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Sony Alpha a7s: Full HD Recording in XAVC and 4:2:2 UHD 4K Output via HDMI.


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Old August 13th, 2014, 09:51 AM   #1
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Changing from C100 to A7s?

Hi guys, whats your take on replacing C100 with A7s for weddings? I have been using c100 for weddings but looking at the small form factor and superb low light capabilities of the A7s, they are really attractive. I just need to get a metabone adapter and can continue to use all my gears. One thing I will miss badly is the built in ND filter. I will not consider 5d3 due to lack of tilting screen. C100 is a great camera with great ergonomics but after prolong use with lots of moving around, it is still heavy in my opinion.

My c100 can be used for corporate gigs where the pace is normally slower and does not require me to move around fast.
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Old August 13th, 2014, 10:56 AM   #2
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Re: Changing from C100 to A7s?

It's a bad move based on my experience. I use an a7s as a "c" camera with 2 c100s and the c100s always produce better images in iso less than 8000. The skin tones on the a7s can be weird, s long 2 is a lot more work to grade, and the lack of ND filters is a major pain. Also no waveform/rgp parade on the a7s. The metabones adapter can be unreliable too (have to reseat the lens) .

I've used the a7s on about 3 weddings now and would never use it as a main camera to a c100 on a wedding.
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Old August 13th, 2014, 10:24 PM   #3
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Re: Changing from C100 to A7s?

It sounds like size is the biggest issue for you. I don't know the A7s, I confess, but experience and good comparison videos have shown how the C100 outperforms the 5D3 in terms of dynamic range and detail. (You mention the tilt screen being the biggest factor there.)

I can't comment on the video quality of the A7, but it sounds like you may be undervaluing the C100's video quality compared with other considerations.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 12:13 AM   #4
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Re: Changing from C100 to A7s?

If c100 image quality loses to a7s, I will be very disappointed. I've seen quite a few review video and came to the conclusion that a7s image wins 5d3 hands down in terms of low light, sharpness and details but loses to c100 in terms of details and sharpness. Frankly speaking most wedding videos will be watched online and after compression, the differences is not that great between c100 and a7s. C100 still wins for sure but not that much.

For weddings, I am starting to be more incline towards mobility and a overall lighter load after shooting for many years on a heavy load. Ultimately capturing moments counts more than image quality for wedding and a7s has pretty good image too, it's not as if the image is terrible. I've upgraded from 5d2 to c100 for the superior image quality and ergonomic. I skipped 5d3 due to not that impressive image and no tilting screen. Now that a7s came with tilting screen, excellent low lights, much better image quality than 5d3 and small body, the temptation is there.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 01:35 AM   #5
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Re: Changing from C100 to A7s?

One random comment: "image quality" is subjective. I personally prefer the 5D3 image to the C100. Sure, the C100 is demonstrably sharper with better dynamic range, but that's not how you gauge image quality -- you ultimately just have to look at the picture and see how it makes you feel. Maybe softness can be more flattering to skin; maybe sharpness can look "too real"; maybe lower dynamic range can make for a more dramatic image. And I know I'm not alone in this taste -- Ray Roman, with the money to choose otherwise, also prefers the 5D3 over the C100/C300.

I guess what I'm saying is: if your eyes like the A7S better than the C100, despite what the charts say, then why not use it as your A camera, especially since you seem to be liking the ergonomics of it as well?
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Old August 14th, 2014, 02:18 AM   #6
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Re: Changing from C100 to A7s?

Just received my A7s a couple of days ago and was actually thinking the same thing. In fact, for tonight's wedding I'll be using the A7s as my A-cam and leave the C100 as B-cam. The small form factor makes it much easier to handle, not to mention the better EVF as well as 50p recording. It is also easier to fly with on a glidecam (had to remove 4 weights).

From what I've seen and the little I tried it so far, image quality seems to hold up rather well. Hopefully I'll be able to judge better after this wedding to see how both compare under the same lighting conditions.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 02:26 AM   #7
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Re: Changing from C100 to A7s?

Not sure but did the a7s not have a 30 minute recording limit? That would be one thing to consider as well.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 02:43 AM   #8
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Re: Changing from C100 to A7s?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm Debono View Post
Just received my A7s a couple of days ago and was actually thinking the same thing. In fact, for tonight's wedding I'll be using the A7s as my A-cam and leave the C100 as B-cam. The small form factor makes it much easier to handle, not to mention the better EVF as well as 50p recording. It is also easier to fly with on a glidecam (had to remove 4 weights).

