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Old 09-15-2014, 09:06 PM   #16
HIFF
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If you need amazing low light capabilities go with an A7S.

Otherwise, I would go with the GH4.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdhaqeKf0-Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxGekOHEPuc
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Old 09-29-2014, 04:35 PM   #17
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A7s vs GH4 workflow/pipeline winner?

I'm prepping/producing a microbudget feature (shot multi-cam) and although I like the specs on the GH4 I am shooting a contained thriller (w/ low light conditions) and think the a7s low light capability would come in handy in both ease of use and set/light prep (although most likely marginal). Then again, maybe taking the time to light proper might make up the difference?

SIDE NOTE: My preference would be a c500 but coming up w/ the cash to shoot multicam is just out of the picture (get it?)

That being said, being able to crank out a 4K (even if with the additional rental of Shogun) makes me lean towards the a7s but considering the workflow/pipeline of dealing w/ a external SSD and all those headaches compared what appears to be a really simple 4K GH4 / flash card setup; do you guys and gals recommend dealing w/ the SSDs or just stick w/ the "simpler" GH4 for it's data/footage management. Has anyone here worked on a production with either? What type of issues have you encountered that you think might kill/hamstring a production?

And yes, the 4K is a draw. After shooting shorts and having to recompose (I'm a working animation/vfx artist) awful and sloppy DP work after the fact, I don't want to pretend I'm going to Scorcese it my first feature out. Especially because I'm wearing so many hats and planning (although extensive) can still come up short at the end of day.

Any insight from Directors/DPs/DITs/Producers would be super awesome and appreciated.


Update:
An article w/ some negs on the a7s
http://eriknaso.com/2014/07/20/thing...-the-sony-a7s/
but then again:


More info on filming conditions: Again, I am filming inside a car at night, the lighting may resemble a Buried meets Locke look but we will be in a closed set so we should get some leeway and fine control on lighting conditions

Last edited by spitandspite; 09-29-2014 at 04:49 PM. Reason: notes
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Old 09-29-2014, 05:52 PM   #18
cheeseandachallenge
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If you have control over the lighting situation I wouldn't let the low light capabilities sway you. I have a Gh fan (owning the gh3) but I don't know a heap about the two cameras. The A7s certainly looks impressive for low light shooting - but that, to me, is moot, unless you're shooting no-budget and can't afford lighting (if you can afford a $2500 camera/are shooting anything more than a home video, this shouldn't apply) or are shooting a run and gun type documentary. Perhaps if there were scenes where you couldn't control the lighting (e.g. shooting guerilla on a street without permits at night), then the low-light capabilities would make sense.

But from what you've said, it shouldn't really be a factor in what you're doing. I don't have experience with either camera - although I find my Gh3 very easy to use - supposedly the a7s has a complex menu system.

Last edited by cheeseandachallenge; 09-30-2014 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:29 PM   #19
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Been hands on with both. a7s is better low light, GH4 is a better all-rounder and the 4k was a big selling point.

Went with the GH4
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Old 09-30-2014, 02:39 AM   #20
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Cheese & Gorilla- Thanks! Guess it's settled. We're going w/ a GH4.

Last edited by spitandspite; 09-30-2014 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:42 PM   #21
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Very cool. I don't think you can go wrong with the gh4. But to get the SDI stuff and nice output, you need to buy the dock, so don't be too swayed by the price difference.

