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A Camera for 3 Specific Uses


Charlie

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I have D750 x2 for my timelapses and stills.  I love this camera so much for stills, especially wide field astrophotography, the readout noise is terrific.

For long exposure night photography it's better than the sony cams, at least it has been since it's release.

Compare readout noise:

http://www.brendandaveyphotography.com/?page_id=726

I have to say though, the 1080p is quite disappointing from sharpness standpoint which is why I have moved to mirrorless for 4K downscale 1080p.  I have done a wedding or two and while the closeups are great, the wider shots aren't the best.  Of course depending on your clients, they may be happy with T2i quality so... 

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Fuji X-T2. The A6300/A6500 has so many compromises (RS, overheating, battery life) that the handling issues become distracting during shooting.

a7S is not a very good photo camera, for quite some reasons. I would never thought of using one for photos. The obvious solution is to wait for the GH5, it must be pretty obvious really, and mayb

I have been using my A7s as a STILLS camera for two years now in all lighting conditions.        There has never been a situation where I wanted a different camera.       I don't consider ISO 6400 to

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2 hours ago, Arikhan said:

@noone2

I think, most professional photographers worldwide will now throw away their Nikons and Canons and start a insane run on the a7s ii after holidays...Time for Canonikon to immediately stop R&D plus camera production and sales - nobody needs in fact their inferior devices. The end of established camera manufacturers is not far off... ;-)

Serious question for your friend before he (obviously) sells his A7s.

How does he have "Live View Display" set?     ON or OFF?    if it is set to ON, that might make a difference as that means the camera is focusing stopped down so if he was using a lens at 5.6 it is focusing at 5.6 before shooting.      If he has it OFF, it focuses wide open and THEN stops down which is a lot faster to focus in low light especially.

That Gary Fong video was not so much for an A7s either as the A7s is a CDAF only camera and not PDAF/hybrid though the video is still pretty good..       

Lock on AF does work ok in the A7s (in flexible spot as well as wide area, centre and zone AF), face detect works and even smile shutter can be quite useful (the camera will focus and fire automatically when a smile is detected and some singers are sometimes detected as smiling when they are singing and it even works - slowly- with Canon lenses).

 

There is a lot in the A7s, some of it is excellent.     Completely silent shutter is another thing that I use though rarely.

 

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I did a promotional video a few years ago for a famous lady singer here, and the stills photographer, probably the best in my country, came with a tiny Panasonic (GM1 something? I don't remember exactly) to do the poster photos (and these were quite big street banners and stuff). 

Obviously you can do use whatever, for whatever, if the A7s works for you, bravo, well done, some other people have different views and opinions. 

http://www.sony.com/electronics/interchangeable-lens-cameras/ilce-7sm2

http://www.sony.com/electronics/interchangeable-lens-cameras/ilce-7rm2

Can you guess, from the Sony official site which one is orientated for video and which one for photos? I see a very clear pattern.

 

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3 hours ago, dantheman said:

For what it's worth, all high end wedding photographers I have worked with the past years have either Nikon or Canon, I have yet to see one that is using Sony, the past year it has been mainly canon 5DIII or 1Dx and in the Nikon camp the D750 seems to be very popular.  Also, none of them care about super high iso's, they all use a flash.

Man flash photos suck. That is pretty 60's looking.

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@noone + @bigfoot

Obviously I am not the only one having some issues with the low light AF (stills) of the a7s ii:

Quote

 

Why the hunt? Because in very dim conditions with low contrast subjects, the PDAF sensors may cease to function, at which point the camera reverts to CDAF. This is, of course, better than giving up entirely, as CDAF will continue to function when PDAF fails.

In fact, it's CDAF that gives the a7S its low light AF sensitivity, which we measured to focus in conditions even dimmer than Sony's claimed -4EV, below the point at which the a7R II will give up.2 However, we found this incredible sensitivity of the a7S to practically be of limited use for quick shooting or moving subjects, because of the slow speed due to the lack of PDAF

 

As seen in this article...This might be a good explanation for slow AF in low light...

