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Old December 10th, 2014, 06:08 AM   #1
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Sony a7s for weddings

For those who use the a7s at weddings, how has it been working out for you? There are more real life user videos coming out and there is a issue that seems to make them problematic to shoot weddings.

I have seen several clips now with some really bad blue highlight clipping, the kind of led light I see appearing at almost every wedding and according to some users makes the footage useless, a workaround to minimize the problem seems to increase the whitebalance to 5000+ which involves colorcorrecting in post.

Is it really that bad?
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Old December 10th, 2014, 06:17 AM   #2
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Re: Sony a7s for weddings

I'm editing one right now where one of the cameras was an a7s with 24-70 F4 lens.

I haven't noticed that. But, we shot outside on a very cloudy day at dusk.

I'll watch more closely and see. Unfortunately I'm editing this one on my 15.6" laptop at the moment and so, it is a little hard to see clips like I do on my 24" dual monitor set up.

The biggest issue we had was focusing and keeping things in focus.
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Old December 10th, 2014, 11:05 AM   #3
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Re: Sony a7s for weddings

A friend of mine shot some footage of a dance party for me using his A7S and this exact issue came up when the blue lights from the DJ hit the dancers. My friend and I were scrubbing through the footage when he noticed it and pointed it out to me. Before he pointed it out it just looked like a strange effect and didn't bother me. I think this is because there were tons of moving colored lights flying around and it looked kind of cool in a way.

However, if these lights were not moving and meant as a static accessory light, it would be VERY distracting to the viewer because their attention would be immediately drawn to it. I filmed a reception in September where they had pink accessory lights all around the room and my Canon 70D picked up a flicker from them (fortunately my C100 did not). Much of the 70D footage was unusable because the flicker from the lights was so distracting and I was just fortunate that the C100 didn't have the same issue.

I have not yet seen blue LEDs used as accessory lights, but I do know that DJs are using LEDs like never before around here, so I'm sure one guy's favorite color will be blue and then that would create a problem. If that were the case then I guess the best thing to do would have a backup camera that doesn't have the same issue.
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Old December 10th, 2014, 11:24 AM   #4
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Re: Sony a7s for weddings

If have seen these harsh blue lights appear in many weddings I did this year, often not as an effect but as a constant light, I"m not planning to get a a7s but I did see a guy offering his almost brandnew grey import a7s for a very interesting price but it only sparkled my interest for a short time as I still would have to invest in a good, but expensive stabilised zoomlens as well. It was only after seeing those blue clipping highlight samples I wondered if it was a user error. Right now I"m editing some footage shot with a nex-ea50 in a venue that also had these blue lights pointed towards the wall and I also see highlight clipping but nowhere near as worse as I saw on some a7s samples. If you would need to have a backup camera ready to you'd lose the lowlight advantage if your other camera is not as good low light performer. Here's a framegrab from some footage shot with my gh3 with the dancefloor flooded with blue light and I had to deal a lot with this this year, judging from the a7s samples I have seen so far this shot would be impossible to make with that camera? Unless you raised the whitebalance to 5000+?
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Old December 10th, 2014, 11:37 AM   #5
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Re: Sony a7s for weddings

I've had to deal with some truly horrible DJ LED lights in recent months - they emit multiple focussed beams of light that blow out wherever they hit, surrounding the blowout you get a fringe of whatever the colour the LED is. Blue tends so be worse than others, you could of course expose for these highlights but it's pretty intense and would render the rest of the scene pretty underexposed. I consider exposing properly for DJ lights my biggest challenge at the moment.

Both my EA50 and A7s struggle with these lights unfortunately. I would not change my A7s however as the benefits of awesome low light performance and focusing aids make it a 5D3 beater IMO.

