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Tuesday, 15 April 2014 16:33

Sony Introduces Ultra-Light Sensitive Camera

Written by  Gordon Meyer
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Once upon a time, in the not too distant past, because of technology limitations and relatively slow film stock, DPs and directors commonly used a technique called “day for night” where night time exteriors would actually be filmed in broad daylight with various filters to simulate post-sunset lighting conditions while having enough light to secure a decent exposure.

For many movie goers, day for night scenes generally looked really unrealistic.

For owners of Sony’s new a7S DSLR camera, not only is the need to shoot day for night obliterated, now filmmakers can even shoot night for day in clean, low grain 4K resolution. Thanks to a full frame 12.2 megapixel 35mm CMOS sensor paired with a Sony’s new BIONZ X image processor, the a7S can shoot at a sensitivity range of ISO 50 – 409,600 with unprecedented dynamic range and low noise.  That’s not a typo.  This camera can shoot at almost four hundred and ten THOUSAND ISO and in full 4K resolution.  

By using an optional external third party 4K recorder, the α7S can output 4K video4 at QFHD (3840x2160) in video mode and can record full HD (1920x1080) at frame rates of 60p, 60i, 30p and 24p directly to a compatible memory card. Video modes can be changed from full-frame to APS-C (super 35mm equivalent) if desired, and in this crop mode, the camera can support high frame rate 120fps shooting at standard HD resolution (1280 x 720p), creating a 5x slow-motion effect.

The α7S camera is also equipped with S-Log2 gamma, which expands the dynamic range by up to 1300% to minimize clipped highlights and loss of detail in shadows. The α7S adopts the workflow-friendly XAVC S recording format in addition to AVCHD and MP4 codecs. XAVC S format allows for full HD recording at a data rate of 50 mbps with lower compression for improved video quality.

Sony has yet to announce pricing on the a7S, but industry insiders anticipate an SRP of under $3,000 for the camera body plus lenses and accessories. The a7S is fully compatible with E-mount lenses from Sony, Carl Zeiss, Tamron and other manufacturers. 

Here’s a link to a Sony-produced video demonstrating the a7’s light sensitivity. 


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