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


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Old October 18th, 2015, 03:39 PM   #1
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α7S vs α7S II

Now that the α7S II is shipping, can anyone say if it's a significant upgrade from the α7S? The consensus seems to be that it's the same sensor (so still no PDAF), and a quick look at the specs seems to confirm that but it looks like nearly everything else is updated.

Besides the new body with associated button location/type, weight, and dimension changes these appear to be the only differences:
α7S
α7S II
LCD
921,600 dots
1,228,800 dots
Focus Points
25 points (contrast-detection AF)
169 points (contrast-detection AF)
Stabilization
Not supported (image stabilization supported on lens)
Image Sensor-Shift mechanism with 5-axis compensation
Recording Resolution/Frame Rate/Bitrate (max shown)
XAVC S: 1920 x 1080 (60p/30p/24p/50 Mbps), 1280 x 720 (120p/50 Mbps)
XAVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160 (30p/24p/100 Mbps); XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080 (60p/30p/24p/50 Mbps, 120p/100 Mbps)

Am I reading that correctly, it's essentially the same camera with the addition of stabilization, internal 4K, and a slightly higher-res LCD? Besides those is there any reason to get the Mark II? Does it have better video noise reduction?

I use my A7S as a hand held low light camera, but only up to 102K ISO. Even then the image is swarming with noise. AF is another consideration, but it doesn't look to have improved. I use alpha lenses on the LA-EA4 currently. I'd love to be able to use the EA3 and still have PDAF.
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Old October 18th, 2015, 04:27 PM   #2
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Re: α7S vs α7S II

Are internal 4K and 5 axis stabilisation not enough for a "Mark II"?
So you have Slog3 for greater Dynamic range, better display and gamma correction that let you see the slog3 footage live in REC 709. This are huge improvements.
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Old October 18th, 2015, 05:27 PM   #3
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Re: α7S vs α7S II

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Are internal 4K and 5 axis stabilisation not enough for a "Mark II"?
Thanks Ivan. Stabilization is a plus but 4K at 30P max is not useful for me as I only use 60P. It's great for the 24P cinema crowd but that's not what I do.
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Old October 18th, 2015, 10:17 PM   #4
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Re: α7S vs α7S II

I've seen some test footage where it seems the mkII has slightly less noise at higher ISOs.

If you only shoot at 60p you need to move to a FS7 or a FS700 with an Odyssey 7Q if you want to shoot 4K...
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Old October 19th, 2015, 05:51 AM   #5
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Re: α7S vs α7S II

Yea, they have tweaked the sensor - low light performance has been improved upon.
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Old October 19th, 2015, 07:26 AM   #6
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Re: α7S vs α7S II

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Thanks Ivan. Stabilization is a plus but 4K at 30P max is not useful for me as I only use 60P. It's great for the 24P cinema crowd but that's not what I do.
Oh... I am sorry to say - that in this case is A7S or A7S II not right for you. Even in HD at 60P make the camera not use of the full sensor readout. This mean massive loss of picture quality.
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Old October 20th, 2015, 02:20 AM   #7
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Re: α7S vs α7S II

I did read somewhere Sony claimed AF was twice as fast with E-mount lenses - can anyone comment on this? I'm on the fence at the moment and may stick with my original A7s but faster and more accurate AF might swing it for me to buy the new one.

Pete
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Old October 20th, 2015, 07:25 PM   #8
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Re: α7S vs α7S II

My A7sII arrived earlier today. After playing with it for 30minutes, I had to put it in the freezer to cool the body. The body is plastic, not metallic like the A7s...........obviously because it heats up a lot more!

The SteadyShot IBIS works nice on my 50mm f1.4 Nikon prime. It is of the find and stick to a spot variety, not the best for moving around, gives that snap motion effect. The auto ISO now has a selection to se the minimum and maximum values, so you can have it run 100-409000 if you wish.

Love the extra customization and extra custom button. I have my top buttons set for focus magnification and record. I suggest picking the one that falls under your finger for focus, and the one you have to bend your finger for record.

