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Sony A7S III


Andrew Reid
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45 minutes ago, cpc said:

This is too optimistic, I think. The A7s needed overexposure in s-log, it was barely usable at nominal ISO (and I am being generous with my wording here). With the lower base ISO in s-log3 of the A7s III (640 vs 1600 on the A7s), Sony now basically make this overexposure implicit.

Ok I get what you're saying and I won't disagree.  Yes I'm talking about shooting way below Sony's prior requirements/workaround for shooting log at crazy high ISO with an earlier a7s. But hopefully with this latest gen sensor they've come good with the lower ISO and me and my ND will be good. There's nothing about s-log3's curve that requires shooting high ISO, it was more about the compromise of jamming that functionality into a consumer camera.

Two other things: although the sensor characteristic is a constant, shooting in ProRes RAW makes s-log3 encoding a moot point. I'm not sure what bearing shooting raw will have on ISO settings though. Also in my mind the Alexa-sized pixel pitch of the low density a7s sensor works not only in favour of low light gathering, but also great highlight gathering and I love that. 

I'm still very interested in this camera despite my concerns. It just seems that the Alexa is still the highlight king because of its dual gain architecture and so I would want the whole DR of the a7sIII shifted to where I want it to go.

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2 hours ago, Daai said:

not a7s3 question. But on a7iii would you get more DR on slog3 compare to slog2? i know 8 bit etc. but to get most dynamic range which profile?

I'm willing to bet the A7IV (and any new A7 from here out), is going to finally have 4:2:2 10bit.  So starting with the A7SIII and forward, S-Log3 should be usable.  Keep in mind if you publish to YouTube or somewhere similar, you can still get banding because YouTube and others are 4:2:0 8bit and have high compression.  You would need to start using Vimeo or similar solution to keep from having the end consumption showing banding.

Case in point, almost every A7SIII outdoor example footage, if you look at the sky, you can see really bad banding.  This isn't from the A7SIII, it is from YouTube and it's 4:2:0 8bit.

So, you may have high DR AND 4:2:2 10bit colors and S-Log3 let you squeeze as much DR out of your A7SIII, A7IV, etc as possible, but in the end if it is consumed on 4:2:0 8bit with high compression streamed to a smart phone, it can negate much of your hard work.

If you don't mind banding in your A7III 4:2:0 8bit, S-Log3 can help a little, but again, don't forget about where it is going to be consumed.

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2 hours ago, Llaasseerr said:

Ok I get what you're saying and I won't disagree.  Yes I'm talking about shooting way below Sony's prior requirements/workaround for shooting log at crazy high ISO with an earlier a7s. But hopefully with this latest gen sensor they've come good with the lower ISO and me and my ND will be good. There's nothing about s-log3's curve that requires shooting high ISO, it was more about the compromise of jamming that functionality into a consumer camera.

Two other things: although the sensor characteristic is a constant, shooting in ProRes RAW makes s-log3 encoding a moot point. I'm not sure what bearing shooting raw will have on ISO settings though. Also in my mind the Alexa-sized pixel pitch of the low density a7s sensor works not only in favour of low light gathering, but also great highlight gathering and I love that. 

I'm still very interested in this camera despite my concerns. It just seems that the Alexa is still the highlight king because of its dual gain architecture and so I would want the whole DR of the a7sIII shifted to where I want it to go.

I agree, I will be playing around with that very thing as well.  Base ISO for S-Log3 in the A7SIII is now only 640 and you can take it down as low as 160.  And knowing that the A7SIII's strong point is low light and less noise in the shadows versus highlight protection like the Alexa is good at.  I'm curious to try going really low in ISO with the A7SIII. 

That being said though, it also appears to have dual gain architecture.  I am REALLY hoping that this is not just a pre-release thing, that will disappear in the final production models.  I say that because, why the heck wouldn't Sony put dual gain architecture right towards the top of the feature set and even say it doesn't have dual gain?  Clearly in the pre-release video tests, there is a significant improvement at 16,000.  It is unmistakable that at 16,000 noise is decreased greatly.  If this is the case, I am interested to try S-Log3 exposure a couple ways and see what results are better under different conditions.  Will try exposing all the way down on ISO, as well as giving 16,000 ISO a shot.  

Just guessing until it's in my hands.  I've already warned my family, they won't see me for a week or so sometime around Sept 24, lol.

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QUESTION TO DO WITH A7SIII TESTING

If there is any interest, I am more than willing to establish a set of test parameters for when my A7SIII comes in.  This could also include the external RAW option (as long as Atomos releases the firmware update on time).

I could even do some private TEAMS, WebEx, YouTube live streams and do some live tests, as well as having live test parameters being given to perform live.  Then make the footage available for download either via Google Drive or Vimeo.

