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Andrew Reid

An astounding Sony A7S low light test by Philip Bloom

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This is entirely your fault fuzzy, see the forum chaos you have caused!

This was the most entertaining conversation I have read for ages. Well done to everyone! :)

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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


It's like HDR photography, sucks big time. But some ppl love it. :D


HDR photography can look very natural and doesn't have to suck. It's just that people over do the effect.

Sarcasm on forums almost never works. Best to not bother.

Looks like the A7s will be the camera that replaces my GH3. I don't need 409,???ISO but to shoot with a camera with great dynamic range for me is far far far more important than 4k internally.

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It's like sniper vision!  And it kinda looks like CNN coverage of the first Iraq war too. Anyone else feel like you were spying on the girl in the bathing suit?

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I love taking still photos at night. And as a video camera, this has everything I could want. If it had shutter angle control, less rolling shutter, sideways flipout screen and OIS, it would be a dream camera.

Not sure why everyone is hating on the colour. Looks fine to me!

Only thing is that it was kind of creepy to see all these teenagers making out and drinking in their assumed privacy!

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I wonder if the sensitivity of the sensor works against it in bright light, like a high iso film?? With iso settings lower of course. 

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Except you know what you are saying is wrong. 5ms worse rolling shutter than the 5D Mark II does not mean you "can't use it for anything"

 

The creative possibilities of this camera are being put before your very eyes in a very skilful way and all you can do is moan. It's sad!

 

The 5DM2 line skips so not sure a full-scan comparison to the A7s is relveant. The 5DM3 is faster still, yet its video is gooey soft like undercooked chocolate chip cookies.

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Okay, seriously, camera is nice. I want one.

As a travel shooter I forsee myself doing this the next time on assignment:

EM-1, GH4, and A7s. That'll cover all situations I usually find myself dealing with...and quite well.

In a few years I suspect that a camera model will have all the strengths in one body, but I'll willingly carry three to get the job done exceptionally.

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Though very impressive technically, I actually find the footage looks quite unpleasant in how unnatural it looks.  I can't put my finger on it but I guess I dislike the look in the same way I dislike the full spectrum uv modded camera images.

 

That's exactly what I thought. And I will *try* to put my finger on it, and it's true for every Sony A7 low light test I've seen (well, in fact this is only the third ;) ): It looks videoish.

 

The second one being 'In darkness' (the girl with the lantern on the beach), the first this one (A7R though):

 

To make one point clear: I'm all for video when compared to a forced 'filmlook' and 'cinematic cadence' and all that. So let me stress that this all boils down to personal taste.

 

But that's obviously not Blooms taste. 

 

I'd have loved to see the footage graded to show how our eyes see things.  I'd really like to see some nature work done with this camera.  It seems to look over digitised with manmade light, whereas a dusk woodland scene (exposed and graded to mimic how our eyes adjust to very low light) will probably be where this camera comes into its own.

 

Maybe, but I doubt so. 

 

By the way, if you liked to see the footage graded, that's what Bloom said how he treated the footage:

 

 

Graded for realism / Graded to maintain brightness / Graded to simulate ISO 800 asf.

Neat Video

Custom curves

Post sharpening

Film Convert

 

And what we look at are the remains of 4k downscaled?

 

And: I don't know what device Bloom uses to monitor his grading efforts, but more often than not I feel that the blacks are washed out. This also was the case with his 13 Stops Down The Canals Of Venice. Also sometimes there seems to be too much noise in the image to be ISO noise. Can it be that this is Film Converts film grain at work, not surviving Vimeo compression unblessed?

 

I know, I seem to be party pooper again, but I don't want to be. 

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That's exactly what I thought. And I will *try* to put my finger on it, and it's true for every Sony A7 low light test I've seen (well, in fact this is only the third ;) ): It looks videoish.

 

The second one being 'In darkness' (the girl with the lantern on the beach), the first this one (A7R though):

 

To make one point clear: I'm all for video when compared to a forced 'filmlook' and 'cinematic cadence' and all that. So let me stress that this all boils down to personal taste.

 

But that's obviously not Blooms taste. 

 

 

Maybe, but I doubt so. 

 

By the way, if you liked to see the footage graded, that's what Bloom said how he treated the footage:

 

 

And what we look at are the remains of 4k downscaled?