The biggest difference to me is the sensor size. I like larger sensors for the creative opportunities, but they are also harder to work with. I believe the Sony sensor has better exposure ability, so you can pull more detail out of the shadows.
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Old 10-04-2014, 01:28 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeseandachallenge View Post
The A7s certainly looks impressive for low light shooting - but that, to me, is moot, unless you're shooting no-budget and can't afford lighting (if you can afford a $2500 camera/are shooting anything more than a home video, this shouldn't apply) or are shooting a run and gun type documentary. Perhaps if there were scenes where you couldn't control the lighting (e.g. shooting guerilla on a street without permits at night), then the low-light capabilities would make sense.
I actually think this is a misconception - low light performance absolutely has benefits beyond situations where you can't control the lighting. Greater light sensitivity means you can often achieve the same looks with fewer & smaller lights, which means less necessary support gear, less power draw and heat, and often less crew. That also means you can work faster, be more mobile, work in smaller spaces, etc. All of those aspects directly benefit low-budget production - it's not about not needing to light, it's about being able to light more efficiently, and often being able to make lighting decisions from a creative standpoint first rather than starting from what you need to achieve a minimum exposure.
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Old 10-04-2014, 02:44 PM   #23
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Tbh, neither are that expensive to rent through borrowlenses. I would say, given the price of the cameras, it would be a worthwhile to invest $300 in getting your hands on both for a week and see which one you like better.
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Old 10-04-2014, 03:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItDonnedOnMe View Post
I actually think this is a misconception - low light performance absolutely has benefits beyond situations where you can't control the lighting. Greater light sensitivity means you can often achieve the same looks with fewer & smaller lights, which means less necessary support gear, less power draw and heat, and often less crew. That also means you can work faster, be more mobile, work in smaller spaces, etc. All of those aspects directly benefit low-budget production - it's not about not needing to light, it's about being able to light more efficiently, and often being able to make lighting decisions from a creative standpoint first rather than starting from what you need to achieve a minimum exposure.
+1

Could be the difference between a truck with a generator or just plugging into the wall.
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Old 10-04-2014, 04:27 PM   #25
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Yeah fair point. There are other benefits too. E.g. getting a skyline at night.
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Old 10-04-2014, 04:37 PM   #26
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Definitely - take something like the balcony scene from Heat where they basically had to green screen the actors in order to have them lit properly with the lights of the city in the background. You could shoot a scene like that fairly easily now with something like the A7s because it wouldn't be difficult to light your actors at the appropriate level for the background exposure, and at an aperture which would let you keep the background somewhat in focus. I've seen several examples from the camera at night where the subject is lit correctly and there's bokeh from stars in the sky behind them - it's just something that never would have happened before. But that kind of thing is the obvious example of what a low light camera can achieve, and I think people don't often think about the fact that low light can also mean a fully constructed lighting setup that just doesn't have to be very bright overall to produce an adequate exposure.
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Old 10-04-2014, 04:39 PM   #27
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Imagine shooting a scene with aurora borealis (northern light) as light source

Last edited by WalterB; 10-04-2014 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:08 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItDonnedOnMe View Post
Definitely - take something like the balcony scene from Heat where they basically had to green screen the actors in order to have them lit properly with the lights of the city in the background. You could shoot a scene like that fairly easily now with something like the A7s because it wouldn't be difficult to light your actors at the appropriate level for the background exposure, and at an aperture which would let you keep the background somewhat in focus. I've seen several examples from the camera at night where the subject is lit correctly and there's bokeh from stars in the sky behind them - it's just something that never would have happened before. But that kind of thing is the obvious example of what a low light camera can achieve, and I think people don't often think about the fact that low light can also mean a fully constructed lighting setup that just doesn't have to be very bright overall to produce an adequate exposure.
Now I'm all excited for you (and for us). Don't take too much time sharing your results with us when you get your A7s. =)

By the way, is moire and aliasing a thing of the past with these newer cameras?

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Imagine shooting a scene with aurora borealis (northern light) as light source
That sounds like a wonderful challenge. Make it happen, okay? =D
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Old 10-07-2014, 01:10 AM   #29
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By the way, is moire and aliasing a thing of the past with these newer cameras?
Not really... you can't get rid of color moire without a different kind of filter in the front, or layout of the pixels.

But it's better than it used to be.
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:59 AM   #30
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I think low light capabilities are useful. However, the choice on offer is a good low light camera vs a good 4k camera. My choice is 4k over low light.

Now about that Atomos...
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