The Fox Frame crew is headed to NAB! We’ll be joining our good friends Hardpin Media in Vegas and posting our thoughts throughout the week with more in depth videos coming soon after. We haven’t even gotten in the air and the announcements have already started with Sony announcing their 4k capable A7s.
The A7 and A7r were the first mirrorless full frame cameras on the market, but their video features weren’t spectacular. With the addition of the new FE mount the A7 cameras were a neat concept, but not the camera many were hoping for. The A7s however looks pretty incredible. Forget the 4k for a second, the biggest selling point here is the all new 12 megapixel sensor which was designed from the ground up for video. Sony’s claiming that both low light performance and dynamic range are best in class and the way they’re getting there is by doing a full pixel read out from the 12 megapixel sensor instead of doing pixel binning like a Canon DSLR. So aliasing and moire shouldn’t be an issue, and the 4k mode should look like a moving JPG. Of course there’s a catch. There is no internal 4k codec, you have to use the newly announced Atomos Shogun to record the A7s uncompressed 4k output – so unlike the GH4 you’re going to have to carry around some kit to get your 4k. The GH4 and A7s both seem to answer the demands of DSLR shooters: adaptable lens mount, pro audio and video connections via an external box, but still keeping a slim form factor. You have to wonder what Canon’s thinking right now. Sure they’ve got a huge in built in market with their lenses, but if companies like Sony and Panasonic continue to push the specs with their more flexible lens mounts I can’t imagine brand loyalty is going to keep moving units.
For us, we love the GH3 and have been using it on shoots for it’s small size and very nice image. The A7s could be the full frame equivalent of the GH3 with the great addition of an external 4k codec. As for wether we’ll be purchasing the GH4 or the A7s it’s hard to say now, but the 4k internal codec on the GH4 is certainly a big plus for both the 4k ability and for it’s down rezing to 1080p.
But maybe the A7s is the spiritual successor to the 5D Mark II we’ve all been waiting for?