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A7RII - better sharpness than A7SII?

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I think I have a different point of view.

The A7R II is really a Super 35mm camera.

The A7S II is really full frame.

The 4K in full frame on the A7R II is very poor in low light, can't even do ISO 3200 nicely and the moire & aliasing will always bite you when you least expect it.

So Super 35mm vs full frame, very different look.

Speed Booster Ultra is a good solution for the A7R II but I still think it looks pretty different.

Looking deeply into it at the moment with some real world shooting.

Hi Andrew:

I'm very interested in understanding the differences you are seeing between s35 (with a focal reducer) and 24x36mm.

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So revisiting this after the latest firmware, is there a consensus on which is better for video work? From what I see, the A7SII has full frame 4K, 1080p 120fps and SLOG 3 as plus points. The A7RII has two 4K modes with the 35mm being slightly sharper than the A7SII, better auto focus in stills and video and the fact it is a great stills cam.

 

Does the A7RII have nice colour rendition? I bought an A7SII but am considering switching if the overheating issue is really fixed.

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So revisiting this after the latest firmware, is there a consensus on which is better for video work? From what I see, the A7SII has full frame 4K, 1080p 120fps and SLOG 3 as plus points. The A7RII has two 4K modes with the 35mm being slightly sharper than the A7SII, better auto focus in stills and video and the fact it is a great stills cam.

 

Does the A7RII have nice colour rendition? I bought an A7SII but am considering switching if the overheating issue is really fixed.

a7rii still have the low resolution in full frame and much more noise in full frame. Super 35 has about a 1 stop disadvantage to the a7sii and about the same detail. As stated about, its really super 35mm camera vs a full frame camera.

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Since I have only used the A7rii, my biased opinion is that the a7rII is NOT just a S35 camera. 

Unless you can spot the differences between FF and S35 mode here:

FFS35.thumb.PNG.fb3909b893d8ba2620baefd6

If you shoot landscapes or buildings with critical focus you will see more aliasing and less detail in FF mode. But in my experience for most shoots with people at low ISOs there is really no difference in quality. 

I will also mention here that you can shoot m4/3 and S16 lenses at 4K with A7rii, or use that for fast zoom. So you can have one 35mm lens that gives you all 35-100 range with amazing 1080p final result. 

An important distinction is the rolling shutter which is much better in A7rii FF mode and it becomes really useful with moving subjects that CANNOT be fixed in post. 

If you want FF look with the advantage of resolution and low noise pick up a speed booster that also gives a bit more light making the distance between A7sii and A7rii even smaller. 

Here is a take on both cameras: https://youtu.be/T2Y_QdGwjac?t=378

There is an interesting point at 6:20 about color sensitivity at high ISOs. I believe it is related to what DXOmark found here in stills mode:

a7riia7sa7sii.thumb.PNG.e87324b62f3df9d9

So colors if anything should look better. 

Finally the A7rii has amazing AF in video. 

Now the A7sii is great if you shoot in extreme low light or you use the sgammut3.cine. 

For example a shoot under the moonlight would be hard to do with A7rii:

Again this is my personal opinion. 

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I think I have a different point of view.

The A7R II is really a Super 35mm camera.

The A7S II is really full frame.

The 4K in full frame on the A7R II is very poor in low light, can't even do ISO 3200 nicely and the moire & aliasing will always bite you when you least expect it.

So Super 35mm vs full frame, very different look.

Speed Booster Ultra is a good solution for the A7R II but I still think it looks pretty different.

Looking deeply into it at the moment with some real world shooting.

I agree.

Speed booster on my a7rii is close to full frame but not the same.  I can live with the slight drop in overall 'full frame magic' in video mode, but whenever taking stills I'd always go full frame.  Would be nice if the a7rii full frame video mode was as good as the aps-c mode!  

