Sony Alpha A7S II captures amazing 4K video from space

It's no longer just Nikon and Hasselblad that can boost that their cameras have gone into space – now Sony can too.

An Alpha A7S II full-frame mirrorless camera has become the first commercial camera to be mounted outside the International Space Station (ISS), and has captured some mesmerising 4K footage of Earth.

The video above shows the Japanese islands, while the video below captures the US East coast at night. The footage was captured using a Sony FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 G OSS power zoom lens.

The Alpha A7S II was selected as the camera for the exterior platform on the ISS's Japanese Experiment Module (known as KIBO) after a series of tests were carried out to see how it would cope with the harsh environment of space. Among the deciding factors were the camera's excellent high-ISO performance (it has an ISO ceiling of 409,600) and ability to shoot high-resolution 4K video.

After being couriered to the ISS by a Japanese cargo transporter in December, the A7S II was installed in February. At some 250 miles above the surface of the Earth, the ISS completes an orbit approximately once every 90 minutes.

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.