June 17, 2014

How Sensitive is Sony's 4K a7s? Well, It Can Overexpose Total Darkness

Sony a7sThe Sony a7s is an exciting camera for so many reasons: it shoots in 4K, is inexpensive, and compact, and has ISO settings ranging from 50 to 409,600, meaning that this little devil can essentially see in the dark, while still producing a relatively clean image. We've seen a few videos demonstrating just how sensitive the a7s is, and here's another one that shoes you that not only can you shoot in pitch black darkness, but you can actually overexpose it!

We've seen the footage testing the a7s' dynamic range, which is quite remarkable to say the least, considering the fact that a filmmaker can shoot by candlelight like Kubrick did in Barry Lyndon with a camera that costs less than $3000 (probably not with the same quality -- but we'll wait for the video that puts that shot to the test).

Speaking of quality, the images shot with very little illumination (a near-black room with little light) tend to get pretty noisy (understandably), so it's probably not the best idea to push this camera's sensitivity to the max for your narrative films if you don't have to. On the other hand, being able to set your ISO so incredibly high without completely losing your image is not only a feature that could one day save your shot (or help you find one), but it's the cornerstone of the camera's design.

a7s overexpose 1

a7s overexpose 2

In most cases, however, I can see a7s users enjoying the added advantage of being able to turn the ISO up a little in order to capture scenes they can only light with minimal lighting without losing too much clarity or fidelity. It's still impressive, though, that the a7s is powerful and sensitive enough to overexpose a near-black shot -- even though you probably don't want to overexpose your footage (it's just nice to know that the a7s is capable of letting you do it).

This video was uploaded by YouTube user Yoshihiro Enatsu:

As more a7s' find their way into the hands of creatives, we'll start seeing more and more impressive videos and films taking full advantage of the incredible dynamic range, which I for one can't wait to see. In case you didn't catch it the first time around, the camera will be made available in July for $2500. It's currently available to preorder on B&H and Amazon.

[via Fstoppers]

Your Comment

105 Comments

That's insane. Its like having color nigh vision.

June 17, 2014 at 9:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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4K A7s Camera... I must be dislexic, I read AK47s

June 17, 2014 at 9:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tulio

lol hahaha

June 17, 2014 at 10:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Aram

Well you can shoot people with both... Haha see what I did there?!?!??!?!?!?

June 17, 2014 at 10:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Adam

I'll pay that. *fist bump*

June 17, 2014 at 11:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ak47....

When you absolutely, positively have to shoot every mother@#$$% in the room..... Accept no substitutes.

June 18, 2014 at 5:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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4K A7 When you absolutely, positively have to shoot every mother@#$$% in TOTAL DARKNESS….. Accept no substitutes.

June 19, 2014 at 5:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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W

Winner.

June 19, 2014 at 7:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Zan Shin

Comparing the price Kubrick's camera to this Sony! The Zeiss f0.7 lens used was one of only TEN made by NASA. And is still completely drool-worthy... and rentable.

http://www.popphoto.com/gear/2013/08/rent-kubricks-insane-zeiss-f07-lens...

June 17, 2014 at 10:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jeff

0.7f? good luck trying to focus with that. And also it's only one lens...

The sensitivity of this cam is absolutely fantastic...

June 17, 2014 at 12:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Alex

June 17, 2014 at 10:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Alan TJ

Great! We can shoot Night for Day now... :)

June 17, 2014 at 10:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jeff

The low-light sensitivity is unbelievable to say the least, but I am wary about purchasing this camera, since I've not been fond of the ergonomics of previous Sony DSLRs, nor do I want to put up with the awful rolling shutter that has plagued the rest of the a7 line. Does anyone know if Sony has fixed any of these issues with this new camera? If not, I am much more inclined to go with the GH4 (internal 4k, upgradable, zebras/peaking, etc.) and skip the full-frame and high-ISO sensitivity. Nonetheless, I think the a7s could be an awesome solution for very special low-light situations that would have previously been close to impossible to shoot it.

