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Sony A7S II is out!


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As someone who's seriously considering the Sony A7S II as my next camera for video work, I do wonder how fast the processor itself is. I know it's a step up from the previous gen, but I mean what about when compared to other cameras in the market. Whilst a standardised benchmark of camera processors probably wouldn't be truly reflective of what it's capable of, and simplistic at best, I'm sure the results would still be interesting. For example, the Samsung NX1 has possibly the fastest processor (or at least the most capable, multicore-wise) inside the hood for a camera of that size, whilst still giving decent battery life. And the body is closer to an A7s II more than, say, a Blackmagic Ursa. But I wonder after seeing the specs about the NX1's processor benchmark compared to an Ursa mini and even the Sony A7S II.

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As someone who's seriously considering the Sony A7S II as my next camera for video work, I do wonder how fast the processor itself is. I know it's a step up from the previous gen, but I mean what about when compared to other cameras in the market. Whilst a standardised benchmark of camera processors probably wouldn't be truly reflective of what it's capable of, and simplistic at best, I'm sure the results would still be interesting. For example, the Samsung NX1 has possibly the fastest processor (or at least the most capable, multicore-wise) inside the hood for a camera of that size, whilst still giving decent battery life. And the body is closer to an A7s II more than, say, a Blackmagic Ursa. But I wonder after seeing the specs about the NX1's processor benchmark compared to an Ursa mini and even the Sony A7S II.

 Why does this matter? 

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so then the question comes...  how big would the benefit be to start recording externally on my A7S  (just for 1080P) ?   to go from 8 bit 420 XAVC to 8 bit 422 (proress probably)

If you research back throughout this thread, you'll find the answer you're looking for.

4:2:2 means higher bitrate too and all this means a obvious benefit.

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I believe that the jump from 8bit to 10bit is far more important than 4:2:2 instead of 4:2:0. The bump to 4:2:2 increases the theoretical gain of picture information by 1,3x, whereas 10bit increases it by 64x more information. The A-B-C example that Emanuel posted doesn't prove the opposite for quite a few reasons:

1. When testing the impact of a certain change or setting you can only vary one factor to make assumptions regarding that setting. But as it has been pointed out it not only changed from 8bit 4:2:0 to 8bit 4:2:2, but the entire system that recorded the scene changed including the codec thats being used. thats a massive flaw in the test and therefore doesn't prove anything regarding 4:2:0 vs 4:2:2.

2. Better color subsampling only increases accuracy of chroma information meaning that a black and white picture looks identical in 4:2:0 vs 4:2:2. The ABC example still shows banding even when converted to black and white, meaning the banding isn't caused by the color subsampling.

3. if 4:2:0 were to blame for the banding in the picture then the 4:2:2 example would show the same kind of banding on the horizontal line of the vignette circle. why? well, because 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 have the exact same amount of information on any horizontal line of pixels. its only the vertical chroma resolution thats improved.

Quite opposite to Emanuels opinion I think people are way to focused on 4:2:2. Its really just a leftover from interlaced footage times that only increases new picture information by a tiny bit. if something bothers you about 4:2:0 it should also bother you while looking at horizontal lines from 4:2:2 footage as it has the same chroma resolution. 10bit on the other hand is HUGE. companies went from 10bit raw to 12bit raw to 14bit raw and its still going. Now, in my personal opinion we have reached what makes sense in that matter and everything above is just marketing, but since 8bit is the lowest amount of color we need to not see any banding, it makes A LOT of sense to go at least one step higher to have a little bit of room for grading. 8bit only accounts for 0,02% of all the color that 12bit includes and if people don't even think thats enough, we might see a bunch of reasons to upgrade to 10bit.

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I believe that the jump from 8bit to 10bit is far more important than 4:2:2 instead of 4:2:0. The bump to 4:2:2 increases the theoretical gain of picture information by 1,3x, whereas 10bit increases it by 64x more information. The A-B-C example that Emanuel posted doesn't prove the opposite for quite a few reasons:

1. When testing the impact of a certain change or setting you can only vary one factor to make assumptions regarding that setting. But as it has been pointed out it not only changed from 8bit 4:2:0 to 8bit 4:2:2, but the entire system that recorded the scene changed including the codec thats being used. thats a massive flaw in the test and therefore doesn't prove anything regarding 4:2:0 vs 4:2:2.

