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Andrew Reid

Evolving Sony A7S Review (Part 1)

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Everyone is biased.  My eyes are biased to the a7s. That doesn't make me a bad person nor an unreliable source of opinion purely because I am partial to a certain look.  It is like music.  I am biased to Led Zeppelin over Kiss...if I was comparing their albums I would have an inherit bias as I prefer a certain sound to another.

 

So many variables affect reviews such as these like the user's skill set with each camera.  Maybe certain cameras lend themselves more easily to ones inherent skill set and therefore produce better images to rivals and thus it is biased.

 

Bias is inevitable...impartiality at 100% doesn't exist in these contexts.

 

What you're inferring is that there was a complicit intent to poorly expose and grade...I doubt that is the case.  Other tests have confirmed some of the 1-dimensional tests like these.  Unless you have human subjects, a variety of scenes, and side by side comparison with almost the same lens used to diminish variability then you get these results...take from it what you will....complaining about it as you do on a board is subtractive in nature not additive.

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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

Andrew, it seems that - again - you are pretty inconsistent when it comes to exposure and grading in these tests.

 

It also strikes me that there is so little talk about the major compression artefacts the internal recording has.

 

When you grade this stuff, it just turns to mush... so no, the a7S will NOT beat 5D Mark III Raw.

 

The a7S only really starts to become interesting with an external recorder

 

The only problem here Homerus is that I have actually SHOWN in my video how S-LOG looks when graded and how it compares to the image developed from raw on the 5D Mark III. You have not. You have a short forum post with no images.

 

I am being objective in the test. What I saw is what you got in the blog post. No need to be biased to one brand or another. Bit silly, because why would I choose the worst tool for my own filmmaking work!?

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Andrew is extremely well versed in post production. He can take advantage of the A7s and maximize its strengths.

 

If you do not have this kind of knowledge/experience maybe the GH4 would be better for you. Of course both cams are relatively cheap, so you could purchase both and "train on the job" so to speak.

 

The power of the A7s shows in post production. Without it, forget it.

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As I'm testing and reviewing the A7s I wrote what drives me crazy about the camera. I didn't say I was sending it back but said it's tough to justify due to the price and cost for me to get the camera usable as a hybrid. Very limited native lens choices are available with good auto focus for the other part of the A7s. photography Still valid points for me. And that record button! Ugh. Haha. But the review goes on. Doing reviews is a big part of the blog and also sharing production tips.

 

Will I keep it? I have some more time to decide. I really want to see what 4K looks like. It's a big part of the camera. It's killing me the Shogun won't ship until September. That 4K recorder/monitor is such a great deal. I'll be using it with the C100, C300 and GH4 mostly as a excellent monitor but of course as a recorder too. I really wish Panasonic would implement record start and stop flags through HDMI. Not sure if it's it possible with a firmware update. They never did this with the AF-100 and it had SDI.  

Thanks for the clarification, Erik.  I'll stayed tuned to see what else you find with the a7S.

 

Michael

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hey 

 

How did you find the battery situation???

 

i am finding it terrible, nearly useless. I literally watch the percentage just tick down.

 

how is anyone else finding it with this camera??

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Erik or Andrew or anyone else who uses the A7s,

 

Do any of you use the A7s with EF Glass. If so, pros/cons. Also, do you have a product/method for locking the micro hdmi to camera and hdmi to Atomos? I plan to use the A7s for pro applications but if I can't secure the connections, then it's a no go. In my line of work, everybody needs to see what you're doing - all the time. So I'd definitely be using it with an onboard monitor or Paralinx Transmitter on a handheld rig or 3 axis gimbal (just got my Ronin!). 

 

thanks,

 

TIm

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hey 

 

How did you find the battery situation???

 

i am finding it terrible, nearly useless. I literally watch the percentage just tick down.

 

how is anyone else finding it with this camera??

 

Make sure the camera is in Airplane Mode, if you don't turn it on then it will essentially be broadcasting a wifi signal which helps chip away at battery life.  I saw some improvements with this mode ON, but battery life is still fairly short.

 

Another fix that you will have to wait for is if Sony implements firmware to allow the user to switch the LCD off completely, I believe now it is still on but shows a black screen (which does nothing to preserve battery life).

 

Beyond that, buy some spare batteries.

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Erik or Andrew or anyone else who uses the A7s,

 

Do any of you use the A7s with EF Glass. If so, pros/cons. Also, do you have a product/method for locking the micro hdmi to camera and hdmi to Atomos? I plan to use the A7s for pro applications but if I can't secure the connections, then it's a no go. In my line of work, everybody needs to see what you're doing - all the time. So I'd definitely be using it with an onboard monitor or Paralinx Transmitter on a handheld rig or 3 axis gimbal (just got my Ronin!). 

 

thanks,

 

TIm

This any good to you?

 

http://www.lockcircle.com/lockport/

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Just to let everybody know, please don't forget there's a REC709 (800%) mode on A7S, the dynamic range is around 11-12 stops

 

The biggest advantage is that there's no ISO limitation and you still get decent amount of DR, but bear in mind that in 800% mode, about 6 stops of DR are recorded between 0-90IRE, and another 6 are recorded between 90-109IRE, so highlights are super compressed especially in a 8bit codec, be aware of banding/posterisation.

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This any good to you?

 

http://www.lockcircle.com/lockport/

That looks very cool!

Erik or Andrew or anyone else who uses the A7s,

 

Do any of you use the A7s with EF Glass. If so, pros/cons. Also, do you have a product/method for locking the micro hdmi to camera and hdmi to Atomos? I plan to use the A7s for pro applications but if I can't secure the connections, then it's a no go. In my line of work, everybody needs to see what you're doing - all the time. So I'd definitely be using it with an onboard monitor or Paralinx Transmitter on a handheld rig or 3 axis gimbal (just got my Ronin!). 

 

thanks,

 

TIm

The issue with the Metabones adapter for Canon EF is the autofocus is slow. It does lock just takes a bit longer time than it would with a Canon camera. It's a big deal that you can use your EF glass so that's the trade off. For video it's not a big deal but for stills it might get frustrating. 

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For a person having no existing glass (and not being especially excited about the current native glass options), does anyone have an opinion regarding the choice between Nikon Glass and Metabones F adapter -- versus -- Canon Glass and the Metabones EF Adapter?

 

Trying to figure out which side of the fence to fall on.  The use case is virtually 100% video -- so autofocus is not much of an issue.

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Thanks for a very useful review, Andrew! Looking to make this a B camera/steadicam to work with other xdcam cameras. One question, has anyone tried recording the 4K on the Odyssey 7Q using an HDMI to HD-SDI convertor like Blackmagic sells?

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