Sony a7 III: The Perfect B-Cam?

I shared my latest a7 III video and some screengrabs with a respected filmmaker who shoots with the GH5s and asked for his opinion about the tonal transitions, color, noise, detail and highlight roll off.

I did not ask him to evaluate nonsense like ISO 100,000, or any other such pointless rubbish cluttering the Internet.

He said the shots felt like they needed some shadow adjustment, not the extreme shadows, but around the 20-25% luma mark or so; that colour felt a bit magenta overall; and that noise and detail looked good, as did highlight rolloff.

In other words, his evaluation of the image quality aligned perfectly with my own.

Because the footage looked as good as it did, he guessed I was using the HLG profile – yet I was shooting PP1, Cine2!

Anyhow, that’s coming from a person known for being extremely finnicky about image quality. And he was evaluating clips straight out of the camera, shot in mixed fluorescent/daylight, with no adjustment in post aside from dragging down the shadow wheel!

Debating the ‘film look’ is a rabbit hole. Suffice to say that the sensor in the a7 III itself outperforms those of many cinema cameras out on the market today, and that the 8-bit files look much better than some more robust ones – one downside being that they can’t withstand extreme grading.

The point being, the a7 III would make a great camera for budget filmmaking or as a B-cam – just as filmmakers have been doing with earlier a7* cameras for years.

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