October 17, 2016 at 3:51AM, Edited October 17, 3:53AM


A7S II + Atomos Shogun - What does it exactly add?

Hi there,

I'm upgrading my camera to the A7S II, and I'm also considering purchasing the Atomos Shogun.

My questions are on the recorder side of the Shogun. Apart from the possibility of recording in ProRes, does it really add anything extra? Is it an increase in footage quality worth the investment?

Thanks a lot!

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The A7S II records in XAVC S which is a consumer version of the prosumer XAVC codec that is used in the FS7, FS5, even the F5 and F55. This codec has been designed for the A7S II specifically and it does a great job. And for most jobs, films and projects it's (more than) enough.
But if you want to put some really though grading on your footage you might get in trouble because XAVC S is just a 4:2:0 codec which doesn't provide very much collor information. Now the Shogun comes into the game: It records in ProRes which is a 4:2:2 codec and can capture much more collor information than the XAVC S codec could. You can also see that if you look at the bitrates of ProRes. In UHD you files need about 3.5x more disk space.
I think the Shogun isn't necessary to shoot beautiful images and later on grade them very well. The XAVC S codec does a very good job here. If you would have asked about the GH4+Shogun that would be something different because the GH4 can output a 10-Bit signal which the A7S II is not capable of. That is a much more visible enhancement that a 4:2:2 collor space.
Besides all that codec stuff the Shogun is a very nice monitor as well and makes shooting on set a lot easier because it has a 1080p screen and very good collor quality as well as it is very sharp. Downside of course is that the Shogun is very big in comparison with the A7S II and makes it bulky if you are on a run.

October 18, 2016 at 4:05AM

Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller

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