The original Sony A7s is still an outstanding little camera, but with the announcement of the new Sony A7s II, i'm sure existing Sony A7s owners might be thinking about upgrading. I'm a Sony A7s owner, and here's a few reasons why I think it's worth the upgrade.
First, you now have the option of 4K internal recording. We don't have enough information just yet about how long it can record or if it will overheat like the A7RII, but either way 4K internal is a damn good option to have when you need it.
Next there's 5-Axis In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS). I have been using this in the new Sony A7RII and I can't tell you enough how much this new feature can help with your footage. If you move around a lot, work with a shoulder rig, hand held, or just like older lenses with no IS, the 5-Axis IBIS will be your best friend.
The new Sony A7sII also has the option of SLOG3, which offers up a flatter profile than SLOG2 while offering more detail and information in the shadows. The new A7sII also has a base ISO of just 1600 instead of 3200 which is way more manageable if you have to shoot outdoors on a bright day.
For slow motion there's the new addition of 120FPS in full 1080p. Previous cameras (including the A7RII) can only shoot 120fps in 720.
The new Sony A7sII also has faster AF for movie mode over the original A7s.
Even though the A7s was known for being the low light king, the new A7sII is even more improved for low light shooting.
So that's just a short list of new features that I think should sway many A7s owners to go for the upgrade to the new A7sII. I myself have been convinced already to go for the upgrade. Any other existing A7s owners looking to do the same? Leave a comment below.
@jsfilmz - I used the big URSA too, that thing was a beast. This one is not bad, I have an article on this website showing some images where i'm palming it with one hand. It's much more manageable over the big one, but i'm really more excited to see some footage from the 4.6K version.
Emm thanks for the reply. The only thing turning me off on the Ursa minis is the size. I used the 4k version and that thing was pretty darn big.
@jsfilmz - Not the best low light camera, but you can get an URSA Mini 4.6K that can shoot 4K RAW up to 80fps for under $5K. If you look at URSA Mini 4K sensor, that can do 4K RAW 60fps for $2995. That's far cheaper than a Sony A7s with Atomos Shogun and you get RAW options and faster 4K framerates. The URSA Mini also has two XLR inputs with Phantom power, large flip out monitor, etc.
So many features for the price, certainly something to consider along with a RED Raven. I hear decent packages for all the parts on a RED Raven can get up to $15K. URSA Mini doesn't have it all, but starts at $2995.
I will trade this with the red raven if it shot 4k 60fps. Firmware upgrade?
I have shot 1080P120 non stop for 29 minutes with my A7sII without overheating/shutdown.
So far I have not gone over 40 minutes on one battery.
If you plug the USB port to external power it will overheat and shut down from that at 40 minutes instead of just running out of battery.
Using a dummy battery + power and external recorder to DownRes 4k to 1080P30, I have gone much longer and been able to record unmanned continuous Video.
Better low-light shooting is by far my main reason for using an A7s. My poor/low light Videos are typically shot at 6400 ISO.
1080P120 is my reason for buying the A7sII.
Now that I have it, I see much need improvements in everything else.
In the first sample movie above: Is it just me, or is there lots of moire happening on the roofline at :33, than with the train around :39, then jittery rack focus and moire on the next slider shot of the outdoor stage? Seems nuts that this would be included in a promo piece. I'm at the highest resolution. Thanks.
Would love a follow up about the overheating question. I returned my a7RII for that reason. Hopefully you can test that out for the readers.
@Ryan Z - I don't know exactly, but I believe the HDMI out is still 8 bit. Internal recording might be 4:2:0 while HDMI out may be 4:2:2 though.
What does it output to? 10bit?
@AaBb - Yes and no. It will use some image stabilization, but maybe not as much in body is what I understand.
Sony offers a 24-70mm lens as well:
What happens when using IS lenses like the Tamron 24 70 2.8 or cannon 24-105 IS? Is the image stabalized twice, once at the body and once by the lens>?
