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Andrew Reid

Sony A7R II official user thread

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Not sure why you say that. Sure, it is FF. But NX1 has pluses of its own: e.g., 120 fps in 1080p and true 4k (vs. UHD). At the end of the day, both are 8 bit 4:2:0 internal, so I'm not sure what the headline feature is for A7RII that should get everyone excited over above NX1. Against A7S, it'll be internal 4K; but against NX1, what? Comes down to FF, right? IMO, we need to learn a lot more about its performance and see real world results before passing judgment vs. other cameras. For one thing, I thought the colors are muddy in all the test footage I saw from A7RII so far.

 FF, log, dynamic range, codec, low light, rolling shutter, IBIS, lenses. Also the DCI in the nx1 is cropped from UHD right? but I agree that the nx1 isn't dead

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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

 FF, log, dynamic range, codec, low light, rolling shutter, IBIS, lenses. Also the DCI in the nx1 is cropped from UHD right? but I agree that the nx1 isn't dead

My point is: except for FF, it's not a slam dunk. Log on 8 bit 4:2:0 isn't exactly great, IMO colors are muddy because of it. This is even assuming NX1 won't get log itself soon. Low light is great for candle light test shots, but does anyone ever do any serious project, especially narrative work, based on low light capabilities rather than light the scene? For doc folks, would be good though. I don't know what you mean by codec, H.265 is an extremely efficient codec that makes great use of the bandwidth, perhaps you're talking about the need to transcode to ProRes? You'll need to do that with a7RII as well. Rolling shutter is just as bad on crop mode, if not worse, as I understand. IBIS and lenses would be a (possibly big) advantage if you use other lenses, but otherwise lens stabilization works quite well with Samsung lenses (though I don't know how it compares to the IBIS in a7RII). And don't forget that NX1 costs less than half of a7RII, which should be mentioned when you list the pluses.

Bottom line, we can enumerate all the things on one side to make the advantages seem big, but as I see it, the only headline plus I see is the FF aspect, but as I said the colors on the other hand seem muddy compared to the vibrant colors of NX1, which for me trumps FF. Of course, I'm only seeing the test clips posted, and that's why I said we need to see more before judging.

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My point is: except for FF, it's not a slam dunk. Log on 8 bit 4:2:0 isn't exactly great, IMO colors are muddy because of it. This is even assuming NX1 won't get log itself soon. Low light is great for candle light test shots, but does anyone ever do any serious project, especially narrative work, based on low light capabilities rather than light the scene? For doc folks, would be good though. I don't know what you mean by codec, H.265 is an extremely efficient codec that makes great use of the bandwidth, perhaps you're talking about the need to transcode to ProRes? You'll need to do that with a7RII as well. Rolling shutter is just as bad on crop mode, if not worse, as I understand. IBIS and lenses would be a (possibly big) advantage if you use other lenses, but otherwise lens stabilization works quite well with Samsung lenses (though I don't know how it compares to the IBIS in a7RII). And don't forget that NX1 costs less than half of a7RII, which should be mentioned when you list the pluses.

Bottom line, we can enumerate all the things on one side to make the advantages seem big, but as I see it, the only headline plus I see is the FF aspect, but as I said the colors on the other hand seem muddy compared to the vibrant colors of NX1, which for me trumps FF. Of course, I'm only seeing the test clips posted, and that's why I said we need to see more before judging.

Yeah I was only listing pluses for the a7rii. price is a big deal for the nx1, and slowmo appears better on the nx1 too. log is helpful, high iso is helpful, full frame is sometimes preferred. rolling shutter in ff mode is better for sure, right? and without a real test or seeing any issues in the real world as bad as I've seen in the nx1 at times, I'm not sure I believe just yet that the crop mode is as bad as the nx1, though it could be. pretty sure you don't need to transcode xavcs. E-mount is more adaptable for sure though it may not always be a serious obstacle. if you can adjust for shortcomings, that's cool, but these are still advantages. can you tell me where specifically you've seen muddy colors? sorry if you've already said, but this is a long thread ;)

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http://www.newsshooter.com/2015/08/02/sony-a7r-ii-part-iii-5-axis-stabilisation-and-heat-issues-going-handheld-to-tell-the-story-of-a-london-busker/

So it will overheat in 4K mode unless you use external recorder, not that great if the only mode that gives you the good result (S35 4K) also have overheating issue.

 

Better to wait for A7S II if you want reliable 4K continuous shoot

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Davide,

What makes you think it doesn't drop to 12-bit precision in fully electronic ("silent") shutter mode?  All indications are that it does so, just like the other A7 series cameras that support this feature (there's no penalty with EFCS, naturally.)

In fact, someone even posted a snippet from an A7RII manual a few weeks ago confirming this limitation.

