We’re nearing the end of July and the highly anticipated 4K capable mirrorless low-light phenomenon – the Sony A7S, which has been steadily shipping in the US and Asia since for the last two weeks, is slowly arriving in Europe.
The camera is due to start shipping in the UK and Europe at the end of this week, and Sony is currently delivering first stock of the camera at authorised dealers as we speak.
In the meantime, most of us here in the UK/Europe, have been drooling over the camera and relying on the reviews posted by some bloggers on pre-production models and demo stock units. In this post we’ve summarised some reviews, which we think are beneficial not only to video shooters, but to stills photographers as well.
1. The EOSHD Sony A7s Evolving Review (Part 1) by Andrew Reid
Here is a summary of his findings:
- Shoot in S-Log2 gamma for to get the full benefit of the dynamic range of the camera
- S-Log2 defaults the minimum ISO at 3,200, which requires heavy ND filtration for daylight shooting, and lots of grading work in post. Keep that in mind.
- Exposing correctly in S-Log2 can be tricky without the aid of a LUT.
- Upcoming Atomos Shogun 4K HDMI external recorder will have LUT support, which will help with exposing while shooting in S-Log2.
- Good on-board codec – XAVC-S 50mbps 8bit 4:2:2 with better decoding than the same codec in AX100 and RX100 III.
- Beware of rolling shutter due to full-frame sensor and slow-readout due to “no line-skipping”
Slow-motion Sony A7s 120fps at 720p at ISO 12,800 via Andrew Reid at EOSHD:
EOSHD Sony A7s LUT:
Download the EOSHD SonyA7s LUT here.
From Andrew Reid:
The LUT can be applied in Premiere, Resolve, etc. for an instant cinematic look to your A7S S-LOG 2 footage. Three LUTs are provided in the zip. Dynamic – for best dynamic range, will suit a low contrast shot requiring high dynamic range and plenty of shadow detail. Also good for low light. Vivid will give a punchier look to those shots that benefit from it like a sunset and where some dynamic range can be scarified for higher contrast and saturation. S-GAMUT is for when shooting S-LOG with the Color Mode of S-GAMUT and compensates for the purple tint to reds I find I am getting in this mode. For the Dynamic and Vivid LUTs you must set the camera colour mode in PP7 to ITU709 Matrix.
Andrew has been running EOSHD for a long time now, and has been a major asset to the independent filmmaking community. He has done some excellent reviews of cameras such as the GH3, GH4, BMPCC, BMPC, and the Canon 5D Mark III, amongst many others. We’re big fans of his work and reviews.
He also offers really helpful guides for purchase on his site at very affordable prices, which have personally saved me tons of time, and have been very beneficial in getting the best settings for some of my work – especially the Anamorphic guides and the Canon 5D Mark III Shooting Raw Video.
2. SteveHuffPhoto.com Sony A7s Review
Here’s the key advantages of the Sony A7s according to Steve Huff, who was highly impressed by both the stills quality of the camera, it’s immense low-light capability and also the advanced video features.
- Incredible Low-light performance due to the 12MP Full-Frame sensor with the Bionz X processor
- Usable ISO’s up to 102,000
- Faster AF speed over A7 and A7r with Sony lenses
- Silent Shooting mode with electronic shutter allowing you to shoot in total silence
- 4K Video recording capability, and 120fps slow-motion
- 12MP is enough for large prints
Here are some high ISO samples at 102,000 from the Sony A7s by Steve Huff:
Check out his full review of the A7s here.
Steve Huff is an incredible photographer and he also runs one of the best digital stills camera review sites on the Web. Head over to SteveHuffPhoto.com for more in-depth technical reviews of other cameras, great deals on gear, and amazing photographs for inspiration.
3. The Camera Store TV Sony A7s Review
The guys at the Camera Store TV have been doing some really fun and informative camera video reviews. In the video review above, they didn’t seem to be that impressed with the stills capabilities of the A7s, however they were impressed by the video functions and quality out of the camera.
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