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Andrew Reid

Sony A7S 120fps slow-mo at ISO 12,800

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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

Remember film guys, do you.  You just shot things underexposed and it still looked great.  Remember how all the colours and exposure smoothly bled into each other when you shot 5217.  Blacks were blacks, whites were not overexposed but just a part of the image.  

 

So, I take it you actually have done a same kind of scene by lighting it with a candle, iPhone and a desk lamp metered for 12,800 ASA/ISO, and then shooting the scene with a film camera using 5217 at 120fps? If you have, I'd love to see that. Scanned and uploaded in Vimeo/YouTube. Just out of curiosity.

 

FWIW, I do like the look of daddy Eastman's film stock, or at least the films shot on it. But none of this is relevant in this particular context, is it.

 

Point being, people complain because digital still don't do it right!  

 

Umm... nope. Not the hardcore "PIPPs." They will always complain about something, mostly about something irrelevant. Not just in this particular thread or even this particular forum, not just now. In general. 

 

Give it a try, and shoot the same scene at ISO12,800/120fps on the 5217, and then scan an upload it to Vimeo/YouTube. Even if you could actually pull that off, Gladys & the PIPPs would have a peepin' party. Many of them wouldn't even notice it was shot on film. Many of them would be too young to know what film looks like. But everyone would have a strong opinion about what's wrong with it, anyway. Regardless of the content or context.

 

I downloaded the original file, and I just won't be buying any camera.  To my eye, I could get these results with GH2 at a lower ISO and by adding more light.  

 


Quite. By adding more light, even night would become day. 

Anyway, I agree, looks like there is indeed no point in your buying the A7s. That would be an utter waste of your money. 

 

 

I think this camera has a vast potential for some projects, but you need to know that limit.  

 

Great, looks like you may have got the point, after all.  :P

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How can we shoot 5217 metered at 12,80 ISO at 120 fps?  Anyone know a way?

 

Exactly.  ;)

Great, looks like you're making progress, now you're very close to finally getting it. 

 

As for the poor reading skills in this forum, yeah, surely that's true for some of us, and not just you. 

But I think I'm done with this now. Either you get the point of the video and the blog post or you don't. Either way is fine, I don't really care. 

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Remember film guys, do you.  You just shot things underexposed and it still looked great.  Remember how all the colours and exposure smoothly bled into each other when you shot 5217.  Blacks were blacks, whites were not overexposed but just a part of the image.  

 

No it didn't. Film looks like crap except for highlight handling. Also a lot of film's "quality" came from the telecine transfer where they added sharpness and color timing. You didn't "just shoot" and it looked great. Modern film can't handle shadows at all compared to digital cameras nor can it handle darkness.

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No it didn't. Film looks like crap except for highlight handling. Also a lot of film's "quality" came from the telecine transfer where they added sharpness and color timing. You didn't "just shoot" and it looked great. Modern film can't handle shadows at all compared to digital cameras nor can it handle darkness.

 

Telecine is a film to video transfer process, different from a DI film scan, which introduces more quality loss, both in illumination, scan timing, edge guiding and more (especially with fields introduced, which is very common). Also, when you get a telecine that has inconsistent fields, i.e. the 3:2 pulldown keeps changing, and you need to do work that requires de-interlacing; people often just do an all even, or all odd de-interlace, and that screws things up even more. I've seen that improperly de-interlaced footage, then get fields re-introduced back to 29.976 fps and then broadcast. 

 

Anyway, the argument for digital is really about freedom and the creativity that allows. Not a quality advantage yet, but probably soon.

 

I know this is all off-topic.

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Wow, this has to be one of the most divisive test video threads I have come across in a long time. It seems to me that a lot of people are missing the point of this test and the A7s in general. This test was to push the camera to its limit to see what it can do. I don't think the point was to have a artifact free flawless image but to show how well this camera handles this very extreme situation. There is no other camera out there that could produce these results, even if you consider them to still be unusable.

 

The strength of the A7s is not doing shoots like this or doing night for day or any other wildly extreme tests. It's strength is that it will allow me to get very clean footage using available light indoors without having to be wide open all the time. It will offer more flexibility and options in situations were controlling the light is not practical or possible.

 

Also, the low light ability of this camera is just one of the features it has that make it appealing. It is a very practical, portable, high speed, log shooting, feature rich camera that is capable of producing a very good image with a lot of dynamic range. 

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Telecine is a film to video transfer process, different from a DI film scan, which introduces more quality loss, both in illumination, scan timing, edge guiding and more (especially with fields introduced, which is very common). 

 

I've seen a lot of film scans. None of them (absolutely none) come close to Alexa quality. And I work in a posthouse. Yes telecine introduces all kinds off stuff especially in NTSC, I natively speak finnish so meant to say film scanning, not telecine as such.

 

Can you post an example of this mystical magistical 35mm film print that just digital can't get ever? Just a screenshot, ANY screenshot. Can you? 

