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SONY A7III TURNING INTO CINEMA CAMERA


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Wanna get the highest video quality with Sony A7III camera and turn it into "Cinema Camera"! So which brand accessories should i buy for achieving best quality?

1. External monitor for recording with the highest frame rate & please  add your suggested settings for external video shooting.
2. SSD or SD for your mentioned external monitor. 
2. Rig/Cage.
3. Follow Focus for manual and for wireless using.
4. Matt boxes.
5. Power supply (V mount/Gold Mount/or)
6. V mount/Gold Mount/or Lock plate
7. Wireless transmitter so the director or focus puller can see the image

If there is something that i forgot, but you advise me to use or add, please tell me, thanks.
 

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1 hour ago, Hayk said:

Wanna get the highest video quality with Sony A7III camera and turn it into "Cinema Camera"! So which brand accessories should i buy for achieving best quality?

1. External monitor for recording with the highest frame rate & please  add your suggested settings for external video shooting.
2. SSD or SD for your mentioned external monitor. 
2. Rig/Cage.
3. Follow Focus for manual and for wireless using.
4. Matt boxes.
5. Power supply (V mount/Gold Mount/or)
6. V mount/Gold Mount/or Lock plate
7. Wireless transmitter so the director or focus puller can see the image

If there is something that i forgot, but you advise me to use or add, please tell me, thanks.
 

don't forget to add the pocket 4k camera to the list and then put items 1 to 7 onto the pocket 4k.  Next use the A7II to take BTS photos.  j/k I have the A7III and I use it to take videos so no worries :-)

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4 hours ago, rawshooter said:

The A7iii is a good allround video camera and really excellent stills camera (I do own it), but no cinema camera because of its weak codecs and 8bit limitation, no matter how you rig it up.

 

The term "cinema camera" is so weird.  Remember when people shot film?  Nobody did any coloring EXCEPT for big name directors who sent their film to "coloring" companies to basically make sure every shot match with every other shot for a certain scene.  That was about it.  Nothing more.  Now we have dedicated coloring software that pushing images from "left to right" and if the footage isn't 10bit or better it's not "cinema" quality..  It's so surprising people were even able to create films before the advent of "cinema" cameras.  Star wars attack of the clones was shot digitally on a  Sony's HDW F900.  I wonder how many bits that camera shot in.  I don't think it was 10bit. 

 

The phrase "cinema camera" is a marketing term.  Give someone with talent, and they can shot with just about any camera - even the a7iii which I think is light years ahead of the F900.  Does having a "cinema camera" help?  Of course, but it's not as important as most people think it is.

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1 hour ago, eleison said:

The term "cinema camera" is so weird.  Remember when people shot film?  Nobody did any coloring EXCEPT for big name directors who sent their film to "coloring" companies to basically make sure every shot match with every other shot for a certain scene.  That was about it.  Nothing more.  Now we have dedicated coloring software that pushing images from "left to right" and if the footage isn't 10bit or better it's not "cinema" quality..  

Well, negative film stocks like Kodak Vision and Fuji Eterna actually had/have amazing dynamic range and color depth, far superior to 8bit 4:2:0 video. (The same is even true for the color depth of 3-strip 1930s Technicolor...)

And digital cinema today (DCP) is 12bit JPEG-2000 in CIE 1931 RGB/DCI P3 color space, which is vastly better than prosumer-grade 8bit 4:2:0 video in Rec709 color space shot by the A7iii.... And thanks to cameras like the Blackmagic Pocket and the Panasonic S1H (or even a second-hand Blackmagic BMCC 2.5K for a couple of hundred bucks) and Davinci Resolve, digital cinema acquisition has become affordable for the masses and doesn't have to be more expensive than an A7iii body.

The F900 is a deliberately crappy example. Back then in the 1990s, George Lucas prematurely jumped to digital image acquisition. The image produced by the F900 was below cinema film standards; I remember how the bad image quality of Star Wars Episode 2 and 3 was even discussed by fans back in the 1990s. (Aside from the fact that most of the images in those two films were CGI, and the cameras were only used to film the actors in front of green screens.)

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1 hour ago, rawshooter said:


And digital cinema today (DCP) is 12bit JPEG-2000 in CIE 1931 RGB/DCI P3 color space, which is vastly better than prosumer-grade 8bit 4:2:0 video in Rec709 color space shot by the A7iii....

