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Sony A7S footage topic

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Unfortunately as of right now it seems the global shutter circuitry just compromises the sensor's performance too much. I think a compromise-free global shutter is at least five years out.

Yes global shutter hardware impairs the sensor's ability to collect light. We see this on the Blackmagic 4K camera where it tops at 400 ISO. I would gladly take rolling shutter for higher ISOs than 400.

I can imagine when the low-light performance gets to ridiculous levels we will be able to have global shutters and still good enough ISO performance. 

Maybe another route in the future would be having extremely fast read-out speeds which 'nearly' eliminates rolling shutter, 

Camera manufactures will have to find new trends to still be able to sell cameras anyway so I am sure eliminating rolling shutter will be a future trend. Soon.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

New "test footage" shot in a hot and dry environment...

 

 

Here's my grade of the Arizona Falls footage (thanks to W. Ashley Maddox).  Tried to make it saturated to see how the color holds up.

 

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A7S is stills.... don't think they would have the 'S' in the name if it had global shutter.  :P

 

So... until A7g is out, then.  ;)

 

 

It's just an engineering challenge I believe. There would actually be significant stills advantages too- faster flash sync, silent shooting all the time, and I'm sure camera makers would love to forego the expense of a mechanical shutter mechanism.

 

Yup, that seems to be the obvious route along which digital cameras are evolving. First to go is the flipping mirror, which has sort of happened already. Next to go, the mechanical shutter. But before that can happen, there needs to be a reliable global shutter that is not too big a compromise. Then, when that happens, or maybe even before, the global shutter will be standard in most larger sensor video cameras, too. Maybe five years is indeed what it takes.

 

Meanwhile, too bad other companies haven't tried the D16 route with today's tools. That is, taking a CCD sensor and trying to work with that.

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Here's my grade of the Arizona Falls footage (thanks to W. Ashley Maddox).  Tried to make it saturated to see how the color holds up.

 

while the pastel colours would not really represent my favoured look  :-) , you (and the cam) did both a great job in my eyes.

Allthough not just on a level like a canikon still shot, it's more than acceptable from a dedicated lowlight body. thy for sharing

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There is something I have seen for a long time, since the Technicolor Cinestyle Canon DSLR footage on Vimeo, and now this same thing shows up in Sony S-Log2 footage.

 

When people do the grading in computer, most of times the highlights are not preserved, also the shadows goes too much deep... It seems to be very difficult to grade the flat image, to recover the correct gamma and contrast, and keep the shadows and highlights without crush/clip.

 

If you take a look at these links and compare before/after grading you will perceive that the highlights could be more preserved in the graded images. So, why shoot Cinestyle in Canon or S-Log in Sony if you cannot do a perfect grading in post to preserve all dynamic range? Is this a matter of grading skill? Or it is just impossible to preserve all the dynamic range in highlights and shadows after grading? See:

 

http://www.hingsberg.com/index.php/2013/03/f55-slog2-s-gamut-mode-test/

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while the pastel colours would not really represent my favoured look  :-) , you (and the cam) did both a great job in my eyes.

Allthough not just on a level like a canikon still shot, it's more than acceptable from a dedicated lowlight body. thy for sharing

 

Yeah, it was really hard to keep the colors from posterizing.  Maybe there's a trick to keeping stuff natural looking when re-saturating 8-bit log footage...

 

Of course, the easy way out is to keep the log look to the footage, maybe tinting it overall warm or teal, but I think that trend is getting a little stale. And it works best for bleak subject matter...I think most brides would shoot their wedding videographer if they received an ultraflat grade as the final product.

 

So the sweet spot with the A7s is probably a mixture of picture styles and S-Log, depending on subject matter.

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There's a lot of tech that falls by the way-side with mass production, it's sad.

 

I like Sigma's DP Merril series Foveon stacked RBG sensor and leaf shutter compacts, they have detail and look that's unique, very medium format.

 

But ever their new sensor is a compromise... it seems Bayer is here to stay...

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There's a lot of tech that falls by the way-side with mass production, it's sad.

 

I like Sigma's DP Merril series Foveon stacked RBG sensor and leaf shutter compacts, they have detail and look that's unique, very medium format.

 

But ever their new sensor is a compromise... it seems Bayer is here to stay...

 

Yes, unfortunately. I love the Foveon look, too. As well as leaf shutters. Even if it means sticking to low ISOs and slower maximum shutter speeds.

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I think that is from the A7, not the A7s. The A7 does some sort of line skipping /pixel binning on the sensor, so it will probably have less rolling shutter than the A7s.

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Yeah, it was really hard to keep the colors from posterizing.  Maybe there's a trick to keeping stuff natural looking when re-saturating 8-bit log footage...

 

Of course, the easy way out is to keep the log look to the footage, maybe tinting it overall warm or teal, but I think that trend is getting a little stale. And it works best for bleak subject matter...I think most brides would shoot their wedding videographer if they received an ultraflat grade as the final product.

 

So the sweet spot with the A7s is probably a mixture of picture styles and S-Log, depending on subject matter.

I'm NOT an expert in grading movies, but if I had to fight this is photoshop, I would just try to add another complete desaturated black/white level (via 'calculations'), quite subtle around 15-25 % ... and mainly in the shadows.