@webrunner5

Quote

Man flash photos suck. That is pretty 60's looking

Not necessary to get ironic. I am sure, I use enough flash and lighting - when possible....But there are many situations, when it is not possible or permitted. For example I shoot horse sports (show jumping) indoor. In Germany - in most indoor competitions - it's not allowed to use flash. When I shoot show jumping, I mostly need 1/1000s shutter. And no flash. As you see in this case, there is a real practical need for high ISO cameras having fast AF. In many cases, APS-C (7D / 7D ii) fail with noisy, not acceptable IQ (though using HQ tele with constant aperture f2.8).

In my eyes and from technical point of view, I speak of photography (implicating my quality needs) up to ISO 12.800 (on FF cameras known for good low light capabilities). Till this point it's light processing. Above this ISO, it's no more photography as processing of light, but interpretation of darkness. It might sometimes be useful, but it is not my understanding (!) of photography.
 

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@Charlie If, as you say, you intend to shoot both stills and video; and if you will be shooting in a controlled setting where you can either use a tripod, a monopod or something like the Ronin M - I would still recommend the X-T2. The image quality is simply awesome. If however, you or the subject will be moving around a lot, or you don't want to be bothered with a tripod or gimbal, the G85 would be an excellent choice. In my opinion, the image quality is better than the GH4, it has a superior EVF and built in stabilization. You would also not have to invest in new lenses. And for what you are getting, it is dirt cheap.

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12 hours ago, Arikhan said:
2 hours ago, Arikhan said:
2 hours ago, Arikhan said:

@noone + @bigfoot

Obviously I am not the only one having some issues with the low light AF (stills) of the a7s ii:

As seen in this article...This might be a good explanation for slow AF in low light...

@webrunner5

Not necessary to get ironic. I am sure, I use enough flash and lighting - when possible....But there are many situations, when it is not possible or permitted. For example I shoot horse sports (show jumping) indoor. In Germany - in most indoor competitions - it's not allowed to use flash. When I shoot show jumping, I mostly need 1/1000s shutter. And no flash. As you see in this case, there is a real practical need for high ISO cameras having fast AF. In many cases, APS-C (7D / 7D ii) fail with noisy, not acceptable IQ (though using HQ tele with constant aperture f2.8).

In my eyes and from technical point of view, I speak of photography (implicating my quality needs) up to ISO 12.800 (on FF cameras known for good low light capabilities). Till this point it's light processing. Above this ISO, it's no more photography as processing of light, but interpretation of darkness. It might sometimes be useful, but it is not my understanding (!) of photography.
 

Lets look at that.

So UP to 12800, and I am assuming with a Nikon D750?

OK, at ISO 12800, your D750 has 7.64 stops of DR (screen use) and 8.44 stops for print (from Dxomark).     The A7s has 7.89 stops (screen) and 8.19 (print) at ISO 51200.

https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Nikon-D750-versus-Sony-A7S___975_949

Tonal range is similar all the way with just a slight edge to the A7s, colour sensitivity favours the Nikon D750 very slightly up to ISO 800  after which it favours the A7s a little and noise also favours the Sony by a fraction all the way.

I have used my A7s for Harness racing (night time) shots where it shines because can use a faster shutter speed, and Greyhound racing shots from my manual focus 300 2.8 (in a national greyhound racing paper).     I would take fewer shots at a high enough shutter speed any day.

I have had ISO 51200 colour photos of live bands at large size in newspapers without noise reduction as any other photo (IE as a normal ISO).       As to what Sony has the A7s for, the S stands for sensitivity.    

That is BOTH stills and videos.

Their promo video  http://www.sony.com.au/electronics/interchangeable-lens-cameras/ilce-7s

      Some of the things it says.     "full frame high-sensitivity images with wide dynamic range", "high shutter speeds with extremely low noise", "improved fast intelligent AF Fast in light as low as EV -4"    It ALSO goes into all the movie specs because it can.

