Jump to content

A7SIII - My First Impressions


Recommended Posts

I also took ownership of the A7SIII last week. A few minor inconveniences but for the most part a solid camera. Here's a few things I have found on the negative side of things:

  1. No Clear Image Zoom in 120p, all other frame rates it works.
  2. No animal eye detect in video mode, only in stills. Human eye detect does work in video and stills mode.
  3. In video mode, tracking only works by using touch on the display to activate. No way to assign a button to start tracking when using the viewfinder. Strange and frustrating if you plan to use the EVF instead of the display.

Another note, at least on my 3-year old iMac, 4k 422 10-bit is hard to edit @ 120p in either XAVC S or XAVC HS while 420 10-bit edits fine with both of those codecs using DaVinci Resolve. I ran some tests using 422 10-bit and 420 10-bit and cannot tell them apart, even when applying heavy, excessive grading. I could use All-I but will probably stick with XAVC HS 420 10-bit for what I do.

The EVF is really amazing.

I am waiting for a CF Express type A card to test 240fps HD and high-end All-I 120fps 4k using S&Q.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My friend has an A7s3. Played with it a little bit yesterday. 

First impressions:

- the viewfinder's FOV is huge. Almost like rea life with added information on screen. Amazing.  Much bigger than that of my s1's. 

- build quality feels solid, but boring. Soulless as Sony is often being accused for.  The S1(H) and even the S5 feel much more pleasant to hold and use. The way the buttons feel. The placement. Etc. 

Same goes for the menu system. It looks like a DOS text game from the eighties. 

Footage i cannot comment on. But having the option to shoot full frame 60 fps 422 is very nice.  I am a bit jealous of that since my Panny's can only do that with a crop. 

From the other hand, that s35 mode with no quality loss also comes in handy sometimes. And i would miss that option on the a7s3 as it can only do that in 1080p.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/26/2020 at 6:06 PM, Oliver Daniel said:

 

4. AF tracking is great. Feels like cheating. I’m not sure how I feel about it as part of the craft though. Feels less rewarding, if that makes sense? Lovely on a gimbal though. 

 

Hit that nail for sure. I felt that way with Touch AF since the 70D. 

I don’t know.... there is something to be said about those eureka moments that comes with setting it up (WB, ISO, Shutter, Aperture and yes manual focus, flags, reflectors and lights) - framing and composing - getting that perfect B-roll... sometimes takes patience and luck. But, when you do get it right... it’s like you did that.... not the camera... the camera just captured what you did.

 

If you leave it up to the camera.... feels like you don’t care anymore. Just my thoughts, but I understand for those that want AF like wedding guys. In my opinion.... charge enough for the gig to have multiple cameras (and operators) and angles... and if all fails then fake it. Missed the shot where the groom kisses the bride? Take them out later and ask them to do a mock kiss the bride, in the garden, under the twilight sun or something ... stitch it all together in post... 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Got mine Saturday. Agree about the EVF, its incredible. The larger grip compared to the a7III is really nice, still wish it was about 2cm taller so my pinky doesn't wrap under and a 1cm or so further away from the lens mount - its pretty tight with fat lenses. Touch tracking is amazing, it sticks to everything. 4k120p in something this small also nuts. And you can use v90 SD cards for just about everything, as opposed to something like the R5 which needs the CFexpress cards. Haven't tinkered with raw/Ninja yet either. There's so much to this camera. So far no regrets.

Cheers

Chris

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Stab said:

Footage i cannot comment on. But having the option to shoot full frame 60 fps 422 is very nice.  I am a bit jealous of that since my Panny's can only do that with a crop. 

From the other hand, that s35 mode with no quality loss also comes in handy sometimes. And i would miss that option on the a7s3 as it can only do that in 1080p.

 

Haven't tested it yet, but Clear Image Zoom does a 1.5x crop in 4k and a 2x crop in HD. On the a7III there's no IQ loss.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Trek of Joy said:

Haven't tested it yet, but Clear Image Zoom does a 1.5x crop in 4k and a 2x crop in HD. On the a7III there's no IQ loss.

The a7III has enough resolution for 4K in APSC crop though. The big question is how well will it work on the a7s where there isn’t enough and it’s resampling slightly? I have yet to see a good test of this for the viability of S35 glass. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, jessedacri said:

The a7III has enough resolution for 4K in APSC crop though. The big question is how well will it work on the a7s where there isn’t enough and it’s resampling slightly? I have yet to see a good test of this for the viability of S35 glass. 

Clear image zoom is not the aps-c crop, its a 1.5x digital zoom. I use it for quick punch-ins on the a73 all the time. Just haven't got around to trying it on the s3 yet.

Chris

Link to post
Share on other sites

More first impressions...


- The 4k100fps is excellent. To have this feature in 10bit, in 1.1x full frame, in a camera this small is fantastic. Makes the EVA1’s downsampled 2k100fps look like mush. 


- The extended ISO at 100 in SLOG3 certainly limits the DR, certainly in the highlights. I wouldn’t recommend it, only if you are desperate. 


- Active Stabilisation works a treat. Tried a “gimbal shot” and did a fair job with stabilisation. 

- Footage doesn’t look overly sharp with a ProMist 1/4. Recommended. As the image itself is really very clinical. 

- Colour is definitely better. Don’t care what the naysayers say. Don’t know how good we can get it yet. 