Bulb, continuous, and  continuous bracket modes also drop to 12-bit precision.  

So for top quality super long exposure shots exceeding 30 seconds, where you must use bulb, you get 12-bit.  That stinks, in a $3200 camera.

Coupled with the fact that they're still using the somewhat crappy lossy RAW compression scheme, which does occasionally manifest itself in real-world shots, and this one's a skip, for me, for now.  It seems Nikon is still the best when it comes to getting top quality out of Sony's sensors.

But then, I'm primarily a stills guy--video is a bonus.  

@labirdman 

the informations i had regarding the electronic shutter were from an Q&A with Kimio Maki (Senior General Manager, Digital Imaging Business Group, Sony Corporation) published on Imaging Resource here: http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2015/06/16/sony-qa-the-must-have-sensor-tech-of-the-future

below is the bit in which he said that the only tradeoff with using the electronic sensor in the A7RII is the distortion caused by the rolling shutter:

DE: But CMOS, CMOS it's very hard, yeah. Oh, that was one question. So on the A7R II, there's an all-electronic shutter mode, a silent shutter mode.

KM: Yeah.

DE: Our sense, and I'm not sure if we had seen it in... It might not have been a Sony product, it might have been somebody else's, but I know that there was at least one camera we had in the lab not long ago that reduced the bit depth in the raw files when you used its all-electronic shutter mode. And so I'm wondering, I guess there's a tradeoff there. What is the tradeoff in terms of image quality or noise level or whatever, when you're using an entirely electronic shutter as opposed to a mechanical shutter?

KM: Just distortion.

MW: Yeah. Otherwise, why put the mechanism in?

KM: Yeah.

They could have changed things before the release of the production model though, that i don't know! I guess the only way is to make some tests and that is what i'm gonna do anyway! :-)

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They could have changed things before the release of the production model though, that i don't know! I guess the only way is to make some tests and that is what i'm gonna do anyway! :-)

That's the spirit!  I really hope he, and you, are right.  If you're able, could you please consider testing bulb mode, in non-silent mode, for the same thing?

Also, Jim Kasson, on his excellent blog, has noted that the drop to 12-bit is typically only noticeable quite close to base ISO.  So, 100 ISO appears to be the best setting with which to test, which probably almost goes without saying  http://blog.kasson.com/?p=8586

 

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hello everybody!

 

Yesterday I’ve been to the Southbank in London to shoot some footage and do a quick grade to see how the camera perform in a real world situation. I’ve also wanted to check how an adapted EF lens worked on the camera so i used a Canon 24-105 with a Metabones Mark IV. Apart from a couple of very wide shots everything have been shot handheld in S35 mode. (therefore apologies for the odd shaky clip!):blush:

 

I’m gonna due a proper write up in due course but for now some random thoughts:

 

- Overall the camera have been an absolute pleasure to use: the ergonomic of the body is much better compared to the previous generation cameras, the slightly chunkier body provides a much better grip and the EVF is big and bright, the best I’ve ever used together with the Fuji X-T1

 

- Having an extra custom button and, most importantly, being able to assign the record to a button of your choice makes a big difference!!

 

- Unfortunately some software limitations that i always found annoying in the a7s are still present, namely: the inability to set a custom white balance from the movie mode, the focus magnification which is way inferior to the one in still mode (only 4x magnification, sometimes in not enough to achieve a proper focus!), the inability to assign the S35/APS-C crop mode to a custom button and the bloody NTSC warning message! I really hope some (or better all) of these things will be fixed with a future firmware update!

 

- Unfortunately the experience with the Metabones have been quite frustrating as usual… Like other users reported the focus performance in still mode is indeed impressive, almost on par with the one on a canon body but in movie mode things are very different: definitely much better than the a7s but not as fast as still mode, moreover i couldn’t get the camera to focus at all past 70mm, i don’t know if it’s a lens problem, an adapter problem or something with the camera but in the end i went back to manual focusing because it was super annoying! 

 

- I’ve tried to shot a variety of material to test the camera strengths and weaknesses and i have to say I’m even more impressed now after I quickly graded the footage with film convert (using the a7s profile since they haven’t released one for the a7r II yet). I once again had the impression that the camera is as good as the a7s in terms of dynamic range and the files are generally cleaner to start with because of the lower native ISO. This is completely unscientific and untested so take this with a grain of salt but there is something that i really like in the colours that I never experienced with the a7s before (at least not with so little grading work required) so i’m starting to wonder whether Sony improved the colour science on this camera.. again, totally unscientific and unsubstantiated, just a gut feeling really but I’ll definitely do some more comparisons to find out!

 

- Real life usage confirmed the very positive impressions about the low light performance of the S35 mode.. the camera is remarkably clean all the way to the top ISO setting (and yes, there are at some shots in the clip that have been shot at ISO 25600!) 