But that's the rub... so much color space, but the only use for most hollywood directors just a few years ago was to make the shots match during a scene.  That was it.  If the directors from the past wanted to "push and pull" their images, they would need to import their film into a digital format and use a modern coloring software (which they didn't have) to "color it" - in other words, they really didn't do any coloring.  Yes, there were directors that sent their films to "coloring" companies and request a certain look, but that was the exception than the norm - basically to make their films more "bright" by adding more saturation to ALL shots, or more "moody" by lower the exposure to ALL shots, etc.

1 hour ago, rawshooter said:

The F900 is a deliberately crappy example. Back then in the 1990s, George Lucas prematurely jumped to digital image acquisition. The image produced by the F900 was below cinema film standards; I remember how the bad image quality of Star Wars Episode 2 and 3 was even discussed by fans back in the 1990s. (Aside from the fact that most of the images in those two films were CGI, and the cameras were only used to film the actors in front of green screens.)

Yes, but it was about resolution and not about pushing and pulling images.  However, the issue of resolution has been solved.  But now people complain about bit depth so people can "recover" the images and "color" it a certain way, but from 15 years ago to the beginning of cinema, it was never about doing this ("recovering" or "coloring").  This new definition kinda irks  me a bit.  While I'm grateful for the ability to grade and not send the footage to another company to grade, but we are way beyond what was considered a "cinema camera" from 10-15 years ago.  If we want to consider a camera "cinema", the true definition would be that the camera shot FILM.

Invent a time a time machine, and give a master director from the 2000's, 90's, 80' and earlier; a 8 bit camera from today, and they would more than happy to film their movies on it.  Their minds would be blownnnnnn..

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12 hours ago, Hayk said:

1. External monitor for recording with the highest frame rate & please  add your suggested settings for external video shooting.
2. SSD or SD for your mentioned external monitor. 

Don't bother with an external recorder with the Sony mirrorless cameras, as they're only doing 8bit external anyway!

They're more useful (but not essential) with Nikon / Fuji / Panasonic / etc mirrorless instead. 

 

12 hours ago, Hayk said:

5. Power supply (V mount/Gold Mount/or)
6. V mount/Gold Mount/or Lock plate


Ditto, don't really bother with external batteries unless:

You want to use it mostly as a counterweight for your shoulder rig, or you're needing to power lots of accessories as well at the same time. 

 

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9 hours ago, eleison said:

 

Remember when people shot film?  Nobody did any coloring EXCEPT for big name directors who sent their film to "coloring" companies to basically make sure every shot match with every other shot for a certain scene.  That was about it.  Nothing more.  

Arguably, film still has better color than ANY digital camera at any bit depth. So using that argument to justify 8bit camera is rather weird. But of course, you're free to shoot on 8bit camera, especially IF you like its sooc image :).

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13 hours ago, eleison said:

  Star wars attack of the clones was shot digitally on a  Sony's HDW F900.  I wonder how many bits that camera shot in.  I don't think it was 10bit. 

 

The phrase "cinema camera" is a marketing term.  Give someone with talent, and they can shot with just about any camera - even the a7iii which I think is light years ahead of the F900.  

F900 recorded internally to HDCAM tapes which was a 144mbps 8-bit codec. However the cam could also record 12-bit uncompressed via external hard disk as 2002’s Russian Ark was shot.

In 2003, Sony introduced HDCAM SR media that could record 10-bit 444 with data rates up to 600mbps.

So actually the 21 year old F900 was light years ahead of the A7iii as far as recording options!

Of course that doesn’t take away the great IQ from A7iii but codec wise I believe it is in last position compared to its FF mirrorless competitors.

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18 hours ago, Zeng said:

Arguably, film still has better color than ANY digital camera at any bit depth. So using that argument to justify 8bit camera is rather weird. But of course, you're free to shoot on 8bit camera, especially IF you like its sooc image :).

Nope.

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On 1/1/2020 at 9:43 PM, eleison said:

But that's the rub... so much color space, but the only use for most hollywood directors just a few years ago was to make the shots match during a scene.  That was it.  If the directors from the past wanted to "push and pull" their images, they would need to import their film into a digital format and use a modern coloring software (which they didn't have) to "color it" - in other words, they really didn't do any coloring.  Yes, there were directors that sent their films to "coloring" companies and request a certain look, but that was the exception than the norm - basically to make their films more "bright" by adding more saturation to ALL shots, or more "moody" by lower the exposure to ALL shots, etc.