Like this comment or reply to it, if you are interested.  If there is enough interest, I will set up a new thread to start collecting the test parameters and conditions.  And start planning the live sessions.

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3 hours ago, kye said:

Brandon Li with a short film shot on A7s3, plus his impressions and some zoomed in examples of noise, IQ, and AF tracking etc.  Quite a useful video it seems:

 

Interesting that he chose to not shoot that in S-Log3 and instead used Standard Creative Style with the following adjustments: 

  • Highlights -9
  • Shadows +9
  • Sharpness -7
  • DRO AUTO

He then used Neat Video Noise Reduction with Luma Mask set on the shadows.

I think Brandon is most comfy with standard creative profile from using his other A7 camera's that are 8bit.  I wonder if the noise could have been less if shot in S-Log3 with a different exposure and/or external RAW?

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24 minutes ago, Hangs4Fun said:

That being said though, it also appears to have dual gain architecture.  I am REALLY hoping that this is not just a pre-release thing, that will disappear in the final production models.  I say that because, why the heck wouldn't Sony put dual gain architecture right towards the top of the feature set and even say it doesn't have dual gain?  Clearly in the pre-release video tests, there is a significant improvement at 16,000.  It is unmistakable that at 16,000 noise is decreased greatly.  If this is the case, I am interested to try S-Log3 exposure a couple ways and see what results are better under different conditions.  Will try exposing all the way down on ISO, as well as giving 16,000 ISO a shot.  

Just guessing until it's in my hands.  I've already warned my family, they won't see me for a week or so sometime around Sept 24, lol.

The consumer mirrorless cameras are employing dual ISO, which while nice is not the same as the dual gain architecture in an Alexa. 

https://www.arri.com/en/learn-help/technology/alev-sensors

But it is worth noting again that the Alexa and the a7s share similarly sized large photosites. 

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3 hours ago, Daai said:

not a7s3 question. But on a7iii would you get more DR on slog3 compare to slog2? i know 8 bit etc. but to get most dynamic range which profile?

Daai, I'm not sure if this will help you on your A7III, but its worth a shot.  Watching the Brandon Li short film shot on the A7SIII he described what he did to get more dynamic range.  I would think it is worth a shot to try on your A7III.  He just uses the Standard Creative Style with the following adjustments: 

  • Highlights -9
  • Shadows +9
  • Sharpness -7
  • DRO AUTO

Brandon is used to shooting on A7III, A7RIII, etc and since those are 8bit and S-Log3 is unusable, he learned to get more dynamic range with other techniques.  He applied those to the A7SIII (which is good for you, but ultimately, I also think because of that, he didn't squeeze all of the DR out of the A7SIII that he could have)

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24 minutes ago, Hangs4Fun said:

QUESTION TO DO WITH A7SIII TESTING

If there is any interest, I am more than willing to establish a set of test parameters for when my A7SIII comes in.  This could also include the external RAW option (as long as Atomos releases the firmware update on time).

I could even do some private TEAMS, WebEx, YouTube live streams and do some live tests, as well as having live test parameters being given to perform live.  Then make the footage available for download either via Google Drive or Vimeo.

Like this comment or reply to it, if you are interested.  If there is enough interest, I will set up a new thread to start collecting the test parameters and conditions.  And start planning the live sessions.

I would definitely be interested in some ProRes RAW HQ and internal s-log3/s-gamut3 captured together, I guess shot at base ISO 640 at the highest quality internal codec.

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4 minutes ago, Llaasseerr said:

The consumer mirrorless cameras are employing dual ISO, which while nice is not the same as the dual gain architecture in an Alexa. 

https://www.arri.com/en/learn-help/technology/alev-sensors

But it is worth noting again that the Alexa and the a7s share similarly sized large photosites. 

Totally agree, I didn't think that I said that.  My point was that at 16,000 ISO there is a clear and significant drop in noise, but I didn't imply it was anything like an Alexa.  I interchange ISO and Gain all the time as I go back and forth (also Aperture and Iris, and even f stop and t stop, lol).  It's a bad habbit, because I try to be accurate in what I say.

Definitely worth looking into, no doubt, that at 16,000 ISO on the A7SIII something magical happens.  Not sure why Sony didn't shout that one out as one of the top new features. 

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3 minutes ago, Llaasseerr said:

I would definitely be interested in some ProRes RAW HQ and internal s-log3/s-gamut3 captured together, I guess shot at base ISO 640 at the highest quality internal codec.

Shot under what type of conditions?  I can do waterfalls/cliffs/outdoors, sunset/sunrise, night time, dawn/dusk, etc.   Then what subject would be best in this conditions, like human, animal, nature, automobiles, etc?  Even doing more clinical shots in studio under perfect lighting conditions can help understand capabilities.   Then are thinking 24p mostly?  If so, I can definitely do the highest quality internal (I only have V90 cards, no CFexpress Type A), and RAW also no prob at the highest quality (as long as Atomos has the new firmware out).

