The a7S is the third model in Sony’s family of full-frame mirrorless cameras. It is a 12-megapixel camera that places equal emphasis on its ability to shoot movies as it does on its ability to produce high-quality still images. Despite the fact that the a7S is a strong still camera, Sony has highlighted the fact that its primary purpose (no pun intended) is videography.
The fact that the a7S is capable of recording 1080p video inside as well as outputting 4K video to an external recorder is the first thing you need to be aware of with this camera. The internal 1080p footage is recorded in XAVC S, which is a more user-friendly version of Sony’s XAVC technology. This format is used to record the footage. This is the first camera produced by the firm to adopt the format, which removes the limitations imposed by the AVCHD standard on the bitrate that the camera can record at.
Sony Alpha a7S Price in USA
However, despite the fact that the a7S has a body that is identical to that of its original 24MP and 36MP sister models, the a7 and a7R (the design of the a7 II is somewhat different), the a7S comes with a multitude of functions and tools that are designed to assist videographers. The low contrast S-Log2 tone curve, which enables more of the camera’s dynamic range to be squeezed into its video files, as well as the ability to record time coding, are two examples of these features. Photographers who are more interested in still images may find it helpful to be aware that the majority of these video functions have already been included into the more recent Sony a7 II camera, which also has improved ergonomics and in-body image stabilization.
DSLR cameras that are capable of recording high-definition video have been on the market for just less than six years. Before the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, which demonstrated that you could get near-professional quality video from a stills camera, it appeared that video was included on cameras primarily to satisfy a checkbox on the marketing spec sheet. However, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II demonstrated that you could get near-professional quality video from a stills camera. Because of this, a significant number of users now consider it an essential component.
The vast majority of current DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, on the other hand, do not provide a great deal of support for the video functions of the camera. The technological potential is present, but even on cameras that allow a good amount of manual control, many of the capabilities that have been common on professional video cameras for many years, such as focus peaking and zebra patterns, are frequently absent from consumer-level cameras. This applies even to cameras such as the Canon 5D Mark II and the Nikon D800, whose respective manufacturers are happy to promote video features despite the fact that support for actually using video is somewhat lacking. The manufacturers of these cameras are happy to promote video features because they want to sell more cameras. Although Canon has since improved its game with the EOS 5D Mark III and the lessons it is learning from the development of its Cinema EOS range, the prevailing perception is that video is supported and pushed to a far greater extent than it actually is.
The Sony a7S avoids these potential problems by providing videographers with focus peaking and zebra highlight alerts. These features work together to assist filmmakers in producing footage that is commensurate with the capabilities of the camera (you can, however, purchase external monitors that can show the same information on other cameras). Additionally, they provide add-on attachments that may be purchased so that industry-standard audio or video connections can be utilized.
One other drawback shared by many “HDSLR” cameras is that they only sample “stripes” of their sensors while recording video, a technique that has come to be known as line-skipping. This results in relatively poor video resolutions being captured. This results in a decrease in the vertical resolution of the video as well as an increase in the likelihood of moiré. This problem is solved by the Sony a7S, which takes readings from its whole sensor thirty times per second. This output may then be intelligently downscaled to provide a video that is both cleaner and more detailed thanks to the sensor’s apparent design with video in mind.
The fact that they go to remarkable efforts to accommodate the videographer does not, however, indicate that there have been any concessions made to the feature sets that they give to the stills shooter. Notably, the Sony a7 and a7R models, which are geared more toward still photography, have the same handling and control options as the a7.
Sony Alpha a7S Specifications
|Body type||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Body material||Magnesium alloy|
|Max resolution||4240 x 2832|
|Other resolutions||4240 x 2384, 2768 x 1848, 2768 x 1560, 2128 x 1416, 2128 x 1200, 1376 x 920, 1376 x 776|
|Image ratio w:h||3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||12 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||12 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm)|
|Color space||sRGB, AdobeRGB|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||50|
|White balance presets||10|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|JPEG quality levels||Extra fine, fine, standard|
|File format||JPEG (DCF 2.0, EXIF 2.3)RAW (ARW 2.3)|
|Image parameters||Contrast, saturation, sharpness|
|Optics & Focus|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Digital zoom||Yes (2x)|
|Number of focus points||25|
|Lens mount||Sony E|
|Focal length multiplier||1×|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Minimum shutter speed||30 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/8000 sec|
|Exposure modes||AutoProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual|
|Scene modes||Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Hand-held Twilight, Anti Motion Blur|
|External flash||Yes (via Multi Interface shoe)|
|Flash X sync speed||1/250 sec|
|Drive modes||Single, continuous, speed priority continuous, self-timer, bracketing (AE, white balance, DRO)|
|Continuous drive||5.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 10 sec; continuous (3 or 5 exposures))|
|Exposure compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)|
|Resolutions||XAVC S 1080/60p(50Mbps), 30p (50Mbps), 24p (50Mbps). 720 120p (50Mbps). AVCHD 60p (28Mbps), 60i (24Mbps/17Mbps), 24p (24Mbps/17Mbps)|
|Format||MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S|
|Videography notes||XLR support via adapter|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|HDMI||Yes (micro-HDMI port with 4:2:2 8-bit 4K or 1080 video output)|
|Wireless notes||with NFC and wireless control via smartphone|
|Remote control||Yes (wired)|
|Battery description||NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery and charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||380|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||489 g (1.08 lb / 17.25 oz)|
|Dimensions||127 x 94 x 48 mm (5 x 3.7 x 1.89″)|
Its 1080p footage is the cleanest and most detailed we have ever seen, with practically no moiré and frequently jaw-dropping low-light performance, as well as being the highest resolution we have seen to date. If you need to stop down to get acceptable depth-of-field, some of the low light advantage is lost; but, in contrast to smaller sensor systems, you have the choice of whether to do this or whether to embrace the shallow depth-of-field and low light capabilities.
- Impressive picture quality
- The use of an external charger makes it simple to maintain a charged second battery.
- It may be more convenient to charge via USB.
- A reliable Wi-Fi infrastructure enables distant shooting and makes it simple to share photographs.
- The HDR and Sweep Panorama functions that are synonymous with Sony cameras perform admirably.
- Picture Profile/S-Log2 mode enables the acquisition of a great deal of dynamic range, which may then be graded.
- Incredible video quality in 4K (UHD) when combined with an external recorder
- Electronic viewfinder that is both practical and of a high quality
- The ability to shoot in complete silence is offered.
- Instruments that are helpful, such as concentration peaking and zebra patterning (work well with non-native lenses)
- Exposure compensation dial makes Auto ISO useable in manual mode
- Superb, detailed, practically moiré-free 1080p film
- Ports for both microphones and headphones
- Only supports the contrast-detect autofocus mode, but the a7 and a7 II offer on-sensor phase-detect AF.
- Overly sensitive eye sensor (also stays active when screen is tilted)
- Not equipped with a built-in flash
- Disappointingly, the SLog2 profile only provides a rather high minimum ISO, which can prevent 4K footage from being captured by the APS-C area of the sensor.
- 4K (UHD) video requires external recorder
- Modified the behavior of Auto ISO (no programmability or rate-of-change options)
- A limited battery capacity might be problematic, particularly when filming video.
- Absence of a touchscreen interface
- It is possible for posterization to occur at high-contrast edges when using Sony's Raw compression method.
- A dynamic range and resolution that are lower than those of the immediate competitors