First serious Panasonic GH4 contender, the Sony A7s 4K.

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Well, this was a short time alone. The GH4 will get a companion very soon! Tomorrow Sony will announce the Full Frame A7s that can record 4K videos too! I don’t know the specs and how bad or good the quality will be. All I know is that it should be more expensive than the Panasonic GH4 and that it’s likely to record 4K at a much lower bitrate and a less good codec (the consumer XAVCs).  Also there is a slightly crop mode on the A/s so it’s not even a “pure” FF. I don’t think Panasonic has to worry about that new competition…

More info at MirrorlessRumors.com. MR will also host a live stream event if you are curious to see the new cam.

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  • Viezevure

    The Sony is not a contender. Its the FF boss over the M43 size sensor.

    • Sigma82

      U again? LoL
      Ok ok, I can give u ur daily reassurance that u did the right thing to buy FF. Screw that crap m43, they are toys for kids and girls, not pros like u dude!
      Keep rockin’ with ur Pro stuff!!

    • Ramayana

      Sony needs lenses to be a contender. Right now it’s just an R&D centre for its sensor customers.

      • Sakaphoto Graphics

        They’re supposedly announcing several lenses also.

      • Joe Gunawan

        Depends on how you shoot. I’ve done a lot w/ the 55mm Zeiss as well as the Alpha mount Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro when it comes to my fashion/product shoots.

        There’s now a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm, plus a fast aperture portrait lens coming up.

        • Ramayana

          Correct. Not everyone does fashion. I do reportage with 28mm and 135mm. Not there. I sometimes do macro. Not there either. Just because you are satisfied don’t deny us of our needs, eh.

    • Seizure

      hey admin…. more than late to ban a certain idiot…. is that hard?

    • JHM

      Do you shoot full frame Viezevure?

    • Jules

      Yes, do you shoot cats, your beer glass alone at the bar and selfies with a full frame Viezevure?

    • Seizure

      It is not going to answer… it is a troller, a f****** coward by definition… with no sustainable argumentation… it’s a nerd that looks to the sensor instead of the picture…

      • NerdBuster

        What language, you felt stung huh? And what about your syntax? US education?

  • Ramayana

    Another new camera from Sony eh. At this rate Sony will maintain a ratio of 1:2 for its cameras against native lenses. Snark.

    • Federico Zaza

      For their APS/C doesn’t exist a good wide angle- prime lens after 4 years. There’s a an ultra wide angle from Zeiss…. But it’s too wide for many applications .

      • MdB

        And what is better on m43’s? Where are their UWA primes?

        • An 8.5mm f2.8, sometime this summer (2014). Right here:
          http://kowa-prominar.com/special/wide_lens/index.htm

          That’s one at least … and that’s still one more than Sony E or EF mount.

          • MdB

            Uhm, no, Sony have 1 x 10mm, 2 x 12mm options and 1 x 14mm… right now… thats 4 more than m43’s have for all their ‘it’s such a complete system and Sony are crap talk’. But keep believing if you want.

            • Dummy00001

              > Sony have 1 x 10mm, 2 x 12mm options and 1 x 14mm.

              What lenses you are talking about? I assume you have converted this into m43 crop factor??

              The only 14mm (10mm in your notation) NEX has, is the Rokinon. Non-native manual focus lens.

              Next I assume is 16mm (12mm in your notation) pancake which is even worse than mediocre.

              And the only other WA I see is the 10-18mm lens. Which it is pretty good, but not so much, when measuring it to the m43 equivalent – Pana 7-14mm. IQ-wise it is in ballpark of the Oly 9-18mm, but larger and more expensive.

              As for the m43… I’ll just leave the link to the matching simulator which lists all the m43 lenses: http://four-thirds.org/en/special/matching.html

              • Vlad

                There’s also the 12mm Zeiss. Nothing similar in the m43 world, unfortunately. As to the 10-18, it is actually closer to the 7-14, cheaper, stabilized and lighter :)

            • 12mm isn’t ultra-wide, it’s only a 24mm equivalent on M4/3.

              BTW, there are two M4/3 12mms… Oly f2 and SLR Magic 12mm T1.6.
              Unfortunately, there’s nothing wider at this point. And let’s not forget the Panasonic 14mm f2.5.

              Isn’t there a Rokinon 10mm f2.8, also? Although it’s an adapted APSC lens, not really a native M4/3. But I guess it sort of counts.;-)

    • B

      If Sony only had 4 or 5 native lenses all in a similar focal range like micro 4/3 they would be set right. Not speaking for everybody and I don’t even own a sony but this statement is played out. How many lenses does one really need. Nikon has plenty of lenses but most people only need a few. I think it is great that all companies are pushing forward with new products. I don’t care who makes what. These are exciting times so just sit back and enjoy the choices available today instead of ranting on about what is better or worse.

      • Anonymous

        The point of offering a complete lens line-up is not that any one photographer needs them all. It’s not about satisfying gear collectors. It’s about having lots of options, for different use cases and at different price points. Most people maybe use a handful of lenses at most, but it’s not the same handful of lenses for everyone. There are many different types of photography, after all.

