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Andrew Reid

Hands on with the Sony A7R II

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This first hands on is with a pre-production model, so no footage for now. Instead on Wednesday August 5th I will shoot for the first time with the final retail boxed Sony A7R II in Berlin at a boxing academy. Be sure to check out EOSHD for that and the full review next week.

The Sony A7R II represents a significant escalation in specs for both stills and video, a truly next generation camera.  To kick off my coverage of Sony's 1st 4K internally recording full frame mirrorless model I bring you this exclusive hands-on.

Read the full article

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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

Not to steal thunder from the A7R II, but what are your thoughts on the likelihood of an A7S II? If you think it's probable, when would you guess that Sony will release it?

This camera seems like a remarkable tool for video in and of itself, but if the delta between the A7S and A7S II is anywhere near as large as that between the A7R and A7R II, then I'm definitely going to hold out for the A7S II.

Low-light video performance is important to me, so if this is likely to be the flagship mirrorless model for video for the next year or two, do you think the price/feature premium over an A7S is worth it, or should I just buy a copy of the latter and spend the difference on lenses/accessories? (I realize that's probably not possible to answer until you get to spend time with a production model).

Thanks!

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As for the switching from 4K to 1080p in a hurry or wanting to quickly re-frame by switching from full frame to APS-C or visa-versa, could those be setup in the menus that are available by pushing the Function button?

You can customize what is served up from the function button, so maybe you can set these 2 items up in there.

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Not to steal thunder from the A7R II, but what are your thoughts on the likelihood of an A7S II? If you think it's probable, when would you guess that Sony will release it?

This camera seems like a remarkable tool for video in and of itself, but if the delta between the A7S and A7S II is anywhere near as large as that between the A7R and A7R II, then I'm definitely going to hold out for the A7S II.

Low-light video performance is important to me, so if this is likely to be the flagship mirrorless model for video for the next year or two, do you think the price/feature premium over an A7S is worth it, or should I just buy a copy of the latter and spend the difference on lenses/accessories? (I realize that's probably not possible to answer until you get to spend time with a production model).

Thanks!

Sony seems to have a pretty consistent 6 months between each A7x camera so i would say december is very likely

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It's an interesting strategy to say the least because it means video shooters end up buying two bodies.

As for the switching from 4K to 1080p in a hurry or wanting to quickly re-frame by switching from full frame to APS-C or visa-versa, could those be setup in the menus that are available by pushing the Function button?

You can customize what is served up from the function button, so maybe you can set these 2 items up in there.

Like I said in the article, you can't put them in the function menu or on a custom button... so you would have to assign them to one of the mode dial "memory modes" instead, but problem I find using those is that it also saves preset shutter speed, aperture, white balance, etc. so you could have exposed one way in Movie mode then gone to memory mode and have it all nicely fucked up for you.

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Wishes for the review:

- A7R II vs A7S vs 1DC vs NX1.. with 4KFF VS 4K APSC cause apparently 4K FF is better (no RS and the moire isnt a pbm) from the first reviews

- Also interesting to have a A7R II vs RX10II in 4K and 60fps and 120fps to see how they can match and compare in sharpness, 

- Both of the above in your scene test but also in real word outside. 

 

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The A7R II review will start with boxing footage... a good test for rolling shutter, motion cadence and whether the colour comes out as nice as the 1D C which I will bring with me as well!!

Then A7R II versus A7S in low light... this is one thing giving me pause for thought "shall I wait 6 months for the A7S II?"

Then versus 1D C shot A-B comparison, especially with regards to colour and what it is like to grade!

I think the 120fps mode should be interesting vs NX1 and GH4. RX10 II will probably beat it there.

Let's see if moire is a problem vs 1D C which is very clean.

And I also have the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q to test the HDMI output. Wonder if it is better than the one on the A7S which had issues especially with S-LOG and the smudgy APS-C upscaling to 4K.

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It's an interesting strategy to say the least because it means video shooters end up buying two bodies.

Like I said in the article, you can't put them in the function menu or on a custom button... so you would have to assign them to one of the mode dial "memory modes" instead, but problem I find using those is that it also saves preset shutter speed, aperture, white balance, etc. so you could have exposed one way in Movie mode then gone to memory mode and have it all nicely fucked up for you.

I do something like this in shooting manual with the A7s ... M1 is SLOG2 S gamut iso 3200 4K 24P Kholi profile M2 is cine gamma iso 800 HD 24P modified Kholi Pro profile.

When I hit either I can change any variable quickly ...shutter aperture ND filter for +/- but they remain as they were memorized so it is a quick start.

Probably use this for the majority of my video as this covers most of my shooting with or without the CD Odyssey 7Q+.

Either memory setting allows me to advance HD - 4K or back as desired.

 

Bob

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I would like to see a direct comparison between A7R II and A7S with the same picture profile(Slog2 with the same LUT applied) in terms of color. IMO it would be good to have something yellow and something red in the same shot(probably some flowers would be the best choice because of the natural colors) because from what I've seen A7S has greenish yellows and magentish reds.
Personally I think that is the main reason why it's hard to correct A7S colors because you have two color casts that are opposite to each other in the color spectrum at the same time... and I don't think that the whole image is affected by those casts, just certain colors(IMO yellows and reds).

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I would love to see how IBIS does with mechanically adapted zooms. I've got a bunch of Nikon mount zooms, which won't report focal length to the camera. So for instance a 70-200 with the IBIS set for 135mm - how does it do in the middle of the zoom range vs the opposite ends? And is it worth investing in slower FE zooms to take advantage of five axis, or stick with my 2.8 zooms and only get three axis?

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The slower FE lens will have much better AF video tracking, which is pretty useful in some situations.  But isn't there a Nikon to E mount adapter with full electronic communication coming soon? Maybe with that it will report the zoom?

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I would like to see a comprehensive test using Canon lenses focusing in video mode. I had read that on a pre-production model, autofocus was not good in video mode...photo mode was fast and accurate, but autofocus while filming was not good. Please confirm.

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It's an interesting strategy to say the least because it means video shooters end up buying two bodies.

Like I said in the article, you can't put them in the function menu or on a custom button... so you would have to assign them to one of the mode dial "memory modes" instead, but problem I find using those is that it also saves preset shutter speed, aperture, white balance, etc. so you could have exposed one way in Movie mode then gone to memory mode and have it all nicely fucked up for you.

On my A7s I could not assign "APS-C" mode to any of the memory banks.  It would not save this option; however I had it set last always won out.  Try it and you'll see...

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Dear Andrew,

where you'll pick up your camera? I would like to have one too on wednesday!!!!! Also in Berlin.....

Wo bekommt man sie? Ich habe einen Foto/Filmjob und meine Canon 5DmkIII vor ein paar Wochen verkauft (nach vielen Jahren Canon!!!).

LG

Jörg

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