I wish I could give this a 4.5 star rating, because nearly everything about this camera is great, with a couple of small setbacks. First of all, the good:
1. As you probably know, the low-light performance of this thing is outstanding! I would not hesitate to use the camera at ISO 10k, and even up through ISO 30k, the image is clean. It starts to get noisy around 52k, though it is still certainly useable. I’ve used the 5DMIII, C300, and FS700, and I would put the high ISO performance above all of them.
2. Dynamic Range. I haven’t done any scientific tests, but in several real-world projects shot with this camera, shot in S-Log2, I felt that the DR was more than adequate. Add in the zebras, and you are almost guaranteed to not blow anything out! Although the seven picture profiles are pre-set with different shooting parameters, they can all be equally customized, and very specifically, to meet any shooting situation.
3. Lens options. I come from the Canon DLSR world, so all of my lenses are Canon EF mount. However, the E mount of this camera allows you to get an adapter for pretty much anything you want to mount onto it, including EF lenses. I have an adapter from Metabones, and I think it works great.
- Sony Alpha A7S – First Pro Level Mirrorless Camera
- Sony Alpha A7S – Great Camera – Poor Service From Sony/Precision
- Sony Alpha A6000 Digital Camera – Fantastic image quality
4. Sharpness and detail. Some of the default settings seem to give an unnaturally sharp image, but if you just turn down some of the in-camera detail, you end up with an image that looks more detailed than sharp, and that’s an important distinction. Detailed is good; sharp (in this case) looks fake. Now, the bad….
1. The rolling shutter, while recording in full frame at 24p, is bad. Depending on what you’re shooting, even a slight swaying motion makes the world look like jello. However, I am so used to having some jello in my shots due to using DSLRs so much, I already know how to shoot around it. It seems to go away when using the APS-C crop mode or when shooting in higher frame rates, though.
2. When shooting at higher frame rates, moire and aliasing start to show up. I’ve heard this is because of line-skipping going on. When shooting at 60fps, I would say the moire and aliasing is similar in strength to a Canon 60D or 70D, and at 120fps, aliasing gets much stronger.
3. The battery life with the included batteries is rather awful. By default, I think I got about 60 minutes of use, even when just going through menus. I have heard that switching the camera to airplane mode is supposed to help, but I have not yet tested the run time in that mode.
4. The camera, being mirrorless, is so small that I find it difficult to hold. I’m a big guy, at 6’4, and the 5DMIII’s grip feel SO much better in my hand than the Sony A7s. I feel like I have to pinch the grip to keep it secure. However, since I use the camera 95% for video, it is almost always on a monopod, tripod, or glidecam, so I don’t have to hand hold it much.
Besides, with the rolling shutter the way it is, I don’t think I’d want to hand hold it much anyway. Overall, I am very pleased with this camera! Even with the little annoyances, this is a huge step up for me, even from a 5DMIII, it just seems to do everything better.
I got the a7s as a replacement for my fs100. I’m very impressed in the low light ability. I am using it with an ef-emount metabones adapter. all my canon glass works great with the full frame sensor. The ability to punch in to aps-c mode is great when you need that extra range. Along with the GH4, the a7s is becoming a dual A cam setup. I’m able to interchange them based on each strength. Only 4 star because of battery life, no internal 4K and lack of native lens options. other than that, great camera!
Could not recomend more
Aside from just amazing video/photo quality the form function of the camera is amazing, incredibly small, light and durable. It feels like a tank in your hands. The slow motion is amazing and I can’t speak highly enough about the low light. As well the focus peaking and viewfinder are the best things in the world when it comes to focus. The only downside is the battery life. It last about three hours.
Love it! Great Video! Easy to Use
I had a Blackmagic Cinema Camera but as I do a lot of run and gun I bought the a7S and am very happy about that. The autofocus, autoexporsure and overall autos make it very easy to shoot video run and gun. I love the ability to shoot anywhere with the low light capabilities. Overall I am very happy with this over my cinema camera.
One thing I liked more on the CC is that it was obviously a video only camera. It had specific controls for that where as this is obviously meant to be a photos camera that can do video. It’s not a deal breaker but it’s something that I wish was a little better. QUality is great. Make sure you have a 64gb SDXC card to do the better codec, no one tells you this but it needs to be 64gb to shoot in XAVC S.