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Andrew Reid

Shining a light - Sony A7S II first impressions & 4K S-LOG 3 clips for download / grading

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Ok. So this could make a good test to see if grading is more difficult with it and if it affects colors on Log... I bet it makes mess... Do you have some ND filters ? Variable ? Fixed value ? Tiffen ? Good quality. Please if you do such test tell us which ND filter you use.

 

This test and dynamic range i have to test soon. If you do the ND filter one, i just have the DR one to do and think am ready to spend money on this lil baby !!!! Bye bye 5D3 and ML Terrific but not smooth and size friendly workflow...

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Andrew, thanks for the preliminary write-up.  Always refreshing to read your gear critiques.  And I expect this review, when completed, will be especially illuminating given your own personal equipment progression over the past 15 months.  Keep up the good work.

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5D3 is totally a great baby to shoot with. I've done so far paid work with it... and nobody has complained about quality... When the grade is just what it has to be, it's a killer camera... I've done some 3200 isos shots that are really great, merely noise free... Wow. Sometimes the girl who takes sound with me says "3200 isos... no... don't push it too far..." But she is always stunned by how good the picture is (when over expose then bring down in post... ETTR)

 

I've already seen your comparison Andrew, between the A7S and RAW 5D3. This video has always put a doubt in me considering my 5D3, but i've never had the opportunity to have an A7S in my hands to test it like i want... In your video, what shocks me is that the 8 bits Sony have better transitions in the orange sky than the 5D3... 14 bits... Woops... That's pretty strange. And i have seen this in other videos too... 8 bits !!!! 

I've decided to rent an A7S mark ii to test it frankly... torture it... And then i think i'll choose to stay with my 5DIII or go with the A7S II... time will tell.

It is a camera for me and low budget productions... i don't take any big risk.

 

I'm thinking about to rent a FS5 when it comes out... This crazy camera loos terrific too even if too pricy compared to a A7S II... Ok VND integrated but S35 and 32 000 isos only...

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Thanks for your first impressions article Andrew, super informative as always.  Quick question here from an A7R2 owner: does the A7S2 have the same issue the R2 has where the screen, when set to the brightest setting ("Sunny Weather"), will darken when switched to movie mode while in 4K (or when starting a 4K recording while in stills mode)?  This one is proving to be a killer for me when shooting in bright sunlight.

Looking forward to your Cine4 PP settings, I'd love to be able to get Canon colors out of these Sony sensors.  It's only after coming here that I realized what I was missing on my Sony's compared to my old 5D colors.

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Got my A7S2 today and unlike stated before, the camera CAN record 4K internally in crop mode (which would have been a disaster, as this would have meant that the use of a speedbooster would only be possible with an external recorder).  The crazy thing is just that the A7S2 can ONLY record 24 and 30fps in 4K internally, but NOT 25fps.  120fps in 1080p mode also only in NTSC, not PAL.  Seems like Sony doesn't like Europe.

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It does 25p/100M 4K if you switch to PAL. In NTSC the options are 24p and 30p.
Same with HD. If you want to shoot 100p/100M you have to switch in PAL mode.

APS-C mode does a crop from the 4K sensor. So it will be a upscaled 4K from ... maybe 2800px … 

 

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It does 25p/100M 4K if you switch to PAL. In NTSC the options are 24p and 30p.
Same with HD. If you want to shoot 100p/100M you have to switch in PAL mode.

APS-C mode does a crop from the 4K sensor. So it will be a upscaled 4K from ... maybe 2800px … 

 

Yeah, I heard a few folks saying the crop mode might be quite soft. Still waiting for a proper in-depth review, these things take time though I guess but I feel like there was way more fuss around the A7RII.

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Got my A7S2 today and unlike stated before, the camera CAN record 4K internally in crop mode (which would have been a disaster, as this would have meant that the use of a speedbooster would only be possible with an external recorder).  The crazy thing is just that the A7S2 can ONLY record 24 and 30fps in 4K internally, but NOT 25fps.  120fps in 1080p mode also only in NTSC, not PAL.  Seems like Sony doesn't like Europe.