But your 5D in raw rocks more...

 

Probably you are absolutely right by involving picture styles - often I'm wondering what's the reason to shot everything ultraflat. Even with 14 bit raw stills, it proves to be really difficult in photoshop to create a acceptable, natural look other than the actual light situation during the shoot. I found it's much easier to wait until conditions are better... :-) or at least as you said trying to optimize the shot as much as possible in cam, especially with 8 bit footage.

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Yeah, the DR looks not so awesome in that one as well.  Blown highlights.  Probably a7 or a7r.

Ah yeah it seems I posted non A7s by mistake, apologies!

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If you're "run and gunning" you won't really be swapping lenses anyway. So just buy one 10-stop ND filter and maybe add a vari ND.

 

I don't know how bad the rolling shutter is compared to the 5D, but I've seen films with a lot of action, such as The Raid, where you can see things bending whenever the camera moved fast. However, the rolling shutter didn't really harm the fast paced movements at all.

Yes you can switch lenses if you have an assistant(PA budget is the best spent money on set) and yes there are times when you can take advantage of the RS, but mostly it's a very annoying workaround. Funny how most of the responses on here have been how to technically avoid RS, but none have offered an answer to shooting with it. 

 

The dynamic range with SLog will totally blow the crap out of GH4, as well as low light performance, probably 4 stop advantage in video mode. 

 

I would like to see 5D III raw vs A7s Slog

 

Even Alexa has rolling shutter. 

 

I get it. Some folks really need DR(although most are just shooting crap for vimeo). DR isn't king though. To me the images out of 99% of the footage that I've seen from the a7s are pretty flat, lack color depth and don't really excite me. The one small clip that I've seen of the 10 bit footage from the GH4 blows away even the the Den Lennie footage in 4k that is graded. Call me crazy, but again I've seen enough. To me the with a 10 bit(doesn't have to be 4k)recorder the gh4 is a poor mans RED. The a7s footage looks just like a beefed up 5d with more DR(even on Den's footage).

 

I have a 5D fully hacked RAW and while it's good it's DR isn't as good as you think(the 14bit footage is amazing to grade though).  You have to consider the fact that you're using a hacked camera, which has totally overheated on me shooting only 35mins of RAW at a concert. The bottom line is that it is still a hacked camera and really not one that should be used on hired gig.  Have you even used a 5D hacked? You can't review footage in real time, it doesn't always record the clip(95%rate, but still not good enough), and it's fucking nightmare in post to work with. I've run ML many times on shoots, but due to the fickle nature of RAW, I end up shooting h.264 most of the time to be safe. 

 

So yeah. I'm gladly switching to a GH4 that has an unlimited record time, 10 bit output and I really like the subtle softness of the m 4/3 look. Biased? Maybe, but consider that I was a dedicated Canon shooter(C100 and mkIII) until a few months ago... Full frame and DR aren't the end all be all.  

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I guess I should mention that I don't like the Sony image at all. I had a sony PD-150 and I've hated the Sony image since. The Z1-U sucked and I have owned a Panny HVX-2000 since day one, so I'm probably not the most unbiased person on here.

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This is a comment from alex (a C300 and GH4 user),comment from www.fstopacademy.com,7S hand on shooting review:

Alex said:

 

For anyone who’s concerned about grading the 8bit of this camera vs 10bit of the GH4… I think it’s going to be a non-issue!

Testing yesterday, with the GH4 recording 10bit to a Ninja Blade, I found I could push the 8 bit internally recorded image from my C300 (50 Mbit) WAAAAAY further before either fell apart!

 

Specifically I was trying to see if I could underexpose to protect highlights in high contrast documentary interview situations. With the C300 I could push the midtones up by 25% (probably even more with a de-noiser) before I would start to feel uncomfortable about using them. The GH4, however… I couldn’t move push the midtones more than about 5% before it looked too ugly.

 

I fiddled with the NR settings, shadows, highlights, contrast, Cine D Profile, Natural Profile, but nothing made me smile and go… “Yeah! I like that.â€

 

As he said, GH4 with IPB code perform badly in color,and I don't know whether the 10 bit will help,but it may not be worthy because it requires a external recorder to do so.

 

 

In a A7S review from  Newsshooter.com,W. Ashley Maddox said:

it(A7S) had a natural grain look to it vs. the muddy blacks that I am seeing in the GH4. Compared to the FS700’s AVCHD, the XAVC codec is way easier to grade.

 

 

so,both camera in the same 8 bit color but xavc does performs  better than the IPB(the same code as AVCHD ) code on the GH4!

What a shame that GH4 is not using a better code instead of IPB!

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From all the footage I've been playing with I've found the same thing. C100 AVCHD is far more pliable in post than the GH4 4K, which shouldn't make sense, but just goes to show numbers aren't everything.

 

Not sure what it is they're doing but I'm not a fan of the baked-in contrast either. 10-bit external recorder colour is better, but still I don't really feel the GH4 image that much, just not to my tastes. Of course you can make something amazing with it, but it's a personal thing, what gives you a vibe as it were.

 

I much prefer the A7s 4K too, though it is of course much more expensive to do.

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