Jump to content
j_one

Possibly giving up my Sony a7s for Samsung NX1

Recommended Posts

I

Don't forget to check out the Nikon D750 as an option. Just finished a 3 day production for a music video with it and really pushed its to its limits. The Colors are spot on accurate, super easy to grade in post, flat profile gives you huge dynamic range that has a really nice roll off in the highlights. Rolling shutter, Aliasing, Moire hard to find even in my hand held shots with a higher shutter speed.  Also combined with the Ninja 2 I get very clean 1080p. I used to own 5D mark III, and Magic latern Raw which was very nice colors with 14bit raw, but nightmare to work with that hack. But I am getting very similar results with D750 and the ninja 2 (even though its only 8bit color), plus more no more rolling shutter and clipping at 11 stops.    

​I was going to say the same thing, if someone does not need 4k, the Nikon D750 is a very solid choice. If you combine it with a ninja it is still very compact and adds the only thing I would call a flaw and it is peaking. People just lok at 4k, but there are many things that get into an image. I for myself don't consider full frame a7s and Nx1 4k to be usable with the level of rolling shutter that they have. We are talking Nikon d90 jello cam level. If you just want to shoot static shot on a tripod then ok, but the rest would be unpractical. Another thing is that it is also very good in low light.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

No way in the world would I change low light and dynamic range of the Sony A7s for the NX1 which I honestly feel has horrible brittle image..... To the OP I would suggest you purchase some LUTS to use with the A7s and you will be amazed.

The ONLY other camera I would switch the A7s for would be 5D MARK III shooting RAW, but if you're not ready for that workflow then keep your A7s which is simply the one if not the BEST video cameras under 5K.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, my students and I tested the a7s, GH4, 5D MKIII (h264, not Raw), NX1, A6000, 70D, and BMPCC for low light noise + color performance, and all three projects chose to shoot with the a7s. Two of them are low-light night shoots, but one is day. For low light, obviously the a7s wins by a long way over the others -- in noise and color. (Once you start digging into the picture profile menus, you can really carve into the color.) 5D was closest, of course. The rest were just painful in low light (when compared with a7s). We even tried a Voigtlander .95 wide open on the GH4 to see how it would compare to the a7s with a Jupiter 9 at 2.8, and it wasn't close (for noise); the a7s/jupiter won by a mile.

In daylight, they were all nice in their own ways. Dynamic range of a7s and BMPCC is nice, all things being equal, but when money is tight, I'd personally take the cheaper camera and spend the extra on lenses and kit. I think they're all capable of good color. Different looks, and different paths to get there, but I've gotten images I like out of all of them. 

In good light, NX1 and 5D probably take the least effort to get good color, but that h265 on the NX1 isn't a lot of fun right now. It is less work than 5D Raw, but still a big pain compared to other cameras, IMO. Personally, if I was going to go through the pain of converting every shot, I'd probably choose 5D ML Raw right now. I think that gives the best color of the lot, but you gotta really want it.

That said, the whole thing is so personal. What works for you -- the camera, ecosystem, and workflow that you will enjoy -- is so different from anyone else. I tried shooting the NX1 for a week and sent it back, preferring to keep my GH4 and a6000. It's a nice camera, but it didn't really speak to me. I felt like I kept having to talk myself into loving it, and then I realized that I just didn't love it.

I tried the a7s for a week, and now I'm going to sell my GH4 and a6000. I am truly loving this camera, for both stills and video. It's brought a joy back to the art and craft of image for me. Are there better cameras out there? I don't know, and I don't care any more because I'm loving what I can do with it.

So I say, if the a7s isn't bringing you that joy of shooting, sell it and find the camera that does. Regardless of specs and features: if you love shooting with a camera, you'll shoot with it and find ways to make it work. It doesn't sound like the a7s is that camera for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and about a7s colors. Obviously, the profile/settings depend in part on the lens, but if you like this look/skin tones for corporate:

password= sony28135

The guy who shot it says he just turned the picture profiles off, chose 'standard', dialed contrast down to -3, then used a custom LUT in premiere.

If you like those skin tones, check the shooting with 28-135 thread at dvxuser.

