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Andrew Reid

Evolving Sony A7S Review (Part 1)

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I've had the A7S for over a week now and can share my initial thoughts, even some firm conclusions. Here's one I've come to already - the Sony A7S is the best consumer camera Sony have ever made.

For $2500 the video performance of the A7S sits between the FS700 ($8000) and F5 ($17,000) yet the full frame sensor lends more character and allows for groundbreaking low light performance.

Read the full article here

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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

"The Sony A7S is the first camera to really beat the Canon 5D Mark III on pretty much every level for both stills and video" ..,. even still? hmmm, interesting. great review btw, seems the hacked 5DIII has found its master.

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There are cpl questions about the camera that I have. Would it be possible for you to do a pic compassion between the canon and this camera as I use the canon for pics mostly. Second in the daylight shots with this camera seems to have a lot of noise.

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The A7s seems to be a very nice full frame stills and video camera. Luke Neumann said he spoke to a Sony rep and apparently there is a 4:3 4k video output via HDMI ( http://nofilmschool.com/2014/07/atomos-shogun-4k-recorder-now-available-pre-order-comes-awesome-free-gift/#comments )

Andrew, have you heard anything about this? Would be very exciting if true

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I would disagree with the comment about nailing the exposure is hard. If you use the inbuilt meter (the part that says M.M at the bottom), and aim for +1 (0.7- 1.3 is okay) Then you will consistently get beautiful images.

 

A range of -0.7 to +1.3 is not exactly nailing exposure is it... plus the meter doesn't work correctly in S-LOG mode. Sometimes it fails to even give a reading. Maybe a bug?

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The A7s seems to be a very nice full frame stills and video camera. Luke Neumann said he spoke to a Sony rep and apparently there is a 4:3 4k video output via HDMI ( http://nofilmschool.com/2014/07/atomos-shogun-4k-recorder-now-available-pre-order-comes-awesome-free-gift/#comments )

Andrew, have you heard anything about this? Would be very exciting if true

 

The rep might have been thinking of the aspect ratios for screen markers which it does indeed offer 4:3 for, in video mode. It's only an overlay though. Let's hope he's right on this one and it does have a 4:3 mode over 4K HDMI.

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Thanks for the write up and the video. I was surprised to see the A7s's color moire on the factory at the 4:00 mark. It is the first time I have seen moire in any A7s footage.

 

Personally, I think that the A7s is a huge step in the right direction. But I think that I'm going to stick with the 5Diii with ML raw for now. I'm getting good results using the ETTR Hint in the raw histogram at ISOs I wouldn't touch before, and the camera is forcing me to learn how to grade the right way.

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A range of -0.7 to +1.3 is not exactly nailing exposure is it... plus the meter doesn't work correctly in S-LOG mode. Sometimes it fails to even give a reading. Maybe a bug?

 

I've shot a fair amount of test footage, and ETTR by +1 always seems to give me the best images. I've never had an issue with getting a reading?

 

( I know it sounds silly, I'm coming from shooting on  5d mk3 and always used the histogram for exposure. I tried that approach with the A7s and everything I shot looked horrible. As soon as switched to ETTR +1, the a7s finally became the camera i wanted it to be.)

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Thanks for the write up and the video. I was surprised to see the A7s's color moire on the factory at the 4:00 mark. It is the first time I have seen moire in any A7s footage.

 

Personally, I think that the A7s is a huge step in the right direction. But I think that I'm going to stick with the 5Diii with ML raw for now. I'm getting good results using the ETTR Hint in the raw histogram at ISOs I wouldn't touch before, and the camera is forcing me to learn how to grade the right way.

 

That was a challenging little pattern on there.... the 5D Mark III couldn't handle it either.

 

In 4K I'd expect it to be gone on the A7S.

 

Don't forget that the internal 1080p is going to be bettered in just 2 months... and it is already pretty good as it is!

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Andrew Reid Wrote:

>If you try shooting video in stills mode and silent mode is enabled, you can’t select S-LOG or the other pro video picture profiles unless you enable the mechanical shutter, which is deeply odd<

 

I'm finding some interesting "quirks" (bug features?) like this too.

 

However, one feature that's very interesting (from photographers perspective) is having the creative style (stills) active when in stills mode and when selecting movie mode your now activating the video picture profile, that's very useful for maintaining a snappy EVF for faster paced stills work, especially if you've selected SLOG as your default PP.  In the A7R, when set-up for video you're always looking at this flat lifeless EVF, even when in stills mode.

 

All these "features" are explained in depth on pages 446, 675 and 893 of the A7S user manual............that we're waiting for Sony to write!!!!!  :blink:

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When shooting SLOG I understand the base ISO is 3200. If so then that would mean doubling up on ND filters in broad daylight with a risk of reducing image quality. Any thoughts.

Also, the A7s is full frame but only when using an adapter (metabones or Sony A-mount) - is this right? Otherwise, when using native E-mount glass - it's an APS-C camera.

How does the ergonomics compare with the GH4?

Many thanks!

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Great review Andrew, one thing is missing though. Could you please do a rolling shutter test a7s full frame (could be with s-log for better image) vs 5d mark iii ML raw? The rolling shutter seems to be a huge concern for many people. It doesnt have to be an extreme waving form side to side, just some normal, little bit shaky handheld footage. Thanks

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Also, the A7s is full frame but only when using an adapter (metabones or Sony A-mount) - is this right? Otherwise, when using native E-mount glass - it's an APS-C camera.

 

There are full frame e mount lenses which will illuminate the full frame sensor without an adapter, but using the crop frame e mount lenses will only illuminate the aps-c aspect of the sensor.

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Also, the A7s is full frame but only when using an adapter (metabones or Sony A-mount) - is this right? Otherwise, when using native E-mount glass - it's an APS-C camera.

 

 

The native glass for the A7 series is "FE", think F for full frame.  The "E" series is APSC.

 

Many overlook the FE glass, but we in the photographic (stills) world will attest to its quality, the FE35 & FE55 are just as good as any glass we've had access to from Canon or Nikon.  In fact, neither Canon or Nikon offer a lens that approaches the level headed (read: no nasties) quality of the FE55.  On a side note, I'd imagine that, for you video guys, a lens like the FE55 that performs almost flawlessly wide-open is a better option than one like the 50L that isn't as well mannered.

 

Chris

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