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Author Topic: Sony A7s and the medium format look - Am I the only one who cares?  (Read 8247 times)
AndreasH
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« on: June 19, 2014, 03:05:20 PM »
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Hi,

this is my first post in this forum, I actually registered to write it after reading Michael's A7s review.

At the current point in time, my main camera is an OM-D EM5. I changed to FT/MFT a while ago, at that time mainly driven by the ergonomics of the E-3 and the excellent price/performance ratio of the lenses, and since I was fallen in love with the L1 (still my backup body, with the great 12-50mm Leica zoom). But back to the OM-D... it's great and it's small, which is something I really like, but from time to time (mainly when shooting at night from a tripod) I want to use a "real" camera, with a real viewfinder and somewhat larger buttons, and then I borrow my wife's D700.

After my first sessions with the D700, I had the impression that it's pictures had a different look, much more "analog" than the ones out of my OM-D. I very much liked it, and it even reminded me a bit of some of those pictures taken by medium format cameras. And since I was thinking about buying a full frame camera anyway, I searched on the web for other oppinions about this, mainly explanations, but regardless of the search terms I used, I did not find anything. I thought that the larger pixels of the D700 are the reason for this look, but I had the impression that I was the only one on this planet thinking about this. When I heard about the 12MP Sony, I was looking forward to seeing the first reviews, hoping that someone might comment on  something different than noise, pixel count or whatever seems to be the most important topics these days. You can imagine how happy I was, when I read Michael’s review, stating exactly what I was hoping to read.

So what’s the forums view on this, am I just exaggerating, is this something you usually just create by a special Photoshop filter (don't think so), or does it make a real difference for you as well? And do you know any other camera (apart from medium format), that creates this special look? My other candidate was the DF, since it has only 16MB, but I haven't read anything about the look its creating.

Andreas
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Paul2660
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2014, 07:17:27 PM »
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12MP, well, you can only do so much with that, if you are after prints.  So many just want it on the web, and never worry about a print. 

The 12Mp A7s, may look like MFD, but I don't believe that there is any magic yet that will get a print from it to the same look as a 60MP or 80MP back at 24 x 36 or even 20 x 30.  There may be, I just haven't found it yet.

This camera will shine for video and that is what Sony intended it for. 

No doubt the A7 family are a great lineup.

Paul

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Paul Caldwell
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scooby70
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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2014, 06:40:14 PM »
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12MP, well, you can only do so much with that, if you are after prints.  

How quickly we forget that not so long ago 12mp was the state of the art and we drooled over the prints... and before that people made wonderful prints with 8mp cameras... and before that...

Stop. What am I thinking, of course 12mp is waaaay too limiting.
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scooby70
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2014, 06:48:48 PM »
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So what’s the forums view on this, am I just exaggerating, is this something you usually just create by a special Photoshop filter (don't think so), or does it make a real difference for you as well? And do you know any other camera (apart from medium format), that creates this special look? My other candidate was the DF, since it has only 16MB, but I haven't read anything about the look its creating.

Andreas

Personally for me digital beats film, for me anyway. My Canon 20D and 5D, Panasonic G1 and GX7 and Sony A7 all produce images that surpass anything I got from film and I've never had anyone say "That image is way to digital." I never used MF though, just 35mm.
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Paul2660
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2014, 10:52:33 PM »
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How quickly we forget that not so long ago 12mp was the state of the art and we drooled over the prints... and before that people made wonderful prints with 8mp cameras... and before that...

Stop. What am I thinking, of course 12mp is waaaay too limiting.

Yes, waaaaay to limiting for sure.

Paul
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Paul Caldwell
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Alistair
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2014, 01:42:52 AM »
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What also looks very interesting to me about the 7s is that Steve Huff is reporting that it does not produce edge colour shifts with problematic WA lenses such as the Voigtlander 15mm.
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allegretto
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2014, 08:40:30 PM »
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does anyone care…? Srusly…?

I sure "care" (about many things in fact), but now we are talking about D700 images looking like MF…?

Hard to know what you're asking about. The a7s is about the most interesting thing out of Sony since the RX-1 for me. I love available light pics so it is downright fascinating. . But I would be very surprised if someone thinks it looks like MF.



« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 08:43:07 PM by allegretto » Logged
allegretto
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2014, 08:41:45 PM »
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12MP, well, you can only do so much with that, 

This camera will shine for video and that is what Sony intended it for. 

Paul



Oh… Riiiight...
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EgillBjarki
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2014, 03:04:11 PM »
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I personally don't see any medium format look to the A7s photos out there. Looks like a FF camera output to me. The pixel size should help with the high ISO and translates to less processing with 4K video. For some reason, test sites have A7R scoring higher with dynamic range, I did not expect that.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2014, 07:33:11 PM »
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Hi,

What DxO mark shows is relatively low DR at low ISO and pretty good DR at higher ISOs, a bit like Canon, but different. I don't have the slightest idea why and how.

I am skeptical about that MF look. I shoot MF and I don't see that MF look, really.

Of course, fat pixels will always look sharper at actual pixels than smaller pixels.

I also assume that the A7s has a decent level of OLP filtering, which MFD does not have.