I can't say if you'll find it easier to get the skin tones you want on an NX1. It didn't leap out to me as a particular strength, but then I wasn't looking for them. I did like the images it makes, but I very much enjoy the GH4, and the NX1 didn't make me want to give up that camera. The a7s does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A7s is wins hands down. Not grasping slog2 seems to be a cop out. The dynamic range, the color science (when worked properly), and just the organic nature of the sensor are perfect for low end to middle range purposes. Kitted out, I'm sure it wouldn't even be a stretch to shoot a feature on this thing. The low light is just icing on the cake. For me, with color as a focus, harnessing the a7s' image has been one of the most satisfying things. Work at the post end of things, find some LUTs, push the camera you own and don't worry about what you could buy. Shoot, shoot, shoot, and shoot some more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A7s is wins hands down. Not grasping slog2 seems to be a cop out. The dynamic range, the color science (when worked properly), and just the organic nature of the sensor are perfect for low end to middle range purposes. Kitted out, I'm sure it wouldn't even be a stretch to shoot a feature on this thing. The low light is just icing on the cake. For me, with color as a focus, harnessing the a7s' image has been one of the most satisfying things. Work at the post end of things, find some LUTs, push the camera you own and don't worry about what you could buy. Shoot, shoot, shoot, and shoot some more.

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?334239-a7s-skin-tones-slog2-vs-pp-off-(shogun-4k)

 

what would be your advise on this topic?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After taking the NX1 out on an aurora hunt, last night... I must say I am very disappointed with the low light, not just the image, but the inability to compose and focus. High ISOs don't seem to do anything to the onscreen picture after 1600 (maybe I have some setting off?).

I've ordered an A7s for my trip to Iceland, will probably take the NX1 along for the ride for slo-mo and the occasional 4K shot though. NX1 is an interesting camera, but can be frustrating as hell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I've seen and know, the a7S is the "better" camera for video. (it depends what you shoot though really). 

4k is a lovely feature, but there are more important things to consider. Some people go on about the suspect colour science of the a7S, but personally I find it very versatile due to it's capable organic look and dynamic range. It also makes a great b-cam if you rent something a bit more special. 

Keep your a7S and upgrade to the a7S II whenever it is released. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

I just saw this video, for me the level of detail at least for human being is nearly too much to shoot human beings and this is at 1600 ISO with the stock 24 mbit!!!!! This is not a test of Nikon great natural skin tone out of the box as I think that the grade might be a little bit high and stylise to a certain look, but it gives us and idea how much this base codec can be graded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Until you watch it on a 4K screen and find it a bit blurry. And worse when you compare it to a 4K video again on a 4k screen. But for Full HD work it is nice.

But its all a matter of what you want/need. I'd rather anticipate now and start shooting 4K right away. I remember what happened when we started switching to HD and Full HD and a lot of professional waited to switch and found their footage to be unusable for future work. But it also depends how long you plan on keeping the camera: 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, etc.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Until you watch it on a 4K screen and find it a bit blurry. And worse when you compare it to a 4K video again on a 4k screen. But for Full HD work it is nice.

But its all a matter of what you want/need. I'd rather anticipate now and start shooting 4K right away. I remember what happened when we started switching to HD and Full HD and a lot of professional waited to switch and found their footage to be unusable for future work. But it also depends how long you plan on keeping the camera: 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, etc.

 

​I guess it will be obsolete in 2000 years when human beings eyes will have evolved into hawk eye ;) I mean, for a certain time I did the test of going to Cinema and looking at the 2k projection from the front rows on big screens and I could not see pixels. In fact the last time I was bothered by resolution was in the last hobbit movie. I remember how distracting the beard where because they where so sharp. This and perhaps the use of super shallow depth of field make the characters just pop out too much as if everything was fake.

In fact by this standard most if not all the best Oscar film contesting for best cinematography this year will be obsolete in 3-5 years as they were mostly shot on Alexa 2.7 k and some film and mastered in 2k. I am sure that those directors and DOPs have some idea about what is enough or not. If at normal viewing distance (it is how film are supposed to be viewed because that's the job of the Director and DOP to frame the shots to tell a story) you cannot see pixel at 2k, then as I said before until we human being evolve through evolution your image won't be obsolete in the next hundred of years. From SD to Hd was a huge difference, but from HD to 4k is just incremental and only advantages are more for some refraining, stabilisation than actual projection.

