Sarah Bellagha is a passionate girl. There is a shyness about her. Look into her beautiful eyes and you will see compassion, love and stars. Lots of stars. A fun shoot with the Sony A7 and A7r and lots of manual glass
more after the break
First time shooting a video portrait exclusively with the A7 and A7r, which I rented from Adorama.
Lenses: Nikkor 58mm 1.4, the 50-150mm Series E, the FE Zeiss 24-70mm and the Nikkor 18-35mm.
The biggest challenge was to capture the movement in the ring, the Zeiss FE 24-70mm didn’t have the reach, even in crop mode, however, I was impressed with the image stabilization and af, a fine lens for general shooting. I ended up with the 50-150mm Nikkor Series E for most the sparring shots and found the push/pull zoom/focus ring very useful for quick frame/focus changes. For the shots shooting up at the ceiling fan, the Nikkor 18-35mm was perfect.
The Studio had large windows, decent daylight and I used one of my two kino flo divas for fill.
Advantage, small foot print. This shoot would have taken much longer with large cameras. The high resolution EVF made focusing a breeze, esp with tele lenses, the image practically jumped into focus. The articulated screen was great for low angle shots. Focus peaking was enabled, set to red and medium. Having two bodies on set helped speed things up, one set up for wide, the other for tele shots.
We shot the interview in a different room, recording directly into the camera via Juicedlink and the compact Rode Pro Mic.
White balance: A typical mixed light situation, a must for custom wb. I am not sure why this option doesn’t exist in video mode, I had to switch to still mode to get custom wb to work. Not a deal breaker but certainly annoying.
Shooting 1080/60p and 24P, full frame and crop mode.
Even the 50-150mm didn’t have the reach and I ended up in crop mode for the majority of shots. I noticed the quality varied greatly depending on frame rate, 60p clearly worse then 24p. In full frame mode, the difference wasn’t as obvious. For best results
I stayed in 24p mode.
When comparing footage with clips from the Canon 5Dmk3, Nikon D800 and 5Dmk2, the Sony’s perform about as well as the 5DmkII, sometimes closer to the D800 but not quite at the level of the 5Dmk3. In terms of mobility and ease of use, the Sony’s have a clear advantage.
Profile set up: portrait mode, contrast -3, saturation 0 and sharpness +3. No post sharpening.
ISO: between ISO 400 and 1600.
Support: beanbags and monopod and handheld. A tripod was used for the interview only.
Grading: I think most of us agree that it is time for companies to implement better codec options. I made an effort to get as close to the final look as possible and only had to tweak the color to get the vintage film look. No major exposure corrections.
A7/A7r: in this particular shooting situation with lots of shallow depth of field, I couldn’t tell the footage apart between the two bodies.
Overall, a very capable video camera with a huge sensor in a tiny body, very good dynamic range and decent low light capabilities, as long as you are aware of the limitations, like moiré and codec issues, it will produce impressive results. For my type of shooting the pros far outweigh the con’s and I am keeping this one in my bag.
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