Before last week if somebody told me that I could have shot usable material at ISO 25600 on a 42 megapixels still camera i would have laughed in their face! :grin:

 

-I’m pretty sure that part of the great performance of the camera is down to the extremely efficient codec and there’s a shot in the video that i think show this very well: at 04:59 there’s a blue flag on an almost completely flat blue sky shot at ISO6400… while i was shooting i thought “right, this is the recipe for disaster: an uniform colour in the whole frame at high ISO with a compressed 8bit 4:2:0 codec, it’s gonna be the festival of banding!”… boy i was wrong! there’s not a hint of it, the file is clean as a whistle!

 

Thanks for watching!

 

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Wow, that is some amazing stabilization in the camera or you have rock steady hands! Footage looks pleasing, I like the colors more than those in the test footage I've seen this far, but they still seem muted and on the muddy side in some spots, I'll check on big monitor tomorrow. Also, there is a lot of banding in the sky and macroblocking in low light shots (towards the end for example), not sure if it's YouTube doing its thing.

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hello everybody!

(...)

 

Dan Chung has reported heating issues...

What are your findings?

If none to date, can you test it under distinct conditions and duration, please?

 

Thanks :-)

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In terms of A7S specs, the only thing I would want besides 4K 60 and decent 120 or 240 1080 would be an in-built ND of some sort, don't know if space wise that is at all possible.

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I'm liking the colour from this camera so far as opposed to the A7s. Could it be that everyone has learned to grade S-Log 2 suddenly? Or have Sony improved the colour science?

I've definitely had some moment watching the test footage, particularly Davide's film above, where I thought 'oh this feels real' that I seldom had with A7s footage.

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I'm liking the colour from this camera so far as opposed to the A7s. Could it be that everyone has learned to grade S-Log 2 suddenly? Or have Sony improved the colour science?

I've definitely had some moment watching the test footage, particularly Davide's film above, where I thought 'oh this feels real' that I seldom had with A7s footage.

It looked great but this A7s footage myth is getting a little bit ridiculous. I've done plenty of pieces with pleasing colour.

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hello everybody!

 

Yesterday I’ve been to the Southbank in London to shoot some footage and do a quick grade to see how the camera perform in a real world situation. I’ve also wanted to check how an adapted EF lens worked on the camera so i used a Canon 24-105 with a Metabones Mark IV. Apart from a couple of very wide shots everything have been shot handheld in S35 mode. (therefore apologies for the odd shaky clip!):blush:

 

I’m gonna due a proper write up in due course but for now some random thoughts:

 

- Overall the camera have been an absolute pleasure to use: the ergonomic of the body is much better compared to the previous generation cameras, the slightly chunkier body provides a much better grip and the EVF is big and bright, the best I’ve ever used together with the Fuji X-T1

 

- Having an extra custom button and, most importantly, being able to assign the record to a button of your choice makes a big difference!!

 

- Unfortunately some software limitations that i always found annoying in the a7s are still present, namely: the inability to set a custom white balance from the movie mode, the focus magnification which is way inferior to the one in still mode (only 4x magnification, sometimes in not enough to achieve a proper focus!), the inability to assign the S35/APS-C crop mode to a custom button and the bloody NTSC warning message! I really hope some (or better all) of these things will be fixed with a future firmware update!

 

- Unfortunately the experience with the Metabones have been quite frustrating as usual… Like other users reported the focus performance in still mode is indeed impressive, almost on par with the one on a canon body but in movie mode things are very different: definitely much better than the a7s but not as fast as still mode, moreover i couldn’t get the camera to focus at all past 70mm, i don’t know if it’s a lens problem, an adapter problem or something with the camera but in the end i went back to manual focusing because it was super annoying! 

 

- I’ve tried to shot a variety of material to test the camera strengths and weaknesses and i have to say I’m even more impressed now after I quickly graded the footage with film convert (using the a7s profile since they haven’t released one for the a7r II yet). I once again had the impression that the camera is as good as the a7s in terms of dynamic range and the files are generally cleaner to start with because of the lower native ISO. This is completely unscientific and untested so take this with a grain of salt but there is something that i really like in the colours that I never experienced with the a7s before (at least not with so little grading work required) so i’m starting to wonder whether Sony improved the colour science on this camera.. again, totally unscientific and unsubstantiated, just a gut feeling really but I’ll definitely do some more comparisons to find out!

 

- Real life usage confirmed the very positive impressions about the low light performance of the S35 mode.. the camera is remarkably clean all the way to the top ISO setting (and yes, there are at some shots in the clip that have been shot at ISO 25600!) 

