February 23, 2015 at 4:37PM


Sony A7S for Unit Stills Photography?

I know this is a forum for video, but I'm a videographer/photographer that's looking to upgrade from my 7D. I am looking into becoming a unit stills photographer and don't want to fork out extra money for a sound blimp. I understand the A7S has silent shoot mode which would be an asset and it's obvious strength in low light situations would be beneficial. Also being able to use it for personal video projects will be a big plus. A lot of people have been writing this off as a poor stills camera for anything but low light situations, but how bad is it really? Surely it can't be that bad? Obviously there are better stills cameras out there but will it still do a good job? The reality is I can't afford multiple bodies for specific purposes and I'm doing my best to find a jack of all trades, at least until I can afford to splash out on situation specific gear.


I never took a serious picture with an A7s, I only rented it a few times to shoot video, but I guess it's called poor because it is just a 12MP sensor.
My Canon Rebel from 2009 has 12MP.
A 5DmkIII has 22MP.
The new 5D has a lot more.
So basicly if you want prints larger than approximately A4 (assuming you use 300dpi), you'll lose sharpness with 12MP.

But I could be wrong and there is another reason for that qualification...

On the other hand: the silent mode is a plus on set.

February 24, 2015 at 4:43AM

Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer

Thanks Walter, yea it's a hard decision because obviously the main use for movie stills is marketing and promotion so I'd assume at some point they would want to use them for large advertisements so maybe 12MP won't cut it. I'll have to do more research and find out if 12MP really is no good for anything over A4...

Dominico Zapata

February 24, 2015 at 3:00PM

I don't have a A7s yet but, I am trying to purchase one by end of this year. (hopefully)
I am kind of in a same boat as you but I do stills mainly.
I bought Nikon D3 (which only has 12mp) when it first came out and been using it ever since I guess for professional stills and personal as well. I've shot numerous weddings, portraits, events and restaurant menus/posters with it. But had no complaints from clients that my images look soft on print, so I wouldn't worry about 12mp. And if you are doing some major photo shoot that they are printing a billboard sized image I would rent a camera. I also have GH2 that I bought just for video, and I have Voigtlander r4m film rangefinder for street photography.(and also have numerous film cameras including MF)
But yea when A7s first came out, I was like "that is it" that's the camera I want. I've been waiting for a camera that has all the functions I use from each camera I own.
It has low light and fullframe of my D3 and a awesomer video than my GH2 and stealthy and small package of my Voigtlander! It's a perfect camera "for me". Honestly if you are worried about 12mp don't, unless you are a type of person who likes to crop images in post.(nothing against that since all the street legends did it). I use 5D markIII at work and do professional food and product photography currently. The final image always end up being a less than 12mp. JUST GET IT! =) I am so excited even talking about it.
FYI I am a avid NIKON user!

February 25, 2015 at 5:24PM

Keith Kim

I used to own the Canon 5D MkIII and sold it for the Sony A7s.

I loved Canon's pictures but the lure of improved video on a smaller full frame camera was irresistible.

Not disappointed! A7s takes great video and also very happy with stills. Skin tones and colours are not quite up there with Canon, but still look beautiful thanks to full frame goodness.

And the smaller form factor really gives it a "use it anytime" feel. My old 5D made taking awesome pics a breeze, but was a lot more effort to haul around.

Just my opinion.

February 26, 2015 at 9:35PM

Scott Maclean
Photo/video Enthusiast

Hi! Can I ask what lenses you have? I have an A7s and do a combination of videography and photography. I am trying to figure out what glass is best to invest in that will fit my needs.

Elliana Moore

April 26, 2016 at 12:09AM

I have an A7s and love the photos. I think it would be great for on set photography.

February 27, 2015 at 9:01AM

Tom Abray
writer, videographer

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