      • Ramayana

        It wasn’t a rant. It was an observation. As to how many native lenses you need: you’re not the only customer, and not everyone wants the same thing as you or me.

        • B

          Yes, I understand that. I also agree that m4/3 is a more complete system. It just seems ridiculous that there has to be a “better than your” attitude on every single one of these posts lately.

      • Dummy00001

        > How many lenses does one really need.

        That’s the point! Just look at the Fuji X vs. NEX. Fuji has delivered full and consistent lens line-up in under three year. Sony’s offering after four years is still patchy at best: in the FL coverage, a mediocre cheap APS-C stands next to uber expensive Zeiss. In NEX-land IQ and price are simply unpredictable. While we here in m43 cherry picking the fine details of portrait lenses, on NEX forums people are gathering courage to fork off $$$$ for Zeiss glass. I prefer former problem to the later.

      • Joe Gunawan

        Seriously. So much fanboyism here. I have both the GH3 and the a7R, and I enjoy both of them just as much. I use them differently as they are different tools.

        Sure, Sony can use more E-mount lenses, but I think they really are banking on the FF E-system. And so far, they, 3 out of 5 lenses are stellar (70-200 f/4 already touted as very sharp according to DxO).

        • Ironymous

          It’s a m43 rumours site, what do you expect. We back our chosen horses because that is what humans do. Do you expect crowds to cheer for both teams at a football game, too?

          • Football

            This is not a football game, you are supporting cynical multinationals that give you as little as they can, while taking from you as much as they can. To top this, M43 multinationals give you particularly little, in return for particularly silly prices.

  • Dave

    Agree with your point about the less good codec (.e. XAVCs). But your “not even a pure FF” pt and hence Panasonic has nth to worry about is ludicrous. Even if the the A7s using a “slightly crop mode” (rumored to be a 1.1X crop mode) when shooting 4K, still WAY bigger than the M4/3 sensor on the GH4 (equivalent to a ~2X crop mode).

  • Federico Zaza

    Sony isn’t a contender. It’s not a system. M4/3 is a great photographic system. I’m happy to have sold A7r and 55 f1.8 and get back to m4/3 ( Panasonic GX7, great camera…)

    • Denis Mamaev

      If Image quality is not important, than why not to back to M4/3. I know what I’m talking about, I was 4/3 camera user and now I own Sony cameras)

      • Dave

        If image quality is not important you should stick with your smartphone.

      • Denis

        You have a Sony now you have image quality….. hahahaha….

      • SmellyCat

        So image quality has all to do with the system? Yes, you know what you’re talking about.

      • Joe Gunawan

        I actually own both the Sony a7R and the GH3. I definitely notice a big jump in image quality and now use the a7R exclusively for my fashion/beauty/commercial work. I still have the GH3 for video, though.

        For me, it’s not even just the full-frame sensor. It’s also about the megapixel, lack of AA filter, much better and more accurate colors (especially skin), and greater dynamic range.

        My favorite images that I’ve created were from a Phase One IQ180 and the a7R comes closest to it. I also don’t mind shooting the a7R a bit like a medium format camera – slower and more deliberate, and with only a few lenses (currently own the 55mm and an Alpha-mount Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro). I don’t need 20 different lenses for what I shoot.

        They’re tools, guys, not just hardware to drool over ;)

        PS. I haven’t added my a7R images on my website yet (www.fotosiamo.com), but here’s an example of a shot I did w/ the a7R: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B5z9ggEcvy77SUFUSDFqQTFTRTA&usp=sharing

    • MdB

      Let’s see, they’ve got in m43’s terms:

      14-35mm f1.8-2.8
      12-35mm f2
      35-100mm f2
      27.5mm f0.95
      17.5mm f1.4

      As it’s first 5 lenses… yeah I can just imagine all the m43’s fanboys wetting themselves over such AF lenses for m43’s, but no, you’re right, Sony’s system is crap ;)

      • Dummy00001

        Oh. For a moment I thought you were serious.

        Nope.

        Just another equivalency troll.

        • FrankG

          There is sadly an eternal need for reminders about equivalency here and in any mFT forum used by { mainly } Olympus fantards . Who cannot grasp one of the most basic and fundamental facts of imaging. Though at least you have the proper user ID lol

        • Orange

          Correct. You can see from her other posts it’s a troll.

      • Fred G

        To be fair the 24-70mm is damn poor for that price and the 28-70 is just damn poor the 35mm is a good performer and the 55 is the only real star amongst them.

  • MdB

    You have to be joking right!? So you know what bit rate it uses do you Admin?

    I laugh when you say it’s a 1.1x crop so ‘not really FF’… Errr you know that the GH4 is a 2.3x crop in 4K mode right? I mean that is your business. So it isn’t really m43’s according to you Yeah? Laughable, typical m43’s fanboyism.

    • spaceman

      +1 – what a fanboy comment from the admin of this site. Of course there will be a slight crop as FF is a stills format and video is best in 16:9.

      Exactly GH4 will have a 2.3x crop in video…strange remark by admin.