The reason I actually chose the d750 video above was because of details in the skin. In fact it is the first one that I see where you don't have plastic skin that are so distinct in DSLR video. Detail is very important, the problem with the bad reputation of 2k/hd comes from the lack of detail that came with the Canon dslr. It made HD look to have low resolution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

​I guess it will be obsolete in 2000 years when human beings eyes will have evolved into hawk eye ;) I mean, for a certain time I did the test of going to Cinema and looking at the 2k projection from the front rows on big screens and I could not see pixels. In fact the last time I was bothered by resolution was in the last hobbit movie. I remember how distracting the beard where because they where so sharp. This and perhaps the use of super shallow depth of field make the characters just pop out too much as if everything was fake.

In fact by this standard most if not all the best Oscar film contesting for best cinematography this year will be obsolete in 3-5 years as they were mostly shot on Alexa 2.7 k and some film and mastered in 2k. I am sure that those directors and DOPs have some idea about what is enough or not. If at normal viewing distance (it is how film are supposed to be viewed because that's the job of the Director and DOP to frame the shots to tell a story) you cannot see pixel at 2k, then as I said before until we human being evolve through evolution your image won't be obsolete in the next hundred of years. From SD to Hd was a huge difference, but from HD to 4k is just incremental and only advantages are more for some refraining, stabilisation than actual projection.

The reason I actually chose the d750 video above was because of details in the skin. In fact it is the first one that I see where you don't have plastic skin that are so distinct in DSLR video. Detail is very important, the problem with the bad reputation of 2k/hd comes from the lack of detail that came with the Canon dslr. It made HD look to have low resolution.

​I don't mean to be disrespectful at all, so please don't take this the bad way. I don't know about theater 4k projection etc. But I can tell from what I have in front of my eyes, on my imac 5k. And the difference between Full HD and 4K isn't incremental at all. And the video you posted just looks blurry on my screen. And in the next months, a lot of our customers will have 4K screens at home, retina on their laptops and 5k if they get a new imac. And they might, or might not see the difference.

Now I totally respect and agree to the fact that resolution is just one aspect of the image quality, among other aspects like details, color science, skin tone, dynamic etc. It is not the alpha and omega of all. But for professional work - depending on your needs of course, for my part I'm in the middle of editing a 4K movie for a 4K projection - the choice will be the same than with DV to HD/FULLHD. 

But this is just a projection, and only time will tell. I'm happy that you like your Nikon I heard great things about it and I'm convinced it is a great camera. Just like a lot of DV camera were when HD came around. And I don't want to sound dictatorial but for professionals 4K will soon not be a choice anymore... (and I don't have shares in any 4K company ^^). 

Now that I have said that, I also saw that an iphone movie was awarded at Sundance. Still I'm not filming anything for my client with it :) (and of course I'm not  comparing a D750 to an iphone ;) ). In the end there are just tools, and it's just a matter of matching with our vision and skills. I'm pretty sure that with a 1000000k camera I'll never do as well as Spielberg with a 1970's film camera. But I gotta do what I gotta do !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate everyone's feedback and comments. Its been great to see where everyone stands in terms of importance on Color, DR, Low light, workflow, 4k debate, etc.

 

I sold the a7s yesterday. I had a gut feeling i was making a mistake as i was talking to the guy I was selling it to about the camera. It felt I was giving over a loved puppy I could no longer take care of. Dramatic, yes, but I already knew the camera is capable of great color. So for me to be selling it for my frustrations with color felt silly. 

Here's the thing about these cameras: like we all like to remind ourselves to dibble in the sentimental side of the art of filmmaking, "cameras are just tools". Now these tools have their own methods and character that DO affect the look and message of your film. But they come and go, because thats the damn nature of technology. NAB is literally weeks away. Its not like i didnt give the camera my full attention and technical consideration. I spent two of the three weeks I owned it for researching plenty of picture profile settings that worked for people (including the ones suggested in this thread), considered different grading workflows and techniques in both Resolve and Premiere w/ filmconvert. I tried conversion luts as well as different Impulz luts. I worked with the camera snd didnt find the look I personally want for my work, which in all honesty, is offered best by 5d mk III RAW (cursed be the workflow).

The a7s is amazing. Just not for me, for the different work that I will be doing. I sure as hell will be renting it plenty times, though. But again, NAB is around the corner. I dont need to force my attachment to the camera like this.

So like what most of you have been saying...shoot, test, shoot more, compare, and trust your gut. 

 

In terms of 4k, I just like how downscaled, unsharpened 4k feels like actual actual true detail in a 1080p timeline vs sharpening 1080p footage on post. It isnt a necessity. A7s footage is crazy sharp with great detail. But then, look at the 1dc downscaled. Same look and feel as the a7s imo, but even more detail without feeling video-ish. Hell, look at a7s 4k. Same premise.

