Sony A7S Shooter’s Report Part II: Boost those shadows and peep those pixels! A look at dynamic range and 4K video


posted Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 10:31 AM EDT


After some extensive testing, shooting, filming, editing and comparing, the second installment of my Sony A7S Shooter's Report is now published. After investigating the handling as well as the insanely high ISO performance of this popular full-frame mirrorless camera, this second Shooter's Report section focuses on two of the other highly-touted features: dynamic range and 4K video.

At a stated 15.3-stops of dynamic range, the A7S should give photographers plenty of flexibility to reign in those highlights without clipping and lift up and reveal shadow details without a lot of noise. The primary reason why I personally shoot in RAW with my own cameras is the extra latitude it gives me to adjust images as I see fit, especially shadow and highlight details (along with white balance, sharpness and noise reduction). I've put the dynamic range capabilities of the A7S to the test here, as well as compared it to a number of competing cameras, such as the Canon 5D Mark III and the Panasonic GH4.

Cologne, Germany. Photo has been adjusted in Adobe Lightroom. Click image to view original. Sony A7S + FE 24-70mm F4 Zeiss: 70mm, f/4, 1/640s, ISO 100.

I'll also go into detail with the other major feature of the A7S: video recording. With the specially-designed "4K-optimized" sensor with full-pixel readout, as well as a new higher quality XAVC-S video format (similar to the GH4 I reviewed earlier this year) the Sony A7S is clearly designed to do double duty for both stills and video shooters. 

For all the details about the Sony A7S's dynamic range performance and video recording features and quality, head over to my Sony A7S Shooter's Report Part II. I also share my final thoughts of my shooting experience with the A7S, but stay tuned as there's still more to come, including image and print quality analysis as well as our final conclusion.

PS: If you're interested in comparing the specs between the Sony A7S and it's popular siblings, check out our new comparison pages! [A7S vs A7; A7S vs A7R]

[Quick Links: Sony A7S • Shooter's Report: Part I • Part IITest ShotsGallery Images]