My FAVORITE thing about the A7sII is the built in 4K, not because I need the resolution,but because the ClearImage and digital zoom NEED that setting. You now get actual pixel peeping when you digital zoom in 4K. If you digital zoom in 1080, you still get the crop in on the 1080 read-out. This makes a 50mm prime usable to an extent up to 4x, or 200mm. I export out 720p for air, so this is was an issue I hated when I got my A7s last month. If you use the digital zoom, ensure you have absolutely no detail added, or you will see that expanded.

The purple left side is still very apparent if anyone was wondering......also, there is a meteor shower tonight.....any suggestions on how to shoot that for kicks? They are saying 20 meteors an hour.

Paul
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Old October 21st, 2015, 07:28 AM   #9
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Re: α7S vs α7S II

Sugar..... Is the body only plastic??? W.T.F, cant be doing with over heating at a wedding?????
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Old October 21st, 2015, 10:09 AM   #10
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Re: α7S vs α7S II

Yes, the body is that matte plastic with the stipple pattern on it......feels nicer than the shiny metal tin on the original. I haven't had it "overheat" specifically, but it gets very hot in the hand, something I never experienced with original. This was simply from having the camera powered on for 30 minutes. See below for a 4K clip out of the new camera, ungraded then slight grade of the same shot.

How can i test for overheat issues......do I just let it record 4K for 2 hours, and if it is happy then we can all relax?

Paul


Last edited by Paul Anderegg; October 21st, 2015 at 10:53 AM.
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Old October 21st, 2015, 12:55 PM   #11
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Re: α7S vs α7S II

Nice, what iso was that Paul and was it slog 2 or 3
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Old October 21st, 2015, 01:16 PM   #12
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Re: α7S vs α7S II

I'd have to ingest the files into Catalyst Browse to get the ISO data, and that was shot in PP5 with -3 black, and +5 detail.........no particular reason, those were settings I carried over from my A7s for testing. I was at either f2.0 or f2.8 to reduce blooming CA and get a sharp image.

In an outdoor midnight environment, there seems to be NOTHING that you cannot overexpose to extreme with a damn f1.4 lens, and this new A7s really is MUCH more usable in the 4K rec mode, especially since the digital zooms become something real and not a gimmick.

Paul
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Old October 21st, 2015, 01:37 PM   #13
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Re: α7S vs α7S II

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Originally Posted by Paul Anderegg View Post
How can i test for overheat issues......do I just let it record 4K for 2 hours, and if it is happy then we can all relax?
This is exactly what I did to test the A7S when I first got it. I ran it for continuous 30 minute clips for around 3 hours, going through a couple batteries in the process. It was around 90 degrees also. I'd be very interested to see how the II turns out considering how hot it gets just being on.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Anderegg View Post
My A7sII arrived earlier today. After playing with it for 30minutes, I had to put it in the freezer to cool the body. The body is plastic, not metallic like the A7s...........obviously because it heats up a lot more!
I had to go find out for sure. The pictures definitely look plastic-y... but Sony says it's a magnesium alloy (down toward the bottom of this page).
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α7S vs α7S II-sonya7sii_44.jpg  
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Old October 22nd, 2015, 01:03 AM   #14
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Re: α7S vs α7S II

I just fondled my A7sII again, an dyes, it is metal. The painted finish when even slightly warm has the definite feel of plastic.

Paul
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Old October 27th, 2015, 08:53 AM   #15
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Re: α7S vs α7S II

I am most happy with the new internal 1080P120 setting.
I use this to critique our bowling.
It is definitely better than the 1080P30 DownRes from 4k that I was using with my A7s.
Now to wait for an Odyssey 7Q+ firmware upgrade to record more 29 minutes at a time.

My only concern is overheating as I was only able to get 1hr 15 minutes using internal recording and changing the wimp battery every 29 minutes.
I tried charging thru the USB port while shooting and that made the overheating worst.

Both cameras run much cooler with dummy battery and external recorder.
I will be testing my Mark 2 this Friday to see if it will go over 3 hours continuous like the A7s.
That will be when I send it back or put my A7s up for sale.
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