A hint of things to come for the hypothetical Sony A7sIII?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by Karim Ghantous, May 4, 2020.

  1. What a silly test. They assume that the sports shooters won't be using the mechanical shutter in the Canon? Really?
  2. That is a bit of an extreme test, valid for aircraft propellers perhaps, but probably irrelevant for most action shooting. Is there any practical difference when shooting cars, bikes, basketball etc etc? You can use the Canon with the screen (and a hood) if you want the maximum fps from the camera, but of course most will be using the mechanical shutter (also necessary, I think, to avoid fluorescent light banding issues for both cameras).
  3. The anti-flicker feature of the A9II applies to the electronic shutter.

    I don't know what they were assuming. I'm just interested in the possibility of a better electronic shutter. The test does show, in any case, that having a mirrorless feature on a DSLR turns it into a white elephant.
  4. a white elephant.

    Hyperbole alert (as usual).
  5. What do you suppose sports shooters are doing these days, other than serving as fashion idols for the photo enthusiast trade?

    Road racing, basketball and football are noisy enough that mechanical shutters aren't notices. Golf, tennis, and a dozen other sports don't bode well for a dozen camera shutters going off at the "decisive" moment. Mechanical shutters for video (other than the rotary kind) went away when talkies appeared. In the New Virtual Age, video will be the lingua franca of most events, both public and private. (I have never been busier, and only need to get dressed up for Zoom meetings.) The pandemic may be the last straw for flipping mirrors.
  6. All of the current A7 cameras do a remarkable job with video. The main raison d'etre for the 7S is its large pixels and concomitant high ISO performance. The A7s line is competing with other cameras which have 6K (or more) video with 10-bit color and RAW output. Currently, the A7 cameras are stuck with 8-bit video, which is okay as long as you know what you're doing, but not very flexible nor forgiving.

    Canon has the very capable EOS C100, which does things Sony doesn't at a highly competitive price. Sony's next step up is the FS5, which is in the price range of a field-ready Canon C200.

    If I were holding my breath for the A7Siii, it would be for 6K30, 10-bit with RAW, and faster dual memory cards. It wouldn't hurt to have a touch screen and a more ergonomic menu system.

    I am not waiting for a fully-articulated screen. An iPhone doesn't need one, and works perfectly well for selfies (so they say). Besides, you can't use the rear screen for anything serious, especially outdoors, articulated or not.
  7. Ed, you bring up some good points. 10-bit is definitely useful. Panasonic knows it!

    But I disagree with 6K - I think 5K is the better option, provided that the sensor does for 2020 what the original 12Mpx sensor did for 2014. We certainly don't want to go back to HD, but 4-5K is solid, even if it seems passé these days.

    People will prefer sensitivity, fast read-out and DR over 6K, never mind 8K. The Red and Panavision 8K cameras give you industry leading DR, but at a cost. I don't speak for all, but I think I speak for many, and maybe even the majority.
  8. The ability use a hybrid camera for both stills and video is a strong selling point. The sweet spot for sensors is probably 24 MP, or roughly 4000x6000 pixels, and 6K video is 3840x5760. Given memory and processor improvements, you could shoot 6K video directly with minimal cropping. Lower resolutions are obtained either by cropping or resampling, with certain advantages applicable to both.

    Why 6K? Well, it's there if you need it. Each frame is roughly 22 MP. If you are shooting action, you could extract higher quality stills than roughly 8 MP from a 4K video, at 30 fps rather than a paltry 9 to 20. It is also important from a marketing point of view, which depends largely on what your competitors have to offer. That works for photographers too. You need the same capabilities as your professional competition (or the same bragging rights as fellow dilettantes).

    All of my current gear is 4K (2160p30) capable, but there is little market for that at present. Consequently I shoot in 1080p60 in the resampled mode (FF). While the cropped mode is somewhat sharper, resampling gives cleaner video with less aliasing, better dynamic range and less noise. Binning and line-skipping are arguably the worst of possible solutions. When shooting concerts and events, "reach" can be very important, giving advantage to the cropping mode. Sony has a "smart zoom" mode which smoothly transitions between full and cropped frames, and does a surprisingly good job. You get a zoom effect with prime lenses (great for gimbal shots) and extended range on optical zooms.
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
  9. You've got me there! But let's say that you can get dramatic improvements in sensitivity with 16Mpx over 24Mpx. What would you choose, if you were allowed only one?