Best regards
Erik


I personally don't see any medium format look to the A7s photos out there. Looks like a FF camera output to me. The pixel size should help with the high ISO and translates to less processing with 4K video. For some reason, test sites have A7R scoring higher with dynamic range, I did not expect that.
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Hulyss
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2014, 04:53:03 AM »
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Well ...

I own quite a lot of gear from APS-C to MF and in Nikon line I have the D700 and the D800. The D700 is unique in his rendering and the files are printing very good even in A0 cropped in 3:4... Actually if I want to sell a body, it would be the D800.

12 MP, correctly framed, will give plenty to any photographers. It is a different approach of the picture, more focused on the composition, contrasts and colors than the details.

So the A7s might be a real gem for a lot of photographers.

I personally do not like A7 series because of the lack of lenses for now. It would be very cool from Nikon to make a D700 body with the A7s sensor... D700s
« Last Edit: June 26, 2014, 04:55:47 AM by Hulyss » Logged

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KirbyKrieger
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2014, 10:02:28 AM »
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The D700 is unique in his rendering

Can you expand on that?  In what way is it unique?  What sets it apart?

I think that will help answer the OP's question, and return the discussion to his/her concerns.
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JV
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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2014, 10:56:05 AM »
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I personally do not like A7 series because of the lack of lenses for now.

The lens roadmap does look impressive though.

I am also not considering the A7 series for the same reason right now but this could change very quickly...
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2014, 12:24:28 PM »
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Hi,

I have made a lot of really good images with 12 MP APS-C and I was also quite happy with A2 size prints. So, yes I feel 12 MP is good enough for A2.

Best regards
Erik

Well ...

I own quite a lot of gear from APS-C to MF and in Nikon line I have the D700 and the D800. The D700 is unique in his rendering and the files are printing very good even in A0 cropped in 3:4... Actually if I want to sell a body, it would be the D800.

12 MP, correctly framed, will give plenty to any photographers. It is a different approach of the picture, more focused on the composition, contrasts and colors than the details.

So the A7s might be a real gem for a lot of photographers.

I personally do not like A7 series because of the lack of lenses for now. It would be very cool from Nikon to make a D700 body with the A7s sensor... D700s
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Hulyss
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2014, 12:46:56 PM »
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Can you expand on that?  In what way is it unique?  What sets it apart?

I think that will help answer the OP's question, and return the discussion to his/her concerns.

Yes of course !

It is unique because it is one of the few existing 12 Mp 24x36 sensor who still run today. Physically speaking, the sensor have big photo sites and micro lenses. I think the micro lenses have a good impact on the texture of the photography. In the example you will find HERE, just check at 100 % above the shoulders. You will notice a sort of "grain" which is really like film. This have nothing to do with the lens used. This is the visible pattern of the sensor. It is why 12 MP (or 10 Mp from Canon) are very CCD like, in term of final IQ.

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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2014, 08:40:23 PM »
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In the example you will find HERE, just check at 100 % above the shoulders. You will notice a sort of "grain" which is really like film. This have nothing to do with the lens used. This is the visible pattern of the sensor.
of simply parameters of your raw conversion (NR & sharpening)... you might want to illustrate 6 stops of DR advantage MF look ("visible pattern of the sensor"... I saw examples of banding when shadows pushed with some cameras or artefacts from PDAF modified toppings or from "sensor stitching" - but to call what that JPG shows "above shoulders" a sensor pattern ?) w/ a raw file that can be checked using software like rawdigger or RPP
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Hulyss
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« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2014, 06:17:55 AM »
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The sensor pattern, is a sort of translucent grain on top of the picture. Any D700 Nef have it whatever settings in ViewNX. It as nothing to do with noise or banding.
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Fine_Art
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« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2014, 11:22:45 AM »
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Yes of course !

It is unique because it is one of the few existing 12 Mp 24x36 sensor who still run today. Physically speaking, the sensor have big photo sites and micro lenses. I think the micro lenses have a good impact on the texture of the photography. In the example you will find HERE, just check at 100 % above the shoulders. You will notice a sort of "grain" which is really like film. This have nothing to do with the lens used. This is the visible pattern of the sensor. It is why 12 MP (or 10 Mp from Canon) are very CCD like, in term of final IQ.



Are you saying you like pixelation on your images? All you have to do is downsample. I do not associate low resolution with "CCD like" rendering. Maybe you can restate what you are trying to say. It seems like a vague idea that falls apart when written down. We all have those. It helps us get to deeper understanding.
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« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2014, 04:05:36 PM »
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In the example you will find HERE, just check at 100 % above the shoulders. You will notice a sort of "grain" which is really like film.
Looks more like a digital file to me.
How you process an image determines how 'film like' it will be, I find.
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AndreasH
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« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2014, 04:28:50 PM »
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Ok... before this post goes the usual way of people shouting at each other, simply because they don't understand the meaning of a certain statement or just fundamentally disagree, I'd like to state that Hulyss describes exactly what I was thinking (and thanks to KirbyKrieger for picking this up while I was travelling). There is something in the "look" of the D700 pictures which sets them apart from the others, and I honestly don't care about the reason, since I have no intentions of building an own camera. And I'd never dared to compare it to MF (since this is holy land:-), if someone like Michael hadn't written this. So I will take a look at the 7s once it's around and take it from there.

Btw, I recently did some very nice looking A2 prints for my wife, so 12MP are ok, as far as I am concerned.

Andreas
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