June 17, 2014 at 11:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Arendee

This will be great for insurance fraud investigations. While the fraudsters are fairly good at staying in character in broad daylight, they tend to let loose at night when nobody they think nobody could be watching.

June 17, 2014 at 3:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Marc B

2 more days, all the a7s test user will upload tons of footages test and review, you will find your answer from there

June 17, 2014 at 4:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Alan TJ

I can't comment on the ergonomics. I had some misgivings about my A7 at first but despite a few lingering quirks I "get" what the engineers were thinking and I actually like the control layout a LOT.

Regarding rolling shutter, Cinema 5D found that the A7 rolling shutter was better than the 5Dmk3—which isn't great itself. Given the lower pixel count and faster readout of the A7S there's reason to believe the A7S will be on par with the 5Dmk3 and GH4 (in 4K mode). So on par but probably not better.

June 24, 2014 at 2:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Joel Richards

It's great but at $2500 without internal 4K, (you'll need the $2000 Atomos Shogun for that) this camera's price is a deal breaker - I've gone with the Panasonic GH4 - it's fantastic.

June 17, 2014 at 11:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ed Wright

How can 5 grands be a dealbreaker considering what you get??!

June 18, 2014 at 6:57AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Mikko Löppönen

It's a new world now in the area of cost. There's rumored to be a low priced Nikon 4K video/stills camera coming out soon. Then, in not so long, maybe 1 1/2 years, lower priced 6K cameras will be coming out.

June 18, 2014 at 8:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

link for the Nikon 4k, please.

June 18, 2014 at 8:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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VinceGortho

no link. was rumors i read on here from marklondon and DLD

June 18, 2014 at 11:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Can't wait till they make a 10 or 12 bit color version of this. This sensor is amazing.

June 17, 2014 at 12:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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VinceGortho

Damn...I miss 16 and 35 mm but the digital crap just makes it so easy to shoot

June 17, 2014 at 12:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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abraxis

With all due respect, that doesn't seem like very fair criticism. Yes, it might be easier to get a good-looking shot with today's camera's and software, but that doesn't take away from the difficulty to create a compelling story that can really engage the audience. And even with the shot itself; a beautiful shot is so much more than the colors and the sensitivity. It's about the framing, the movement, the foreground and background, shadows and highlights. Those are all things that digital camera's haven't necessarily made any easier.

June 17, 2014 at 1:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Robert van Barlingen

Yeah, digital is crap. Funny.

June 18, 2014 at 8:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Digital crap is destroying your good ole' celluloid in every possible regard, all around the globe as we speak. Go to bed, gramps.

June 19, 2014 at 7:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Natt

Show me one movie shot on film that has the following issues:
-Aliasing
-rolling shutter
-low dynamic range (post 1899)
-magenta spikes
-expensive archiving

June 19, 2014 at 8:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Kurt

We have to come to terms with the fact that none of these things are mattering.

And as K's get higher these issues are becoming minimal.

June 19, 2014 at 8:49PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Uh, film archiving (done right) is very expensive! Digital archiving is actually less expensive (per media cost & longevity) but the issue is predicting the future—we don't know what the format of the future will be. This is also a problem with analogue (film) media as well if you're trying to archive a non-standard format. And film formats also evolved over time.

June 24, 2014 at 2:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Joel Richards

I'd love to see this camera used for all the night-time shots on Survivor - the monochrome night vision stuff is so 90's.

June 17, 2014 at 1:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Lance Bachelder

You still watch Survivor ? That'S so 90s. LOL !

June 17, 2014 at 6:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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FabDex

lol.

June 17, 2014 at 7:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ben Howling

It's not realistic to NEED to shoot at 409,000 ISO, especially if you can't see anything (as a camera operator or an actor).

The 4K isn't even recorded on the body; and if you do record it, it's only 8-bit. (Why can the Gh4 do this?)

Is Sony and Panasonic ignoring raw video?

Buying into this camera is very premature.