    But maybe Sony has something special that is a 24Mpx sensor. We will see. There are many solutions, quad Bayer being one of them.
  10. I would choose 24 MP. All else being equal, sensitivity is proportional to pixel area, which is inversely proportional to the MP size. A 16 MP sensor would give you approximately 1/2 stop over 24 MP. I can always turn up the ISO, if I accept the noise, but I can't add resolution..

    That said,"else" is seldom "equal." The A7iii and A9 have 24 MP sensors, but the A7iii has more dynamic range for stills produces much hiqher quality video (I use both). The A9 has virtually no rolling shutter effect, because its image transfer is 10x as fast as the A7iii. The Sony FS5 video camera trumps them both for video, with a 20 MP, Super-35 (APS-C) sensor.

    I set the maximum ISO to 25,600, which is fast enough to get audience shots in a darkened theater. Although the light on stage is more than adequate, it is often harsh, and prone to cause blown highlights. Therefore dynamic range is more important than speed. I squeeze as much of that as I can get by using Log 2 gamma and underexposing by about 2 stops. That works because Sony sensors in these cameras are essentially "ISO Invariant." The image quality is nearly the same wjether you use a higher ISO or raise the level in post.
    Karim Ghantous likes this.
  11. When pro sports starts up again, take a look at the shooters on the sidelines and let me know how many are shooting high-end Canons and Nikons as opposed to Sonys, or other mirrorless cams. I'm betting it's still 50:1.
  12. I choose my gear based on what's good for me, not what someone else uses for things I don't do. I base my arguments on my reasons for those decisions and how they relate to the way I use them. In another world, I'm showing people how to use their cell phones to record good video (auditions and vlogs), because in those cases it's not the camera, it's the lighting and sound. You don't see many of those on the sidelines either (but with nearly everyone in the stands).
  13. I doubt that many photographers would switch their equipment that quickly. They did move quickly from film to digital, but now we're talking about two kinds of digital: one very good, one extremely good. I think people will be happy to stick with very good gear for a while yet.

    The DSLR will eventually go extinct, anyway. That's progress.
  14. You said the pandemic would be the last straw for the flipping mirrors. Are you changing your mind?
  15. Yes, it will. But until all those CaNikon shooters using the high-end PJ cams have a real mirrorless alternative that can use the tens of thousands in glass they currently own, why switch? Pros don't care whether or not there's a mirror, only about results. And right now, those high-end cams work for them, and will for the forseeable future.
  16. AJG


    Add to that the lower pay scales and increased use of freelancers who have to own their own equipment for photojournalism and you have a strong motivation to keep using current equipment as long as possible.
    dmanthree likes this.
  17. The rolling shutter is not related to DSLR vs. mirrorless; it is a question of how fast the sensor can be read. An A9 II sensor could easily be used in a DSLR and it would then give similar rolling shutter in video or in silent photography. However, this technology is not widely available. Also many mirrorless cameras have slow sensor read times, so they would fail in such a propeller test.

    A larger part of these (sports) photographers want optical viewfinders. In addition, the mirrorless systems lack native basic sports lenses such as 300/2.8. A 400/2.8 is twice as expensive and probably out of question for most. Many might be using a 10-year-old 300/2.8 and the idea that photographers buy new 400/2.8's when a new model or technology comes out is just not realistic.
  18. Perhaps I was not clear here. The point was, "in any case," having mirrorless features in a DSLR is pointless - all this weight and bulk for what? Of course, you can put the A9/II sensor in a DSLR, and Sony could actually do this.

    We don't need reminding that many sensors in DSLMs have rolling shutters. Most digital cinema cameras have rolling shutters. Red is starting to implement global shutters as we speak, but it will take a while to roll through the entire line.
  19. having mirrorless features in a DSLR is pointless

    No it's not.

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