Stop saying 4k capture is pointless or not a necessity as much as DR or whatever other attribute. It has its great benefits that DO still contribue to the overall look of yiur film if handled correctly in post.

As for my next camera...I think im going to just chill with my lx100, my bmpcc, and my a5100+speedbooster for the time being, and then just rent for bigger projects. I think i still need to figure out the type of shooter i am, as well as the type of footage I prefer to reproduce. Do i LIKE crushing blacks and blowing highlights? Do i like seeing flat footage? Do I REEALY care about sharp images? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ j.f.r.  and gh4students

thx for sharing; great work, no doubt. nothing to complain, even the colours are really good - for a sony that is. :-)

seriously, the skin tones have these clinical and shiny, perfect just-a-liitle-bit-too-sterile-look, which works perfectly for commercials, no doubt as said before. 

 

but some people still prefere a little bit more reality, this dirty rock-n-roll feeling of reality... a liitle bit more punk/grunge... character and personality.

everyone is right here.

a friend of mine is a wedding pro and she returns her A7s, too. And she tried really hard, spending several nights in front of the screen, but no love...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Value you sharing your decision with us. I absolutely love sony's a7_ cameras, but they have certain quirks that I'd expect to be gone at this point. You're right NAB is weeks away and I'm also waiting to see what manufacturers do (mostly Sony). I would immediately pull the trigger on any of the sony a7_ cameras if they offered 120fps in 1080p. Hopefully, they will release new bodies with 4k because 4k cameras tend to be able to process/write fast enough to do 120fps (hoping they dont cripple something like this to protect the fs700/fs7). The NX1 has been hugely appealing to me but I also LOVE photography and part of me wants to stick to full frame, so I'm really crossing my fingers for Sony to come through here. The NX1 looks excellent though, but I think they're going to be a key player in forcing the hand of other manufacturers to put 4k in sub 1500$ mirrorless cameras. We'll see how Sony answers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

j_one -- sounds to me like you made the right call. there are too many cameras around to have to fight with one too much. yes, there's always a learning curve, but for me, cameras pretty quickly get fun or not. if they are, the work is a passion. if not, the work is a fight.

and Wulf -- just to be clear, I didn't shoot that video. Not really a look I love, either -- i agree: clinical, but solid -- but I think it would work for a lot of things/people, so I wanted to bring it into the conversation. personally, I'm loving the a7s with a Pentacon 135, Jupiter 3, and the Sony FE 55. Those three lenses are just so much fun on the a7s camera for me, in ways they weren't on either the a6000 or gh4 (obviously, the FE has never been on the GH). Of course, they need very different profiles/color tweaks, but I'm really enjoying finding those, too.

My students are across the board with a7s color/lenses. I've got one project leaning toward our Pentacon set (135, 50, 29), another leaning Jupiter (180, 135, 85, 50, 35), and one deciding between more modern nikon and canon glass. Interestingly, none chose sony/zeiss. It's fun watching them have to figure out what works for their visions and stories. And I like seeing them do the work of testing and trying to match color/look in pre-production. for what it's worth, they have access to 5D III and 70D every day with canon and rokinon glass, and they are choosing a7s and older lenses. Doesn't make it a better camera in any way. Just a better camera for them, now.

for what it's worth -- and this is totally irrelevant but shows how personal all this is, I guess -- I never cared for olympus lenses on the gh4. I know many people who swear by those Olympus 1.8 primes. And I hated the panasonic 25/1.4, but I love shooting with the panasonic leica 15mm, which is strange because it's not a focal length I usually enjoy, but I love that lens on that camera. and the helios 44-2. and a cosmicar 8mm 1.6 (in etc mode). great looks when there was enough light. but I like shooting with low/available light too much. (for personal stuff).

all that said -- it's a great time to be into cameras and gear because there are so many great options. I mean, kendy ty and seb farges use totally different gear, but when I'm watching their stuff, I'm not thinking about their gear; I'm just digging their stuff. I think about their gear later, out of curiosity, and that's fun, but I think too many people get caught up at seeing the work of artists they like and trying to get the same gear to replicate that work instead of finding the gear that best helps them express their thing.

best of luck j_one with the hunt. let us know when you find the one you love. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate everyone's feedback and comments. Its been great to see where everyone stands in terms of importance on Color, DR, Low light, workflow, 4k debate, etc.