Yes, but it was about resolution and not about pushing and pulling images.  However, the issue of resolution has been solved.  But now people complain about bit depth so people can "recover" the images and "color" it a certain way, but from 15 years ago to the beginning of cinema, it was never about doing this ("recovering" or "coloring").  This new definition kinda irks  me a bit.  While I'm grateful for the ability to grade and not send the footage to another company to grade, but we are way beyond what was considered a "cinema camera" from 10-15 years ago.  If we want to consider a camera "cinema", the true definition would be that the camera shot FILM.

Invent a time a time machine, and give a master director from the 2000's, 90's, 80' and earlier; a 8 bit camera from today, and they would more than happy to film their movies on it.  Their minds would be blownnnnnn..

People complain about bit depth because it's more then lacking in non cine cameras.  You can't praise film and old school cinema and then ask us to forgive today's poor color options. 

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13 hours ago, Thomas Hill said:

Speaking as a  former a7iii user, I can echo what others have said. You don't gain anything from recording externally with the a7iii. 

Really, the only thing that the a7iii has over other cameras is video AF.

It's a great camera but you're not going to gain much from rigging it up.

Yeah just stick a cage and atomos shinobi on top. Keep the rig nice and small.

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10 hours ago, Mako Sports said:

Yeah just stick a cage and atomos shinobi on top. Keep the rig nice and small.

Doesn't one lose certain autofocus features doing this? (Like face detect or something like that???)

44 minutes ago, Geoff CB said:

It makes a huge difference if your shooting S-log.

Can you elaborate? The only tests I have seen online didn't seem to show much of a difference at all...

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On 1/3/2020 at 12:04 PM, Thomas Hill said:

Speaking as a  former a7iii user, I can echo what others have said. You don't gain anything from recording externally with the a7iii. 

Really, the only thing that the a7iii has over other cameras is video AF.

It's a great camera but you're not going to gain much from rigging it up.

The A7III color is still off compared to Canon or Nikon.  Panasonic has improved it's color but Sony not so much.  I've color corrected a lot of Sony footage and it gets old having to save footage that was shot on a Sony.

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24 minutes ago, Super8 said:

The A7III color is still off compared to Canon or Nikon.  Panasonic has improved it's color but Sony not so much.  I've color corrected a lot of Sony footage and it gets old having to save footage that was shot on a Sony.

While I prefer Nikon colors personally, I don't think it is acculturate to say that Sony color is "off." 

As per Gerald Undone, the a7 III is HIGHLY accurate when it comes to colors.

https://youtu.be/CphwVNgX32s?t=720

The Panasonic S1 needs a third-party corrective LUT to bring the colors in line.

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10 minutes ago, SRV1981 said:

I’m confused on Sony color bashing. In one sense I see tons of yoda looking folks ok YouTube then I see this and want to buy one:

 

Kraig Adams in Switzerland

I (and many others) think Sony's color has improved considerably. I've done color work on a couple films shot with the A7 and A7s2, and those were the worst colors I've dealt with, especially SLog2. From what I've seen on the web, the A73 is a significant improvement. I don't think there's anything wrong with modern Sony color anymore.

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2 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

While I prefer Nikon colors personally, I don't think it is acculturate to say that Sony color is "off." 

As per Gerald Undone, the a7 III is HIGHLY accurate when it comes to colors.

https://youtu.be/CphwVNgX32s?t=720

The Panasonic S1 needs a third-party corrective LUT to bring the colors in line.

If you color grade (correct) footage from Sony A7III, BP4K, Canon on the same timeline you'll see how far off Sony color is.

The sample video at 15:55 in Geralds video tells the story more then all the scopes that he try's to defend the A7III with. 

Color is not subjective no matter what he says.

Gerald also shows outdoor video with purple cast sky from the A7III and claims that's accurate.  All color works together and many more layers of issues that mirror-less cameras have to work with to get accurate color.  Canon captures color better then Sony and that's a fact.

It's not just skin tone but it's all color and color balance, how those colors work together. 

2 hours ago, SRV1981 said:

I’m confused on Sony color bashing. In one sense I see tons of yoda looking folks ok YouTube then I see this and want to buy one:

 

Kraig Adams in Switzerland

The drone footage has mor eDR and better color then the A7III in that video. Lol

2 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

While I prefer Nikon colors personally, I don't think it is acculturate to say that Sony color is "off." 

As per Gerald Undone, the a7 III is HIGHLY accurate when it comes to colors.

https://youtu.be/CphwVNgX32s?t=720

The Panasonic S1 needs a third-party corrective LUT to bring the colors in line.

Not sure how you can like Nikon colors better and then say "per Gerald" that A7III colors are highly accurate.   His test fail when he shows actual footage.

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