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Sony A7s, FHD camera, with 12Mp sensor, big DR
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  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev True, no one NEEDS 12-13 stops of dynamic range. But Im sure that if someone is on this forum, following the latest news in video oriented cameras, and producing videos, you will definitely WANT it and be able to USE it properly. If the technology is readily available, and seemingly just a firmware addition away (or am I incorrect here?), I cant understand why log mode is not included in all serious video capable cameras like the GH3, GH4, 5Diii etc.... Makes no sense.

    @Tron Can you really say that a log recording mode (just look at the video..!) is not vastly superior to the standard modes on other current cameras like the GH3 and 5Diii? I personally would consider an at least 2 stop increase "vastly superior"! Especially since we've been dealing with ~9 stops for so... so... so long.

  • @AdamT Good point, but I have not really engaged with Mpx count on any of my cameras, focussing more on the image, when a glass screen or projection is where a good percentage of images are communicated these days, I see more dynamic range and low light ability as really appealing, I know the A7s is not going to have the detail of the other A7 cameras, but I am curious to see the comparisons :)

    An interesting blog post, where some of the pro's and con's are discussed is here.

  • It's going to be tough choosing between this and GH4.

    For my use, mostly documentary work with the lightest setup possible, here is some comparison.

    A7s pros

    • Lot more dynamic range.
    • More options with better quality lenses.
    • Low light. For documentary work it is crucial to be able to shoot anywhere, anytime.

    GH4 pros

    • 4k in camera recording, altho I don't need it yet.
    • Probably better ergonomics, but this one's guessing.
    • Tilt and swiwel screen.
    • Maybe better codec options.
    • Price, how much cheaper?

    The fisherman clip shot on A7s looked to my eyes much, much better than anything I have seen so far from GH4. Skin tones and dynamic range especially.

    My monitor is only 1090x1080 so my jundgement comes from that.

    I wanted to like GH4 more, but there's just something about the color science of the Sony that makes it look so much nicer. I'm hoping to see more tests, side by side preferably.

    It has been quite staggering how crappy the gh4 clips have looked so far on my full hd monitor. I only realized this now that I've seen the A7s clips. I guess with a 4k monitor things would be different, but i know that 99 % of my work will be presented in full hd for at least the next 2 years, so it is not a priority for me.

    Also, my guess is the stills on A7s are going to smoke the Gh4.

  • No internal 4k is a major problem with the a7s. The handy form factor is not so handy anymore when you couple it with a recorder. Sony encoding tends to leave quite a bit to be desired as well.. Jury will be out, but I´m not too hopeful on this one.

    I might grab one anyway when prices drop/there´s a 4k hyperdeck shuttle.

  • For some of us who could not care about 4K (like myself) and have been so far unimpressed by the GH4 footage ive seen so far (resolution isn't everything) I think this A7s would be a very nice option indeed. I'm waiting on the actual price.....a6000 seems more interesting upgrade for me right now as I don't own any full frame lenses. But if the price is under £1400 (doubtful)...the a7s may well be my next camera....unless Sony release a VG type version!

  • Whilst no-4K internal is a shame, having the Atomos isn't that big a deal as on all but the most minimal shooting you'll probably want an external monitor or EVF anyway. So it's lame but not a deal breaker.

    Perhaps the bigger issue is that it doubles the cost of the camera just to shoot 4k whereas the GH4 doing it in camera keeps the cost lower.

  • A7 for everything, A7S for low light and video, A7R for landscape and big prints, A7 for everyday shooting. Soon a A7C (Celerity) for high speed stills shooting, 16Mp,15 fps till 50 frames, super fast AF...

  • Great! the Atomos Shogun has XLR audio inputs through a custom cable, so the Sony a7s will be a complete solution with it. Still a dumber that the 7s has no internal 4k recording the GH4 has the edge here.

  • Looks like a July - September availibilty is hinted here

    1 minute mark

    Later - combo is about 5k.

  • @joethepro I was comparing it to the GH4 which looks excellent in Cine-D mode. And yes, I see nothing in the video thus far (which btw consists of way too much ozone in most of the shots) to lead me to believe this camera has superior dynamic range in video mode. It looks great compared to prior Sony incarnations but is not anything superior to my eyes. Have a look at the skin tone shootout between BM4K cam (12 stops of DR??) and the GH4 and tell me which one has better DR - And keep in mind the GH4 drops 10 bit to 8 bit for internal recording, whereas the Sony is just plain 8 bit output to whatever recorder. S-log may compress a substantial amount of luminance range into 8 bit, but there could also be some tradeoff to that method come grading time, it will remain to be seen.

  • @Tron, I was unaware of the Cine-D profile on the GH4, thats pretty nice. Definitely a step up from the GH3. But from looking at videos of it, the shadows are so noisy when shooting very flat! This is where the Sony's DR will shine, with its low noise. I agree about the tradeoff when compressing to 8bit. Oh well, we'll see. What on earth is the holdup for recording 10 bit internally on these $2000+ cameras? Data transfer speeds?

  • If anyone here is at NAB could they confirm if the a7s is region switchable? The a7 and a7r were switchable if you purchased the pal model. Not having access to 120fps in pal land is a deal breaker for some.

  • As it is first time in history we have a real FF sensor oriented to video at a very low budget, and it seems clearly castrated by hardware and software, wonder if it would be able to buy one to make I+D to research real capabilities of sensor and study a new LSI.

    That is just create a new camera (what I´m taking about), but just make a little of engineering research to know I suppose is possible...

  • I don't feel this camera is castrated at all. It's all in the image quality. I'm still stunned how much better A7s fisher boat film looked compared to all the Gh4 footage I've seen.

