The testes are very good. Everything you would expect from this camera. Our specific tests we’re focused on lens fall-off and sensor reaction. The DR was also very surprising, great tonal rendition in the shadows. For this camera the biggest challenge is the infrastructure (for lack of more familiar terms THE RIG).
It is important for professional camera crews to use this camera (or any camera) in a traditional fashion, the CINOFLEX, gave the SONY A7S camera that ability. Truly a WOW camera for the quality of the sensor and ability to capture lens fall-off, focus cylinder moves, and the full frame quality image. We are shooting anamorphic Panavision tests soon, that is the true test to see how this camera can make a difference within the marketplace.
A very basic and rudimentary test, but this is what we loved about the SONY A7S Camera. Details about this video grab: Camera: SONY A7S PP: SLOG2 Lens: 200mm Stop: T3.1 Color: 3200K SS: 1/50 ISO 3200 ————- so we shot directly into a light to desaturate the image and lose any detail, then we overexposed by 4 stops. The ungraded image is on the right, the graded image is on the left. With very little effort or manipulation we found good contrast, detail, shadows, highlight control, and sharpness was easily recovered.
The lens fall off was also very pronounced and truly magnificent.We think the SLOG2 setting is great, if you can deal with the mandatory 3200 ISO element, but also PP4 with some custom tweaks of gamma and detail knee should give you good performance. Bottom line, the sensor in this camera is far beyond the realm of any consumer image available, anywhere.
- Sony Alpha A7S – Great low light camera
- Sony Alpha A7S Digital Camera
- Sony Alpha a7R III Digital Camera
If you embrace and correctly format a DSLR to your on set environment (I.E. with the Cinoflex) you have an incredible camera on your hands. We do believe that……The best camera being used by the worst cameraman makes a useless image, but the worst camera with a the best cameraman makes an outstanding image!
A7S and A7R Not for action photograpy
I professionally shoot high school, club, and collegiate sports. I own the Sony a99 and a7. I love the size, WiFi capability, and everything about the A7. However, on both of my above body’s, the 24MP sensor is too noisy above ISO 3200.
When I shoot sports, especially indoor sports, such as swimming and diving, I often want to use an ISO of 3200+ to achieve the highest possible shutter speed and lowest noise for a given aperture.When I read about the low-noise, high ISO capability of the a7S, with its large photo site, 12MP sensor, I couldn’t wait.
When the a7S became available for pre-order, I immediately ordered one. It finally came in, and it met my every expectation except one: When placed in Continuous Auto Focus (AF-C) mode, using any of the new FE mount lenses, the camera takes from 1 to 3 seconds to focus. This makes the camera useless for indoor or outdoor, high speed action photography and videography.I spoke to Sony several times about this problem.
They agree that the camera’s focusing system hunts some before it focus locks on the target. Two different Sony reps said that this is a product of Contrast Only autofocus used in the a7S and a7R. My a99 and a7 use Phase and Contrast autofocus and they both focus much, much, much faster that the a7S or a7R.
Now I can see Sony using Contrast Only autofocus in the a7R which is designed more for studio or landscape photography, but why Sony didn’t take the slow Contrast Only slow focus into consideration for the a7S a camera that could have revolutionized low-light, high ISO action shooting, is beyond me.
What a major shame!If you want to see this for yourself, it’s easy. Go to any Sony dealer, mount any Sony FE autofocus lens on an a7S or a7R, select AF-C in the Focus menu, and watch how much it hunts and how long it takes to focus when the shutter is depressed half way down.I sent the camera back. If this problem can be fixed with firm-ware, I will buy another one, and update my review to 5 stars.
Otherwise, two stars is all it deserves, as I shoot moving subjects. The a7 currently is a much better choice over the a7s or a7R for action shooting.
A7S as a body for Voitlander lenses
Ever since the dawn of digital photography, my Bessa film SLR and a suite of excellent voitlander lenses have been languishing. When I saw the a7S, not much more than the size of a Leica, I thought the camera would be an excellent for these lenses.
I had read about the amazing low light capabilities of this camera, allowing for constant use of speed of 1/250th of a second for almost all shots, without engendering noise or diminishing sharpness, thereby eliminating the need for vibration reduction, given my somewhat shaky hands. I bought the camera and trotted out my lenses after buying the excellent tight fitting new voitlander M to Sony E adapter II, which perfectly mated the lenses to the camera. Sony lauds the light weight and small size of the a7series.
Unfortunately, this does not tell the whole story, since cameras require lenses and, with the exception of the auto 35mm Zeiss lens, the available dedicated automatic lenses, including the great 58mm Zeiss, are too large for the camera. The 70-200 lens is humongus and heavy. We should have cameras with attached lenses, not lenses with attached cameras. Here, my Voitlander lenses, from 12mm extra wide Heliar to 90 mm Lanthar fit the bill of small size, allowing excellent ergonomics and allowing the camera to behave like a Leica.
The 35 mm f1.4 Nokton hits the sweet spot for full frame photography because, at f8, everything between 7 feet and infinity is in focus, thereby allowing a broad range of photography without focus fiddling. By the way, the 12mm Heliar shows almost no vignetting at f8, a great result for the SONY sensor. Steve Huff showed the same thing with the 15mm lens.
Now you can add the 12mm as an excellent performer on the a7S. Now here’s the rub with these lenses, the need for manual focus. This takes some practice, but is easy after mastery. The essential tips are 1, use auto ISO, 2, shutter preference, 3, C1 to magnify, 4, focus peaking to yellow or white medium, 5, focus spot to center focus. The C1 button is close to the shutter release and easy to toggle between. Focus peaking alone will not focus accurately. Use it to get general distance then magnify, critical focus and shoot.
Also remember, this is all unnecessary for general use at f8 and above for most general shooting with the 35mm lens because of depth of field. Also f8 is the smallest stop where you can see the image well in the optical finder in bright light. f11 is OK, f16 is not. With this advice, the camera functions like a dream.
The Voitlander lenses are sharp and accurate and the a7S sensor yields remarkable results. I highly recommend this camera for the purposes I have described. If you went to hang on bigger auto lenses and carry around the extra weight and poor ergonomics, be my guest. Suffice it to say that the a7S fulfills all the criteria and then some for the purpose for which I bought it.