Each of the three Sony a7 models is a purpose-built camera. The a7S has outstanding dynamic range that is preserved to a fairly high ISO, and permits, distinctly better than other cameras – detail preservation in specular highlights – shadow brightness lifted without too much noise – Sony’s dynamic range enhancement, in the current software version, is very natural-looking and functional, truly allowing us to expose as we were taught. – (expose for the highlights, scale HDR to manage the shadows) ++ This sensor has been lightly panned for low 12 MP res.
I have shot images in parallel with my a7R — the differences are obvious, but to get the best from any camera it is extremely important to use a high-resolution lens, such as the Zeiss lenses developed for Sony. It is clear that this sensor is fully capable of making pin-sharp 16 x 20 inch prints, and I’ve made very sharp 30 x 40 inch wall prints with from the alpha 700, which has the same pixel resolution, expect to be able to do the same with this.
I’ve made sharp 16 x 20 wall prints from a 3MP camera with post-processing, so the 12MP resolution is simply something to understand and manage. ++ Caveat 1: I will use the a7R for work demanding high resolution, and the a7S for work demanding high ISO.
For me, this means the ability to hand-hold nature macro shots in the shaded woods using ISO 6000 with acceptable depth of field and comfortable shutter speeds (no more f8 at 1/10 and pray there’s not a puff of breeze). ++ It also means shooting entertainers, in *silent mode* so as not to disturb the audience, in natural light. I am very much looking forward to doing this. ++ Caveat 1: I almost always use manual exposure and focus.
Manual focus with the a7S is not totally convenient, as the MF button automagically magnifies when the focus ring is turned, losing composition. Edge enhancement aids manual focus but does *not* indicate critical focus accuracy.
But with non-auto lenses like my Nikon f1.2 55 mm, the edge enhancement makes life easy. ++ Zebra striping is a good exposure aid, after we learn how it correlates with the final image. A whole range of intensities is available beginning with only show whether at least one channel is saturated on down to this face isn’t quite where I want it. ++ The electronic EVF is wonderful — the acutance is as good as the ground glass of yore, and it shows a rough guess of the final image.
The immediate post-exposure image is helpful, but in general is a shade darker than the final image. For someone working with moving subjects, the few milliseconds delay of the EVF means leading the action by a heartbeat. ++ Caveat 3: The menus of the a7 cameras are identically *structured* but do not have identical contents, relevant to the different purposes of the models. ++ Lenses: I bought the Sony 28-70mm kit lens because of the excellent DxOMark review. It has excellent sharpness.
The images provided here are with that lens. ++ Low-light sensitivity: dpreview’s 6/22/14 high iso compared test is worth reviewing. No camera is free of noise, but the a7S is an order of magnitude better in the moonlight, and those of us who remember the grain of Royal X Pan at ISO 1250 are stunned. ++ Battery life: Oh, get over it and take along 2 or 3 extra charged batteries. This is how Sony kept the form small. Happily, it’s the same battery as the NEX cameras. ++ Oh, and with video turn *off* the wind-noise filter — the cuts the bass and removes richness.
The in-camera image processing is very good, and the special features cannot really be replicated with Sony’s Image Data Converter. But the edge enhancement and contrast masking is appropriate to snapshot-sized prints, not wall prints.
The game changer
My focus is video not stills…My Sony A7s arrived this morning. I’ve not put it down in 8 hours. I’ve been a Sony fan since the early 80’s. I have used Sony broadcast products extensively and they never let me down. I remember when they moved into the very first digital ENG cameras, they were fantastic… of course old schoolers still whined about going digital but, whatever.
I’ve been using the Canon 5dMkII, 60D, 7D since mid 2008. As of last week they have all been sold (not the lenses) and I ordered the Sony A7s. I could not be happier with my decision. This camera is a film makers dream come true.Some people are concerned about the lack of photography lenses. I never use auto focus so that was a non-issue to me. I bought the Metebones adapter, slapped on some Canon L glass and instantly fell in love.If you’re into shooting video and have been using typical DSLR’s with those nasty codecs, do yourself a favor and take a serious look at this camera.
Oh, one more thing. Go look at the specs of the Canon C300, C500, Alexa and BMagic cameras, get ready to be shocked when you compare videos features and capabilities. And none of those big budget cameras ever gets close to the low light capabilities of the Sony A7s. Did I mention 15+ stops of dynamic range?Buy one or even two!
We test a pre-release A7s, impresive!!
Hello, my name is Gerardo Campos of Geco Films. We have been one of the few that have had the chance of testing the new photo and video camera SONY A7S. You can find our test in vimeo under this name: sony A7s test geco english subtitles This is the new camera that has a 4K sensor, with a 4K output It does NOT record internally in 4K One of its main features is its light sensibility.
There are some reviews going around on internet, but we wanted to do our own testing. We filmed simple shots on the street, since we didnt have the camera for much time. We also tested its slow motion performance, since this camera can work up to 120 fps in 720p mode. The camera is small and very light Easy to maneuver The Menu is fairly well distributed. This cameras light sensibility is phenomenal We have some images here.
I will show you what we captured on the screen and how the camera delivers the image. This camera reaches 409.000 ISO, which is insane. We tested it in 409000 ISO, but the truth is that we didnt find anything dark enough to shoot in that setting without burning. Ill show you some nighttime images of buildings The image can be recovered since the camera has a very wide dynamic range More than 15 stops points of dynamic range You can notice this when recovering the scene.
When you have a burnt or clipped image, although it seems to be unrecoverable. In post production, as you reduce brightness and highlights you will see how much information is held within the image. You can recover invisible image data which may be useful. Obviously the camera is noisy in 409.000 ISO, inappropriate for high quality use. However the image could be usable up to 50.000 ISO or maybe even 102.000 ISO, if it were later filtered with Denoise or Neat Video. It could be useful in a wide range of instances.
Such as documentaries were the camera is used in night vision avoiding infra red. In scenes were animals or insects are photophobic. This camera would be great for those circumstances. It is a small camera, so its transportation is optimum. It is light weight and you can use which ever lens you chose.
You would only need a small tripod, nothing sophisticated and you would be set to work in scenes with no light at all. It is impressive! You can find our test in vimeo under this name: sony A7s test geco english subtitles.