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Thread: Sony A7s, the smallest FF camera to date

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    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
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    Default Sony A7s, the smallest FF camera to date



    Recently I had the Sony A7s for 2 weeks, paired with the Carl Zeiss 24-70mm f2.8 lens and of course, using the Sony A-Mount to E-Mount Lens Adapter to mount it onto the camera. My first impression when I got it out of the box was "Wow! This is small! I can't believe this is a full frame camera!". The last time I used a Sony interchangeable lens camera was the Sony a700, and before that, the a100 and they were both used extremely briefly.

    Took a while before I got used to the camera because the batteries were out of juice and when I turned it on for the first time, I was already impressed with the quality of the entire camera. I've been using a FF camera for the past few years, and the weight difference is considerable! I've been using mirrorless cameras for the past few years as well, and it actually feels about the same as smaller sensor cameras, without going into detailed over which is 35.1259012g lighter (a number I plucked out of the air).

    Some features are:
    • 12 megapixel full frame sensor
    • Magnesium alloy body
    • 100% view EVF
    • A wide ISO range of ISO 50 - 409,600
    • A wide dynamic range
    • A tilting screen
    • Electronic shutter
    • Built in Wifi with NFC for connection to a smartphone
    • 1080/60p Full HD video with 4k capability (to an external recorder via HDMI cable)


    This isn't meant to be a full blown lab test review, but more of a "how does it feel and perform in my hand" kind of review.

    Stay tuned for photos, videos and my thoughts on the camera
    Last edited by spidey89; 13th August 2014 at 10:59 AM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sony A7s, the smallest FF camera to date

    Color of the Sony A7s



    Out of the box and out of camera, the jpeg produced by the A7s was shot in manual mode. The images used the same flash for control. The control image was shot by another full frame camera. It was also shot in manual mode as well, with the only processing applied to it are white balanced and color calibration. I found the A7s to produce colors which are similar to the control image (despite it being a little under exposed).

    Although the white balance in auto white balance was a little on the cool side, it wasn't a big issue to me as I always shoot in daylight white balance, but for the purpose of the review, I left it in auto white balance.

    The color of the table produced by the A7s is pleasing, but the calibrated image shows the table's actual color.

    Ergonomics and design of the camera



    I love the EVF! It's huge, sharp, clear and has pretty nice colors to it, it would be nice if the tilting screen didn't recess into the body. I'm used to flipping the screen from the top, while the A7s is from the side, but it's a personal preference.

    In my opinion, I feel that the EVF sensor (used for detecting an eye level usage) should have it's sensitivity reduced. Personally, I usually shoot from chest level or lower when shooting video and when I put the body close to my own, the sensor is so sensitive that it blacks out screen and switching to the EVF. Having the camera close to my body reduces shaking in videos, hence my opinion on it.



    On the left side of the camera, I'm thankful for these 2 little jacks! The microphone jack and the headphone jack, I like to listen to what I'm shooting (when shooting videos) and though the microphone isn't the jack I would want, Sony has many accessories for it. But for someone starting out in video, it has all the bells and whistles for making good videos without the need for much equipment. It also has micro HDMI and its own port for using cables.



    Moving on to the top of the camera, I had a hard time removing the hotshoe cover the first time, but subsequently , there weren't any problems with it. I found it interesting that there's only 1 hot shoe contact for the flash and I wonder how did it achieve TTL flash until I realized there's actually a sort of data port where the flash would slot into. Kudos to Sony for doing it this way. I like the placement of the switch, very handy.

    Also, there's a dial specifically for exposure compensation! Really retro, it took some getting used to, but I personally prefer having the button and dial method cause initially when I was using the camera, I turned the exposure compensation dial by accident,thinking it was the rear command dial. I got used to it eventually but I still have a love-hate relationship with it, your taste may vary. Also, I like the orange ring around the lens mount, it gives color to a monotonous image.
    Last edited by spidey89; 13th August 2014 at 11:14 AM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sony A7s, the smallest FF camera to date


    Without the tilting screen, I would have had to lie on the road to get this shot, not safe to do so


    I'm impressed with the dynamic range of the camera


    Sharp images


    I find the colours to be pretty good, with some tweaking in raw, I'm sure that details in highlight and shadows can be saved


    Focusing using the adapter was fast and accurate
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sony A7s, the smallest FF camera to date


    On the left is a normal exposure, the right is HDR in camera, the HDR feature is nice, makes the image flat for tweaking, but depending on the situation, like in this case, I think I can get away with a normal shot and processing it, but for HDR, I'd prefer to do it with software on computer as the results from in-camera is flat, and I'm not a fan of processing JPEGs


    Focusing was good with back ligthing


    Still holding details well


    Exposure is pretty spot on
    Last edited by spidey89; 13th August 2014 at 11:18 AM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sony A7s, the smallest FF camera to date






    A shot on auto ISO, the chosen ISO is at 12,800 with NR set to norm, not bad
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sony A7s, the smallest FF camera to date






    The ISO 50 option allowed me pretty long exposure times for fireworks
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sony A7s, the smallest FF camera to date

    The next series of photos will show the noise patterns of the various ISO, all of them are out of camera with NR set to normal, in this post, the ISOs are 50, 6400, 12800, 25600 and 51200.





    Last edited by spidey89; 13th August 2014 at 11:22 AM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sony A7s, the smallest FF camera to date

    These last 2 shots are at iso 102400 and 409600



    Watch out for videos, coming soon!
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  9. #9

    Default Re: Sony A7s, the smallest FF camera to date

    Just here to contribute a few photos ...

    On the whole, the handling of the a7s is very much like all the other members in the SONY A7 line-up, so controls and menus should be very familiar for those who have handled these cameras before.

    I'm not sure about the placement of the front dial in relation to the on/off switch, since I don't have the a7 which I reviewed to compare it to, but while in a hurry to rush a few shots, I actually managed to switch the camera off instead of adjusting the front dial. Other than that, the ergonomics and handling of the camera was very nice!

    Since Spidey89 has covered most of the introduction of the camera, I'll get straight into the photos. These were all shot with the larger SONY a-24-70 2.8 Zeiss lens and the LA-E44 adapter, which is a stunner even wide open.

    CHEERS!













    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 6th August 2014 at 09:02 PM.

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  15. #15

    Default Re: Sony A7s, the smallest FF camera to date

    nice review.. what lens you using neh?

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    Senior Member richiemccaw1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sony A7s, the smallest FF camera to date

    Bro hes using this:
    These were all shot with the larger SONY a-24-70 2.8 Zeiss lens and the LA-E44 adapter, which is a stunner even wide open.

  17. #17
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sony A7s, the smallest FF camera to date


    Video comparisons between a dedicated video camera and the Sony A7s, see how the Sony A7s pits against video cameras. It's good, in my opinion, as well as being more versatile than most dedicated video cameras, not counting those with interchangeable lens, with the exception of blackmagic which I guess are pretty expensive
    Last edited by spidey89; 13th August 2014 at 11:23 AM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sony A7s, the smallest FF camera to date


    Processing video from the Sony A7s, what's possible, just simple processing to get something that I'll like
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  19. #19
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sony A7s, the smallest FF camera to date


    ISO test in video mode, only shot at the lowest and the highest iso values in video mode, I can't remember what values they were specifically, I thought it was pretty good considering it's pretty dark. I don't think many people will pay attention to noise in video, it's nice to have the high iso present for video though
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  20. #20
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sony A7s, the smallest FF camera to date


    A short compilation of a few videos shot with the Sony A7s
    Last edited by spidey89; 11th August 2014 at 10:05 PM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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