Before last week if somebody told me that I could have shot usable material at ISO 25600 on a 42 megapixels still camera i would have laughed in their face! :grin:

 

-I’m pretty sure that part of the great performance of the camera is down to the extremely efficient codec and there’s a shot in the video that i think show this very well: at 04:59 there’s a blue flag on an almost completely flat blue sky shot at ISO6400… while i was shooting i thought “right, this is the recipe for disaster: an uniform colour in the whole frame at high ISO with a compressed 8bit 4:2:0 codec, it’s gonna be the festival of banding!”… boy i was wrong! there’s not a hint of it, the file is clean as a whistle!

 

Thanks for watching!

 

Wow, looks great. Would love slowmo, but I can't fault the footage. Much to like here.

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The lack of usable autofocus in video mode is a bit disheartening as I frequently record wildlife in which autofocus really comes in handy. Bummer.

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@ajay I think you misread my statement! :-) AF performance in video mode with native glass is very good and it's much improved compared to the a7S both in terms of speed and functionality (now you can choose the tracking sensitivity and speed for instance)

My issue was with the adapted canon lens which is not quite as fast in video mode and struggled at longer focal length, hope this clarifies your concern! :-)

@Emanuel I read about the overheating issues Dan encountered, I haven't had any issues so far but i generally never record for more than 5-10 mins continuously so i can't say is not happening.. I will do a test and get back to you on this! :-)

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Wow, that is some amazing stabilization in the camera or you have rock steady hands! Footage looks pleasing, I like the colors more than those in the test footage I've seen this far, but they still seem muted and on the muddy side in some spots, I'll check on big monitor tomorrow. Also, there is a lot of banding in the sky and macroblocking in low light shots (towards the end for example), not sure if it's YouTube doing its thing.

Ahah, thanks mate! I'm not sure i have particularly steady hands so that probably means the stabilisation is pretty good indeed! :-) I'm not sure if SteadyShot works in conjunction with the IS in the Canon lens or not but the results are pretty good indeed! 

I wouldn't worry too much about the colours being muted, that is my choice of grading really! 

Some shots are a bit noisy indeed but keep in mind that I was on a f4 lens so the ISO i've used at night ranged from 6400 all the way up to 25600 in three shots, that's quite impressive if you ask me! Also i haven't denoised the footage, i got very nice results using the temporal noise reduction in Resolve on the a7s so i have no reason to believe it won't work as good on the a7rII.

Last but not least youtube compression is quite severe so i wouldn't use that as a judgement of quality.. I've inspected the source footage quite carefully and it looked very clean and free of muddiness and/or macro blocking. 

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NX1 destroyed...

Not so fast professor.

 

"One thing I discovered about half way into the shoot was that the camera has a tendency to overheat when recording in 4K for extended periods. At first a yellow warning sign pops up on the screen, then a few minutes later the camera shuts itself down with a black warning saying it needs to cool down. This is not something I have experienced in normal shooting with either the Panasonic GH4 or Sony a7S. The last time this happened to me was when using a Canon 5D mkII in hot conditions. During the shoot it was warm weather but not scorching hot, so I expect it is the 4K recording that is creating the excess heat. I lost several shots while waiting for the camera to cool down."

http://www.newsshooter.com/2015/08/02/sony-a7r-ii-part-iii-5-axis-stabilisation-and-heat-issues-going-handheld-to-tell-the-story-of-a-london-busker/

 

 

My "destroyed" NX1 has been recording 4k all day and hasn't overheated once.  Same S35 mode too basically.

 

IMG_8462-e1438524723307-450x600.jpg

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Please don't take my comments negatively or misinformed. My comments about autofocus in video mode has to do with the reality that I photograph and video mostly birds with 400mm to 600mm Canon lenses. That is why I am a bit bummed out. I was excited to hear how well the metabones adapter works with Canon lenses for pics, still bummed however about autofocus in video mode for telephoto Canon lenses. It's not a show-stopper, but when videoing wildlife that constantly moves, manual focus just doesn't work sometimes. I could really use a camera that uses Canon lenses that shoots 4k and has the autofocus capabilities similar to the Canon 70D and 7DM2. I am not holding my breath for the next 5D...doubtful it will have 4k but who knows?

Unfortunately I've got too much money invested in Canon glass to completely switch over to Sony. With that said, I'll probably pick up the A7R2 just because it does just about everything else better than Canon.

 

 

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@Emanuel I read about the overheating issues Dan encountered, I haven't had any issues so far but i generally never record for more than 5-10 mins continuously so i can't say is not happening.. I will do a test and get back to you on this! :-)

Davide, grazie :-)

If possible to check aliasing/moiré from zero to lowest shapness settings, it would also be rather helpful indeed. Just for the sake trying to understand how avoid the issues when happen even if with little impact on the outcome.

E :-)

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