June 17, 2014 at 2:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Even the $60K Panasonic Varicam is mostly AVC Ultra (but they are having Codex make the 4K Raw recorder for them). At 400 Mbps (or about 160 GB/hr), it's sufficient for most uses, aside of the major motion pictures. The improved software, Log recordings and new GPU/CPU with higher processing speeds allow for a much improved IQ at a slower bitrate. Within a year or two, the H265/HEVC based codecs will probably half that number as well. The key here is in the ARM or Intel chips nominally developed for the smartphone/table industries that can grind through a lot of data but with the lower thermal output. The reason for the external recording on A7s is precisely that. Next update just might have everything done internally.
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BTW, a rumored A99 II might have the internal XAVC 4K due to its large/r dimensions. And, as I had mentioned on a recent GH4 thread, if Sony combined the electronic components of A7s and Atomos Shogun, they ought be able to make an FS-100/700 size camera with the internal 4K XAVC/ProRes recording for about $5,000. But, at the moment, the huge money is on the lower end, so the pros only have an option of using FS-700 with the Convergent Design Q7 (about $13K, with licenses and necessary hard drives) for the 4K Raw recording.

June 17, 2014 at 2:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

GH4 can do internal 4k because the body size is larger than a7s and the main difference is the sensor size, how many brand out there can do full frame pixels reading in this small size, and how many camera with full frame can do 4k internal. It is still not easy to achieve at this moment.

About raw video, they both have their own RAW video camera? Are you looking for cheap "raw" camera, black magic for you then, but ohyeah they have their own pro and cons.

June 17, 2014 at 4:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Alan TJ

The blackmagic 4k does raw video. It tops out at what, 800iso?

June 17, 2014 at 4:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Bertzie

bmcc doesn't shoot that clear in low light though....

July 17, 2014 at 10:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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charlie boy

For this I was expecting an improvement on the 5D M3 (with Magic Lantern) and the GH4 and the RED ONE in a small package. RAW, DR, file formats, nice frame rates, small. I guess I'll have to (gasp!) wait for the Kinfinity camera!

June 18, 2014 at 12:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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The reviews I've been watching say the GH4 is 4K internal but at 8 bit 4:2:0. You still have to use an external recorder via the HDMI port to get the 10 bit 4:2:2 image.

June 19, 2014 at 7:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Zan Shin

It's too bad at this point that the GH4 doesn't have a 12G SDI on body to connect to the 12G SDI that the Atomos Shogun will have.

June 19, 2014 at 8:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Only if it was 10 bit , then it would be a no question buy , still considering it but not a fan of 8bit and terrible banding is not acceptable for major or indie productions IMO

Hopefully the scaled down 4k will translate closer to 444 1080 like picture quality like that on gh4

June 17, 2014 at 3:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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jaye

Yup. Downscaling 4K 4:2:0 8bit will give you 4:4:4 10bit.

June 18, 2014 at 12:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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*sorry - missing a vital piece of info :P Downscaling to 1080p

June 18, 2014 at 12:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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What the heck is a "major indie production"?

First off, if you're contemplating whether you should buy an A7 as an A-camera or not (and most likely, this is the case), then a "major indie production" is probably the least of your worries. And, not for nuthin', but that term sounds fairly goofy. Either you're independent or you're studio and usually with bigger budgets, the Producers may choose the camera unless your pull as a DP is strong enough to sway their decision.

Furthermore, why in the hell would an A7 be your main camera on a large budget indie film in the first place? Unless you're trying to prove a point, or it's a very special case, ala Hurlbut. If this is your main camera, your primary camera, I'm almost certain that a "major indie production" wouldn't be on the radar in the first place.

Sorry, I had to bite, but that was just a very goofy attempt at justification to avoid this camera.

June 18, 2014 at 4:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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The commentator said: "major ---OR--- indie production". (Note the OR)

June 18, 2014 at 7:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jeremy

When you're an "indie" doing films with stars getting over a million bucks in salary... well, you're not an indie anymore. You may be an "industry outsider," but it's no longer in the realm of what's traditionally considered an independant film/movie/video people will pay to see or spend time at a festival other than freakin' Sundance, which is a lifestyle event, not a film festival.