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3odfgdrxutb2rnr/AADgX5roi_ioq-2yW7A-FgHpa?dl=0

one shot is full frame, the other is aps-c.  the one with the more refined focus is the full frame mode.  being the SB Ultra I expected the aps-c mode to outdo the full frame mode but as you can see..   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 being the SB Ultra I expected the aps-c mode to outdo the full frame mode but as you can see..   

But isn't that showing how small the differences are between S35 and FF? 

Especially with the shallow DoF that adds to the FF "look" you would be hard pressed to find any differences at all. 

What am I missing here Rich? 

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But isn't that showing how small the differences are between S35 and FF? 

Especially with the shallow DoF that adds to the FF "look" you would be hard pressed to find any differences at all. 

What am I missing here Rich? 

my point of focus was the 'zenit' text on the camera body.  at 100% the difference in refined sharpness is pretty drastic.  assuming that was a shot of a face where the eyes needed to be tack sharp while still with the same background defocus then the full frame shot owns.   It's the fact that the in focus area is twice as refined, while the amount of defocus is the same.  

 

it's also very clear how the step between the foreground and the background is a lot more crisp and abrupt meaning the objects in the foreground pop out of the frame a bit more.  It is slight but the difference is there to see and is enough to warrant going a7sii if it means enough to a video shooter looking for the ultimate refinement in fov/dof control.  

The shot was a contax cy 50mm/1.4 at f2.8.  So on full frame it was a 50mm/2.8.  and with the speed booster it was a 35.5/2.  I had to crop the edges of the frame on the full frame shot too (since it was still wider by quite a margin due to the sb ultra still not delivering a complete reduction of crop factor)  

 

 

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Can you snap stills in the a7rii apsc mode ? Combining that with a speedbooster could be a major cheat code for stills. Video it has its obvious benefit but a stop of extra light is awesome !

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Can you snap stills in the a7rii apsc mode ? Combining that with a speedbooster could be a major cheat code for stills. Video it has its obvious benefit but a stop of extra light is awesome !

Functions are identical in both modes, just cropped, everything including eye AF and so on is fully functional. Stills are 18mp in crop mode. I have crop and FF lenses for the A7rII, mainly the 10-18 and the 16-50pz to use on a gimbal that I'll be buying soon. I've been debating getting a speedbooster to use smaller lenses in APS-c mode with less crop. 

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Indistinguishable is a term I wouldn't use personally speaking.

Download the original file.

The aliasing is a concern for me.

They are the same price so if you want FF 4K why cripple yourself?

Forgetting the fantastic 42MP stills for a moment, bearing in mind both for video are roughly the same price, A7S II even a bit cheaper and with the bonus of 1080p 120fps), you'd have to really want that reduced rolling shutter (which you can fix trivially in post anyway) to put up with the aliasing.

Dual focal lengths for all your full frame glass is a big plus for the A7Rii over the A7Sii imo. Since I light my scenes, low-light beyond 6400 iso is not hugely important to me. And from what I can see, full frame is usable up to ~ 12800 iso. So I am well within my 6400 iso celling. And in a pinch I can push it further by switching to APS-C mode. In the end both cameras offer enough compromises so that either could be better than the other, depending on your point of view. Yes, I would be happy to have decent 120fps video, but clearly Sony wanted to make these cameras different enough to split the market. Personally, when given the choice between slow-mo and 42mp stills... I choose the 42mp stills. My reason is simple... if I'm only taking one camera the A7Rii can meet all my needs as both a stills camera and a video camera. If I went with the A7Sii I would be back to a two camera solution... one for stills and one for video.

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I'd love to hear some input on the performance of the A7RII's 1080p60 modes, both FF and APS-C. Resolution, noise, moire, aliasing, and probably most importantly for me, rolling shutter performance. Comparisons to the GH4 would be really killer as that's my current cam.

From what I can gather from the DVXuser rolling-shutter post and Cinema5D's tests, the A7RII's FF 4K mode has roughly the same amount of RS as the GH4's 4K mode, which is a bit more than I can handle for some shots. What about the FF and APS-C 1080 modes? How much better are they?

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