Sony A7s Production Review – Slow Motion Test + Low Light

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Ever since venturing into the DSLR world there have been two brands that lead the market, Nikon and Canon. Nikon cameras in my opinion have always been the best for photos, and Canon the best for video. This of course being subject to my experiences.

I remember looking at the Sony camera’s on the top shelf at Fry’s thinking who would buy those, They are not for the professional videographer. Working on a sales video I was introduced to my first mirror-less camera, the GH2. It was upgraded with a new lens mount and several custom features to make it supposedly better then my mark II or 7D. I gave it a chance, and I did not like the footage at all. In fact I felt it was unusable. It was gonna take something special to make me want to move from Canon for video.

Whenever shooting in a casino or outside, you have to have a ton of lights to get it right, 2 or three grips, electric and so on. So much for so little budget. I began shooting with the Mark II and III and noticed low light with little to no noise made such a big impact on production that just my producer and I could go and get some amazing stuff. The only problem is that at such low light how are you going to get 4k, Introducing the Sony A7s.

Granted I did not expect to have my mind blown at NAB, but when looking at the camera on the monitor at 32,000 with no noise, it was blown. Then to find out I can get 4k out of it, this was a dream come true. But how did it look compared to the Canon DSLR’s, come on it’s mirror-less. It looked way sharper than the Mark III. so I compared it to some Red Epic footage and even the Canon C100 and ARRI Alexa and it actually matched up, and in some ways performed better. Suffice it to say, I was sold.

I was hired to shoot and direct a spot for One Nevada Credit Union – A fun spot, I was able to play around and see how cinematic I could get it to look. It worked great, here is the spot for you to check out.

One thing I noticed is the rolling shutter was very evident with the camera, that was not a nice thing to discover, however, if you are careful it is not a problem.

I was then tasked to shoot and direct a spot for DaVinci showcasing their new product the Ascent. This time I needed to shoot 3 locations all outside with a slightly different feel. The camera was a great tool to have. Here is the spot check it out.

I remembered that the camera was able to shoot at 120fps at 720p, so I decided to play around with that a bit too. What I was amazed to find was that 720p footage still looked sharper than the Mark III at 1080. I was able to put a little compilation together of the slow motion footage for everyone to enjoy.

Overall, I feel this camera meets and exceeds my needs allowing me to shoot in greater variety of situations more efficiently and quickly. I love the menu system, and do not mind the record button being on the right. You have to be careful with the rolling shutter, which when shooting cinematically is not a problem. The low light is so fun to play with, and I am very impressed with the slow motion. There are so many benefits to this camera over the Mark III and even the 7d Mark II (Not even release yet). I was able to switch without a problem. Oh, and it takes a pretty great photo too.

This camera just works for me.

RICHARD LANGBERG
DP / DIRECTOR / VISUAL FX ANIMATION ARTIST

 

 

Comments (4)
  • Pingback: More Sony A7s Review and Tests Available Online

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    April 8, 2017

    So, it’s no surprise that Sony has come along to bring this large-pixeled, ultra-high ISO shooting camera up to speed with a Mark II refresh of its own. Sporting the familiar, updated A7-series body design, the new Sony A7S II looks practically identical to the A7R II, aside from the model-specific branding.

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    April 23, 2017

    S-LOG2 gamma and with addition of HXR-IF5 interface unit and AXS-R5 recorder 1 raw and continuous 2ps ecording at . Sony CineAlta F5 and F55 4K Cameras Hands On Video Tour by Cinematography Product Specialist, Richard Lewis.

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    May 15, 2017

    Hello! Cool post, amazing!!!

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