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Old December 16th, 2014, 11:33 PM   #6
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Re: Sony a7s for weddings

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Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
I've had to deal with some truly horrible DJ LED lights in recent months

Pete
One thing I'm seeing is with the LED's used for the colored uplighting around the room's perimeter. To my eyes, they look fine while I'm there, but then my camera records them with a subtle flicker. I've researched it and it has something to do with the type of LED used. It's not a terrible flicker, but annoying to me. And it's hard to make adjustments for something you can't see!
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Old December 17th, 2014, 12:21 AM   #7
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Re: Sony a7s for weddings

I cant answer your question directly. But I can say, that I know some of the most preeminent wedding film makers in the UK have changed over from the 5dmiii to the A7s.

They have not mentioned any deal breakers as of yet and seem very happy with their switch over from the canon systems.
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Old December 17th, 2014, 12:52 AM   #8
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Re: Sony a7s for weddings

5d3 vs a7s has been on my mind a lot.

The low light and high frame rates are extremely tempting, as is the affordable price. Main things that keep me in Canon are: (1) familiarity and comfort with existing camera quirks and workflow, which is probably a terrible reason; (2) hassle and expense of moving (buying a tonne of new batteries, cards, viewfinder, lens adapters); (3) ML auto restart of recording, which has saved my butt more than once; (4) need for good stills camera as well as video camera, even for both on one job.

One thing I idly think about: if you had the choice between a 1DC and a7s for a wedding, which would you go for? Don't think the 1DC has many (or any) advantages here that are meaningful and non-subjective.
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Old December 17th, 2014, 01:37 AM   #9
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Re: Sony a7s for weddings

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Originally Posted by Matt Brady View Post
They have not mentioned any deal breakers as of yet and seem very happy with their switch over from the canon systems.
I do find that weird because the complaints I have seen so far in regard to the blue-light clipping is that it results in unusable footage and since those lights are seen at a lot of weddings I do wonder how they bypass that or maybe just not want complain about it.
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Old December 19th, 2014, 11:20 PM   #10
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Re: Sony a7s for weddings

A7s user here. Hands down best camera you could possibly own for receptions. Blue highlight clipping is user error. . It's just that, clipping. Expose correctly and there won't be this issue.
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Old December 19th, 2014, 11:46 PM   #11
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Re: Sony a7s for weddings

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Originally Posted by James Palanza View Post
A7s user here. Hands down best camera you could possibly own for receptions. Blue highlight clipping is user error. . It's just that, clipping. Expose correctly and there won't be this issue.
James, do you have any screen shots you could post where a blue light was shining brightly in the scene but did not get blown out? A friend of mine shot some footage for me and everything looked normal until the blue lights from the DJ started shining on people's faces. Immediately they all looked very blown out (albeit it looked kind of cool because they were dancing to electronic music) but for something like a first dance the look would not be as acceptable. My friend is a very good shooter and all the rest of the footage was exposed properly, so I'm just wondering if maybe this is an issue that occurs in some A7S cameras but not others. Let me know what you think.
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Old December 20th, 2014, 04:02 AM   #12
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Re: Sony a7s for weddings

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Originally Posted by James Palanza View Post
Blue highlight clipping is user error. . It's just that, clipping. Expose correctly and there won't be this issue.
But if you shoot at a dark reception, what would the point be of having a a7s if you need to underexpose to get rid of blue highlight clipping? I read so many conflicting info from people shooting weddings with it saying they get unusable footage with blu-light and some other saying it's a matter of choosing the right picture profile up some saying it's just a exposure issue, like below image I found, how would underexposing help here?

http://porterandhicks.smugmug.com/Po...2/0/O/blue.jpg
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Old December 20th, 2014, 04:48 AM   #13
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Re: Sony a7s for weddings

Wow those blue lights in that image look horrible. It's like a poor attempt at colouring using MS Paint lol
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Old December 20th, 2014, 06:29 AM   #14
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Re: Sony a7s for weddings

Blue light clipping is real and not user error, but there is a fix for it, you need to shoot it in CLEAR, DEEP, LIGHT, BLACK & WHITE, SEPIA, and AUTUMN LEAVES and not in any profile, the issue seems most greatly affect by white balance so if you can dial it to 4700K or higher and fix in post you will be ok.
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Old January 2nd, 2015, 06:04 PM   #15
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Re: Sony a7s for weddings

I stand corrected, after testing the blue issue is def a bug.
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