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Andrew Reid

Why you're better shooting video in stills mode on the Sony A7S

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After a while now shooting with the Sony A7S (final part of my review coming soon) I have found it's better to shoot video outside of the Sony movie mode on the dial. Here's how to set up the M stills mode on the dial for movie recording and get two important advantages over Sony's movie mode.

Read the full article here

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Curious as to why Movie Mode is more appropriate for scenarios that include an external recorder, such as Shogun.

 

Because the HDMI output quality drops in stills mode and live-view doesn't always observe the right frame rate.

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Thank Andrew for the tip! It really does make a big difference for focusing in stills mode.

 

But in stills mode it seems I loose the ability to access the audio level control.  It works fine once I start recording.  Did you find a workaround for this issue?   Hope Sony will bring out a new firmware to fix those small annoyances.

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My normal A7 has the same (4x) zoom for video for checking focus both recording in the Movie mode or any other so that has improved for the A7s in other modes then.      One thing though I cant use the Live View grading APP if not in movie mode and I assume the same applies for the A7s.

 

I look forward to what the next round of "a7" cameras are going to be like.      A8s, A8R and A8???    (not that I need or can justify them).

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Agree.  I don't think i've touched the 'movie mode' since realising how bad the focus assist is.  you can punch in double as close in stills mode.

While rolling? It seems you still just get 4x zoom identical in resolution to movie mode while shooting manual but you do get that second option of 5.7x zoom when not recording. Let me know if I'm missing something - would love that extra punch in while shooting.

 

A7r punch in is superior in resolution for some reason - more pixels maybe?

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Also, when using the Silent shutter mode, its not using the Picture Profiles, that way you can easily preview what the footage will look graded,, as soon as you hit that record button it switches back to SLOG2.  Pretty Awesome! 

 

 

 

EDIT: it seems to be a Bug,   You can not turn the Picture Profiles on when Silent shutter is enabled, BUT you can Enable PPs first and then enable Silent shutter after, When not shooting Video you can select all the picture Modes that you are used to, but as soon as you hit that Movie record button you are right back into your Picture Profiles, AWESOME! 

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Good stuff. I'm gonna stay in movie mode though because I've locked out the movie record button to only function in movie mode. When doing photos and accidentally pressing the stupid rec button = aaargh sound.

 

But DAMN, Canon still has one the best handling cameras in the 5d mark III compared to a lot of competition. Easy way to zoom (after changing to middle button), easy to adjust iso, aperture shutter. Movies at the same time with a quick flick of a switch, stills also work in movie mode. Picture profile doesn't affect raw stills etc. Actually even my old 7d had wayyy better ergonomics and that thing was old as heck (now sold but I loved it)

 

It seems like Sony doesn't design these things properly. Also the size is a bit too small for my tastes. One thing the sony does better is that lets me zoom in while recording. Worked a treat.

 

Still though, shooting in dark hasn't been this fun in ages ;)

 

15136792085_ec01880e15_c.jpg_DSC1080 by hmcindie, on Flickr

 

14950098029_2feb6ef252_c.jpg_DSC1052 by hmcindie, on Flickr

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Good attempt at writing-up something that makes little practicle sense (now we know why Sony omitted a proper manual).  :)

 

1. Snagging stills whilst rolling video *like you can on the 5D3* is brilliant, Sony needs to address this omission on the A7's.

2. From a stills perspective (I'm a stills guy) I advise everyone to think and shoot in 16:9 mode, very few shoot to print anymore.

3. The fact that you can set a snappy profile for stills and a flat one for video is what makes all the difference working with the A7S over the R.

4. Never set a flat stills profile on the A7S (for stills) if you are a RAW shooter, it'll just mess-up your EVF for focusing!!!!

 

There are a ton more, but Andrew did a great job on something no one else has to date!

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Thank Andrew for the tip! It really does make a big difference for focusing in stills mode.

 

But in stills mode it seems I loose the ability to access the audio level control.  It works fine once I start recording.  Did you find a workaround for this issue?   Hope Sony will bring out a new firmware to fix those small annoyances.

 

The workaround is to flick over to Movie mode, set the audio level you want.  They flick back to Stills mode.  The audio level you set in Movie mode will be locked in for Stills mode.  

 

There is one slight additional pain which is that in Movie mode you can see the audio levels whilst not recording, in Stills mode you can only see the audio levels once you hit Record.

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While rolling? It seems you still just get 4x zoom identical in resolution to movie mode while shooting manual but you do get that second option of 5.7x zoom when not recording. Let me know if I'm missing something - would love that extra punch in while shooting.

 

A7r punch in is superior in resolution for some reason - more pixels maybe?

 

With my A7S, in Stills move (manual focus) I was able to find a 8.3x zoom setting.

 

I would still like a bit more than 8.3x zoom to ensure my focus is spot-on - my Canon 6D offered more, and the A7R offers a lot more zoom capability.  

 

Focus peaking is useful but I find in various scenarios that punch-in checking trumps focus peaking.

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With my A7S, in Stills move (manual focus) I was able to find a 8.3x zoom setting.

 

I would still like a bit more than 8.3x zoom to ensure my focus is spot-on - my Canon 6D offered more, and the A7R offers a lot more zoom capability.  

 

Focus peaking is useful but I find in various scenarios that punch-in checking trumps focus peaking.

Now I see that 8.3x zoom HIFF - I was in APS-C mode and only zooms to 5.7x. Still wish the higher magnification was available during recording.

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