The New Sony A7s
August 18th, 2014 I excitedly unboxed my Sony Alpha 7s. As I eagerly opened, the first thing I noticed was x2 Batteries. Interesting…I thought they only came with one-good job Sony (hence ordered an additional x2 batteries) but hey ho battery total is at 4 and lets say after playing with it for the past 6 days, Im glad I got the extra batteries. This camera runs through batteries fast, and I personally think they take quite a long time to charge. So I have my 4 batteries, charger, cables and my stock Sony 28-70mm F/3.5 lens. Lets go!
I’m a canon fan. I own a Canon 7D and I frequently use the Canon C300. So in terms of menu structure, the workflow, I’m pretty comfortable. Due to the fact that I consider myself a “Techie” and work with other Sony Cameras from time to time, I figured it would be a walk in the park….boy was I wrong.
I advise anyone getting the camera, to read the manual carefully. So if you are accustomed to having a certain button for functions such as Shutter, ISO, or Aperture, you can go in the menu and assign them, and if you don’t want to read the manual it’s MENU-SETTINGS-PAGE 6-custom key settings and select different keys for your various functions…say “Thank You Laura.”
Lights Camera Action! This camera is amazing in low light scenarios, however DO NOT depend on the stock sony lens like what I bought to get you through gigs. It’s great for shooting interior (with lights) and exterior, but low light scenarios when you want to push your ISO to 204,800 or 256,000 or even higher you get a fair bit of noise from the glass if you use a NEX to Canon EF mount and use your regular Canon Lens like I did with a 24-105mm F/4 it looks a lot better. Note: the regular adapters for like $40, they do the job, but again limited. You will not have electronic control of your Aperture so you must rely on your ISO, but hey, good glass, high ISO, I’d say you can certainly get by. If not keep saving for your $399 adapter.
Workflow! The Sony A7s records AVCHD and XAVCs (a codec used on the Sony F55), and it’s mp4 files on the card. Ive read some blogs, some people use mp4 and convert to pro-res, I edit on FCPx and I copy the files straight from card to a folder on my hardrive and work with the files natively. Hey..different strokes for different folks.
So as mentioned the camera can record XAVCs codec, and in choosing this codec to film in, you can capitalize on its 120frames per second recording, excellent slow motion. I’m still figuring this part out, as I found it to be a buzz kill. When you film 120frames,you can’t see it play back in slo-motion. This can only be achieved in post production, real buzz kill. So I’m still exploring this option.
Last but not least, XAVCs will not work with a 32GB card or smaller, its MUST be a 64GB card.
So with that said my friends, here is my first edited piece “Dinner at Strawberry Hill” with my Sony 28-70mm lens shot in XAVC, picture profile 7 which is SLOG ,coloring and grading was done using FCPx, hope you enjoy.