Now, as it seems some think I am just being a fan boy, lets look at that too.

This was a thread about a camera with particular requirements and mentioning the A7s.      From the needs in that opening post, I do think the A7s would be a good match.

SOME people, like to jump on the a7s (for things not asked in the original post), and make claims that simply disagree with what I see in daily use.

The A7s is not the best camera for everyone (or indeed most people0, it is terrible for tracking AF for the most part, and it is only 12mp, while it has ISO 409600, it is terrible at that setting and not usable for anything but proof of a yeti or some such.

ISO 102400 is usable for my uses sometimes.      I would submit a photo with it at that setting IF it was fairly unique.      I would submit a photo at ISOs up to about 80,000 for normal for news or websites.      80,000 is actually quite useful for my limited video uses.

Now, I would never say that a D750 is rubbish, I think it is a great camera but is it a BETTER camera than my A7s?     Not for ME.      I have already said, I prefer an EVF, silent shutter, 1/8000 ETC.    Plenty of other reasons for ME.

Cameras ARE just tools.      If I was a pro sports shooter, I would have a DSLR probably still (not a D750 though) but I would still have an A7s for the areas it shines .

From my experience, while AF could be improved (I will always take better when I can), the low light AF is great.      In lots of lighting, even fairly low lighting, lots of DSLRs and other mirrorless would focus faster.    That doesn't mean the A7s is bad though and when the light is lower still, well I know my A7s will still focus (auto AND manual).

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Kisaha said:
5 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

@noone we got it since 5 posts ago, the a7S cameras are the best for you.

Also, you avoid to mention whatever you don't like from other people posts, and that shows fanboism behaviour.

If someone asks me "do you know anyone that says that a7s is the best camera for photos?",

I will reply "oh, just noone".

@noone we got it since 5 posts ago, the a7S cameras are the best for you.

Also, you avoid to mention whatever you don't like from other people posts, and that shows fanboism behaviour.

If someone asks me "do you know anyone that says that a7s is the best camera for photos?",

I will reply "oh, just noone".

LOL coming from someone who declared

"a7S is not a very good photo camera, for quite some reasons. I would never thought of using one for photos"

And then

"Obviously, I was referring to the PHOTO part of that camera, that I have never used it as a PHOTO camera, because there are much better PHOTO cameras out there. I didn't say anything about the VIDEO part"

That really is precious!

Please enlighten me with what cameras ARE better PHOTO cameras than the one you have never used?      Does that apply for ALL photos?

I am happy to leave it at the A7s is a good camera, so is the D750, so is the "insert precious here".    

 

 

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@noone the "noone" part was from Homer's the Odyssey. Second book of European history (after the Iliad)

What is wrong with what I said? It is plain english. I do use a7sII occasionaly for video, never for photos as there are much better photo options out there.

Don't be so brand defensive, I am completely brand agnostic, I just care for myself, not them corporates. Most of the people here are using multiple brands/systems or have used  many.

It is just a tool, and you are "noone" (same book! The story with the Cyclop!).

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@noone

I am aware of Sony's technical excellence and innovative power, especially concerning some phantastic (not only low light) skills of the a7s ii and a7r ii. I wish, Canonikon would be so innovative as Sony. In my eyes, Sony's eye AF is eg stellar for portraits, I've seen some shots with the a7r ii and they were mindblowing...
BUT in this case, a quick and reliable AF is very important, when shooting moving subjects. Not even FAST moving subjects, but simply moving subjects (eg wanting to capture the facial expression of someone smiling or wondering, etc.). AF needing 1,5+ seconds to focus properly in low light are not good enough for this purpose...

