Sony A7S’s issues
After very good first impressions, we finally managed to find weak points on our A7s. Don’t laugh, it’s true, they exist and they are very annoying:
-This is obvious but it was a big question prior to investing in A7s: how good is a XAVCs internal codec (8bits in 4:2:0)? As we were editing first projects we saw it is good enough in a lot of situations (especially if you come from low cost canon codec and sony’s internal AVCHD for FS700) but let’s be honest, if you do heavy grading on footage, it would be necessary to have at least a 10 bit 4.2.2 codec. You can add an external recorder and get a 10bit 4:2:2 file although it’s still from a 8 bit signal so the question at the end is still here: you have to grade a 8 bit picture.
-How to power A7s for a full day of shooting? A lot of people say battery doesn’t last long (1 hour). We didn’t see this as a problem. We have 5 batteries and we noticed batteries last more than one hour if not recording all the time and if not using wifi. In the worst case scenario if we want to extend to more than 6 hours, we could just use a dummy battery and through our V-mount plate power the A7s all day long. The only problem, the system for powering A7s are quite expensive.
-The rolling shutter issue exist and you have to deal with. It’s not a A7s particular issue but it is very present in every situations where the camera is moving fast or when objects are moving fast. Hopefully A7s offer a possibility to change the sensor size from FF to APSC and the experiences of many users showed that APSC mode better reacts to this aberration.
-Record button. It’s true that it’s in a bad spot but this wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t so small and hidden inside the A7s body. No, really it’s a pain in the ass although you can get a remote control for the A7s (by the way if you own the FS700’s remote control it will work)
-No metadata for video in Slog. I can’t believe it! I’ve tried everything, I can swear I’ll buy A7S to whomever can explain me how to get it. It’s not working with the Sony application, not in premiere, not in the info of the clips on the A7s… metadata are just nowhere. What does it mean? Nothing crucial to shoot a family movie but for us it’s a very bad point because we can’t check the parameters of a shot (shutter speed, ISO…). Catalyst (Sony’s program for viewing clips, converting clips and make LUTs) shows only the format and frame rate of a shot.
-The live monitoring through wifi, you can’t choose a PP if you stream video to your phone. Again why? Because it would be too good?
-Assign buttons: that’s a very good thing you can assign almost all function to a lot of different buttons for shortcuts but you can’t assign the FF/APSC function as well as the format function.
What do think? Did you notice more weak points?