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Andrew Reid

New Sony A7, A7R and RX10 - exclusive hands-on look at video quality

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Quite unexpectedly today at the Sony Centre at Berlin Potsdamer Platz, demo units of the A7 and A7R were available to try including the more video-orientated RX10.

The dilemma over which to pre-order for video is over!

[url=http://www.eoshd.com/content/11380/new-sony-a7-a7r-rx10-exclusive-hands-look-video-quality]Read the full article here[/url]

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras

When you say "The sensor is the best in the stills world, and second best in the video world just behind the 5D Mark III." is with the 5D on magic lantern with raw or without any hack?

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Last year Sony merged their professional broadcast division and consumer camera division so we will likely see more professional video features in their cameras. If the rumors are correct Sony is due to release a 4K DSLR to compete with the 1DC in 2014 (they already showed a prototype at NAB).

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naaaw sh*t.... on one hand im very happy with my m43 setup. on the other hand: full frame. i always talk myself into not needing full frame, but its just so tempting. any thoughts on this old debate?

 

those cameras look absolutely stunning. the fact that they perform well makes we wanna buy one...

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Pricing is pretty competitive for full frame cameras. 1499 euro for the A7 and 2099 for the A7R.

 

I think the decision hinges on which camera you use for stills and video at the moment.

 

If you're a Blackmagic user you will like the practicality of the A7R and RX10 but it isn't a step forward in terms of the image, only in terms of the lensing and sensor size.

 

That full frame look CAN be special, but you might miss that 10bit and 13 stops dynamic range more. The choice is yours.

 

The A7R may well replace your stills camera. The 5D Mark III and Nikon D800 have a dwindling amount of advantages, namely the AF system and their lens ranges. If you're into MF like a Leica user and haven't invested in 20 L lenses the Sony will easily replace your full frame DSLR. Easily.

tokyojerry likes this

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Any thoughts on using the RX10 as a good run and gun video camera for narrative work? Like short films? Or will it look too much like video? I'm curious about how shallow the depth of field is on the sensor and with the lens. Also, any indication on its lowlight capabilities from the demo?

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Last year Sony merged their professional broadcast division and consumer camera division so we will likely see more professional video features in their cameras. If the rumors are correct Sony is due to release a 4K DSLR to compete with the 1DC in 2014 (they already showed a prototype at NAB).

 

Interesting. Yes saw the 4K DSLR earlier in the year. I think it's only right that convergence applies to Sony's divisions as well as their products. You can see that very clearly in the RX10. It's the best ever fixed lens hybrid camera and really does give the GH3 a run for its money. If you only use the GH3 with the 14-140mm kit zoom, the RX10 is better. Peaking, zebras, ND filter, F2.8 lens, it packs a LOT in. Love the handling too. LCD top panel is great. It is as if Sony sacked all their NEX engineers!

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Any thoughts on using the RX10 as a good run and gun video camera for narrative work? Like short films? Or will it look too much like video? I'm curious about how shallow the depth of field is on the sensor and with the lens. Also, any indication on its lowlight capabilities from the demo?

 

I shot with it at ISO 3200 but couldn't do a proper low light test in a bright room. The RX10 is definitely an interesting run and gun video camera. As for narrative run & gun, where you can start and stop the action, I think that gives you time to change primes so maybe you'd be better off with an A7R or Blackmagic… But the RX10 is definitely the most usable in terms of the features it gives you.

 

Shallow depth of field - yes plenty. That lens is a beauty.

 

Stabilisation is very good on it too, but at the very longest end of the zoom it doesn't quite hold steady enough so you will still need to have a few contact points on the body for run & gun if you want to make use of the full zoom range.

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While preparing to sell my NEX-7, I preordered an A7 since people were thinking that the A7 would be better for video. Then SonyAlphaRumors reports a NEX-7 upgrade is due in 2014. Then your test shows that the A7r is better for video. Now I am really stuck! :) (first world problems). In the end, none of them are ideal for my eyes, since I was spoiled by starting out shooting film (mostly super 16), and grading film in expensive suites. My heart still longs for a small camera, prime lenses, and film-quality footage. Until that day arrives (not long now, I expect), I am debating whether to keep using the NEX-7 (and all the lenses I have bought) or jump up to A7 or A7r. Each day, a new bit of info makes it more complex...