@steve - Yes it would have stabilization. Because some lenses may not communicate with camera, you can set focal length in the IBIS menu.
Does this mean i could use my faithful canon 50mm 1.4 with adapter and it would be stabilized?
Sony Announces Addition of Uncompressed 14-Bit RAW Still Image Capture for New α Cameras
Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today announced user selectable Compressed and Uncompressed 14-Bit RAW image capture will be featured in the new α7S II once it arrives in stores this October.
Additionally, they have announced plans to add user selectable compressed or uncompressed 14-Bit RAW still image capture via firmware update to additional cameras beginning with the recently introduced α7R II full-frame mirrorless model.
“The voice of our α community remains the most important guiding force of our product development plans,” said Neal Manowitz, Deputy Vice President for Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “The addition of Uncompressed 14-Bit RAW processing is a direct result of customer feedback. Widely requested by photo and video enthusiasts, we believe the choice of RAW processing types will further elevate the performance of these extraordinary cameras.”
The α7S II and α7R II are compatible with Sony’s growing lineup of α -mount lenses, which now totals 63 different models including 12 native ‘FE’ full frame lenses. By early 2016, Sony will add an additional 8 new lenses to its FE full frame lineup, bringing the FE total to 20 lenses and the overall α -mount assortment to over 70 different models.
Will the A7SII allow full AF with Canon lenses similar to the A7RII?
@Emm - I'm just trying to figure out how to consolidate. I have so many different cameras. On paper the new Sony line up looks great. But... Overheating and other issues keep me from moving forward. I hate to buy and return. But.. It may be the only way to truly compare. Exciting and confusing times.
@pops - Dynamic Range is good and it helps keep the data in the highlights and in the shadows. But there's also a difference with 8 bit vs 10 bit and the compression used. With a BlackMagic you have ProRes and RAW, so lots of information for color grading. With a Sony A7sII it's 8bit and even the HDMI out may only be 8bit. So it still depends what you really need in your footage.
@John - The only thing I can think that might help is the A7sII has a 12MP sensor, and the A7RII has a 42MP sensor. Maybe it won't generate as much heat with less processing? We'll just have to wait and see.
Is the 14 stops really 14 stops? I'm really curious how this compares to BMCC 2.5K and GH4 V-log.
What about the overheating issue the A7RII have? Will it be improved on the A7SII? I saw a review the A7RII can only film 4K internally for about 15-20 min. before it overheats and shut down.
@Enrique - Yes you have to change the focal length foe IBIS each time.
Hi Emm. As far as I know you need to select the focal length of a third-party lens so IBIS can properly work. But what if you pair the camera with a third-party zoom lens? Does IBIS work in that case? Do you have to select the actual focal length every time you zoom in or out? Many thanks in advance.
@Darren - For shoulder rig work or handheld shooting when trying to hold a statuc shot I think it works great. When panning there may be times when it stutters, but you can always turn it off. You always have the option to use lenses with IS too. So for me i'd rather have it on the camera when I need it, rather than just a camera that doesnt have it.
Hey Emm - what has your experience been shooting video with Sony IBIS and a non-stabilized lens? I ask b/c I've seen a number of people comment that it's not nearly as good as lens IS. I also saw a few videos on YouTube where the footage seemed very choppy with the IBIS and non-stabilized lens.
What about the capability of sending signal out? Would it be better than A7s (when coupled with Atoms Shogun or Pixie-5)?
What is a great all around lens for this camera? I've been using Canon for years, but I'm really thinking of switching to this. I use the 24-70mm. What does Sony have similar to this kind of range?
@Erik - I think you are right. Edited thanks.
I think you might have the new A7s II confused with the FS5 as far as HFR 8 second burst for 240fps in full 1080p. I can find that info anywhere in the release notes. If this is the case then my mind is blown! 😀
Wow, did Canon just give up in this area?
I like to shoot live music in dark clubs for fun, and I'll be upgrading. The stabilization and internal 4K are worth it alone. The other stuff won't matter as much for me.