June 19, 2014 at 7:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Zan Shin

When you're an "indie" doing films with stars getting over a million bucks in salary... well, you're not an indie anymore. You may be an "industry outsider," but it's no longer in the realm of what's traditionally considered an independant film/movie/video people will pay to see or spend time at a festival other than freakin' Sundance, which is a celebrity lifestyle event, not a film festival.

June 19, 2014 at 7:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Zan Shin

Are "The Limey" and "The Straight Story" considered Indie?

June 19, 2014 at 8:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Sony said it has 15.3 stops of range. DXO mark said it has 13.2 below 100iso. it goes lower the higher you go. I know those results are for photos, but usually video has less dynamic range than raw photos. At least from every video camera i used except for Black Magic and Red. Please do not take this personal. The Sony A7s is still a great camera , and takes amazing footage at low light. Just want to make sure everyone knows about the difference!!!!

June 17, 2014 at 3:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Nick

I dont understand why people are so interested in yet another 8 bit, compressed codec camera

June 17, 2014 at 4:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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john jeffries

Maybe because IT CAN SEE IN THE FREAKIN DARK. That might have something to do with it.

June 17, 2014 at 4:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Bertzie

EOS HD says that, in practical terms, it's 12,800 ISO clean ... compared to BMPC4K that does 800 at best, this is pretty amazing ... but really, it should be on a new FS-700 type camcorder already ...

June 17, 2014 at 5:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

Never quote from EOS HD. Seriously...never.

June 18, 2014 at 4:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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...because most DSLR(and murrorless) cameras are still 8bit internally, including GH4. Only Blackmagic is 10bit and I wouldn't exactly call it a DSLR.

June 17, 2014 at 6:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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demetris

why are you guys still shooting on DSLRs?

June 17, 2014 at 7:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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john jeffries

Because it's all some people can afford. Others actually enjoy shooting with them, regardless of specs.

June 17, 2014 at 7:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Coty

Exaclty! If I could i would be shooting on an Alexa or Red.
But sitll i'd rather shoot on a DSLR and invest on good glass and lighting than having the best camera in the world and a bad lit scene.

June 17, 2014 at 9:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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but this camera is $2500. The image from a blackmagic is better looking. Dynamic range with 8bit codec. No thanks.

June 17, 2014 at 10:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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VinceGortho

A blackmagic is 800 dollars used.

There is literally no excuse to not be shooting RAW or at least prores 422

June 18, 2014 at 2:11AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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john jeffries

Only 5% of shooters shoot RAW. There is all the talk that "the human eye can't tell the difference between 4K and 1080p", which is ridiculous because you can stand in front of a 4K tv and a 1080p tv at the store and see an immediate beautiful difference. What the argument really should be can the human eye tell the difference between RAW and ProRes. I think it takes a trained eye to detect, appreciate---and care about---the difference.

Then there's all the talk about how much more work flow there is between 4K and 1080p. There really isn't a difference in the amount of work, or skill needed to handle 4K, just more patience waiting for download, rendering, and upload times. There is however a difference in the amount of work, and skill required, for handling RAW over ProRes.

So I guess that's the reason those 95% of shooters don't go RAW. Might not be worth it. At the same time I do see why those who go RAW do go for RAW. They have come to the place they see a reason for it. A friend of mine runs a small limo company. He doesn't have any stretch limos because he doesn't see a need for it at this time. He's doing great with what he has now. He may, or may not, add a stretch limo some day. Same thing as Raw vs. other recording.

jus sayin

June 18, 2014 at 8:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

DSLR video has inspired millions of video/film makers across the world..

June 19, 2014 at 9:06AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Dude - Which "guys" do you think you are talking to on here? You think everyone on here started shooting the same day you did?

June 18, 2014 at 12:25AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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1. Cost
2. Form factor
3. Low light
4. Sensor size
5. Affordable media
6. Being able to freaking format cards in camera or delete clips

Do I need to keep going?