 

I just did a job with the FS-700 — loved the frame rates, hated the codec. True about Sony's codec. We have to convince them to drop it.

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I was spoiled by starting out shooting film (mostly super 16), and grading film in expensive suites. My heart still longs for a small camera, prime lenses, and film-quality footage.

 

Sounds like you definitely need to check out the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera then.

Ben Prater likes this

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Yeah, I was really excited by that camera when it was announced. But I am really wary of it, given the issues with batteries, software, and the feedback of BM customers. Of course, the footage looks great, but for me, the experience of using a tool counts for a lot. I also don't really want to jump into another lens mount family.

 

Just for the record, do you have anything to offer regarding how video quality of the A7R compares to NEX-7?

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so physically speaking a 25mm 0,95f lens on m43 would give you exactly the same picture as a 50mm 1,8f on full frame. now has anybody ever tested if this is the case in reality?

 

well from andrews samples its very clear that the A7r performs better. no question about it. how did anybody ever result in something else?

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So A7 is basically the same crap as the RX1/VG900 from what I've seen, that is rather disappointing.   I wonder would they overheat like NEX when recording long video? And how long the battery last during video recording?

 

RX10 is certainly an interesting options, but F2.8 is rather limited on some low light/indoor scene, for outdoor and daylights it should be really useful, but that depend on zooming speed though.

 

Btw I also got 5D to compliment my M43 setup, for filming I found I tend not to using too fast aperture on the 5D, it make focusing (and follow focus) rather difficult, and limit actor's movement since they will go out of focus so easily.

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Yeah, I was really excited by that camera when it was announced. But I am really wary of it, given the issues with batteries, software, and the feedback of BM customers. Of course, the footage looks great, but for me, the experience of using a tool counts for a lot. I also don't really want to jump into another lens mount family.

 

Just for the record, do you have anything to offer regarding how video quality of the A7R compares to NEX-7?

 

Agree with you on usability. I actually think usability are the A7R and RX10's strongest points. Very practical tools. The A7R video is much better than the NEX 7 that's for sure. Cleaner at high ISOs, larger sensor, less moire and aliasing. But I haven't yet done an extensive shoot. This was literally just an hour long hands-on.

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Video on these cameras is something few people talk about and your hands-on gave me the info I needed to know. Thank you! Sony really should have given you the camera right away because you sold me on the A7r. I'll be getting it in a few months after a trip to india and it will take over my Nex 7 for producing short films. Speaking of which, do you think the A7r video is noticeably better than the Nex 7? The other thing I'm a little concerned about is over heating. My nex 7 overheats about every 10 minutes which is annoying to deal with - especially during interviews.

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One more question, if you were able to handle any of the Sony FE lenses, how does the manual focus feel? The E lenses I have don't feel nearly as great manually focusing as my Canon 5d lenses used to feel. Wonder if that has improved at all (though it's not a deal breaker).

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Man, I'm definitely on board with the idea of buying an A7R and an RX10. Right now I'm shooting on an XF300 and D800 and would love to replace the XF300 with something significantly smaller. For a bit I tried to use a GH3 instead of the XF300 and it worked OK, but I kept coming back to the flexibility of the XF300's lens (range and great IS) and general features that you usually only get in video cameras. The built in ND's and quality lens on the RX10 might make it a more viable replacement. And it sounds like the A7R would be a good pretty interchangeable with my D800 which would be really nice. It'd let me dedicate one to stills for some shoots, or just let my multicam stuff cut together better.

 

Just how slow was the zoom on the RX10? I don't necessarily have to do snap zooms all the time, but it'd suck if it was slow enough that'd you'd wind up fighting it all the time.

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One short question: Is it really true that there´s also a 29 minute limit on all these new Sony cameras?

I am very interested in the RX10 - BUT I also need shots with more than 29 minutes (continuously). =/

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More 8-bit 1080p mushy resolution producing cameras with shitty highlight control. Hell, even the FS700 has shit highlights. It's going to be a few years before anyone tops the 5D3 ML raw video quality for under $5,000, which is sad.

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