crop out a significant number of pixels to achieve this effect, it is only available in 1080p recording modes. There’s no shooting in 4k, unfortunately. Maybe use this as a chance to practice your slow-motion recording?