Video review: Sony a7S – the new low light king

By technical editor Matt Allard:

Sony A7s Review from Matthew Allard ACS on Vimeo.

I’ve been in Singapore this week covering the Broadcast Asia show and for the duration of the trip I’ve had a production model a7S with me on loan from Sony. In that time I put together the 37 minute long review you see above. I’ve tried to be as comprehensive as possible shooting in as many real world situations as I could. For me this gives a truer representation of the abilities of the a7S than just filming in a pretty location with ideal lighting.

In this review you will see low light footage, Standard Picture Profile and Slog2 ungraded and graded shots. There is also a clip demonstrating the rolling shutter and a couple of small clips showing 60 and 120P slow motion. You will also get a full look at the menu system and functions. All my test footage was recorded in the camera to SD cards in XAVC HD because I didn’t have access to 4K recording device. The footage at the start shot by Den Lennie was originally shot in 4K but is shown in HD here.

One of the most eye opening things for me was seeing my a7S footage professionally graded. I’ve included a screen cap of it being manipulated in Davinci Resolve 11 by a colourist at Broadcast Asia. 

The A7s is quite unique for a hybrid stills/video camera because it bucks the trend of going for ever increasing megapixels. Instead Sony have used a full frame 12MP CMOS sensor – which results in increased low light sensitivity and dynamic range. This camera really is the new low light king – I can say that without a shadow of a doubt. 

Hopefully the video covers just about everything you need to know. If anyone would like additional questions answered please don’t hesitate to ask by leaving a comment below.

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