Why you’re better shooting video in stills mode on the Sony A7S

a7s-50mm-lenses

After a while now shooting with the Sony A7S (final part of my review coming soon, review part 1 here) I have found it’s better to shoot video outside of the Sony movie mode on the dial. Here’s how to set up the M stills mode on the dial for movie recording and get two important advantages over Sony’s movie mode.

Read moreWhy you’re better shooting video in stills mode on the Sony A7S

Grading the Sony A7S with S-LOG 2 and some EOSHD cinematic looks for download

Only a few years ago S-LOG was a $3800 upgrade for the Sony CineAlta F3, itself a $15,000 camera. S-LOG made its debut on the Sony F35, a workhorse of Hollywood.

Now Sony have put this on a $2500 consumer camera along with the best full frame sensor I have ever used for video. How good is it? Very!!

I am sharing a pack of LUTs for the A7S which can be applied in Premiere, Resolve, etc. for an instant cinematic look to your A7S S-LOG 2 footage.

Download

Three LUTs are provided in the zip. Dynamic – for best dynamic range, will suit a low contrast shot requiring high dynamic range and plenty of shadow detail. Also good for low light. Vivid will give a punchier look to those shots that benefit from it like a sunset and where some dynamic range can be scarified for higher contrast and saturation. S-GAMUT is for when shooting S-LOG with the Color Mode of S-GAMUT and compensates for the purple tint to reds I find I am getting in this mode. For the Dynamic and Vivid LUTs you must set the camera colour mode in PP7 to ITU709 Matrix.

Read moreGrading the Sony A7S with S-LOG 2 and some EOSHD cinematic looks for download

Good news! Super 35mm mode on Sony A7S dramatically reduces rolling shutter

All footage by Ed David on the EOSHD forum

I’m surprised at how nice the quality is from APS-C (Super 35mm) mode on the A7S. I expected it to be a lot softer! There’s no signs of significant moire or aliasing either.

The smaller window from the sensor allows the shutter to expose the whole pixel readout more quickly than in full frame 12MP mode, so less jello for us.

Read moreGood news! Super 35mm mode on Sony A7S dramatically reduces rolling shutter

A more realistic impression of the Sony A7S low light performance at ISO 12,800

Sony A7S rig

All the high ISO footage from the Sony A7S so far have been highly compressed and streamed on YouTube. Here we have not one but two stages of very aggressive noise reduction being applied to the images. If you want to see it without the heavy compression removing all trace of noise, here’s a full resolution JPEG shot at ISO 12,800 from the camera courtesy of DCFever

You can download it below…

Read moreA more realistic impression of the Sony A7S low light performance at ISO 12,800

Sony A7S – does it have Super 35mm 4K mode too?

Sony A7S APS-C mode

One of the enigmas emerging from the A7S is whether you can shoot 4K in APS-C crop mode as well. APS-C is Super 35mm in cinema language. I really would like to use my Cooke S4i Minis via a PL adapter on this camera! Taking advantage of the low light sensitivity. APS-C crop mode would also allow the use of standard Sony E-mount / NEX lenses, Canon EF-S and Nikon DX lenses.

Sony’s information (above) implies that is the case with “both resolutions available at both full frame and APS-C size”.

I dug a little deeper to find out more…

Read moreSony A7S – does it have Super 35mm 4K mode too?

Panasonic GH4 vs Sony A7S compared – who wins the 4K battle on paper?

gh4-vs-a7s

It looks like the story of 2014 is taking shape in the form of very high quality 4K on large sensor mirrorless cameras. Last year for me it was raw on the 5D Mark III which excited me the most and before that it was the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. This year is more exciting on the tech and creative front than any I can remember.

Here’s my look at how the GH4 and A7S compare in detail for 4K cinematography…

Read morePanasonic GH4 vs Sony A7S compared – who wins the 4K battle on paper?

Sony A7S specs announced – S for sensitivity. 4K via HDMI to “third party recorder”

Sony A7S

Breaking news… The Sony A7S has been announced at NAB 2014.

It records 1080p internally in XAVC-S format at 50Mbit but the big news is the support for full 4K output via HDMI to an external recorder.

Unfortunately it does NOT have an internal 4K recording codec like the Panasonic GH4.

Read moreSony A7S specs announced – S for sensitivity. 4K via HDMI to “third party recorder”