From what I've seen and the little I tried it so far, image quality seems to hold up rather well. Hopefully I'll be able to judge better after this wedding to see how both compare under the same lighting conditions.
Hi Malcolm if possible please give your review after you tried it at the wedding. One of the factor is also the slow mo which can be achieve from a7s. Ability to shoot at 60-120fps is great compared to c100 which has none at all! Will you be using metabone adapter?
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Old August 14th, 2014, 02:45 AM   #9
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Re: Changing from C100 to A7s?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Not sure but did the a7s not have a 30 minute recording limit? That would be one thing to consider as well.
That will not be a concern to me as I seldom record more than 30mins non stop for weddings. Most speeches are 10-20 mins max. For corporate events with long speeches, I will still use c100.

One thing of concern will be the battery life. C100 battery life is very good and can run 3-4 hours non-stop.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 03:16 AM   #10
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Re: Changing from C100 to A7s?

Don't you shoot the ceremony? That's actually the only event at a wedding that will last longer then the camera can record continuously. There is a thread here about the battery life of the a7s, I thought I read you could do about 1,5 hour on one battery but I"m sure a7s owners will correct me on that if not right.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 04:42 AM   #11
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Re: Changing from C100 to A7s?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Not sure but did the a7s not have a 30 minute recording limit? That would be one thing to consider as well.
The A7s does have a 29 minute recording limit but I only use mine for the evening reception and bridal prep so it is not an issue for me - I can add that for me it outperforms my 5D3 in terms of detail/sharpness/dynamic range but also focus peaking and zoom/tilting LCD screen (5D has not this feature as apparently it would impact on weather proofing but A7s is weather proof so go figure Canon) also 50p recording

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Old August 14th, 2014, 05:48 AM   #12
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Re: Changing from C100 to A7s?

Not needing it doesn't mean it should be something to not consider, my gh4 also has that limit and I normally also don't use it to shoot a ceremony because that's what is my ax100 and cx730's are for but there has been a occasion I needed the camera for a longer continuous shot and the recording limit was a big pain. One of the biggest issues with the a7s would be in terms of use in a fast changing environment like weddings, there a c100 might serve you better as it's ergonomically more made to be used like a real videocamera. You also have to consider the shallower dof as that will make focussing even more tricky compared to the c100.
As much as I like my gh4 for any run and gun situation I shoot with my ax100 without much thought, I can nail each shot with that camera, my gh4 only gets used if I have more time to set up. Like Edward pointed out, choosing the a7s over the c100 could be a bad choice, especially if you shoot solo, not sure how many benefits the a7s has over the c100, except for weight and size? If that last is what you absolutely need then it's a more obvious choice but you have to consider that shooting with the a7s can be more challenging then with the c100.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 08:54 AM   #13
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Re: Changing from C100 to A7s?

You're right Noa but I've never handled a C100 so can't really comment - lack of 50p would put me off it anyway. I purchased the A7s primarily for dark evening receptions that I had previously shot with my 5D but lack of focusing aids with the 5D made it a pain. For the rest of the day my trusty EA50/CX730 combo works well.

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Old August 14th, 2014, 09:20 AM   #14
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Re: Changing from C100 to A7s?

My friend who just got an a7s, used it at a wedding in DC last weekend. I'm looking forward to checking out that footage.

As others have noted, I'm not sure it would make a good "A" cam. But for bridal prep and reception shots - yes.

I use my Nikon V1 in this manner and it is amazing. I can only guess the a7s is better.... will know more once I see the footage from it.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 08:52 AM   #15
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Re: Changing from C100 to A7s?

After shooting a whole wedding with the A7s as the A-cam, I must say I'm pretty impressed. From what I've seen so far, the footage holds up really well compared to the C100 and the PP5 profile should be easy to match the C100's WideDR profile. The reception was rather dark however the A7s' ISO made it easier to keep on using zoom lenses.

I am using the Metabones adapter and a variety of lenses both for full-frame as well as cropped, main ones being the 17-55 f2.8 IS, 11-16 f2.8, 70-200 f4 IS as well as the 24-105L, Samyang 35mm f1.4 & 85mm f1.4. I shot with crop-mode to avoid rolling shutter (still need to do some tests to check how bad it is when shooting full-frame though), although at times I did find it handy to switch to full-frame especially when using prime lenses.

I should have the trailer ready in a couple of days so I'll post it when it's up.

Below are some pros & cons based on my experience so far:

Pros:
- amazing high ISO performance
- weight & size (real plus for glidecam shots)
- 3 wheels make it easy to adjust aperture, shutter speed & ISO on the fly
- customizable buttons (magnify set to one of back buttons since camera is easier to hold this way due to position of record button)
- memories (slots 1 & 2 on the dial can be assigned specific video modes, so it's easy to save interior & exterior profiles, or for switching from normal framerate to slow-mo)
- EVF is a pleasure to work with considering how accurate it is

Cons:
- battery life is a nightmare even with metabones adapter set to green mode and camera in airplane mode (hot climate over here in Malta probably has something to do with this; only positive thing is that third-party batteries are cheap to get and seem to be quite reliable, although mine are still on their way)
- position of record button is frustrating and it's easy to start recording by mistake
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