Sony A7S 120fps slow-mo at ISO 12,800

I shot ‘Nomad’ with my friend Susanna and the Sony A7S a few days ago, in 120fps slow-mo mode.

Light sources were only a candle, iPhone torch and an old industrial German desk lamp with red filter on the front. I am amazed at the clean results. ISO levels were pushing on for 12,800 in most of the shots.

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Evolving Sony A7S Review (Part 1)

I’ve had the A7S for over a week now and can share my initial thoughts, even some firm conclusions. Here’s one I’ve come to already – the Sony A7S is the best consumer camera Sony have ever made.

For $2500 the video performance of the A7S sits between the FS700 ($8000) and F5 ($17,000) yet the full frame sensor lends more character and allows for groundbreaking low light performance.

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Grading the Sony A7S with S-LOG 2 and some EOSHD cinematic looks for download

Only a few years ago S-LOG was a $3800 upgrade for the Sony CineAlta F3, itself a $15,000 camera. S-LOG made its debut on the Sony F35, a workhorse of Hollywood.

Now Sony have put this on a $2500 consumer camera along with the best full frame sensor I have ever used for video. How good is it? Very!!

I am sharing a pack of LUTs for the A7S which can be applied in Premiere, Resolve, etc. for an instant cinematic look to your A7S S-LOG 2 footage.

Download

Three LUTs are provided in the zip. Dynamic – for best dynamic range, will suit a low contrast shot requiring high dynamic range and plenty of shadow detail. Also good for low light. Vivid will give a punchier look to those shots that benefit from it like a sunset and where some dynamic range can be scarified for higher contrast and saturation. S-GAMUT is for when shooting S-LOG with the Color Mode of S-GAMUT and compensates for the purple tint to reds I find I am getting in this mode. For the Dynamic and Vivid LUTs you must set the camera colour mode in PP7 to ITU709 Matrix.

Read moreGrading the Sony A7S with S-LOG 2 and some EOSHD cinematic looks for download

Sony will respond to users and reduce rolling shutter with new sensor technology

Sony A7S with Atomos Ninja Star

The A7S is so close to being a ‘complete’ system for high end video quality in a small prosumer camera, but there’s one issue that has quite rightly been highlighted by filmmakers such as Andrew Wonder and that is the rolling shutter distortion. The A7S actually has a very fast sensor with high efficiency made possible by the latest technology but because it does not skip any lines when reading out the image the net result is a scan that takes roughly as long as the older 5D Mark II, which does line-skip.

Sony plan to fix this by introducing a new sensor technology which can read entire lines of pixels in batches of 4 simultaneously.

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James Miller adds £167 hardware 4K scaler box to Sony A7S with stunning results

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Picture (“Buddy”) courtesy of James Miller, inset – the CYP 4K HDMI scaler

The picture above (click for 1080p original) is from the 4K full frame sensor inside the Sony A7S (ISO 3200, S-LOG2).

Internally the camera does a simple downscale of the 4K signal to 2K for standard 1080p XAVC or HDMI recording – but James discovered adding a hardware scaler on the end of the 4K HDMI signal results in a more detailed 1080p image which is light and day different. The great news is this scaler is only £167 in the UK.

Add to that an Atomos Ninja Blade or Ninja Star for taking the image from the scaler and recording it to ProRes – and you have one of the best 1080p images available at any price.

Read moreJames Miller adds £167 hardware 4K scaler box to Sony A7S with stunning results