Sony A7RIV as a video camera


Zen Snapshooter
SW Virginia
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I just read that the agreement between AP and Sony will result in most of their photographers getting a pair of A9II bodies and the videographers getting a pair of A7RIV bodies. Being video challenged, I would have expected the A7SIII bodies to be for video. Comments from the video cognoscenti?
All the A7 cameras produce exceptionally fine video. The A7S bodies particularly so because its sensor is restricted in megapixel count, therefore it will have higher ISO sensitivity (it can film in almost complete darkness). And if high megapixels is not your priority, then the A7S will serve you well for both photos and exceptional video quality.

Having said that, if filming in near complete darkness is not your priority, then the regular A7 body will do you fine. It'll be cheaper too. The A7S and the A7R are specialist cameras that you don't really need unless you really wanted the high MP count for stills (A7R) or being able to film in near complete darkness (A7S). The A7 is no slouch either.


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a7R IV is almost as good as the a7S III for high ISO results. They are both Dual Gain sensors, and the "walls" between the extra pixels on the a7R only "bounce" a few percent of the total photons collected by the sensor.

For serious video work, the lower MP count of the a7S makes for less rolling shutter and less processing power required, so also less heat during longer record times.

On the other hand, the a7R IV, having more than 4x the pixel count of the a7S, and can be downsampled to have a full color block (2 green 1 1 blue pixels) for each of the a7S's single-color pixels, eliminating the need for further Bayer demosaicing at 4K output. Additionally, with 4x the number of pixels, any lens gains 2x digital zoom before you have to start interpolating.

My guess is that for journalistic work, the downsides of (somewhat) more rolling shutter and more required processing power are outweighed by the additional flexibility of being able to take high MP photos and use "lossless" (actually "interpolation-less") digital zoom. Especially since journalists are expected to be able to do both photos and videos more and more.

DPReview had an interview with the AP guy behind all this; he said some video guys will get the a7R, and some will get dedicated video cameras (so even more dedicated than the a7S):

'Do you have a sense of the ratio of a9-series to a7-series cameras that you’re going to be onboarding?​

The vast majority of the stills photographers will get a9 Mark IIs. We will get some a7R IVs for the videographers, and a couple for some of our entertainment shooters who do a lot of portraits. But the standard kit will be an a9 Mark II.

On the video side there are six different cameras that might become part of the kit, from broadcast cine cameras all the way down to small palm-sized cameras, depending on the assignment. But we have six cameras spec’d-out on the video side.'



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I read the DPR article. Sounds like nice kits. I'd be happy to find one under my Xmas tree.
You and me both! I'm happy to keep photography as a hobby only though, I wouldn't enjoy it anymore if there was always pressure on me to deliver. Even if that means being limited to buying used camera gear once every five years or so...

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