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Well it may sound boring, but some regular 24p with a grey card and some shots with a bright source that clips the sensor but also enough shadow detail to check that out too. A night time scene with bright lights can be nice. A car in sunlight is good, I check the specular pings and the sun and then hopefully there's enough shadow detail in the wheel well. I mean that's what I would initially do, totally understand  if you're not interested. I'd also like to shoot with an ND, probably -1 and -2 stops and check how it holds together when you push it in post. I say just go for whatever you want though, I'll hopefully see it and download it.

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5 hours ago, Hangs4Fun said:

I'm willing to bet the A7IV (and any new A7 from here out), is going to finally have 4:2:2 10bit.  So starting with the A7SIII and forward, S-Log3 should be usable.  Keep in mind if you publish to YouTube or somewhere similar, you can still get banding because YouTube and others are 4:2:0 8bit and have high compression.  You would need to start using Vimeo or similar solution to keep from having the end consumption showing banding.

Case in point, almost every A7SIII outdoor example footage, if you look at the sky, you can see really bad banding.  This isn't from the A7SIII, it is from YouTube and it's 4:2:0 8bit.

So, you may have high DR AND 4:2:2 10bit colors and S-Log3 let you squeeze as much DR out of your A7SIII, A7IV, etc as possible, but in the end if it is consumed on 4:2:0 8bit with high compression streamed to a smart phone, it can negate much of your hard work.

If you don't mind banding in your A7III 4:2:0 8bit, S-Log3 can help a little, but again, don't forget about where it is going to be consumed.

so slog3 more DR than slog2 ? and wish we could turn off the internal NR of a7s3

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17 minutes ago, Daai said:

just you also get banding with slog2. and youtube is 8 bit so banding anyway?

You loose color information in log images in 8-bit codecs. The more DR here you are trying to accomplish the worse it will look. S log2 is really the limit for 8-bit and even then sometimes that's pushing it.

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12 minutes ago, Geoff CB said:

You loose color information in log images in 8-bit codecs. The more DR here you are trying to accomplish the worse it will look. S log2 is really the limit for 8-bit and even then sometimes that's pushing it.

thanks for the explanation 🙂

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4 hours ago, Llaasseerr said:

Well it may sound boring, but some regular 24p with a grey card and some shots with a bright source that clips the sensor but also enough shadow detail to check that out too. A night time scene with bright lights can be nice. A car in sunlight is good, I check the specular pings and the sun and then hopefully there's enough shadow detail in the wheel well. I mean that's what I would initially do, totally understand  if you're not interested. I'd also like to shoot with an ND, probably -1 and -2 stops and check how it holds together when you push it in post. I say just go for whatever you want though, I'll hopefully see it and download it.

I'm keeping a log of any shot requests and have added this.  I will lay out all the tests and parameters in advance for any final requests and/or tweaks.  

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7 hours ago, Hangs4Fun said:

Interesting that he chose to not shoot that in S-Log3 and instead used Standard Creative Style with the following adjustments: 

  • Highlights -9
  • Shadows +9
  • Sharpness -7
  • DRO AUTO

He then used Neat Video Noise Reduction with Luma Mask set on the shadows.

I think Brandon is most comfy with standard creative profile from using his other A7 camera's that are 8bit.  I wonder if the noise could have been less if shot in S-Log3 with a different exposure and/or external RAW?

How on earth did he adjust those Standard settings? All I see on my A7III is Contrast, Saturation and Sharpness and all can only be adjusted +or- 3. Is a new setting on the A7SIII????

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2 minutes ago, Dave Del Real said:

How on earth did he adjust those Standard settings? All I see on my A7III is Contrast, Saturation and Sharpness and all can only be adjusted +or- 3. Is a new setting on the A7SIII????

You are correct on Standard only having Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpness.  I'm not aware of Highlights and Shadows being in a picture profile setting.  So my first instinct was that it was one of the settings options in DRO, which would make sense due to the name Dynamic Range Optimizer.  But I didn't see Highlights or Shadows there either.  Makes me think these are some new parameters and levels for the A7SIII.

I have passed along this question to PRO Support and will let you know what they say.

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23 minutes ago, Hangs4Fun said:

You are correct on Standard only having Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpness.  I'm not aware of Highlights and Shadows being in a picture profile setting.  So my first instinct was that it was one of the settings options in DRO, which would make sense due to the name Dynamic Range Optimizer.  But I didn't see Highlights or Shadows there either.  Makes me think these are some new parameters and levels for the A7SIII.

I have passed along this question to PRO Support and will let you know what they say.

Yes, please. Thank you.

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