June 18, 2014 at 5:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Cost: pretty cheap.
form factor: rig it for your shoulder
Low light: not award winning, but you either go where there is light of bring lights
Sensor size: speedboost it
Affordable media: to utilize prores? Same as any other media necessary
Being able to format: no surprise here, bring a laptop, hard drive and start dumping footages

June 18, 2014 at 8:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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VinceGortho

1. The 3 major blackmagic models are in the same price range as the 8 bit cameras that canon/sony/panasonic shit out every year at NAB
2. Form factor - youre supposed to rig it out
3. Low light- youre supposed to use lights. "photography" literally means "writing with light"
4. Sensor size- super 16, m43, and super 35 all offered by BM cameras
5. Affordable media- SD cards on the BMPCC are the most affordable media. 100 dollars for 64 gigs is peanuts comapred to SxS card prices, CFast prices, or RED mags
6. Being able to freaking format cards in camera or delete clips- I'll give you that one, but film cameras were the same way so...

June 19, 2014 at 2:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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john jeffries

It's not clear that the $3000.00 BM4K is a better value than the lower cost $1700.00 GH4:

http://vimeo.com/98324013

One thing that may have made a difference for the GH4 in this test is if he used Nikkor, or Leica lenses, both of which make the GH's look nicer.

And the GH4 is MUCH smaller. :-)

June 19, 2014 at 9:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

shyt, you need so mucg crap to get that blk magic cam going its stupid...

July 17, 2014 at 10:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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charlie boy

There's a bit of confusion going on here between low light sensitivity and dynamic range. Dynamic range relates to the number of stops between black and white at a particular ISO. The fact the this camera can produce relatively noiseless images at multiple ISOs is great, but shouldn't be confused with its dynamic range.

June 17, 2014 at 6:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Dynamic range and low-light sensitivity actually are related as both are benefited by the larger pixels of a lower megapixel/ larger sensor (i.e. larger photosites). Nonetheless, I think people are referring to the 15 stops DR that has been quoted. While this is likely only for raw stills, it stands to reason that the usable dynamic range for video should also be quite exciting.

June 18, 2014 at 3:22AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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ryan

Yep, they are related, and in this instance this camera as both in spades. Matt Allard of of newsshooter today posted a still from a video taken with the camera that shows off the dynamic range. Only the Dragon seems to beat it in his respect.

June 18, 2014 at 3:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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No they are not.

Dynamic range is a measurement from dark to light and in photographic terms, in stops measured (film obviously measures at 14 stops on the standard scales, being the gold standard for digital comparison).

The sensitivity and design of the sensor or film stock can increase or decrease this end factor, among other things. However, sensitivity and dynamic range or "latitude" aren't one in the same and shouldn't be referred to as such.

June 18, 2014 at 4:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Too bad you need a recorder for it to shoot 4K...

GH4 may not be this sensitive, but for the price...It is the camera to beat.

June 17, 2014 at 7:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tom

Cost of recorders will fall. The value of thrones Sony will rise for those who understand it's uses.

June 17, 2014 at 9:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Theo Slawin

All Sony have to do is take this sensor and match the GH4 for all other specs and they'll have the market locked up.

In the meantime, I'll enjoy my GH4.

June 17, 2014 at 9:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Stephen

Or "all panasonic has to do is make a better sensor to match the Sony a7s and they will have the market locked up. "

Goes both ways.

June 17, 2014 at 9:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Theo Slawin

It certainly does.

But if I were a betting man, I'd be putting my money on Sony bringing 4K internal recording and 10bit HDMI output to its A7 series long before Panasonic ditches MFT to bring a full frame, high ISO sensor to its GH range.

June 17, 2014 at 11:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Stephen

The GH will probably always cost less. Sony must have bet that the larger sensor and this fantastic low light would be justification enough for having it priced higher than the GH4. I'm not sure they won that bet.

