This camera is the best digital camera for my uses I have ever owned. I am a true multimedia artist… I shoot about 60% stills and 40% video and with both shoot in lower light a majority of the time.
I had been using a Nikon D800 for both before and it was good at low light but this camera is better. Video there is no comparison the a7s makes the d800 look broken. I also think overall the noise with the Sony A7s that is present is far better looking than the noise with the d800. any noise with the d800 just looked bad but the a7s noise when i manage to get it looks more like film grain to me. I use this camera with a metabones adapter with my large collection of Nikon AIS lenses and it works perfectly.
The small size, focus peaking and silent shutter make the a7s a revelation. Only downsides I see are the poor battery life and the controls being a bit confused but i bought extra batteries and i’m sure i will get used to the controls eventually. only thing the d800 does better is printing large or heavy crops and autofocus in normal light… none of those apply to me so for me the A7s is far superior.
This is the camera I’ve waited more than 45 years for. It has no equal for low light use. Easily usable to ISO 64000 and decent even beyond. The silent shutter option is also a big plus. Why sony hasn’t introduced this before seems to be more about their fear that you might sneak a shot without the whole world being able to hear the shutter than for any technical reason.
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The image quality is very good although I think the A7 is slightly better in that regard. However, I have the A7 as well as the A7S and if I have to make a choice, I’ll take the A7S hands down. Build is very good. Not as good as a Leica but what is? Only real negative is the battery life which isn’t great but it uses the same battery as the NEX cameras and they don’t have great battery life either.
Fortunately, the batteris aren’t expensive so you can have several In that regard, there are two included, not just one. If you’re a low light shooter or shoot where the silent shutter is of value, this is the camera for you. I don’t do video so I have no comment on that.
My F3 shrunk to an NEX7!!!
I have used this camera as a second camera to cut with my F5 and F3. and with the S-log profile, it really matches well.The mirrorless design E mount is one of the most versatile mounts out there, and opens up a lot of great lensing possibilities.I really like how Sony basically make an F3 into the Nex7 with this camera.
Its a dream come true for my documentary projects, but on bigger jobs, the major limitation is the rolling shutter on this camera. In this price range its as good as it gets, but the shutter really separates it from the Pro cameras.some of the button placements are awkward on the camera, but it’d be great to get more options when setting the custom keys!
Best small form video camera
I am working on a caving documentary, and the A7s is the best small form stills video camera I have ever used. It actually exposes locations slightly brighter than my eyes can see. Its small and light weight for travel. It has customizable buttons avoiding menus while shooting, a robust video codec at 50 Mbps, Slog2 for dynamic range, audio in and out, zebras, peaking, and a view finder that works while shooting video.
The camera gets 5 stars but I gave it 4 because of the native lens selection. I know it has an adaptor, but it takes away some of that range finder form factor that makes this camera so nice. Other than that, I actually love this camera. I don’t miss my 6D at all. (It also takes pretty great photos).
Why you should/shouldn’t buy it
First off let me start by saying that I love this camera for photo and video. Sony gives you 2 batteries, a USB cable, and external wall charger, and a cable support attachment. All very welcome additions. You can see some samples I shot on my youtube channel, www.youtube.com/MeanGrain Here’s what you should consider if thinking about buying one: Resolution/Photo-I do not crop photos, so 12MP is great for me. If you plan to crop or print like 36 or 48 wide prints then you might want more resolution. Resolution/Video-Cannot say enough about the detail this camera captures internally.
I look forward to seeing what the 4k looks like eventually but I since I deliver everything in 1080P, I won’t need it for a while. MUCH sharper than the 5D mkIII and 6D. Dynamic Range-I love the cine profiles for added DR, S Log is amazing but requires 3200 ISO or higher so get some NDs. DXoMark doesn’t test profiles, they test in standard profile and look at just JPGs. I can assure you that when you switch to cine or SLog profiles you will be simply amazed.
Codec-I have shot on the 5D mkIII and C100 and guess what? The AVCHD (28MB/s codec) used in the C100 shows less compression artifacts than the 90MB/s h.264 used in the 5D/6D. Trust me when I say that the XAVC (50MB/s codec) is amazing. I’m excited to capture 4k 8-bit 4:2:2 and scale it to 1080p 10-bit 4:4:4!!! ISO-Kind of silly to talk about this, because you already know that in low light this camera performs like no other. When you pump up the ISO it really looks like film grain rather than digital.
THE MOST FILM-LIKE DSLR CAMERA I’VE USED, PERIOD. Video and stills are both usable (professionally) up to around 50k ISO!! If you are good at noise reduction in post, you could use 100K ISO professionally in the right situation. You get so many options that Canon doesn’t give you (even ML is kinda weak at) like focus peaking, zebras, and WB calibration for use with calibration cards (which I highly recommend).
This camera has dethroned the 5D mkIII as the DSLR to have for filmmaking and Canon has A LOT of catch-up to do here, A LOT. I did a bunch of side-by-side tests and this camera supersedes the 5D mkIII in every way possible (for video). If you are primarily using this camera for photos, it is a poor choice for sports with a fairly slow AF and not the best for landscapes with the lower resolution.
However, this will be my go to camera for portraits… the film-like quality of the images is a step up from the best DSLRs available. If you want images that look like they came from a film camera, this is the only logical choice, period.