 

And: I don't know what device Bloom uses to monitor his grading efforts, but more often than not I feel that the blacks are washed out. This also was the case with his 13 Stops Down The Canals Of Venice. Also sometimes there seems to be too much noise in the image to be ISO noise. Can it be that this is Film Converts film grain at work, not surviving Vimeo compression unblessed?

 

I know, I seem to be party pooper again, but I don't want to be. 

 

 

That clip is from an A7R.  Different camera, different sensor.  - Oh, I see you noted that. 

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That clip is from an A7R.  Different camera, different sensor.  - Oh, I see you noted that. 

 

Stumbled over it and bookmarked it when I looked for reviews of the Came7000 gimbal. Couldn't decide whether I should be impressed or not. Still can't. 

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Perhaps it's mainly a question of the light source?

 

Unnatural lights (with flawed spectrum, like LEDs) = unnatural look?

 

All what we see is a reflection and if the light source has large gaps in its spectrum, we could not exspect 'true' colours in all finest nuances.

 

Have you ever taken a still shot in a scene illuminated by these yellow street laterns? Yeah, it really sucks - the only way to achieve a more pleasant, 'natural' look was to lighten the whole scene with some flashlights...

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The 5DM2 line skips so not sure a full-scan comparison to the A7s is relveant. The 5DM3 is faster still, yet its video is gooey soft like undercooked chocolate chip cookies.

 

I am aware of that thanks!! That's why you should try and shoot raw on the 5D3 instead. It is some of the best HD you can get.

 

Yes full pixel readout is reason A7S has longer rolling shutter scan. More data to read out. It isn't that it is a slower sensor, far from it.

 

But the comparison is 100% relevant.

 

One takes 25ms, one takes 30ms. Is that hard to appreciate!?

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Bloom's grading has been ugly lately, and making all his work look like it's been through an instagram filter. That's totally subjective of course and that'a just me.

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Wonderful surveillance camera !

That's what i was thinking!  

 

If what he showed at the end was really what he was seeing with his eyes, this camera may be bought by more law enforcement people than videographers.  

 

I can think of a lot of interesting night footage that could shot with this camera, such as a nocturnal animal documentary, underwater footage, night sky, etc.

 

Michael

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The thing that blows me away is seeing the stars like that.  Amazing.  I also love the way light reads overall in this.  Probably would never shoot in conditions as crazy as that, but I can imagine a lot of less extreme low light situations where staying clean (or close to it) would be incredibly helpful.  

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The pattern of this edit is extremely interesting. It has created an interesting look at the cameras's potential. I am really liking the video from the A7S. Its absolutely lovely. Alsi, I have a gut feeling that the Dynamic Range testing for video is quite inaccurate. I hope someone apart from DXO Labs also conducts tests.

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This is making me wonder which is better, realistic low light that uses the actual light in the scene, which is also going to be artificial at night (street lights or candles etc) or additional lighting techniques to simulate night.. in other words, what is going to look more "real" to a viewer, the one that is more real or the one that is more fake? I'm gonna guess that most people would criticize reality of looking fake, but you could use the A7s for either scenario. 

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This is making me wonder which is better, realistic low light that uses the actual light in the scene, which is also going to be artificial at night (street lights or candles etc) or additional lighting techniques to simulate night.. in other words, what is going to look more "real" to a viewer, the one that is more real or the one that is more fake? I'm gonna guess that most people would criticize reality of looking fake ...

 

People don't endure a video that looks real. They want it to look faked. They want to sense a special mood that it tries to transport. Therefore the inevitable romantic music, without which this would be too boring. The conventional kitschy waves in the beginning, the first shot of the kissing pair around sunset (surely too bright still to justify the amount of mosquito noise in the sky), the scope panoramas of the people watching the waves - very romantic.

 

 

 

Some people ask why shoot such high ISOs. What is the point? Well there are many many creative reasons. Yes, I can’t see me wanting to shoot night for day very often (!) but what I would like to do is shoot in low light situations with a deep depth of field. Not always be at F1.4!

 

A good point. I agree. We use ND filters to be freed from the need to close the aperture in the sun, we should also be free to close it in the dark. 

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