Nocturnal Short Film Puts The Insane Sensitivity of the Sony A7s in Action

With the advancement of sensor technology and the boundary-pushing sensitivity of cameras such as Sony A7s, the way we shoot, and the craft of cinematography is evolving and undergoing a permanent change.

The short “Aeterna” directed by Raphael Rogers is one of the first great examples that proves the above statement.

Hours after Raphael received his A7s, together with his friends Andy Patch and Ryan Caldwell in L.A., he decided to test the camera.

Shooting at ISOs of 12,800 and higher, he and Andy filmed Ryan from dusk through dawn to explore the low light capabilities of the Sony A7s.

Aeterna from Raphael Rogers on Vimeo.

This is what Raphael shares in the description under the video:

The day the Sony a7s arrived in the mail, the burning desire to film had already taken hold. That night, we went out and put the camera to work filming all around Los Angeles into the early hours. Being able to work at 12,800 iso and up was incredible. We had one tiny battery operated LED light, used sparingly. The camera was strapped to a handheld glidecam and we ran around LA having a blast. This is what resulted.

As our camera test evolved into something more, and we ended up not being able to use the original track we shot with, our composer came to the rescue, straight from a war zone.

Maria had been living and working on music for Raphael’s forthcoming sci-fi project in the city center of Donetsk, Ukraine, right on the Square, when the Pro-Russian separatists took over. Having to quickly flee Donetsk with very little, she was forced to leave behind many essential items for work. Without even her microphone, some of the audio was recorded on a cell phone. Currently in Odessa, she watches with bated breath as the Ukrainian army closes in on her former home, amidst international concern with the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, roughly 50 miles away.

Creating is something that brings people from all over the world together. Enjoy!

I definitely enjoyed what I’ve just seen. “Aeterna” is a brilliant example of what we can really achieve with this magical mirorrless camera. This short reminds me of Vincent Laforet’s  “Nocturne” that was shot with Canon 1D Mark IV back in 2009.

There were moments while I was watching “Aeterna” when I feel I was looking at long exposed night still frames that were creating beautiful slow motion sequences. I admit I’ve never seen such surreal moving images produced by video camera up until now. Furthermore, almost the entire short was shot entirely with available light.


I’m not quite sure what we could expect even 5 years from now, but it is clear that cameras like A7s are going to revolutionise the filmmaking community once more, just as the 5D Mark II changed everything in 2009. Only time would tell though, but whatever happens, it will be a win for us filmmakers.

Do you think that the A7s is the new “Low-light King” of 2014, just as the Canon 5d Mark II was five years ago? Regardless of whether you’re a Canon loyalist (I still own my trusty 7D) or in the market for your first DSLR (or mirrorless camera) let us know in the comments below your thoughts on the A7s and if its sensitivity an 4K capability will change your way of shooting.


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  • BP

    I just got one too. I have to say it’s almost a pain in the ass to shoot in daylight. You definitely NDs if you don’t want to be shooting with a shutter speed of 200. I think most of the video in handheld mode is unusable because of the rolling shutter. If you notice all the videos that have been posted so far are all very still camera shots. It’s the only way you can work with this camera in full frame. I can’t say this has been my best purchase, unless you plan on doing a lot of night shoots and you absolutely need a glide cam or a tripod to work with this camera.

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