As you mentionned DXOmark: It's a nice read, but my real world experience is very different. For example the Canon 6D is rated very bad. I agree concerning DR and the non existing ISO invariance. BUT the 6D is a GREAT low light camera, much better then many "reviews" and DXOmark suggest. I know even some "Nikon purists" owning this camera for astro and night photography (of course also because of WLAN and GPS, but a bunch of Nikon owners are low light fetishists though). My father owns the 6D and the 5dm3, and there are low light situations, where the 5dm3 fails to focus - but the 6D (center point) still locks focus. So DXOmark lab (theoretical) conclusion about the 6D has ZERO value for my real world needs. Z E R O...

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For people who claim to not be biased you are both making plenty of posts about how bad the A7s is as a PHOTO camera, what with one of you never having used it as a photo camera and the other having minutes of use with it.      You also seem to be saying I couldn't possibly find the AF useful in low light never mind that shooting in low light is what I mainly like to do with it.

You are right (as I already said), the A7s IS just a tool. but one that I and many others do use for photos.

DXO isn't something to take as gospel but it IS an interesting read and the low light score IS an actual ISO based on their criteria and they still have the A7s on top for that.

I own or have owned cameras from Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, Polaroid, and more.

I still have three SLRs (Pentax x2 and Canon), one DSLR (Nikon but have had Pentax and Canon too), Mirrorless from Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony (currently Sony and Panasonic).     A Polaroid ILC rangefinder.       Some of those photo cameras are AF and some are MF.

I have several thousand dollars worth of Canon lenses, a couple of Pentax lenses still, a couple of Nikons and a couple of Sony's.

I buy the camera that suits me regardless of who made it.      It just happens that at the moment, my camera of choice is a Sony.      When it comes time to replace it, I may well get anything.      Lego if they made a camera that suited me.

If I saw a post asking about a Nikon D750 and if it was suited to good light photography, and machine gunning for sports or "X", I would think it was but certainly would not be replying with something not relevant to the post and saying but the A7s (or whatever) is better at "Y".

Lets leave it there shall we?

 

Time to edit a lot of low light photos from a gig tonight with an A7s with AF and MF.

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3 hours ago, dantheman said:

I thought webrunner was being sarcastic but I guess not? A high iso is not a replacement for using a flash for photography. 

I never said not to use lights, I said Flash is not the thing now that cheap LCD lighting and umbrellas, bounce natural light panels etc are available now. Flash is harsh light compared to variable LCDs now. 

Yes you do need to light for portraits from lots of different angles to get the effect you want, but flash is a thing of the past. LCD's you can see the effect in real time. not looking at a shot on a monitor and hoping it works with flash..

Now if you are doing stop motion stuff, well yeah you need strobe flash units to freeze the action. But that is a specialty, not the norm. And yes if you are a pro you are going to have a few flash units in your bag as a last hope run and gun thing, but it still looks 60ish when you do it that way.

Hell for video lighting and audio is more important than the camera taking part of. And naturally the script is top dog in the whole thing. It all has to come together to make it happen. And that is not easy. That is why pros make the big money, they have pros in each aspect of it making their part happen almost perfect.

Just think how nice it would be to go down to the local park you shoot at and have a 8 man crew handling all the lighting for you and a 5 man crew doing all the audio, and they are the best there is in Hollywood. Your life and movies would be one hell of a lot better LoL.

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11 minutes ago, Cary Knoop said:

You are entitled to your opinion but most professional photographers will complete disagree with this!

 

I was a Professional Photographer for 17 years, my sole income in that time frame. I Know all about that shit, and I know that is old school stuff compared to what you have at your disposal now. Times change and that is why most photographers look just like most photographers. Only a few stand out, and a few make Big money. They don't do what they did 30 years ago is all I am saying.

You want to do the same old shit of a flash firing when the cake is cut, the bouquet is thrown, same crap walking down the isle well you will look like everyone else, even noobs can do that in this day and age. You have to use the newest, latest stuff to be ahead of the pack. Some of the crap I see shot the Bride might as well go around and gather pictures of the event from their Guests Cellphones and get a better modern rendition of the Wedding.

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