 

I sold the a7s yesterday. I had a gut feeling i was making a mistake as i was talking to the guy I was selling it to about the camera. It felt I was giving over a loved puppy I could no longer take care of. Dramatic, yes, but I already knew the camera is capable of great color. So for me to be selling it for my frustrations with color felt silly. 

Here's the thing about these cameras: like we all like to remind ourselves to dibble in the sentimental side of the art of filmmaking, "cameras are just tools". Now these tools have their own methods and character that DO affect the look and message of your film. But they come and go, because thats the damn nature of technology. NAB is literally weeks away. Its not like i didnt give the camera my full attention and technical consideration. I spent two of the three weeks I owned it for researching plenty of picture profile settings that worked for people (including the ones suggested in this thread), considered different grading workflows and techniques in both Resolve and Premiere w/ filmconvert. I tried conversion luts as well as different Impulz luts. I worked with the camera snd didnt find the look I personally want for my work, which in all honesty, is offered best by 5d mk III RAW (cursed be the workflow).

The a7s is amazing. Just not for me, for the different work that I will be doing. I sure as hell will be renting it plenty times, though. But again, NAB is around the corner. I dont need to force my attachment to the camera like this.

So like what most of you have been saying...shoot, test, shoot more, compare, and trust your gut. 

 

In terms of 4k, I just like how downscaled, unsharpened 4k feels like actual actual true detail in a 1080p timeline vs sharpening 1080p footage on post. It isnt a necessity. A7s footage is crazy sharp with great detail. But then, look at the 1dc downscaled. Same look and feel as the a7s imo, but even more detail without feeling video-ish. Hell, look at a7s 4k. Same premise.

Stop saying 4k capture is pointless or not a necessity as much as DR or whatever other attribute. It has its great benefits that DO still contribue to the overall look of yiur film if handled correctly in post.

As for my next camera...I think im going to just chill with my lx100, my bmpcc, and my a5100+speedbooster for the time being, and then just rent for bigger projects. I think i still need to figure out the type of shooter i am, as well as the type of footage I prefer to reproduce. Do i LIKE crushing blacks and blowing highlights? Do i like seeing flat footage? Do I REEALY care about sharp images? 

​Hey j_one, I had the exact same experience with the GH4. I was absolutely crazy in love with my GH2 and GH3. But when the GH4 came around it just didn't work for me anymore. And to be honest if the NX1 did/does a fantastic job to me it also lacks something: 10 bits 422 / Prores etc. Anything that would make it show less banding / macro blockings. 

All these cameras have their trade offs in the end. And to me the trade offs I have with my NX1 are ok, because I get those colors I need / love. So the compromise is fine. I couldn't really get those colors right with the GH4 and it was also too noisy for my tastes (and its noise doesn't look filmic at all). 

Good luck to you to find your next "tool" or should I have said "instrument" :). It is quite the never ending road ! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I think post production and settings are the tricky ones nowadays, given their huge impact on the final image...

 Light your scene effectively and you won't have to worry about settings or post. Lighting, lenses and art department (including HMU - seriously, put make up on your talent and tell me you're still having trouble with skin tones) have the biggest effect on the final image.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 Light your scene effectively and you won't have to worry about settings or post. Lighting, lenses and art department (including HMU - seriously, put make up on your talent and tell me you're still having trouble with skin tones) have the biggest effect on the final image.

I'd probably think most of the "internet camera nerds" don't bother using lighting, or very little. Whether this comes down to shooting style/hobby/lack of interest... Don't know.

I can be a camera nerd who surfs the net on a daily basis to feed my latest craving. But I also see cameras/footage being critised where proper, good lighting was NOT utilised. How many actually realise that a camera produces superior images with a good set of lights, or a knowledge in how to mould natural light? 

A lot of the "skin tone" footage on the net with the A7s sucks because the operator raised the ISO to 20,000 in locations with weird colours/no colours, and didn't bother to consider light at all. 

Lighting is far more important than cameras. You start to realise that your tool has much better colour, dynamic range, resolution and motion than you thought. Even if you use a flat piece of foil to reflect the light on your subject, every little helps. 

My order of importance for every shoot: 

1. Idea 

2. Subject (actor, location etc)

3. Lighting

4. Lenses

5. Camera

So onto your subject, whatever camera you use, start with lighting first. You will get much much further with your filmmaking and produce much better images this way :) 

My honest opinion is - those who are serious but don't consider lighting, you might as well not bother! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...