I bought the product primarily for it’s video capability.The Pros- Great ISO suppression, almost no noise even at 3200 ISO.- Great usability – custom hot keys and etc.The Cons- Can’t compare with expensive cameras – few details are missing in features but what do you expect from a camera under $3K?- Menus that can be better with Firmware update.
Great camera so far!
This has been a great replacement for my Canon 5D Mark III. I was looking for a full frame camera that also does 4K (still waiting, so benefit of the doubt here) and is great in low light.I am still using Canon glass as I am heavily invested in their L series. The adapter I purchased makes auto focus a mess but I just turn on focus peaking and use the manual focus. Still great results!
The best, although far from easiest, video camera for low profile documentary work I have ever used. There are only three real problems with the camera: 1. The rolling shutter is really hard to deal with. You can try shooting APSC/crop sensor even with full frame lens to minimize, but if Sony can figure out how to put a global shutter in this camera it will be a killer.
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2.The SLOG2 profile, which is irresistible, takes an eternity to color correct and grade. Plus you need ND filters to shoot in daylight in SLOG2. The other profiles produce amazing out of the camera footage.3. The optional XLR adapter is terrific, but completely impractical without a cage because there’s no place to mount it on the camera. Battery life blows. Those are quibbles, because the A7S is a joy to use.
Fantastic Camera – Specific Use!
I shot with Nikon for over 6 years so trading in one of my DSLRs for this setup was a very big step. My choice to swap was to be able to shoot urban photography much more discreetly and for that purpose, this was an excellent choice!The great things are a small physical form-factor. while still providing full-frame output. The low-light ISO performance is unbelievable.
Some have called out the 12 MP as an issue but for me, I can honestly count on one hand how many times I’ve printed 20×30 so truly, 12 MP is MORE than enough. Also, I’m framing as I would print (minimal cropping). Last point about the 12 MP: I traded in my D700 (12 MP) so I’m in roughly the same place. The silent shooting mode works well – almost creepily well. I haven’t used it in fast-motion situations nor indoor so I cannot confirm/deny the banding issue yet, but for outdoor journalistic or street photography, it works well. The dynamic range you’re able to get out of a single image is quite good (attaching a vert shot at sunset).
My setup is the a7s paired with a Leica 35mm Summilux.I will say that migrating from the D700, one of my current downsides is the transition in getting used to a different UI and menu setup. Also, in order for the smaller physical form factor, there are setting/controls that are imbedded into the electronic menu instead of externally. Some customization of the buttons help – but not all custom functions can be associated (hopefully a firmware update of sorts could address?).
Other than that, the only other primary downside the battery life. Granted – the a7s sold in the US comes with 2 batteries (I believe I read somewhere else that in other countries it may only be 1?). However, even with 2 batteries, this is the first time I was concerned that I might not last the full day (full disclosure, I haven’t run into the problem yet but then again, I had not shot with the rear LCD screen on on my DSLRs in the past so seeing 32% remaining after a half day took me by surprise – perhaps another mental adjustment).
Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to test out the video capabilities just yet – though I hear this is one of the highlights (apologies!). However, certainly something I look forward to as I use this more.
What You Expect – Impressive Low Light
This camera is as the reviews suggest – impressive for video, and mediocre in photo. The low light is great. I have no trouble bumping it to ISO20,000+ for acceptable results. It’s an impressive camera by no doubt. Photos aren’t bad by any means, just not as extraordinary. I had some issues with the focus peaking, but is that something to rely on anyway? Also, watch out for rolling shutter – especially in silent photo mode.
Couldn’t wait to show my friends!
I bought the a7S with the 55mm f1.8 10 days ago. They performed exactly as advertised. The camera’s low light capabilities are remarkable. I’ve just tried up to ISO 12800 in my lowlight living room, and outdoors at sunset. The lack of noise at 8000 is amazing, and 12800 shots require a minimum of noise reduction in Lightroom The lens is tack sharp. My only negative is that the batteries don’t last as long under similar conditions as my Canon 5D MII.
I am not usually big on reviewing products, but this camera is just too amazing for me not to review. I bought it primarily for video work, and I could not be happier. I have been shooting with my 5Dmk3 for the past two years, and I can tell you that after my first gig shooting with the A7s there is no question that it will for now on be my A-cam on everything I do.
The image is amazing, and the low light is literally awesome. Seriously. I literally almost cried tears of joy watching this footage. A lot of the work that I do is in Africa and India and am forced to work with what little light I have. This is seriously a game changer for me.A warning though: the rolling shutter is bad. Really bad. Like, shockingly bad. This is not made for action filming with fast pans. Overall, this is the best camera you can buy for the money.
The image quality and low light performance beat out any other camera in the price range and may thousands of dollars above it. Do yourself a favor and buy this camera. You’ll thank yourself later.