The new 4K capable DSLR from Sony – the A7s has been getting reviews by industry professionals left and right. And that’s not a coincidence at all. Impressive on specs alone, the Sony A7s is one of the most eagerly-awaited cameras of 2014.
It is a very hot camera, and while US and Japan shooters have been getting their pre-orders shipped, most of us over here in Europe will have to wait by end of July at the earliest to get our hands on the Sony A7s.
Until then, we’ll try and satisfy appetite for some glorious imagery from the new Sony low-light monster. Recently, Cinema5D resident and BBC Cameraman Johnni Behiri posted his review of the camera and a beautiful piece shot in Tuscany, Italy shot on the Sony A7s, which you can see below:
In his review he is quite impressed by the Full HD video quality coming out of the camera. A 4K external recorder was not available to him at the time of his review so the video above was shot in XAVC-S in 1080p internally in the camera.
Now, despite the fact that it wasn’t shot in 4K, the 12MP sensor is optimised for 4K video, and with the full-pixel readout combined with the full-frame sensor, the quality of the Full HD video out of the Sony A7s is simply staggering.
Compared to other DSLR’s in the same/similar price/spec range such as the Canon 5D Mark III, the Sony A7s resolves more detail and is sharper. He even would consider it over the Panasonic GH4, despite the fact that the GH4 does 4K internally, which Johnni Behiri mentions is the big ace up it’s sleeve.
The lack of an internal 4K video recording capability on the Sony A7s, is the biggest disadvantage for the low-light performer from Sony. The GH4 is also priced at a much lower price point, however, the Micro Four Thirds sensor and the limited dynamic range can sway some shooters divided between the two towards the A7s.
However, the small flange distance of the Sony A7s E-mount opens up quite a few options for Canon 5D Mark III shooters, as they can use their Canon EF lenses with the Metabones EF to E mount SpeedBooster, which will allow for electronic control of the aperture on the EF lenses, which can save you tons of money on lenses, as you can use existing EF glass.
He points out some of the limitations of the Sony A7s:
– World camera, or sort of – Keep in mind in PAL countries the mode is a switchable between PAL (24,25,50fps) and NTSC (24,30,60fps). However, this is not the case with NTSC models, which are only (24,30,60fps or NTSC)
– The dreaded 30 minutes maximum recording limit is present on both PAL and NTSC models.
– Sony S LOG 2 requires works at a minimum ISO 3200, which makes heavy ND filters a requirement for outdoor shooting in bright sunlight.
The positives for him from the review are summarised below:
– High-frame rates – 1080/60p and 720p/120fps
– Excellent low-light performance
– Small and very good quality OLED EVF
– APS C mode – perfect for Cinema glass or EF-S lenses
[Link – Johnni Behiri’s Sony A7s Review via Cinema5D]