2. Better color subsampling only increases accuracy of chroma information meaning that a black and white picture looks identical in 4:2:0 vs 4:2:2. The ABC example still shows banding even when converted to black and white, meaning the banding isn't caused by the color subsampling.

3. if 4:2:0 were to blame for the banding in the picture then the 4:2:2 example would show the same kind of banding on the horizontal line of the vignette circle. why? well, because 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 have the exact same amount of information on any horizontal line of pixels. its only the vertical chroma resolution thats improved.

Quite opposite to Emanuels opinion I think people are way to focused on 4:2:2. Its really just a leftover from interlaced footage times that only increases new picture information by a tiny bit. if something bothers you about 4:2:0 it should also bother you while looking at horizontal lines from 4:2:2 footage as it has the same chroma resolution. 10bit on the other hand is HUGE. companies went from 10bit raw to 12bit raw to 14bit raw and its still going. Now, in my personal opinion we have reached what makes sense in that matter and everything above is just marketing, but since 8bit is the lowest amount of color we need to not see any banding, it makes A LOT of sense to go at least one step higher to have a little bit of room for grading. 8bit only accounts for 0,02% of all the color that 12bit includes and if people don't even think thats enough, we might see a bunch of reasons to upgrade to 10bit.

How will you upgrade to 10-bit when:

a) the manufacturers have their high-end to protect?

b) compact size on large format is unable to go higher bit depth when internal 4K 8-bit 4:2:0 by Sony is out there to pop up full of overheating issues?

The fact 4:2:2 recorded externally brings higher bitrate to you is the only viable choice you have going with a large sensor. Other than that, 10-bit also means a higher bitrate (irrelevant the degree for certain tasks; there's the point), hardly to see internally in these small "toys" whether we cry or not. And for some reason ; ) you have it on GH4 but not on Sonys via HDMI. Why hasn't Blackmagic released yet 4K in a compact package? Because they are too focused on the new Ursas (reason a) above-mentioned) is short to explain it... And when they will, don't count on a large sensor size. The best you can dream about will be the SpeedBooster route. Other than that, you're stuck on 8-bit.

Whining for 10-bit or higher for this market segment is a futile exercise and meaningless. That test proves we have now a solution to help you out with banding. Not really significant for much other (banding as topic), but a way better than 4:2:0 (again, for banding). The comparison speaks by itself, the variables to second it only testify the grace. There's a difference between to dream with and following the t(r)ip. Reality-wise, of course ;-)

No one here is against 'the higher', the point is the way those several existent differences (RELATIVE variations, certain gaps, jumps as you call them can weigh much more than absolute values) and variables can have an impact in our tools for real in order to comply some goal. Those you can use in the field. Not mere wishful thinking for a bunch of geeks we are here :-)

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no surprise about this camera,specs look excellent.

But i want test duration of record time,OverHeating still appear ???

 

Can someone tell me?  

It is impossible to know exactly as of now. But possible to predict from what we've seen on Sony's offer. Without mention the fact as same as happens with the a7RII, Sony warns for the eventual problem in the camera's manual. Seems the problematic heat comes from processing, not sensor's. In any case, no downsampling operation as much demanding as the older new sister, 'cause the obvious sensors' differences.

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Hey guys,

I am just a passionate photographer and love what time i get doing what I love. I have read all the comments in here and it seems you guys are very well informed on video.

I have owned a a77 for 4 years now and love it to death EXCEPT for noise. I have been so frustrated when trying to shoot stars that I almost gave photography away.

But now there is the a7s, they call it the low light king (well some do) from all the reviews I have watched I finally think I have found what i have always been hoping for. I almost bought the D810 but decided not to rush into it and see if sony brings out the a7sii which has been announced.

My question is to you guys, i am not into video just astrophotography. Should I buy the a7s or a7sii. IBIS will be handy for night hand held shots though.  Do you think i am mad or should I stick with the a77 and just put up with the noise factor which really bugs me. sorry if this should be in a different post but I like advice from pros and you guys know your stuff.

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Hey guys,

I am just a passionate photographer and love what time i get doing what I love. I have read all the comments in here and it seems you guys are very well informed on video.

I have owned a a77 for 4 years now and love it to death EXCEPT for noise. I have been so frustrated when trying to shoot stars that I almost gave photography away.

But now there is the a7s, they call it the low light king (well some do) from all the reviews I have watched I finally think I have found what i have always been hoping for. I almost bought the D810 but decided not to rush into it and see if sony brings out the a7sii which has been announced.

