Sony a7S II ILCE7SM2/B 12.2 MP E-mount Camera with Full-Frame Sensor Review

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Sony a7S II ILCE7SM2/B 12.2 MP E-mount Camera with Full-Frame Sensor Review

Technical Details

Product Type Sony a7S II Color Black
Star 4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5) Product Weight 2 pounds
Price Check Latest Price Product Dimensions 5.67 x 6.1 x 9.61 inches
Read Reviews Amazon Customer Reviews Warranty 1-year Warranty
Continuous Shooting Speed 5 fps Effective Still Resolution 12.2 MP
Display LCD Display Size 3 inches
Video Capture Format 4K Photo Sensor Technology cmos
Processor Description bionz x Optical Zoom 1x
Maximum Shutter Speed 1/250 of a second Flash Memory Type SDXC
The a7S is the 3rd design in Sony’s full-body mirrorless selection, a 12MP camera that puts the maximum amount of focus on its film capture abilities as its still picture expertise. As the a7S is just a capable still shooter, Sony has actually highlighted that its real focus (no pun meant) is videography.

The very first thing you have to learn about the a7S is it can tape-record 1080p video footage internally or be utilized to an external recorder to output 4K video that. The internal 1080p video footage is tape-recorded utilizing the XAVC S format, a far more customer-friendly version of Sonyis XAVC program. Here is the very first of the cameras to utilize the format, which releases the camera in the bitrate limitations of the AVCHD standard of the company’s.

However, while the a7S’s body precisely resembles its initial 24 and 36MP sibling versions, the a7 and a7R (the a7 II’s style is somewhat various), it consists of an entire host of features and resources to aid the videographer. These consist of the reduced distinction S-Log2 tone curve that enables more of the option to record time code and the camera’s vibrant variety to be suited its video files. Photographers more thinking about stills might want to keep in mind that the majority of these video features have actually consequently been consisted of in the more recent a7 II, which likewise characteristics modified ergonomics as well as in-body-image stabilization.

DSLRs efficient in shooting HD video have actually existed for a little under 6 years. Before the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, which showed that you might get near-professional quality video from the stills camera, video appeared to be consisted of on cameras mainly to please a checkbox to the marketing spec sheet. It’s consequently end up being a critical feature for numerous users.

For the many part, nevertheless, mirroless cameras and modern DSLRs do not provide much assistance due to their video capabilities. The technological capacity exists, however also on cameras in which a good degree of manual control is offered, tools such as zebra patterhsn and focus peaking that have actually been standard on devoted video cameras for several years are frequently missing out on. This extends to even cameras for example Nikon D800 and the Canon 5D Mark II, whose respective manufacturers more than happy to promote video features in spite of the truth that assistance for really utilizing video is rather doing not have. Canon has consequently upped its video game with the lessons and the EOS 5D Mark III in general video is promoted far better than it’s supported, although it’s gaining from the advancement of its Cinema EOS line.

The Sony a7S actions around these mistakes, providing both focus peaking and zebra emphasize cautions to assist videographers get video footage that measures around the cameras’ capture capabilities (you can, nevertheless, purchase external monitors that can reveal the exact same info on other cameras). They likewise have add-on accessories offered to enable usage of industry-standard video connections or audio.
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Another drawback of numerous ‘HDSLR’s is that they catch video’s relatively low resolutions by just tasting ‘stripes’ of their sensing units – a procedure that’s ended up being referred to as line-skipping. This results in reduce vertical resolution in the video, together with a greater risk of moiré. This is avoided by the a7S by reading out its entire sensor forty times per minute. And, since its sensor appears to have actually been developed with video at heart, it is able to wisely downscale this result into solution, more detailed video.

Nevertheless, even if they’re going to unusual lengths to support the videographer, this does not imply any compromises have actually been made to the feature sets they provide the stills shooter. Significantly, as its more stills orientated a7R and a7 models the Sony provides the exact same handling and controls.

