Pro Moviemaker Nov/Dec - Web



SONY SOLVES COLOUR CONUNDRUM back off the default sharpening and do this in the grade.

“The standard setting is very good, so don’t write it off as something that’s unusable”

Sony mirrorless cameras have never had a fantastic reputation for wonderful colour out of camera, especially compared to Canon rivals. But the A7S III takes things on hugely. The standard setting is actually very good, so don’t write it off as something that’s unusable. It is bright without being too saturated. Many shooters have relied on Log settings on their Sony cameras to maximise dynamic range and to get the colours right in post, especially when grading. But on all previous Sony mirrorless cameras, this has been on 4:2:0 8-bit footage, so Log settings were throwing away colour information that the cameras struggled to really recover from. The 10-bit A7S III is leaps ahead. Shooting S-Log 2 produces a much flatter image than standard, and is what many users of previous Sony cameras used. Now the A7S III is muchmore usable, in both the PP7 S-Log2 and the even flatter S-Log3 for maximumdynamic range. The PP9 S-Log3 is linked to S-Gamut 3 colour mode, but we had good results using PP8, which gives S-Log3 and S-Gamut3.cine. As this needs work in post, youmay wish to

One of the benefits of the camera is that in S-Log3, the minimum ISO is now a decently low 640, so you might not need ND filters to get the right exposure. But you can now extend base ISO lower to 160, too. This hampers dynamic range, but it means if you are caught outdoors in bright conditions with no ND filters, you have a useful get-out-of-jail setting. We used it several times. All these Log settings need serious work in post to get the best out of them, but there are other options, such as PP1, which is ‘Movie’ gamma. You can use it straight out of camera, although we had good results increasing the black level by about +2 and reducing the saturation by the same amount. And for a picture profile that works with a small tweak in post, we had success with PP6, which is Cine 2. This is good for low contrast scenes, especially if you reduce the black level by about -10 and increase saturation to +10. It gives a more cinematic look with improved dynamic range, but doesn’t take as much work as a Log setting.

BELOW We put the Picture Profile settings to the top of one of the menu pages for easy access to Log recording


The specs say the camera can be set as high as ISO 409,600, but you’d be insane to try and use that for professional work. Unless you’ve managed to stumble across the Loch Ness monster going for a midnight swim, it’s just a theoretical number. The standard ISO range is from 80-102,400, which is expandable to 40 and 409,600. With a low- resolution yet modern sensor, capable of such ludicrously high ISO, you’d expect the low-light performance to be incredible. And it is very good, so you can dial up the ISO without toomany issues. And when noise does appear, it has an organic, filmic- type quality rather than being aggressively digital and horrid. Although we haven’t done back-to-back scientific tests, the Sony A7S III is right up there in terms of high ISO performance. But it’s not obviously leagues better than some other cameras that have higher resolution. Perhaps we just expected Sony to have somehow broken the rules of physics with this sensor.

ABOVE At ISO 32,000 in contrasty light, the Sony A7S III was very capable of relatively noise-free images



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