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Andrew Reid

Sony A7S Review Part 2 and Conclusion

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I'm loving my A7s as well. Sweet video.. I wonder, though, if the A7s is necessary for this kind of work. It seems to be a retro throwback, and you were looking to achieve a vintage music video look and make it look more like video. I think the best thing to do is just use the technology of that time to achieve that look, insofar as you can. Like my friend shot a music video in 8mm film and I was like "how did you get that 8mm vintage look?" And she was like "Uh, I used an 8mm vintage camera." Here's a music video I shot a couple years back using the FS700 (didn't have control of color or post, but many of the effects we achieved in camera anyway).

 

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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

How about this?

There is zero motion and the only one in motion is slowmotion which does not about the Sony video look. It is strange but 24p should look like 24 p right. But with the Sony many time it looks like video, something more like frame interpolation in TVs.

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There is zero motion and the only one in motion is slowmotion which does not about the Sony video look. It is strange but 24p should look like 24 p right. But with the Sony many time it looks like video, something more like frame interpolation in TVs.

I love this comment, by which i mean its just plain idiotic.

Everything you've seen from the FS7 has been shot within the first 5 minutes someone has had the camera. Let's wait a few months before making such a wide declaration. Early A7s footage/GH4 footage also looked pretty crappy. Give people a few shoots with a camera - then make your judgements. 

 

Now to your "video" point. It has zero to do with frame interpolation. Its called over-sharpness. What really annoys me is people who shoot a digital sensor camera that isn't a RED, want a "cinematic" output, and yet use no softening filters (RED deliberately keeps their image as soft as they can get away with). None. An Alexa can look over-sharp shot poorly. 35mm film can too. When we shoot film (too rare!) we often have 3 layers of softening in front of the lens. 3 layers! When shooting a commercial or drama we have a range of Tiffen softeners ready to go for the Alexa or the F55, and we often will soften the highlights again in the grade. 

 

However - if you're shooting for broadcast, and you're matching $150k studio cameras which are horrifically sharp, being able to look 'video' is actually a plus! Sony and Canon and Panasonic understand this.

 

You want a more pure 'filmic' camera that's value for money? I can't recommend the BMs enough.

 

You need a camera that can shoot reportage, TV interview, a feature doc, a music video AND an indie feature? Better to start off hella sharp and adjust to taste.
I tell people all the time: A Swiss Army knife is actually a pretty terrible hunting knife. Unless you NEED that flexibility. 

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Andrew, the D750 doesn't do slow shutter when shooting 60p but it does slow shutter in 24p. Beside, if you're gonna do slow shutter, why do it in 60p?

 

Nah, 1/25 is the slowest it goes in 24p. I couldn't have shot the Beka Hoop video with it. On the A7S I could do 1/8 to get the blur.

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Heres a short clip from a documentary i'm working on. This was shot probably 50/50 full frame and crop mode. The opening slider shot was in full frame mode. 

 

I am not finding the rolling shutter to be an issue at all

 

 

There are several shots in that film would not pass QC with my clients. If that's good for you, great. I don't swing ANY DSLR around, but having to recompose my shot just because I wanted a half-decent move pissed me off, especially by the 3rd time. Simple as that. 

Its a great camera. Gives great images. But between the extra mental step of planning for movement, and the Metabones dropouts with the body I'll use something else right now, unless I specifically need the 50k iso and the client's ok with 1080. 

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I think Roger Deakins would strongly disagree with you about mirrors. Which is one of the reasons why he chose Alexa over RED for Skyfall. And he has a few other films under his belt. Almost all EVF's , even on the cameras themselves have lag and poor resolution.  If you regulary do interviews you know what I am talking about.  More than ever you are looking at a video monitor, not reality and all the details that are as a result. 

 

Personally, I think the greatest problem with digital cameras is that they are less and less often coming with mirrors.  I work ten time faster with a mirrored camera when shooting photos for instance and I don't even have to turn on a camara if I just want to frame a shot.  I would much prefer to have an digital overlay on a mirrored image, than a pixellated monitor any day.  However, we are still a few years out on that one.

 

Boy I would love that. A Fuji style hybrid would rock. 

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I worked in Hi-Tech for many years and, Ive really enjoyed seeing how the camera market has accelerated with the speed of technology.  Its also been interesting to see how the artistic personality with all of its quirks and temperament has reacted to all the bumps along the way.  Not the least of which has been the occasional clash between the experienced and season pro running head to head with new user, and all of it being fueled by companies who’s goal is of course to sell product.  

 

In the end, we all want a rig that fits like an extension of our body, coupled with images that we can shape and mold to fit the occasion.  Oh and at an affordable price point of course.  eh…. not such a tall order — LOL!!!

 

We are, I honestly believe about 90% of the way to a world where a $2,000 camera body will be producing images that are breathlessly close to a $50,000 camera body.   Its about the quality of pixels of course and world class codecs............as evidenced by the fact that Skyfall was shown wonderfully in iMax yet not shot in anything close to 4k.  …. I still want that tiny little GH4 by the way “grinâ€

 

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There are several shots in that film would not pass QC with my clients. If that's good for you, great. I don't swing ANY DSLR around, but having to recompose my shot just because I wanted a half-decent move pissed me off, especially by the 3rd time. Simple as that. 

Its a great camera. Gives great images. But between the extra mental step of planning for movement, and the Metabones dropouts with the body I'll use something else right now, unless I specifically need the 50k iso and the client's ok with 1080. 

Which shots? Other than the shaky whip zoom, I'd love to know what stood out to you. I won't be offended :)

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Thanks so much for the review!

 

I ran across this how-to-video.

He feeds a 4k video out of A7S into the Atomos Ninja downscaled to 1080p.

This method apparently gets crisper 1080p images.

 

 

 

 

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Which shots? Other than the shaky whip zoom, I'd love to know what stood out to you. I won't be offended :)

 

First, I too think it looks sharp. :-) 

 

The hard zoom in definitely, and I'm pretty sure there's a couple of frames at the beginning of the track back that would fail (hard to be definitive on Youtube), and the BBC would potentially fail you on the speed of the dolly back itself. Yep, its that tough.
They let a ton of micro-skew go in the 5D2 days, but have tightened up recently. If you want to know why they, Discovery, Fox and others are so vigilant on skew and micro-shake its because it messes with the layers of compression they need to get it to people's homes. 

 

Now is your film fine for a web customer?  Sure! Looks really nice.

But for me, the A7s is only a specialty camera right now UNLESS I invested the time to learn its quirks. 

 

Hope that made sense. 
 

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