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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 April 20th, 2017, 09:29 AM   #1
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Confused about best setting for video?

I am getting to know a preloved A7RII body that I intend to use for video and am a bit confused about which settings to choose among the different options that seem to be quite similar to A7S/A7SII:

MODE: Am I right the auto focus seems to snap to target faster and more accurately with less hunting in MANUAL mode rather than in MOVIE mode? But AUDIO LEVELS can only be adjusted in MOVIE mode?

AUDIO LEVEL METERS appear on the LCD in MOVIE mode all the time, but only during recording in MANUAL mode?

AUDIO LEVELS is greyed out in MANUAL mode, so does this mean the camera operates with "auto" audio levels in MANUAL mode or does it continue to operate in MANUAL mode with the "manual" audio settings that were previously selected when the camera was in MOVIE mode?

The reason I am concerned about this is that if I understand right AGC cannot be switched off in any mode - the only way to overpower it is to use an external amp like a Beachtek with the camera audio settings set to low. However I am not sure if this can be done in MANUAL mode?

Another thing I am confused about is which FOCUS setting to use for shooting movies, as I would like to use auto AF for "run and gun" as I have done with regular camcorders but this does not seem to work very well on this camera?

So the options for focus seem to be:
- MANUAL focus with focus assist and/or peaking
- auto AF that does not seem to work smoothly and cannot be relied upon
- AF-C/AF-S autofocus prior to start recording or adjust focus during recording by tapping the SHUTTER button

Which MODE, AUDIO and FOCUS settings do you use for video recording?
Peter Lowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2017, 09:34 AM   #2
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Re: Confused about best setting for video?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Lowe View Post
MODE: Am I right the auto focus seems to snap to target faster and more accurately with less hunting in MANUAL mode rather than in MOVIE mode? But AUDIO LEVELS can only be adjusted in MOVIE mode?
Depends on your setting in Movie mode. What are your AF settings in that mode? Are they the same? Is this just a feeling or have you shoot footage and tested it frame-by-frame?

Quote:
AUDIO LEVEL METERS appear on the LCD in MOVIE mode all the time, but only during recording in MANUAL mode?
You can turn those off in Movie mode.

Quote:
AUDIO LEVELS is greyed out in MANUAL mode, so does this mean the camera operates with auto audio levels in MANUAL mode or does it continue to operate in MANUAL mode with the audio settings that were selected when the camera was in MOVIE mode?
There's no reason to use all caps for these. Also, you should be shooting video in Movie mode, not in Manual mode. It's there to use in a pinch if you need to, and it's not full featured.

Quote:
The reason I am concerned about this is that if I understand right AGC cannot be switched off in any mode - the only way to overpower it is to use an external amp like a Beachtek with the camera audio settings set to low. However I am not sure if this can be done in MANUAL mode?
I have not noticed Auto Gain Control at all, in fact I have to preset my audio levels when shooting in Movie mode. You should be shooting video in Movie mode, not manual photo mode.

Quote:
Another thing I am confused about is which FOCUS setting to use for shooting movies, as I would like to use auto AF for "run and gun" as I have done with regular camcorders but this does not seem to work very well on this camera?
There is no reason to write focus in all caps. The A7R Mark II's autofocus capabilities are very similar to DPAF in the C300 Mark II and is much, much, much better than any camcorder I have ever used.
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Old April 20th, 2017, 09:58 AM   #3
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Re: Confused about best setting for video?

Thanks Gary for your detailed reply.

Apologies for my excessive use of caps that I thought would be a good way to refer to menu options but looks like just ended up creating unnecessary caliagraphic garbage.

As you can see I am no expert but it does appear to me the A7RII does focus faster and more accurately in manual mode than in movie mode but maybe I a wrong about this so given your advice will try to test this again.

I have never tried shooting video with a C300. I am migrating to the A7RII from an X70 and prior to that an EX1 mainly in order to be able to make the most of my Sony E-mount glass. Maybe I am using incorrect focus settings. What focus settings do you use and how do you focus?
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Old April 21st, 2017, 07:01 AM   #4
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Audio settings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Lowe View Post
I am getting to know a preloved A7RII body that I intend to use for video and am a bit confused about which settings to choose among the different options that seem to be quite similar to A7S/A7SII:

MODE: Am I right the auto focus seems to snap to target faster and more accurately with less hunting in MANUAL mode rather than in MOVIE mode? But AUDIO LEVELS can only be adjusted in MOVIE mode?

AUDIO LEVEL METERS appear on the LCD in MOVIE mode all the time, but only during recording in MANUAL mode?

AUDIO LEVELS is greyed out in MANUAL mode, so does this mean the camera operates with "auto" audio levels in MANUAL mode or does it continue to operate in MANUAL mode with the "manual" audio settings that were previously selected when the camera was in MOVIE mode?

The reason I am concerned about this is that if I understand right AGC cannot be switched off in any mode - the only way to overpower it is to use an external amp like a Beachtek with the camera audio settings set to low. However I am not sure if this can be done in MANUAL mode?

Another thing I am confused about is which FOCUS setting to use for shooting movies, as I would like to use auto AF for "run and gun" as I have done with regular camcorders but this does not seem to work very well on this camera?

So the options for focus seem to be:
- MANUAL focus with focus assist and/or peaking
- auto AF that does not seem to work smoothly and cannot be relied upon
- AF-C/AF-S autofocus prior to start recording or adjust focus during recording by tapping the SHUTTER button

Which MODE, AUDIO and FOCUS settings do you use for video recording?
AUDIO:

There is a setting in the menu to go MANUAL in audio. That turns off AGC. You need then to set the levels. There is still a very effective limiter, but you get the full dynamic range if you set the manual settings correctly. I only shoot in MOVIE mode, so I have no idea what works or not in MANUAL mode. If you shoot video, then use MOVIE mode. The audio meters always show.

Here is a video I shot using MANUAL audio and the internal mics:

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