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Sony A7S Review Part 2 and Conclusion


Andrew Reid
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I take back everything I said about the A7s colours after trying it... It's definitely operators' error. I have no problem getting bright Nikon-like colours with grading, it's just a lot harder than Nikon and Canon which start very close.

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This is the best low-budget camera on the market. What a tiny little monster. I mean you don't need anything else more than this small wonder to make Alexa/Red/C300 like images and nobody would notice the difference. D810 is gone... 

​can you share with us your settings, Profiles etc ?

And what is you color workflow (do you use  Davinci , LUTs etc ) ?

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Movcam question here, does it help with run and gun shooting as well? I've got the Canon 24-105 lens attached and it's pretty difficult to keep steady.

​Absolutely. The way I use it on my shoulder is with 18" rods,  Wooden Camera Handgrips, small HD or F&V 4.3" monitor/EVF mounted to the Wooden Camera cross piece for the hand grips ,and a counterweight in the back (Jag 35 5 lb). I don't bother with a shoulder pad as it's still super light. It'll work perfectly with the 24-105 because of the Metabones support bracket. It'll be rock steady. For even better support throw a lens support on the rods (I use Lanparte lens support). 

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i am trying to record a7s Hdmi output in blackmagic HyperDeck Shuttle 2 (latest firmware).

​But when i choose movie mode and 1080 25p output , cant record anything (video led on BM hyper deck is off).

When i choose 1080i output in camera, then i can record from A7s.

i noticed when i connect my A7s in my samsung led tv , that when i choose 1080p output , tv shows that it accepts 1080 50p !

​Thats the reason why BM can't see the video from HDMI when o choose 1080p.... but why is this ?

 

​Why A7s can't output 1080 25p ?

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What settings for an A7s if I am not grading?     

  I am an amateur stills photographer, especially live music.      Shooting stills has got me the best seat in the house many times for many years for free.    I have started doing video of shows (just one or two songs), previously with a Pentax KX (not great for video and overheated after a couple of minutes).      The original A7 has been good enough for my uses IE camera on a table or tripod, all the band in shot and let run.      In time, I would love to get a live music video on TV but for now it is just for fun with video on You Tube or Facebook.     Mostly so far it is covers so no one will get to see the video (occasionally I might put something on Youtube and hope they just run an ad on it).

I like using the camera in full frame mode and APSC mode for video (APSC mode means I can use the cheap 16-50 and 50 1.8 OSS lenses that I like) FF mode and I like to use my Canon 24 3.5 TS-E ii or if I have room my Sony Zeiss 55 1.8 for bands.  

   Now that I have an A7s, while I am not going to get the best out of it doing what I do (and I don't care about skin tones as under most of the lighting I shoot, skin never looks natural anyway), I still want to get as good as I can for now (sound via a Zoom H1 on the hotshoe plugged into the camera).     Hence my question about what settings I should use/try.

Down the track, I am hoping there will be cheap 4k recorders without all the bells and whistles that I can just plug into the camera to record with still using the LCD (or EVF) of the camera to monitor it.

I love the A7s (and A7) and both are great for stills for me.     Video is the cream on top and something like an A7s I never would have even dreamed of five years ago.     A great camera, even for someone like me with a basic laptop for a computer, zero grading skills and no real need for such.

EDIT, I will be happy giving the video to bands that may well have someone who will grade it but I would rather it was as good as I can get it as shot.

 

 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Yes sadly I am falling in love with the hardest camera to grade I've ever used :rolleyes:

that 12mp Full frame sensor in a point-and-shoot body with perfect 1080p video is just too fun to use, despite the MANY quirks and annoyances for professional use,

It's quite strange, but the hard-to-grade aspect of the a7s footage is actually FUN to me, and making me learn proper grading and having fun fixing the colours and getting different looks out of footage. Would I want this approach on a paid gig? hell no, the D810 is much better for delivering good images fast/easy and reliably, but what's the fun in applying an S-curve and delivering the footage if you're shooting for fun? tha a7s charachter is just fun for my own inner nerdy-desires if you can get it ;)

An absolute pleasure to shoot with compared to the Nikon, simply because of the EVF, tliting screen, peaking (in the EVF!) that makes focusing a fun task, and the size is simply unbeaten. If you can get pay the time you spend tweaking in the colour grade, pay the annoyance of using adapters that don't work and freeze, pay the price for having a small shaky camera with a hedious battery life, if you can get around these you'll be rewarded with an image better than the D810, especially most notably in resolution, dynamic range, and lowlight performance.

My first thoughts are that the a7S is a FUN camera, something to shoot your own personal stuff with and work around the limitations, while other cameras like Nikon and Canons C100 and such are much better for paid/commercial work where you can't spend time fiddling and looking like an unprofessional kid playing with picture profile settings and adapters :rolleyes:

 

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Thanks Ebrahim. 

Sounds like a fun tool to use even with the additional time in post.

The 1080p internal looks close to the detail of the D810 with much better low light obviously. Seems D810 has the edge on DR at low iso's?

No one seems to mention the stealth factor (sans Atomos) of the A7s (even compared to Nikon/Canon dslrs).

Talk about the possibility of stealing shots:o Say..even a restaurant/bar/nightclub scene. Not only would the A7s be allowed in the club, people would absolutely think you're messing around with a cheap toy camera.

Looking forward to your work/thoughts on the A7s as you move forward.

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i am trying to record a7s Hdmi output in blackmagic HyperDeck Shuttle 2 (latest firmware).

​But when i choose movie mode and 1080 25p output , cant record anything (video led on BM hyper deck is off).

When i choose 1080i output in camera, then i can record from A7s.

i noticed when i connect my A7s in my samsung led tv , that when i choose 1080p output , tv shows that it accepts 1080 50p !

​Thats the reason why BM can't see the video from HDMI when o choose 1080p.... but why is this ?

 

​Why A7s can't output 1080 25p ?

​You need to be in movie mode for the output to work right, otherwise you get this issue

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