Okay, okay so I know it has been almost a year since Sony unveiled the impressive A7S, but the truth is that we just got our hands on one here at the StudioNow office. The verdict: believe the hype. You’ve heard the features: Full frame sensor in a compact body, unbelievable low light performance, ability to record 4K externally, but the bottom line is this camera is awesome.
A lot of people are drawing comparisons between the A7S the Panasonic GH4, and rightfully so. Both are compact, both can shoot 4K, and both have their own set of advantages and drawbacks. The most notable drawback of the A7S, and what keeps a lot of people from purchasing it is its inability to record 4K internally, but this is a marginal disadvantage given what you will get with the A7s that you won’t get in other cameras. So, if you are in the market for a new camera, here are our reasons why we’d have the A7s.
- Great Low Light Performance: This is definitely Sony’s biggest selling point with the A7S. In fact it’s about the only thing A7S fanboys talk about, but they're right. It's unbelievable. You tend to forget about 4K when you’re recording entire films by moonlight.
- 4K When You Want It: Hook the A7S up to an external recorder like the Atomos Ninja via HDMI and boom, you’ve got uncompressed 4:2:2 UHD 4K. Not interested in 4K yet? Don’t worry about it.
- Full Frame: One thing you definitely won’t get from GH4 is a full frame sensor. Full frame = stunning shallow depth of field + better low light performance.
- Small Package: What you get out of the small body of the A7S is extremely impressive. In fact, the A7S is smaller than the GH4 despite the full frame sensor, and it is definitely more compact than a full frame DSLR.
Bottom Line: Internal 4K is great, but with the low light performance of the A7S you are going to be a lot more flexible in capturing moments that you might otherwise miss with other cameras. The large sensor of the A7S is going to give you the ability to pull off that cinematic look with a shallow depth of field and 35mm sensor size. Don’t get me wrong, both cameras put up a good fight, but we just love the A7S.