 

Film does look nice in a way that grain and low contrast looks nice. But it's not "technically better".

 

Look for example how Dragon is slightly better at highlight handling (for example the first candle):

 

Also way less noise/grain on the digital cams. 

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Film does look nice in a way that grain and low contrast looks nice. But it's not "technically better".

 

I'm not a purist when it comes to what is "technically better" even when you hit that magic number and go beyond whatever DR, its still subjective, but the camera that I think comes the closest to snuffing film, the Alexa, is $80k! So it's not a revolution yet.

 

And just do grading tests in 32bit float on a Marcie if you want to examine the grain and range of a 10bit 2k/4k Kodak film scan:

 

http://motion.kodak.com/motion/uploadedFiles/Digital_LAD_dpx.zip

http://motion.kodak.com/motion/uploadedFiles/Digital_LAD_cin.zip

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This is embarrassing, I agree.  I did not say technically perfect, my point was that film has smooth transitions, no glaring ugly codec issues or fixed noise patterns.  Alexa does look nicer than film most of the time, we don't talk about that thing.  I'm especially nostalgic for  high ISO films that kinda bled all the colours together.  What did you guys read??? I don't have any clue.

 

Take any screen shot from Days of Heaven, that would do.  Film just handles things gracefully, not perfect, but graceful.  Sure, 12,800 ISO and 120fps sounds nice on paper... but it isn't gracefully handled.   

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I've seen a lot of film scans. None of them (absolutely none) come close to Alexa quality. And I work in a posthouse. Yes telecine introduces all kinds off stuff especially in NTSC, I natively speak finnish so meant to say film scanning, not telecine as such.

 

Can you post an example of this mystical magistical 35mm film print that just digital can't get ever? Just a screenshot, ANY screenshot. Can you? 

 

Film does look nice in a way that grain and low contrast looks nice. But it's not "technically better".

 

Look for example how Dragon is slightly better at highlight handling (for example the first candle):

 

Also way less noise/grain on the digital cams. 

Thanks for a most informative test. Confirmed my purchase of SFX filters. 

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While some may not be a fan of Andrew's clips content, I truly appreciate what it shows us. The high ASA possibilities of the A7s have my mind reeling. And as someone who started on film for several years, I'm not nostalgic for it at all. I don't miss ten minute rolls. I don't miss the time it takes to thread a Panavision. I don't miss the lousy monitoring from a film camera. I don't miss not being able to see how it's going to look on set. Most of all, I don't miss the expense. Independents can put more money and time towards talent, locations, art, etc.

 

Keep up the footage coming Andrew. 

 

Only question I have is: When you record to your Atomos, are u going through a 4k down convert box first?

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Ultimately, I'm not sure what the kerfluffle is regarding this test.  Perhaps I just don't relate much to people that would ignore what's happening here.   It shows the camera doing some respectable shots under ridiculous conditions.

 

As a guy angling toward documentary production, I am impressed.  I can think of hundreds of ways to utilize the opportunity that a low light sensor offers.

 

If you're a shooter and can't recognize that technical convenience and then consider the possible exploitation of it --but would rather just dismiss that potential in favor of some rhetorical ulterior motive... Well, my guess is you're gonna have some issue in your "career."  

 

And yes, I just made sarcastic quotes around the word career.  For instance, a dismissive personality might hinder worthwhile collaboration in an industry that thrives on such.  Maybe that's a bit of a stretch to connect between two dots?  Maybe not.  

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After various tests i might have found out that the Canon 1DC has a built in Sony A7S!!!  It's in the menu and the name is "High ISO Speed Noise Reduction = strong" which every user usually turns off because of a lack of knowledge, reading manuals and testing.  At ISO 128000 and 25600 you will get the same noise-less and softer images in both cameras.  But I have to admit: Good Hype Sony!

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After various tests i might have found out that the Canon 1DC has a built in Sony A7S!!!  It's in the menu and the name is "High ISO Speed Noise Reduction = strong" which every user usually turns off because of a lack of knowledge, reading manuals and testing.  At ISO 128000 and 25600 you will get the same noise-less and softer images in both cameras.  But I have to admit: Good Hype Sony!

 

But how much is the 1DC? :D

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But how much is the 1DC? :D

in 1 month just 3000 more expensive than an A7S plus shogun.  plus has internal recording and is a perfect photo camera, while the sony is not a serious option for pro photographers.  this forum is really dedicated to people who want the best quality for the cheapeast price, which is never realistic.  plus people here might also not like if you tell them that their services should only cost half as much.

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Ive been for the life of me trying to find how to put the a7s in 120fps, where the heck is it?  I can get to APS crop etc, but I can't find the setting for downscaling to 720p or changing to 120 fps, just the 1080p/i 60fps settings etc.  Im not using a fast enough card yet for XAVCHD, does that make a difference? settings locked out if Im shooting in AVCHD?  Thanks.

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