I love the panasonic GH4 and Canon 5D series and am hoping the Sony A7R II can be both in a relatively compact package. I bought the camera a few days ago from Park Camera’s London (really helpful guys), taking advantage of their Metabone’s offer, getting the EF-E adapter for £100. I popped out at lunchtime to test of the video capabilities around Shoreditch
Now, I’m still getting used to the picture profiles and s-log 2 scared me when hiring the A7S so I mainly stayed on PP6 for this test. The performance with Canon lenses is pretty remarkable. Autofocus in stills mode is similar to the Canon 5D Mark II. Video mode is a little more ropey but maybe I haven’t dialled in the settings correctly, either way punching in for manual focus was fine and peaking is also helpful. By far the best feature has to be the In-body stabilisation, I was able to get usable video from lenses I wouldn’t even consider hand-holding, namely the Canon 135mm f2 prime (with no IS). Even in S35 mode the results were impressive, this has opened up a whole bunch of lenses I had for video.
So far I’m think my only annoyances are a somewhat fiddly menu system and the front control wheel on the handle that sometimes resulted in me switching off the camera while trying to adjust aperture when looking through the viewfinder. I’ve now switch aperture to the very back control wheel by the LCD. It also does not feel as stable at the GH4, I’ve also had the camera error on me, having to take out the battery to reset.
The battery is very poor, particularly compared to the GH4, however it’s sooo handy to be able to plug it into standard micro-usb to charge. I think it might be picky about Volts/Amps as a few wall chargers wouldn’t work but a usb from computer and a portable battery bank seem to be fine.
A7S II vs A7R II
I spent waaay to much time thinking about this choice and was about to pull the trigger on the A7SII but changed my mind. I rarely shooting in very low light and would also really like the high resolutions imagery for capturing environment maps with a Nodal Ninja and texture maps and I really like the idea of a prime have two focal lengths for 4K video. I know the full frame mode is supposed to have much weaker ISO performance and show more aliasing but I’m willing to trade that for versatility, plus there’s always the options of a inverse teleconverter aka. Speedbooster to get the fullframe aesthetic in S35 mode.