Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sony A7 and A7r look good, but the RX10 is the one for video

The Sony A7 and A7r are trickling out, and we're starting to get a better idea how they perform as video cameras. It seems like the RX10 is the one for video (though at least one poster has reservations - see below.) At $1,298 the RX10 is not cheap, but it's considerably less than the A7 ($1,698) and A7r ($2,298).

It seems that if you're looking for a full-frame camera, the Canon 5D Mk III still does a better job in video than the A7r (that's disappointing.)

The RX10 is scoring because it has less moire and artifacting present in the footage compared to the A7's and it includes built in-ND filters. There's no interchangeable lenses, and the sensor is not as big as the other two, but it's small and light, (you can't have everything!)

Finally, it looks that the A7 and A7r video are very similar in quality, even though they use very different chips.

Sample video – comparing the Sony RX10, A7R and FS100 | EOSHD
Andrew Reid at EOSHD has posted a couple of pieces already about the A7's and the RX10, and also tweeted about what he's been doing:
The RX10 handles beautifully. The lens just feels fantastic. Never used such a nice aperture ring before on a fixed lens camera. In stepless mode it’s smooth and ultra precice.With active image stabilisation turned on you get a bit of a crop. With it set only to optical image stabilisation without the added electronic crop for extra stability, there’s no crop. It’s great to have two stabilisation options in the camera. With active stabilisation enabled it is approaching Olympus 5 axis IBIS for effectiveness.

On test – first impressions – Sony RX10 and A7R | EOSHD
However it’s the Sony RX10 that is arguably the most capable from a video perspective. The Sony RX10 is the most complete package we’ve had for a long time in terms of video on a stills camera. The camera it’s most comparable with is the GH3 paired with the top end Lumix 12-35mm F2.8 but it offers more…

Andrew Reid ‏@EOSHD
RX10 to @Blackmagic_News HyperDeck is producing some stunning images. I think we have a winner here!

New Sony A7 and A7r readers tests… | SonyAlphaRumors
Links to some sample video clips and some reader comments about the A7's and RX10:
On personal note, I am utterly shocked at the quality of the RX10 footage. It clearly surpasses the a7r and a7 not only in the image detail/moire test but matches it on the noise front and holds detail in the blacks better! Whatever Sony did to get that full-read-out of the 1″ chip on the RX10 is amazing, and I hope they find a way to implement that feature on APS-C/Super 35mm sensors in the near future!”

Sony A7r review | Camera Labs
Many speculated the A7 would be better at video, but in my tests below it's roughly the same in terms of noise, detail and moire, although when it comes to continuous AF the A7 was noticeably more confident thanks to its embedded phase detect AF points. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III remains the quality leader with cleaner and crisper video, suffering from zero moire in all of my samples.

The images from both are quite clean but do not resolve as well as video cameras like the C100 or Sony FS700. They also seem to exhibit fair amounts of aliasing and moire in common with cameras like the Sony NEX7, Alpha99 or Canon 7D. This is likely the result of the way pixel binning is used to downscale the high megapixel image captured by the sensor to HD resolution. 

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Review | Photography Blog
This review looks at the still camera capabilities, pretty much ignoring the video:
Offering excellent image quality, great build, speedy performance, and slick ease-of-use, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 is the best super-zoom camera currently on the market. Only you can decide if all of that is worth the the admittedly substantial investment - we'd strongly suggest that it is...

Sony RX10-first look | Cinema5D
But not everyone loves the RX10 it seems:
Most important, picture quality. This camera DOES have strong aliasing and even worse, kind of micro blocking in “low light parts of the picture” or when it comes to “fine structure” like hair.

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