My question is to you guys, i am not into video just astrophotography. Should I buy the a7s or a7sii. IBIS will be handy for night hand held shots though.  Do you think i am mad or should I stick with the a77 and just put up with the noise factor which really bugs me. sorry if this should be in a different post but I like advice from pros and you guys know your stuff.

hey man,

i'm no photographer, but i think this is a quite simple question to answer. lets start out at the beginning:

1) New Camera: Is 12MP enough for you? If yes, then the A7s and A7sII are excellent choices. The best, really, for what you want to do with them. You will be surprised how good they are in low light. Probably even better than your high expectation expect :) . If no, think about going broke for the A7rII, as its also brilliant in low light, plus also comes with IBIS which you seem to dig. Its super expensive but completely worth it and a good investment for the next decade if you ask me.

2) A7s vs A7sII: The major differences for a photographer between the A7s and A7sII are IBIS and more focus point. I would argue that the upgrade should not be worth it to you at all. I'm actually quite certain. The A7s is so good in low light already, that you probably dont need IBIS to capture more light to begin with. And since your aim is astro photography (where objects usually dont move so quickly) you dont need those extra focus points anyway.

based on your question i would easily recommend the A7s. the only thing holding you back should be its resolution of 12MP. save the extra cost of the A7sII for other equipment. I dont know anything about astro photography, but i thought that especially there a high res sensor is super important. but if the A7s's made it to your short list, thats probably not the case. to my understanding pictures taken with the A7s are tack sharp at native resolution and wait with your purchase another 2-4 weeks. the price of the old A7s will probably go down even further. and dont forget to send me some sweet sweet wallpapers, ok?

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@Emanuel

Sorry mate, i can't answer your two questions as I'm not an engineer. I just know that things move forward and overheating might soon be a problem of the past, as sensors get more efficient. Your entire post sounds like you are arguing that 10bit will not be available in the future of semi professional cameras. well, you might be right and i never said anything against that.

My post covered two things: A) it was stupid of you to blame 4:2:0 for the banding in the mentioned example. B) in my opinion 10bit is much more important than 4:2:2 for already stated reasons. i never argued about availability of 10bit in the future and i do hope you didnt refer to me when talking about "Whining".

Now comes a part thats not obvious at all and i don't blame you for being wrong again: 10bit h264 footage will be smaller and less cpu heavy compared to 8bit footage, thus also helping overheating. "WHAAAAAT, you're completely insane pietz". Thats a fair reaction. See, because most of the cameras we talk about can output uncompressed 10bit footage over hdmi, its easy to assume that its actually recorded that way. For saving it inside an 8bit h264 file it needs to be down sampled to 8bit before its actually being encoded. thats cpu heavy and skipping this step might actually result in less heat. it also results in smaller files because a higher bit depth and therefore higher color accuracy results in less truncations errors in the motion compensation stage of the encoding. this increases efficiency because theres less need to quantize. I apologize, as you successfully stepped into my trap of making this point.

It sounds like magic, but its Science bitch!

btw dont take my word for it: http://x264.nl/x264/10bit_02-ateme-why_does_10bit_save_bandwidth.pdf

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@Emanuel

Sorry mate, i can't answer your two questions as I'm not an engineer. I just know that things move forward and overheating might soon be a problem of the past, as sensors get more efficient. Your entire post sounds like you are arguing that 10bit will not be available in the future of semi professional cameras. well, you might be right and i never said anything against that.

My post covered two things: A) it was stupid of you to blame 4:2:0 for the banding in the mentioned example. B) in my opinion 10bit is much more important than 4:2:2 for already stated reasons. i never argued about availability of 10bit in the future and i do hope you didnt refer to me when talking about "Whining".

Now comes a part thats not obvious at all and i don't blame you for being wrong again: 10bit h264 footage will be smaller and less cpu heavy compared to 8bit footage, thus also helping overheating. "WHAAAAAT, you're completely insane pietz". Thats a fair reaction. See, because most of the cameras we talk about can output uncompressed 10bit footage over hdmi, its easy to assume that its actually recorded that way. For saving it inside an 8bit h264 file it needs to be down sampled to 8bit before its actually being encoded. thats cpu heavy and skipping this step might actually result in less heat. it also results in smaller files because a higher bit depth and therefore higher color accuracy results in less truncations errors in the motion compensation stage of the encoding. this increases efficiency because theres less need to quantize. I apologize, as you successfully stepped into my trap of making this point.

