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Sony A7s II 4K low light beast topic
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  • New firmware - Firmware Version 2.10, only change is ability to use SDHC for XAVC S

  • Thing that annoys me the most about this camera is how deceiving the display brightness can be.

    Set it to the "sunny day" or whatever and it will be way brighter that the actual recorded footage. Also when shooting in 100fps the display brightness is default only, which is way too dark.

    After a day of shooting on both settings during i ended up with a bunch of footage being either way under- or overexposed.

    Now im always using the 100+ zebra at all times, because relying on the display alone is totally worthless.

  • @mk47 doesn't that just mean that you should always use a monitor with the AS7II? I mean, some folks already use it because there is simply more info available, but maybe this is another reason?

  • @RottenCarcass We don't really do "production" stuff, its more of a run-and-gun type of stuff (automotive journalism), and having a really compact setup is a priority.

  • So can anyone please tell me if the new firmware has really fixed the overheating issues in the a7sII? I already have an a7s and would like to upgrade to the a7sII for the 4k. I shoot documenting theatre, which means long takes. So I am concerned with the overheating issues.

    I was also debating getting an atomos assassin and sticking with the a7s as this would allow me longer record times but I really like to shoot as light as I can and internal 4k recording seems easier. And I've also read that the footage recorded over hdmi is somewhat noisy. There are many sites where I could find the announcement that the firmware is reported to fix the heating issues and I have seen some tests with the a7RII where the firmware was supposedly successful but nothing that clearly answers my question for the A7sII. So if there is anyone out there that had an overheating camera, shot long takes and the overheating problem was fixed by the firmware?

    I would love to hear from you. Thanks

  • interesting.

  • @whynot only the a7R II really had any issues with overheating since launch, which is what the later firmware update resolved to some extent.

    The a7S II never had the same overheating issues as the a7R II. I've shot quite a bit on the a7S II and have not encountered any overheating.

  • On the most current firmware I've had overheating issues on both the A7S II and the A7R II.

    When this happened they were on a tripod in direct sunlight for about 20-30mins.

  • Anybody here who migrated to A7S ii from panasonic GH4? Would you mind sharing what did you gained and what did you lost judged by your real life experience (and not by claims of numerous online guruus) by switching to sony? I am contemplating moving to other platform from m43...

  • @brig I bought 3x GH4s when they first came out and used them for about 2 years on mostly wedding jobs. Towards the end I found that I was unable to get the results I needed with low light performance.

    In December 2015 I sold all my bodies and most of my M43 glass and replaced them with an A7R II and an A7S II. Because I spent a lot of money on M43 glass I decided to invest in EF mount glass to use with the Sony's as I was the flexibility with multiple bodies in the future.


    • Better low light, the number one reason for swapping over for me.
    • Easier to get a more shallow DOF more often.
    • 42.5 MP with the A7R II is great since I also do photography.
    • IBIS is great for primes and cine glass.
    • CINE4, SLOG is superior when compared to CINED and V-LOG.
    • The form factor has grown on me, holding a GH4 now feels like an clunky toy.
    • Sony seems to have more options in their eco system, I can see myself going to a FS5/FS7 in the future.


    • Battery life, I have 12 batteries for these 2 cameras compared to the 6 batteries I had for my 3 GH4s.
    • The screen is just awful when compared to the GH4, you really just have to see and use them side by side. I crave an ATOMOS or similar everyday.
    • 30min recording limit (this is no longer an issue with the Openmemories app/hack)
    • The menus are a mess.
    • I miss the M43 glass size, light and small lenses.

    Bottom line is that the Panasonic GH4 was a joy to use in every way but the results weren't there for me. The Sony's are the complete opposite - great results but not the greatest user experience.

    At the end of the day it's all about the results for the client and the Sony's are able to provide that for me. I still love Panasonic but I also learnt that there is no reason to be 100% loyal to a brand.

    All these months later I don't regret swapping over and would do it again today.

  • Thanks Jive and Dial, I've decided to hold off on the purchase of the A7 SII

    I deliver in 1080p on my a7s and was not sure the upgrade in price (at this stage) is worth it for me.

    I tend to shoot a GH4 on wide (in 4k) and an a7s for close in 1080p. The Gh4 is great for set and forget for battery life and shooting at 4k is good for detail for a wide shot. But as I mostly record theatre I find the GH4 struggles in low light.

    The a7s is fantastic and clean when documenting theatre. The low light is never an issue.

    I do not like the peaking on the A7s. I find it is not accurate. For my eyes I find the evf not as good as the Gh4 (But this is a7s I) And I of course battery life is pathetic on the a7s.

    I am reluctant to get rid of the gh4 even though I agree with Dial that the image from the GH4 is not as good as the a7s (under the conditions that I shoot). I also want to have the chance to play with the 10 bit recording on an external recorder as well as the anamorphic option. After I have had some time to play with these and if they don't work for me I then may be willing to let go of the GH4.

  • Sticking with the A7S vs the A7S II is a good idea if you don't desperately need 4K recording in camera. The output of APS-C window configured as 4K has excellent quality for an external recorder and much lower RS. It's not full 4K resolution, but better than HD. The A7S II doesn't offer this option any more, since it's strictly either HD or 4K.

    Plus, you can use APS-C glass, which is not much bigger or heavier than MFT glass.

  • @dial or any other person who have this camera. I have a wedding shoot coming up end of next month. I went and saw the reception hall and the couple plan to dim the lights for most parts of the night. So I am have being looking at renting this camera or the A7S. I don't plan to shoot 4k. I will need some small level of auto focus at some points for some tracking shots. This is my problem, I have never used any of the sony cameras and being a wedding shoot and the pressure and it sometimes comes with in nailing the shot you want, I am a little scared about renting this camera or the A7S. I have being looking for custom setting videos but I have not really find anything. What are your settings and how hard or easy is it to get or find things. Can it do custom video setting so you can just put what you need in an easily accessible location. I don't have it in my budget to rent one and learn before the wedding. Can anyone point me to anyone I can find such info. I know Gary Fong has lots of information but I don't wanna pay for anything yet. If not of the GH4 poor performance in low light, I would have just stick it.

  • @hilltop1 i shot this wedding with A7S-FE28-70 Standard profil -2 0 -2 internal under very low light(iso 8000-1000) without NR. AF can be a problem, go manual in this case

  • @omega1978, thanks it look great! Any one with the A7S II who can comment on video auto focus?

  • @HillTop1 I only own 1 native lens. The Sony 16mm APS-C lens. I use the continuous auto focus on this when flying a gimbal. It's cheap, light and fast at f2.8.

    Other than that I manual focus all my EF glass.

  • @dial thanks. Yes, I will be flying it too on a gimbal. How good is the auto focus when you use the sony 16mm lens?

    Also how is the overheating issue? Have you noticed it and is there any fix for it?