WATCH TILL VERY END FOR COMPARISONS!
Read the "evolving review of the Sony A7s" here: http://gopb.co/a7s
Everyone had been saying the just out Sony A7s is a low light monster of a camera. There was only way to find out. To try it out!
I had a think about what I could do that could show it off and blow people's socks off. After all if it could do what people were saying...
To be able to shoot at crazy high ISOs is not about just seeing in the dark, At times I am shooting "night for day" here and for the most part it's not something I would actually ever want do. I want night to be dark....but doing this here really does show just how much the sensor can see.
The biggest benefit for me with this camera's sensitivity will be shooting in low light situations where normally you are at the top of your camera's ISO before it gets hideous and also wide open at F1.4. This sort of shallow depth of field may look pretty but it's not much fun trying to keep moving people in focus! To have a camera that could shoot in these conditions, have a clean image AND have a nice depth of field to solve focus headaches? This could be a very valuable tool indeed.
James Miller and I went down to our favourite shooting haunt, Brighton with our matching A7s to see what we could get and try out different profiles. James shot mostly S-Log. I mostly shot various Cine gamma modes.
Pointing away from practical lights so I could push the ISO up to see just how far you could push it. Just how much can you see in the dark?
Brighton Beach has no lights on it of course. There are lights on the promenade but there are a lot of people who sit out there in the dark that you can barely see with your eyes. This camera though? Well take a look!
I shot most of the daylight stuff at ISO 100 in Cine Gamma 4 and S-Gamut colour. A very flat image, not quite S-Log but close.
My glass was: Canon 24-70 F2.8II, Canon 70-200mm F2.8 IS II, Sigma 35mm ART F1.4, SIgma 50mm ART F1.4
I used the Small HD DP4 as a monitor/ viewfinder, additionally I had a Tiffen variable ND filter and my Really Right Stuff tripod with FH-350 head. To top if off I also had my new Special Edition Kessler Crane "Burl Wood" Pimipn' edition for the odd slider move!
With the shots where in goes from dark to light and vice versa, these dark parts are what I could see with my eyes. They were all shot with high ISOs and graded down to show you what I could see and what the camera could see if it was set to around 800-1600iso as opposed to what I actually was shooting at. At night between 6,400-80,000!
It was incredibly dark out there so even though I could see everything way better than my eyesight could some of the shots with dark area in them were just too noisy not to fix. I used the ever marvellous Neat Video to get these results.
So there is no cheating here by grading it dark. I made it look exactly as it would do and to prove it watch after the credits for a shot where I cycle through the ISOs!
Music is "Now I See" (so apt for this film I took it for the title too!) by Dario Lupo from The Music Bed
Custom LUTS coming soon! :)
Philip Bloom is a world-renowned filmmaker who, for the past 10 years of his 30-year career has specialized in creating incredible cinematic images no matter what the camera. Some of his most iconic work was created with Canon DSLRs.