It can't record 4K in crop mode Doug... Greyed out in the menus when mode dial set to movie, and if you enable it in stills mode - yes the live view will show the crop but hit record (when set to 4K XAVC-S) and crop mode will deactivate and you will get full frame.

120fps is an NTSC frame rate. It does 100fps in PAL. You can choose which is best. 120fps will give more flicker and banding with European light sources!

I am not sure why you're not seeing 25fps in 4K...  it does work. Switch to PAL in the menus Doug.

APS-C mode does a crop from the 4K sensor. So it will be a upscaled 4K from ... maybe 2800px … 

That's what the A7S did over HDMI.

Internally on A7S II, I repeat - it does NOT do 4K with APS-C crop. Sony disabled it. No upscaling. Quality not good enough. If you want to use APS-C lenses or Speed Booster you will need to get the A7R II or try the HDMI... I haven't yet but will do soon to the Odyssey.

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It can't record 4K in crop mode Doug... Greyed out in the menus when mode dial set to movie, and if you enable it in stills mode - yes the live view will show the crop but hit record (when set to 4K XAVC-S) and crop mode will deactivate and you will get full frame.

120fps is an NTSC frame rate. It does 100fps in PAL. You can choose which is best. 120fps will give more flicker and banding with European light sources!

I am not sure why you're not seeing 25fps in 4K...  it does work. Switch to PAL in the menus Doug.

That's what the A7S did over HDMI.

Internally on A7S II, I repeat - it does NOT do 4K with APS-C crop. Sony disabled it. No upscaling. Quality not good enough. If you want to use APS-C lenses or Speed Booster you will need to get the A7R II or try the HDMI... I haven't yet but will do soon to the Odyssey.

Andrew, any gut feelings on the video quality vs the A7RII? Is the inclusion of SLOG3 a real plus? And plenty of folks also noted the A7RII had more pleasing colour science...I know the weather has been awful in Berlin lately but any gut feelings if that slight improvement has made it to the A7SII as well?

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Not in APS-C mode. BUT it does if you use the "sensor-crop-mode" called "clear image zoom". Strange – but I've tested it. You'll get 2160p from 0 (FF) to 2 (smaller than s35, 1.7 should be around APS-C).
But it is indeed blurry and useless …
It is a hidden feature also for the A7s. I've set it on the function wheel for quick (and dirty) focal length change … HD 1080p stays always sharp (more or less).

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It can't record 4K in crop mode Doug... Greyed out in the menus when mode dial set to movie, and if you enable it in stills mode - yes the live view will show the crop but hit record (when set to 4K XAVC-S) and crop mode will deactivate and you will get full frame.

120fps is an NTSC frame rate. It does 100fps in PAL. You can choose which is best. 120fps will give more flicker and banding with European light sources!

I am not sure why you're not seeing 25fps in 4K...  it does work. Switch to PAL in the menus Doug.

When in M and S35 mode, and in PAL at 25fps - the A7S2 says it will not record.  In NTSC and 24 or 30fps it will do.  Which is obsolete anyway, as indeed the camera does change the crop back to full frame after pressing record.  Which is another big joke from Sony, when the kings of greyed out menus, confusing limitations and warning messages do not prohibit this one process and lets you record an angle you didn't want if you don't pay close attention.   Using the A7S2 alongside a A7R2 means there is a record number of limitations to be learned.  The A7S2 in itself means:  no 42MP, no crop mode, no speedboosters.  Just good 4K full frame lowlight and 120fps 1080p, which is exactly what the A7R2 doesn't have.  Which means the A7S2 is a perfect addition to it, more than a clear alternative.  Let's find out how the A7S2 performs against the 1DC regarding lowlight until ISO 25600.  Probably a two camera combination of 1DC and 5DsR is still not such a bad combination.