It sounds like magic, but its Science bitch!

btw dont take my word for it: http://x264.nl/x264/10bit_02-ateme-why_does_10bit_save_bandwidth.pdf

I am not engineer either. No need to be one nor a businessman to figure out a La Palice truth.

That one on 10-bit 4:2:2 lighter than 8-bit 4:2:0 is the first time I've heard. That is, if same codec, same parameters... To be frank and straightforward with you. No, I won't show off and call you stupid in a public place. Nor thinking and writing you are this or that. Read your post again, you'll likely find inaccuracies in your post. I have no need to write the other side is wrong (you say) anyway. But I can tell you very straight using your lexicon, stupid is when we see real tests proving something and we insist this or that theory is the one valid and keep going what experience proves the contrary.

Hey, the lady is not mine. The test is not mine, no need to send me the check. The results are there. Very explicit ones, to say the truth.

A few others much prefer to praise their dolls. Yes, you and others here are also missing the point over there. Apart the fact, brands like to sell expensive toys and whishful thinking has a place but happens to be far away of reality most part of time, you are able to say 8-bit 4:2:0 is not favourable for banding (I've read lots of things over here but this one is new... LOL). OK, let's try to decode your saying, even though, you don't make the necessary effort to decode mine.

Still on the variables? Who said bitrate/codec don't count?!

So (no, not necessarily your saying, take it as sarcasm indeed), let's fulfill the 4:2:0 recipient with empty data and try to see if matches 4:2:2, why not? It reminds me those who think they actually record 10-bit in their external recorder only because they read the specs on the paper they're using a 10-bit codec, even when they stream a 8-bit output from camera.

I only read blah blah but... C'mon, give me, you and everyone a break. This is not a contest to pick up the best smartass ready for. Neither a kindergarten.

(your) point taken, thanks for the link, nice reading :-)

 

PS: Last but not least, speaking of accuracies ; ) the overheating issues seem to come from processing, not sensor. Or you wouldn't be likely to overcome the trouble triggering from the external recorder.

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Hy Andrew.

For your own sake you should stop using titles like "All you need to know", they are very disturbing and false by any means.

You did not even mention one of the most important questions that must be answered: how long can you record before it overheats in 4K/daylight situations (with and without IBIS activated)?

Second, how long does the battery last while internally recording 4K (without and with the battery grip).

Best regards.

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Hy Andrew.

For your own sake you should stop using titles like "All you need to know", they are very disturbing and false by any means.

You did not even mention one of the most important questions that must be answered: how long can you record before it overheats in 4K/daylight situations (with and without IBIS activated)?

Second, how long does the battery last while internally recording 4K (without and with the battery grip).

Best regards.

...disturbing? 

Given that the camera isn't out yet common sense would tell you that 'All you need to know' would likely refer to the launch specs. The answers to your questions will likely come when there are review units out there or the general public get their hands on the camera. 

Have a little patience.

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hey man,

i'm no photographer, but i think this is a quite simple question to answer. lets start out at the beginning:

1) New Camera: Is 12MP enough for you? If yes, then the A7s and A7sII are excellent choices. The best, really, for what you want to do with them. You will be surprised how good they are in low light. Probably even better than your high expectation expect :) . If no, think about going broke for the A7rII, as its also brilliant in low light, plus also comes with IBIS which you seem to dig. Its super expensive but completely worth it and a good investment for the next decade if you ask me.

2) A7s vs A7sII: The major differences for a photographer between the A7s and A7sII are IBIS and more focus point. I would argue that the upgrade should not be worth it to you at all. I'm actually quite certain. The A7s is so good in low light already, that you probably dont need IBIS to capture more light to begin with. And since your aim is astro photography (where objects usually dont move so quickly) you dont need those extra focus points anyway.

based on your question i would easily recommend the A7s. the only thing holding you back should be its resolution of 12MP. save the extra cost of the A7sII for other equipment. I dont know anything about astro photography, but i thought that especially there a high res sensor is super important. but if the A7s's made it to your short list, thats probably not the case. to my understanding pictures taken with the A7s are tack sharp at native resolution and wait with your purchase another 2-4 weeks. the price of the old A7s will probably go down even further. and dont forget to send me some sweet sweet wallpapers, ok?

Thank you very much my friend.

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