If you’ve followed us long enough, you might notice that we have a particular fondness for Sony’s a7s. While we may have a few or more of these mirror less beauties floating around the office at any given time, I must add that we choose to operate these cameras on 90% of our Vancouver video productions completely by choice. You see, not only does this camera boast incredible low light performance, it has so many other attributes that make it an ideal workhorse for us. See some of our top Sony a7s camera highlights below and let us know your opinions in the comments section!
S-Log is a feature found in more professional cameras that helps expand the effective dynamic range during video recording. When you record in S-Log 2, it produces an extremely flat untouched image void of any in camera sharpening, saturation, brightness and contrast that would otherwise be “baked” into your image. Shooting in S-Log increases your dynamic range and allows for more in depth color grading in post-production. When we want the most out of any of our video productions, we shoot in S-log to give us the most creative control. But we should note that it does bring more work in post-production when color grading. Don’t expect to give your client a final cut of a project without grading images shot in S-log. For you tech heads, check out this to learn more about using S-long on your a7s.
Ah!!!! 60 frames per second has never been sweeter when you’re shooting those raindrops slowly falling into that puddle of water or that dog galloping while its furry mane bounces in the wind. If you’ve ever watched our work, you’ll know that we shoot A LOT in 60fps. For our video productions, we find that overcranking provides a surreal effect that adds depth and emotion to a scene that 24fps just doesn’t capture sometimes.
Small and Compact
This may seem like a simple one but it’s actually the MOST important. We produce videos all around the world so it’s important for us to pack light when we travel. Whether it’s filming a place branding video in Hawaii, a TV commercial in South America or a local corporate video production in Vancouver, we don’t want to be overcome by an excessive amount of gear that we may or may not use. The a7s comes in at just 1.08 lb for the body and has a low impact shape and size that packs a huge punch!
Superior low light performance
Where would this list be if we didn’t mention somewhere about the low light capabilities. We’ve all seen Philip Bloom’s ground breaking high ISO tests where this thing can practically see in the dark! It seems that this camera will always hold this one giant victory over the more expensive cinema cameras. We’ve safely pushed this thing well past 128,000 ISO while filming in the dead of night and still produced an image that was worth something!
4k external recording
In a world dominated by pixel peeping and resolution snobbishness, where would you be without a camera that is incapable of 4k? While the a7s may only be limited to externally recording 4k footage, it forces you to not rely on a heavy in camera compression like other 4k capable cameras. We love using the Atomos Shogun and other external recorders for getting higher quality and more resolution on the video productions that need it.
Where would we be without APS-C mode?! It’s a lifesaver when you don’t have the time to switch lenses but you need to punch into your shot a little tighter. Essentially, this mode allows you to crop into the full frame sensor of the a7s which magnifies your focal length by 1.6 X. That 50mm you love using on your favorite full frame camera just became an 80mm baby!
Sure, there’s always going to be pros and cons to every camera and believe me, this camera has a lot of negatives. But we’ve found for the price and the specs that come with this package, it will always have a place in our gear arsenal no matter what video production we’re on!