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Andrew I've had the 5DMK3 & A7s together for a year now and I can say without any doubt the A7s is no match for the 5D raw in any situation I've shot in. The A7s has been a real pain in the arse to work with compared to the luxury of raw. Skin is my number one priority and the A7s is crap with skin, s-gamut is the worst, movie and cinema are a little better. The A7sII does appear to render much nicer skin but it's still no match for the 5D raw files. Believe me I'd love to chuck the 5D and replace it with something better but the A7sII ain't it. IBIS is great but 30ms rolling shutter is pretty hideous. I've been sticking to APS-C mode with a speedbooster on the A7s to make the rolling shutter workable.

I think the A7sII will be really useful in certain situations and a lotta people will probably like it and shoot nice stuff with it, but like every other stock standard DSLR to date there's a lotta compromises, and those Sony prick teasers are holding back raw and global shutters for as long as they can until they run out of other incremental bullshit. Fingers crossed the lads will hack the shit out of the A7sII. Imagine 14bit raw 2k 2.39:1 with around 15ms rolling shutter and 2-3 stops more dynamic range than the 5D.

Remember people we only got 24p recording on the 5DMK2 because we pushed for it. Keep pushing.

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Andrew I've had the 5DMK3 & A7s together for a year now and I can say without any doubt the A7s is no match for the 5D raw in any situation I've shot in. The A7s has been a real pain in the arse to work with compared to the luxury of raw. Skin is my number one priority and the A7s is crap with skin, s-gamut is the worst, movie and cinema are a little better. The A7sII does appear to render much nicer skin but it's still no match for the 5D raw files. Believe me I'd love to chuck the 5D and replace it with something better but the A7sII ain't it. IBIS is great but 30ms rolling shutter is pretty hideous. I've been sticking to APS-C mode with a speedbooster on the A7s to make the rolling shutter workable.

I think the A7sII will be really useful in certain situations and a lotta people will probably like it and shoot nice stuff with it, but like every other stock standard DSLR to date there's a lotta compromises, and those Sony prick teasers are holding back raw and global shutters for as long as they can until they run out of other incremental bullshit. Fingers crossed the lads will hack the shit out of the A7sII. Imagine 14bit raw 2k 2.39:1 with around 15ms rolling shutter and 2-3 stops more dynamic range than the 5D.

The extra time spent pulling hair in every project grading the s-gamut could definitely be put to better use elsewhere. That's why recently I canceled the A7S II order for a Samsung NX1 (order placed already). For 1/3 the price, it's a much more capable machine (skin tone, battery, build). The major trade off being dynamic range. I'm fine with not having IBIS for 1/3 the price; I was already planning on a Nebula 4200lite, even if I had gotten an A7S II. 

But I am still rooting for Sony. Like Samsung, on a greater scale, they are kicking a lot of asses. I do hope Sony pulls through with future models. There's no excuse for getting the basics wrong (like poor battery life) on a $3000 dslr-sized camera from a company with such tremendous goals (like their possible 21-stop sensor.)

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The extra time spent pulling hair in every project grading the s-gamut could definitely be put to better use elsewhere. That's why recently I canceled the A7S II order for a Samsung NX1 (order placed already). For 1/3 the price, it's a much more capable machine (skin tone, battery, build). The major trade off being dynamic range. I'm fine with not having IBIS for 1/3 the price; I was already planning on a Nebula 4200lite, even if I had gotten an A7S II. 

But I am still rooting for Sony. Like Samsung, on a greater scale, they are kicking a lot of asses. I do hope Sony pulls through with future models. There's no excuse for getting the basics wrong (like poor battery life) on a $3000 dslr-sized camera from a company with such tremendous goals (like their possible 21-stop sensor.)

 

Everyone has their opinion, personally the Sony A7 cameras are excellent when in the correct hands.......

 

 

https://vimeo.com/137925379

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