Sony A7Sii DSLR Camera
The new Sony A7Sii (sometimes seen as Sony A7S2) or Mark 2 version of the 4k Ultra HD DSLR is available to rent in London from The Gear Factory.
It looks and works pretty much the same as the original A7S, but with some very important upgrades.
1: The Sony A7Sii can record 4k (UHD 3840×2160) internally to XAVC-S at 8-bit 4.2.0 100Mbps, so less need to use an external recorder like a Shogun or Odyssey (unless you want to go straight to Prores 422HQ).
2: It has a stabilised Steadishot 5-axis sensor. This means you can get some image stabilisation without having to use a stabilised lens. This stabiliser helps eliminate small jitters and great with lenses you will never get a stabilised version of like anamorphics or classic uncoated lenses.
3: S-Log 3 has been added and the minimum ISO in S-log modes is reduced to 1600 (but see our thoughts below on S-Log).
4. You can record slow motion up to 120fps in HD mode so double the rate of the original Sony A7S.
The low-light imagery which has made the A7S such an amazing camera has been improved at higher ISOs with reduced noise. The 4K mode makes full use of the sensor and doesn’t crop slightly likely the GH4 does when you switch into 4K mode. But it is still an 8-bit depth camera.
Some notes on usage:
1. When using Canon lenses, you need them to be full-frame coverage rather than EF-S (APS-C or Super 35mm) to be able to record in 4K. You cannot use the 4k recording in the cropped mode. So similarly if you want to use Arri PL Mount cinema lenses and have 4K recording, you need lenses with full frame coverage like our Zeiss CP2s or lovely Canon K35s. If you use our Lomo Anamorphics they actually cover the full sensor height (although you will see portholing left and right in the squeezed image that will be removed when you de-squeeze 2x in post) so you can shoot in 4k with the resolution to be able to unsqueeze the horizontal to a very nice Scope image.
2. Again, because you want to shoot full frame you don’t want to use a SpeedBooster, just a regular EF adapter (whether from Metabones or Viltrox etc). People often request a Speedbooster as an EF adapter and we always have to check with them if that is what they really want. And in this case we’d say you don’t want, as you’d lose the 4k recording. And with the sensitivity of the Sony A7Sii you don’t need the gain of the speedbooster anyway.
Our other notes relevant to the original A7S apply too:
3. When using EF lenses you need to be aware that all adapters translating Sony lens protocol to Canon lenses protocol can be temperamental. It is always good to test the camera and adapter with the exact lens you want to use to make sure you have iris control.
4. Like a lot of large sensor CMOS cameras, the rolling shutter means fast-panning motion can be jelly-like. The new stabiliser does help cope with some of the smaller rolling shutter artefacts from hand-held judder though.
5. The processing still only has an 8-bit depth. This gives you not as many steps of differentiation in sampling of the colours. So we personally prefer not to use the S-log modes as these steps can be accentuated when you have to stretch out a very flat image. The Cine gamma and colour settings make fuller use of the sampling range with protection in the blacks and highlights to still give you some grading room. And you can still tweak the black level and gamma higher if you wish for that John Lewis ad look.
6. While you can record up to 120fps in HD mode you need to switch the camera to NTSC mode, the top speed in PAL mode is 100fps. If you are shooting the rest of your project in 25fps you’ll need to use a different memory card when you switch to slomo in NTSC mode as the two formats aren’t allowed to be recorded on the same card. Also in NTSC mode the playback rate will be either 24fps or 30fps, not 25fps of course.
SONY A7Sii FRAME RATES:
3840 x 2160p / 29.97 fps (100 Mbps)
3840 x 2160p / 29.97 fps (60 Mbps)
3840 x 2160p / 23.98 fps (100 Mbps)
3840 x 2160p / 23.98 fps (60 Mbps)
3840 x 2160p / 25 fps (100 Mbps)
3840 x 2160p / 25 fps (60 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 120 fps (100 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 100 fps (100 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 120 fps (60 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 100 fps (60 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 59.94 fps (50 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 29.97 fps (50 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 23.98 fps (50 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 50 fps (50 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 25 fps (50 Mbps)
For Prores 4K 422HQ recording and monitoring, pair the A7S2 with the Atomos Shogun!
See some Sony shot videos here:
Also available via MyKitPlace.com the peer-to-peer marketplace for shooting kit!