Nevertheless, even if they’re going to unusual lengths to support the videographer, this does not imply any compromises have actually been made to the function sets they provide the stills shooter. Significantly, as its more stills orientated a7R and a7 models the Sony provides the exact same handling and controls.

The Sony a7s’ handles – links, dials and menus – correspond those discovered on a7R and the a7. Simply put, controls are fairly set out, with a couple of exceptions: a bit more could be protruded out by the rear dial, the video recording button is too much from the method, and both C2 buttons and the menu are strangely put.

The camera has 2 main dials that emerge from the leading plate, in addition to the familiar rear dial that functions as a four-way controller. Exposure: program shift in aperture and P mode is always handled by the main dials and/or shutter speed within the others. The rear dial might have around 5 settings designated to it, as unintentionally turning stated dial is extremely simple, though that can be dangerous. There are 2 methods around this: just designate absolutely nothing to the rear dial, or switch on the lock function which needs a button-press prior to it can change anything.

The camera’s primary selection is lengthy and, although divided into rational tabs, can be a little difficult to discover things in. Fortunately it’s unusual that you’ll have to hang out learning it, because there is likewise a completely user-definable ‘Fn’ menu.

This implies that, in spite of our bookings about the menu system, in general the a7S is an enjoyment to shoot with. The camera is open, focuses rapidly in great light (however not-so-effectively in low-light), as well as the LCD and EVF don’t have any noticeable lag. The shooting experience by no means hurts, while a touchscreen like the one discovered about the Panasonic GH4 would’ve been good.

Initially glimpse it appears that the camera just has 3 adjustable buttons, however that’s far from the reality. Users can likewise personalize AE, the event of the rear control wheel and AF/MF, and 3 instructions of the four way controller.

The Sony A7S has got the exact same auto ISO implementation observed in its A7 series brother or sisters, which basically implies it’s not as advanced as the programmable auto ISO algorithms provided for many years in Nikon DSLRs, and more just recently in Canon DSLRs. This implies you cannot inform the camera for before upping image brightness to increase, the minimum shutter speed it ought to enable. The camera immediately chooses this minimum shutter speed and, additionally, it’s not extremely smart – in Aperture Priority, for instance, 1/60s is constantly selected, despite the contact’ key length or visual stabilization features. It is especially outright that this automatically selected shutter speed, provided its unsophisticated habits ca n’t be biased by one.

The silver lining here’s the A7S does provide auto ISO in M(annual) mode, which implies you can work around the absence of programmable auto ISO by changing to M mode, calling within the proper shutter speed and aperture, and after that enabling the camera to immediately choose the suitable ISO to accomplish proper image brightness. To reduce or darken the image in accordance with this ‘appropriate’ image brightness, one can utilize the exposure compensation dial. That is, direct exposure payment continues to be offered in M style with Auto-iso – an addition to many modern high-end cameras that we are rather delighted to see.

Sony made no changes for the control layout in between the a7S and the a7/a7R as mentioned earlier. The front for adjusting exposure and rear control dials that you utilize are fine for stills, but the microphone will get the clicking noise when their turned, when shooting video.

Something else that hasn’t altered may be the keeping the videorecording switch. After getting negative feedback concerning the placement of the button about the nex 7, it has been moving further and further away, from accidentally pressing it in order to prevent users. The issue now is it’s too much – basically on the camera’s right side – and it is so flush towards the body which you might need to hunt for it.

Mentioning placement, Sony has actually spread video-related options through the selections, in lieu of getting a devoted bill. The shortcut (Fn) selection and customizable buttons can assist navigate this, though you’ll still need to explore the main menu to discover your preferred setting.

Video can be tape-registered in virtually any firing style, or you are able to choose to just utilize the dedicated movie mode location about the mode switch. Its primary benefit is the fact that it sneak peeks the correct framing rather of needing to change when the ‘red button’ is pushed as in different shooting modes. You can still change in between P/A/S/ M mode through the Fn. menu.