    To me the difference was particularly in colour. Also something else, that I don't have the professional vocabulary to describe. I'm happy that at least some of the more educated guys like @kholi have noticed the same thing.

    I want more sample footage from A7s! I need confirmation. So far I've looked at the two files many times and got great joy looking at them. All the Gh4 footage I've felt like the colors are dull and muted. Hard to describe. I wish there was more discussion on this.

  • Actually it looks like a nice new option to the GH4. BUT too many questions are open. Moire and Aliasing (in 1080P and 4K mode), how good is the internal 1080P mode (details wise for example) AND the most important point (in my opinion): What´s the price of it. 1500 up to 2000 bucks - Would be for sure a good seller. Above that - Definitely not (at least I don´t think that it would sell well). Even the A7 and A7r prices dropped significantly within the last weeks (I think due to low demand at the old prices).

    Would love to see (too) more video samples. (Especially of the internal - full sensor scaled - 1080P recording.)

  • @Tscheckoff The Fstop academy fisher boat video was shot on the internal 1080P. The price is a big question. Over 2000 euros is no thanks. I strongly beleive it will be less than that. Biggest concern is rolling shutter. If it is horrible, no thanks.

  • A little bird whispered in my ear. Not gospel but perhaps think somewhere between $ 3000 or £2500.

    Spoke to a big camera dealer. Details sketchy but that was what was entered in the system for now. I think this is going to be a cracking camera. We have become too obsessed with tech specs. This camera is a baby F5 guys and that is no mean feat. To my eyes it is so much more alluring than the GH4. Both great cams but this I am sure will have more of a wow facture. Sony seems to do that to me even though I only have a cheap camcorder. They know how to make pictures pretty

  • Really hope it's closer to the rumored 1699 dollars. This thing is going to be old in a year or two. No reason to pay close to $ 3000. Looking forward to Sony's aggresive pricing like on A7r and A7.

  • If you watch the Atomos interview they hint that the A7S/Shogun combination cost will be around $5,000. The Shogun is slated to cost around $2,000, ergo....

  • If its over £2000 I may as well get a Mk3 instead. I too hope Sony stick with their aggressive pricing.

  • @HenryO With all due respect I think you may be a little lost in all the Sony hype. The A7s camera has none of the features of the F5 except for good light sensitivity. The F5 has 10 bit / 12 bit / Raw output options and internal 4K recording up to 440 Mbps. If the A7s costs $3000 and requires a $2000 recorder just to record 8 bit 4K, how is this $5000 camera providing a better feature set than a camera that can record internal 4K 8 bit and output external 10 bit for about half the price?

  • Sony did well with selecting subject matter for the sample movies. The cherry blossom scenes have a magical aura about them. The boat/ sundown scenes also spark emotion. Something about getting good low light video, where warm undertones seem enhanced, makes for good viewing. The art of the moving picture is equally important to the camera specs.

  • @Tron - With all due respect to you mate - I am not lost in hype at all. I did say they were both great cams. Just using my eyes bro and I make very measured purchasing decisions that take me months of study and research. The aesthetic is one I love and this Sony has me really considering offloading a lot of my GH series stuff - I have never really loved the Panasonic thing despite owning them for years. Mind you I am a struggling musician who wishes to shoot his own stuff soon so my budget is limited somewhat and all these cameras are the most empowering we have seen in years. I own a GH1 and Gh2 but I always wish that that they had more of the refined Sony fidelity. I dunno - Pana has a look - kinda too solid and contrasty to me. Best example of this is the Af100 - never jived with me - all Panasonic cams have that similar vibe. It is not bad quality at all, I just never loved it, just a personal preference so I don't appreciate you suggesting I am caught up in hype. I still like Blackmagic cams better than all of these offerings from a colour rendition point of view. But perhaps I may wish to have clinical and clean with superb low light at some point. Now I did cancel my Gh4 pre-order because the camera I have been waiting for has arrived. Does the GH4 trump the Sony in certain departments. Sure. But you also need to spend a bit of extra dough to get it to perform to its best. I am afraid to my eyes all the early GH4 1920 X 1080 vids seem to have a few aliasing issues ( including the out of camera unedited ones ) so the best seems to be to get a 4k recorder or use the internal 4 k which is not doing it for me as I will probably use a few 3D luts and in my early tests it isn't so encouraging. So if we add a Shogun - bumps it up a bit then. Seeing as I already have a Nanoflash it partners perfectly with the Sony and I can use my Nikon lenses at native FOV without buying a Speedbooster.

    Sorry that I feel need to explain this and I really am not being patronising. You interpreted what 'baby' represents right? To me it means not quite like mother or daddy. Like the BMPCC is a Baby BMCC. They belong to the same family and as such will produce a similar feel even though they have different feature sets. One would expect a product priced three or four times above it to have much better features wouldn't you? Please help me understand your point as I thought my statement was easy to figure out. I would be shocked if anyone had trouble intercutting the a7s with all these Sony cams. F65, F55, F5 and even FS700. What is undeniable is that this camera is incredible on so many levels and I am sure there will be a more expensive FF offering from Sony in the future that offers higher bit depth, higher frame rates, xlr inputs, RAW etc. That's a given - Afraid I cannot afford that one but this will still be called baby......hopefully one of my babies as Sony are allowing a little bit of the high end quality filter down into affordable territory - with the expected crippling of something of course. In this case 8 bit - and to me it's not a deal breaker as most of us if we are honest are not going to get on Sky, Fox or whatever. Most of the HD stuff, especially HD nature and sport is probably all in 8 bit. I won't pretend - specs are not important this year. If we cannot shoot amazing stuff this year it will not be because of specs......

  • I don't think you will see the A7s at $1699. Sony camera have never been cheap. I don't think Sony will go head to head with Panasonic on pricing.