Shooting Sony A7s & S-Log2 – A closer look & downloadable footage

The new Sony A7s is a very powerful camera. With Sony’s professional S-Log2 gamma curve built-in, we get a new level of quality in a consumer camera. Out in field work we continue to be impressed. Here’s a closer look at unraded / graded footage.

Last week I finished shooting / editing another short project with the Sony A7s and let me tell you, besides the toothache I had after the appointment at the dentist, it was pure pleasure to work with this camera!

At cinema5D we get A LOT of requests from our readers to provide some daytime samples of Sony’s A7s footage with the flat picture profile (S-Log2). Feel free to download from the Vimeo page and experiment yourself: LINK

Sony’s S-Log2 gamma that was initially included in their high-end cameras now resides in the little Sony A7s, which makes it one of its big advantages for professional use over other consumer cameras.

As we found in our dynamic range test the Sony A7s can reproduce 14.1 stops of light in terms of dynamic range. S-Log2 can be set in the preferences menu under Picture Profiles (page 5) and is called: “PP7”.

As you already know, the thing about shooting in a “flat picture profile” is the dull image you see (which is especially true for Sony’s S-Log2). In fact the picture looks so washed-out, it almost feels as if you’re doing something wrong.
One way to overcome that sensation is to use a monitor with the LUT’s by Alister Chapman in one of his excellent articles (Exposing and Using S-Log2 on the Sony A7s Part One: Gamma and Exposure).

Other than that it’s a good idea to keep track of the histogram on the A7s which should help to get the exposure right. A good place to start if you want to get familiar with “understanding histograms” is John Greengo’s video: Your Camera’s Histogram: Explained.

Armed with this knowledge you can see why I chose S-Log2 to shoot my video. In such an overcast day my aim was to try and keep any picture detail I could. Filming “flat” and adding a look with Filmconvert, gave me the great image I was looking for.

Thanks to my friends at miggo who gave permission to make the footage available for download.
(For looking at miggo’s products at B&H please click here)

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Watch it on Vimeo