June 18, 2014 at 12:17AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Not with the current offering. But add internal 4K recording and 10 bit hdmi output and I think you'd see a fair few people considering paying the extra $1000. I guess we'll find out soon enough - it can't be more than a generation or two away...

June 21, 2014 at 12:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Stephen

GH will probably have 6K by then.

June 22, 2014 at 10:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Needless to say, no camera can record an image in "total darkness" no matter how high an ISO it has - not unless it is recording non visible light (like infrared). Clearly, the sample video is NOT recorded in total darkness. The sky is clearly fairly bright. Regardless, the camera looks awesome, but really needs internal 4K recording. It's hard to imagine that an internal recording full frame alternative will not come out soon.

June 17, 2014 at 11:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Elliot Kramer

It wasn't total darkness. If it was there would have been snowy noise all over it at higher ISO's. But yeah, you're right, it's still awesome low light.

June 18, 2014 at 12:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

There was actually an experimental Canon camera a few months ago that shot videos of fireflies in "total darkness" ...
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found the clip - [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHnUtmenGQ0 ]

June 18, 2014 at 4:03AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

Fireflies light up. Therefore - not total darkness.

June 18, 2014 at 12:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Elliot Kramer

I am sorry... I'll get you the "Inside a black hole" video once it's uploaded.

June 18, 2014 at 2:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

But it does look like this Sony blows away that Canon.

June 18, 2014 at 8:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

As 95% of shooters won't need this much low light performance in real life work the GH4 is still the better choice for video. It has great low light too, plenty for almost every use. And it costs $700.00 less. Just the idea that Panasonic came out with excellent 4K video at a price that stunned everyone (and made BM lower the price of their 4K cam) makes it the better choice too. :-)

But I could find lots of uses for the low light of the A7s for screwing around for fun!!

June 18, 2014 at 12:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

I agree that 95% of shooters won't need this low light performance. But, I know I don't have $2,000 laying around to buy a camera to play around with. I'm going with the GH4 and use the extra money need for a 4k recorder on some lenses and make a movie.

June 18, 2014 at 12:47AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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I don't have the $2000.00 either. I was jus sayin it'd be fun...

June 18, 2014 at 8:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

A GH4 plus a metabones adapter (to get a proper focal length though still not full frame) is very close to A7s price... Then again you will get a low light capability similar to Canon's 550D and you will HAVE TO shoot 4K in order to get good quality HD. Yeah it's a steal...

June 18, 2014 at 2:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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demetris

Does a full frame sensor, global shutter, 4K raw - internal or not, otherwise Pro Res or similar, variable frame rate (not just 24 or 30) camera even exist? It seems like there is always one or two of those things missing, in this case its the codec, and sensor size.

A little off topic - just like if, maybe, a 5D and a FS700R have had a baby and I don't know about it yet.

June 18, 2014 at 2:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Mok

AJA Cion will have global shutter but it's the same APS-C sensor as BMPC4K camera, albeit in a much larger pro camcorder style body, with a lot more processing power (presumably). Raw recording via the AJA own recorders, plus ProRes at up to 60 fps or Raw at 120 fps (external unit only). MSRP $8995. Out this summer.

An e-brochure - https://www.aja.com/assets/brochures/CION_Brochure_WEB.pdf

June 18, 2014 at 4:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

All that for $9000.00 does look good.

June 18, 2014 at 8:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

2K....4K...6K...8K

This camera sounds awesome. It would be a great tool for filmmakers on a small budget.
But I think we are forgetting what's most important. The story and the performances.
The visual language. How you cut from shot to shot. The way you use music or use silence. The lighting. The script, the acting, what's in the frame what's out of the frame . In the end. The films that we admire most are those that move the audience.

"I don't think that writers or painters or filmmakers function because they have something they particularly want to say. They have something that they feel. And they like the art form; they like words, or the smell of paint, or celluloid and photographic images and working with actors. I don't think that any genuine artist has ever been oriented by some didactic point of view"
-Stanley Kubrick

June 18, 2014 at 2:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Aaron

I completely agree with you. Or I would if this was an article about making films, not the light sensitivity of a new camera.

