Dave Dugdale has published his Sony A7S review ahead of time. In it is an enlightening video review of the differences between the Sony A7S and Panasonic GH4.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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…
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…
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.