I've owned my Sony A7Sii for about four months, and I am still learning new things about this fantastic camera all the time. Sony has packed it full of so many features, and many of them are either lacking documentation, or hidden away in a menu somewhere, waiting to be discovered. Today, I would like to share with you a cool workaround I discovered that enables you to shoot with your camera in APS-C/Super35mm crop sensor mode, WHILE shooting in 4K.
Before I get into the workaround, let me explain crop sensor mode. When Sony release the A7 series of full frame mirrorless cameras, they knew that many of their users did not have lenses that would work with that sensor size. Lenses like Nikon DX, Canon EF-S, and many Super35mm cinema lenses are only made for cameras with a cropped sensor that is approximately 1.5x smaller than full frame. To enable these lenses to work with the A7 series, Sony created the APS-C/Super35mm crop sensor mode. When enabled, this feature causes the camera to read from a 1.5x smaller portion of the sensor, one that perfectly fits the APS-C mode. This enabled photographers and cinematographers to use a massive variety of lenses without needing to buy a separate cropped sensor camera body.
When Sony released the A7Sii in October of last year, many people assumed that the APS-C/Super35mm crop sensor mode would be available and it was, with one major caveat. Because of the sensor size of the camera, it was unable simultaneously record 4K, while reading a smaller crop of the sensor. To put it as simple as possible, the 12 megapixel sensor of the A7Sii lacks the pixels to be 1.5x smaller, and record a 3840x2160 image. While the crop sensor mode was still available when shooting 1080p, many people, myself included, were upset that some of our lenses would be unusable on the A7Sii while recording in 4K.
I am pleased to announce that after doing some testing, I have discovered a workaround that enables you to use all of your APS-C/Super35mm lenses, while shooting in 4K on the A7Sii. This video should easily explain how to enable the feature. If you have any questions or comments, please leave one below, or get in touch through my website, whoismatt.com
I hope this video has helped you. If you are considering buying the A7Sii, I would recommend watching my review of the A7Sii for wedding cinematographers at youtube.com/watch?v=LTgjWNSI6Og. I have a long list of ideas for future tutorials, reviews, and tips that will help you become a better wedding cinematographer, and I hope to release a new one very soon.
Using some test footage from a preproduction GH4 model with an early firmware (0.5), I conducted a series of quick grading presets tests to discover the latitude of the GH4’s footage when it comes to grading.
There’s a significant improvement over the GH3 due to:
1- GH4 has a flat cinema color profile (CineD) which offers more latitude especially in the highlights and shadows.
2- GH4 quadrupled the bit rate of the GH3 at 50FPS from 50 Mbps to 200 Mbps. Quite a step up...!!!
Edited in Final cut X using the following plugins:
Color Grading Central – LUT Utility colorgradingcentral.com/lututility
This is a great tool that lets you apply 3D LUTs to your footage from within FCPX.
In this test I’ve used both LUTs to emulate film stock and looks.
Motion VFX - mLooks motionvfx.com/mplugs-30.html
Another great tool to let you apply a look emulating famous Hollywood looks or famous film processes.
This plugin would usually push the footage to its limits as it’s much more dramatic impact compared to applying a simple Film emulator LUT. Yet, the GH4 footage seems to have accepted the challenge.
I’ve tweaked each look slightly to achieve those results.
Film Convert filmconvert.com
This is a genius plugin that would offer your digital footage an instant authentic Film Stock look. The guys at Film Convert have mapped the most common digital cameras in the market as well as the most common film stocks used in the industry to offer you the closest film look match based on your camera profile.
Yet you can get really interesting results when you start mixing different camera inputs that do not match your camera profile to different film stocks.
Again, the GH4 was holding perfectly and offered very interesting results.
Lens: Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm 2.8 (Equivilant to 24-70mm on full frame)
FullHD 1080 50FPS 200 Mbps
Shot at 2.8 180D Shutter Angle (Equivalent to 1/100 Shutter speed)
Color Profile Cine D
Master pedestal +10
internal recording on SD 45Mb/s Sandisk card
Editing & Grading:
Edited on Final Cut Pro X 10.1.1
Conformed to a 24FPS timeline.
Minor saturation and exposure tweaks from within FCPX were applied.
Check out the Cine Lenses from Rokinon! Get yours from Filmtools now! http://is.gd/FTRokinonLenses
The Rokinon Cine Lenses are of outstanding optical quality, each featuring a de-clicked aperture ring, and built-in follow focus gear rings. They all have a fast maximum aperture of T/1.5, and are all compatible with a full-frame camera. These are manual focus cinema lenses that provide robust durability, sharp images, and smooth control.
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