- But, the skin definitely has a tinge of yellow in SLOG3. Dialling it out is fairly easy. Bit annoying but not a huge issue. 

- The 4k 10bit files in XAVC-S aren’t playing back on my Mac too well. Will try again as FCPX may have needed a reboot. Maybe not. 

- XAVC-I seems the tiniest tiniest tiniest bit sharper. You can barely tell though. 

- The colours with Gamma Assist On looks like classic Sony zombie look on LCD. I wouldn’t use the standard Rec709 LUT ever on SLOG3 in post. 

- I definitely need to play with Ninja V. Screen is too small to really get into the image. 
 

This early experience is just me filming cats, trees, kids, babies... whatever I can see. I’ll be putting it in the deep end soon. 

I’m impressed so far but I think the Canon C70 reveal hurt it’s thunder. The crafty buggers released the camera that I once described as my perfect camera. Read my mind. I’m suing. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Glad you got one.

Have you compared the EVF to an S1, S1H, Z6, GFX camera, or similar yet?

Cheers. 

No I haven’t I’m afraid, I don’t know anyone with those cameras.

I can assure you this EVF is ridiculous. That’s something the C70 doesn’t have, although from what I can see the C70 has a better feel to the image.

Canon have given me a brain tumour caused by camera choice psychosis with its XLR’s and ND filters. Thank you Canon. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Trek of Joy said:

Got mine Saturday. Agree about the EVF, its incredible. The larger grip compared to the a7III is really nice, still wish it was about 2cm taller so my pinky doesn't wrap under and a 1cm or so further away from the lens mount - its pretty tight with fat lenses. Touch tracking is amazing, it sticks to everything. 4k120p in something this small also nuts. And you can use v90 SD cards for just about everything, as opposed to something like the R5 which needs the CFexpress cards. Haven't tinkered with raw/Ninja yet either. There's so much to this camera. So far no regrets.

Cheers

Chris

Do you have the XLR-KM3 thingy? Bloody expensive add-on. Also wondering if it looks daft on a mirrorless camera. I’m fine with Ninja V bigger, but not much more than that. Defeats the purpose. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Oliver Daniel said:

Do you have the XLR-KM3 thingy? Bloody expensive add-on. Also wondering if it looks daft on a mirrorless camera. I’m fine with Ninja V bigger, but not much more than that. Defeats the purpose. 

I don't but I'm strongly considering getting it to make life easier with audio. @Hangs4Fun has one and talks about it in the other thread. I use a Beachtek DXA Micro Pro and Sennheiser MKE600 shotgun right now, which is bigger and even more clunky and very limited in comparison. If the Sony were half the price I'd have one, but its pricey and proprietary which is something I try to avoid outside of native lenses. Think I'm gonna bite the bullet with this one and the little vlogger shotgun for quick nat sound needs. 

Chris

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Trek of Joy said:

I don't but I'm strongly considering getting it to make life easier with audio. @Hangs4Fun has one and talks about it in the other thread. I use a Beachtek DXA Micro Pro and Sennheiser MKE600 shotgun right now, which is bigger and even more clunky and very limited in comparison. If the Sony were half the price I'd have one, but its pricey and proprietary which is something I try to avoid outside of native lenses. Think I'm gonna bite the bullet with this one and the little vlogger shotgun for quick nat sound needs. 

Chris

Hey @Oliver Daniel, yes I have the XLR-K3M and have reported on it's functioning in some detail with the A7SIII.  Good news is that is really does give you 4 channels of digital audio at 24bits/48khz as digital straight into media file internal recording (as LPCM 24bit/48khz 4ch).  Bad news is, when using HDMI whether RAW or not, you are restricted to only 2 channels, though they do let you choose which pair of 2.  Kind of sucks considering the Ninja V can handle 12 channels of audio.  So maybe this will be fixed in a firmware release.

Other topic may be using it with a cage and a top handle (even with the 12" MI cable relocator).  My take on that is, when I will be shooting 4 channels of 24bit audio, I will not be off tripod or motion controller and therefore don't need the top handle and will just remove (probably come up with a lanyard to hang it close out of the way).  So really that is not an issue.  Possible issue even without the top handle on is if your cage is too much higher than the top of the MI shoe AND you want to use the 12" MI cable relocator (comes with the it).  That relocator cable, protrudes forward a good half inch plus a thick cable that leads forward.  This too is likely not a big deal, depending on how your cage works and adjustments available.  PLUS, if you just want to install the XLR-K3M directly into the MI, then there is no issue there either, as it doesn't protrude forward right close the shoe.

Hope that helps, I think that was most of the topics so far.

Photos are my lightweight setup for frequent repositioned locked in shots.  I don't have my cage yet, Kondor Blue should be shipping in mid October.  In this picture I have all 4 channels of audio used.  Channel 1 boomed (out of frame) via XLR to MKH-416, Channel 2 onboard XLR mic that came with it, Channel 3 and 4, is 2 sets of Rode Wirelss Go mic's lined up such that I can monitor them (for battery and signal strength).  Battery is FxLion NANO TWO which P Tap's to my Ninja V and USB-C PD charging my A7SIII (which also has USB-C PD charging and you can charge faster than it can use the Z100 battery finally).  Lens is 16-35GM with Tilta matte box.  I'm experimenting with a "poor mans" EVF, aka 5" Loupe attached to my Ninja V.

TEMP A7SIII Buildout with Loupe.jpg

TEMP A7SIII Buildout without Loupe.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...