Despite exactly what mode you’re in, direct exposure, focus mode, while you’re recording and ISO sensitivity all can be adjusted. Focus peaking and zebra can likewise be switched on and off. Direct exposure is changed utilizing one or both of the control knobs, that you can set up to your liking. The a7S enables you to shoot with Auto ISO, which will keep the aperture and shutter speed constant in manual exposure mode. Also in Auto ISO mode, brightness could be changed utilizing the exposure comp dial on the leading plate. This makes it possible to create the shutter speed and aperture and allow the camera stress over preserving the brightness.

Though that can sidetrack from your workflow other settings can be altered through the Function menu while tape-recording. Functions you wish to rapidly switch off and on, for example zebra, could be designated to among the custom buttons.

Among the important things that separates its siblings and the a7S is its movie mode, both in the extensive variety of supporting functions offered and terms of codecs. The more you check out it, the more obvious it is that the a7S is meant as it is for stills, as much for video shooting.

Unlike most of video cameras, the a7S provides full-sensor readout. Its 1080p movie is comprised from all of the pixels inside a 16:9 crop of the sensing unit, then scaled down to 1080 resolution. This implies the scene has actually basically been over-sampled, which ought to lead to better quality than a lot of its competitors. It’s likewise efficient in delivering 4K (3840 x 2160) video, though just when straight linked to an external recorder like the Atomos Shogun.

While a7R and the a7 support AVCHD and MP4, the a7S includes the more sophisticated XAVC S, which enables bit rates of 50Mbps, guaranteeing higher quality. The other a7s peak at 28Mbps at 1080 /60p and 24Mbps at 1080/24p – that are still supported to the a7S both.
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The XAVC S system conserves its files in MP4 wrappers together with a variety of related files in a folder structure in the folder called ‘Personal’ about the memory card (though not the exact same structure as AVCHD files). All video playing software not recognizes these files, but we found YouTube will accept them and VLC would play them back. Do note that a SDXC card is needed for shooting XAVC S – a warning will throw up otherwise.

In XAVCS mode, sound is tape-recorded utilizing LPCM (direct pulse code modulation) instead of Dolby Digital (AC3), which is potentially because of the larger bitrate.

The Leader 7S offers an impressive set of tools to videographers. You can adjust /or aperture and shutter speed as you’d expect. In handbook (‘M’) mode, you can repair the aperture and shutter speed, and utilize Auto ISO to preserve brightness.

More professioanal features consist of picture profiles, markers, and time codes. For amateur videographers, however, the a7S still afford them the ability to get into a great deal of the video camera’s abilities. Here we’ll talk about the more fundamental features that users are most likely to discover helpful.

The a7S’s 1080 footage is extremely outstanding, despite which video camera you compare it to. It is extremely detailed however likewise basically moiré-free. The key reason the a7S has the ability to produce such tidy 1080 footage is since its sensing unit is developed around 4k resolution. There are 2 methods of taking a look as of this: either by getting it at face value because it enables you to shoot 4k or because it enables you to shoot completely 2x-oversampled 1080 (the minimum needed to completely sample a 1080 scene).

This implies that any moire that does happen is far beyond anything that might be revealed at 1080. As an outcome, it’s possible with out any adverse impact on the quantity of information caught, to blur this moire away prior to downscaling. Evaluate the a7S to the other good cameras we have shot: be it the Canon EOS 5D Markiii, Panasonic Lumix DMC GH4 or Sony’s own RX10, as well as the a7S will match it for information however reveal cleaner results when faced with high frequencies.

That advantage is also higher when compared to cameras that line-skip, such as most other models and the Nikon D610 on the marketplace. These just sample specific horizontal lines, making them much more susceptible to moiré.

The flip-side of the is the fact that, if you purchase an external recorder and catch the 4k result, though you will get lovely low-noise footage, it’ll start to reveal moiré. Affirmed, review it using the internally-recorded 4k from Samsung NX1 or the Panasonic GH4 and you no longer have detail advantage or much resolution. Obviously this grab from a static scene cannot reveal us how well the 2 cameras deal with motion.

Sony a7S II ILCE7SM2/B 12.2 MP E-mount Camera with Full-Frame Sensor Video Sample

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