June 18, 2014 at 4:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Marcus

Best me to it

June 18, 2014 at 4:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Reggie

Beat*

June 18, 2014 at 4:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Reggie

blah, blah, blah...

June 18, 2014 at 6:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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demetris

LOL, I know what you're saying.

June 18, 2014 at 8:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

This will be a fantastic camera for weather chasers

June 18, 2014 at 10:47AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Anthony Marino

In this video the girl uses just a candle:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYq1cwhk2Tc&w=560&h=315]

June 19, 2014 at 6:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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amateurpho

Some new low light footage footage with the A7s using the $4000.00 Zeiss Otus lens. Very beautiful! :-)

Uploaded 11 hours ago in Singapore, at "Broadcast Asia".

http://vimeo.com/98638918

Say bud, can you spare $4000.00?

June 19, 2014 at 9:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Seems like a lot of comparing of apples-to-oranges going on here...

The A7s really should be compared to the Canon 5D mkIII and equivalent Nikons. Sony seems to have the edge over both with low light sensitivity and 4K and over the Canon with dynamic range. The fact that it can crop to APS-C is a great feature over the Canon and some of the Nikons. The 5D with the hack gives you a Raw option, so we'll have to wait for image comparisons between these two cameras to see if the Raw is enough to make a difference.

As for Raw, it doesn't 'make the image look better', it gives you more range in color grading, so an experienced colorist can do more with it. Especially when shooting under difficult conditions (underexposure, etc.). Though if you think that it doesn't add to the burden of post when compared to ProRes, you're doing it wrong. Unless you shoot features, special effects, and maybe commercials, Raw is far less of a need.

If you are looking for just one camera for your shooting, the GH4 does probably make more sense... 10-bit, internal 4K, etc. Using an external recorder can be problematic. I would shoot green screen with the GH4 before the A7s, though I'd use an external recorder either way. For me, the price would be about the same, since I'd need some sort of speed booster.

For docs I'd go with the A7s, probably at APS-C. Easier on focus. The GH4 obviously would be easier still on focus, but gaining 4 stops of light sensitivity is a huge plus for the A7s. And I probably wouldn't need 4K.

Also, the A7s would be a fantastic camera to have in your kit on a feature or documentary... Set it to APS-C, use the same lenses as the A-camera, do night driving shots where lighting isn't practical, etc. Anyone who thinks you should 'just bring lights' has never done run-and-gun photography. This would be an incredible tool.

I'm dying to see some 1080 and APS-C 4K from the A7s... in theory the 4K would have to be upsampled, since the chip is true 4K at full frame. Also some 120fps 720. Anyone know what the crop is on 720? Since I often use cinema lenses (PL), the quality at APS-C could be a deal-breaker. I wouldn't want a camera that could only shoot with full frame lenses.

One note on global shutter, since it already came up... Like low light sensitivity, it's not important most of the time. And it seems you lose about a stop of light and 1-1.5 stops of dynamic range with a global shutter. So I think Red has the right idea, make it something you can add on, like a filter, when you really need it.

June 22, 2014 at 6:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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scottr

Matt Allard did the whip pan on it and there was virtually no (or, at least, I didn't notice any) jello effect. He did say that the 8-bit recording will test folks color grading ability. It does S-Log 2 but apparently the footage does have some artifacts if you push it in post.
.
BTW, I believe he was using Sony 24-70 mm F/4 lens on it and, with A7s sensitivity, F/4 is just fine and dandy.
.
PS. Allard also says that Shogun should begin shipping late September.

June 22, 2014 at 11:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

Yeah I dig the A7s. Nice to know your shots can still be usable in less than ideal lighting. The GH4 is good, but I give the edge to the A7s. Like others have said, when running and gunning bring lights is not always an option.

June 23, 2014 at 12:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DBounce

Not everyone shoots in white light,its about time we had an IR option with this ISO range

August 7, 2014 at 8:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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