      Also XAVCs is not a codec admin, it is a format using H.264 codec… the format seems to be supporting 4K in 60FPS which is 150Mbps, which should satisfy most people especially with the clean HDMI option on the side.

      • Orange

        Why all these trolls around at the moment?

        • spaceman

          Who’s trolling?! H.264/MPEG-4 is a coding technology. XAVC(s) is a video format using H.264. Read the literature.

    • pizza4D

      I believe the GH4 is even a 2.5x crop in Cine 4K and a 2.6x crop in regular 16:9 4K.
      Since they gave up on multi-aspect-ratio sensors, even a regular 16:9 crop of the MFT sensor area for 1080p already makes the crop factor 2.2, so the factor gets even larger with the 4K video crop.

    • James70094

      You shouldn’t laugh since you your post shows you don’t understand what you are talking about. The reference to a 1.1x crop is in regards to a Super35 sensor used for cinema work, not a 135 sensor for stills. That means the 4/3 sensor wouldn’t be a 2.3x crop since a Super35 sensor is 24X13mm and not 36X24mm.

  • ZZ VISUAL

    Regardless of the topic “FF/4K as competition for M43/4K”, I suppose it is technically-justified move to limit motion pictures/video-oriented cameras by 12MP. I really would prefer 12MP and less crop in 4K instead of 16MP on GH4. Nikon/Canon do it on the D series. Of course, there is probably an economic obstacle that Panasonic does dot maintain two lines of sensors (one for stills and one for motion oriented cams).

    • When Panasonic opted for the Sony sensor in the GH3 because the one that would be used on the GX7 wasn’t ready, it was clear that Panasonic did not have the same economical power in their sensor/camera division. Had they had it, they would had done a new multi-aspect sensor for the GH3, same thing for the GH4, it would had been a new sensor which allows even the 1.86x crop in 16:9 for UHD 1:1 pixel count, but Panasonic doesn’t have the same power as Sony does.

  • MarcoSartoriPhoto

    I’m curious to see the. ISO performance of the 12 megapickles sensor.

    • Vivek

      Bound to be very salty. That is a lot of pickles! ;)

  • Joe

    If Sony comes out with the FF 12mp 4K A7s E mount camera then I will cancel my GH4 pre-order since I have all the lenses I need that I use with my FF 24mp VG900.

    • madmax

      You happy with that VG900?
      Not many positive reviews in the wild…

  • Sakaphoto Graphics

    For all the interesting owners’ comments I’ve read about the poor, slow way that the A7/A7R work in real life, I can’t imagine that dropping half the pixels to do 4K video will make their camera body work better. They need to put a much more powerful processor into it.

    • MdB

      Uhm, actually it has everything to do with sensor resolution and size…

      • Markthetog

        Umm… actually you are wrong. It is actually about IQ.

  • noddybrown

    This was inevitable and I’m sure Panasonic knew it. We’ll see how good the implementation is. In general though, the camera will likely be $3000+, with larger and somewhat more expensive lenses. Also with a full frame sensor, focusing at 4K will be more difficult. The Sony will likely have significantly better low light performance though with the larger sensor and smaller number of megapixels.

    Since I’m primarily interested in telephoto uses, the price and sensor size of the sony make it of limited interest to me.

  • Markthetog

    So?… phones have 4K now. The real question is what commitment are they making? Panasonic and its GH4 represent a huge investment in this field while so far Sony has been a so-so collection of tech and marketing hype. Clearly they did not get the memo on lens selection.

    • deadlock

      Well, the resolution alone doesn’t guarantee there’s enough detail to be captured.

  • Abraham Latchin

    Still all this FF nonsense. Lets make a comparison between the video from the A99 and the GH3, as far as Kirk Tuck goes, he felt the video in the GH3 was better… Now maybe this camera has stepped up a notch, but so has the GH4.

    As for image quality… how many times does this have to be said, you can only get better image quality from a FF syste, if you are prepared to exchange DoF for noise performance. So you can use f2.8 vs f2.8 and ISO 800 vs ISO 800 and the FF system will have less noise and shallower DoF. But when you need the same shot and use f5.6 ISO 3200 vs f2.8 ISO 800 you have the same DoF (thus the same shot) and in many scenarios your IQ will be a hair worse using the larger sensor system (this bears out even comparing even the top of the line Nikon with the EM5):

    It is this reason that so many are confused as to why FF doesnt always represent better IQ in practice. Now if you prefer shallow DoF (and relate that to better IQ) then you have a better system in FF as you can shoot at larger apertures, have shallower DoF and lower noise… But you are not taking the same picture so why bother comparing.

    • Markthetog

      Considering that we are talking about video where ultimate IQ is far harder to determine, m43 acquits itself superbly with far cleaner output at the get go. That plus Panasonic’s attention to the video output means that there are currently no FF cameras that match the GH4. Also remember that the bulk of cinematic filming was done on super 35 and smaller so we already are familiar with a deeper DOF and for the most part it is not an issue.

      • Duarte Bruno

        You are absolutely right but that is pretty much bound to change with this challenge from Sony.
        Panasonics’ video edge has always been the full binning, which the Sony has now turned obsolete. The IQ will be there to start with and unless Sony has made a complete mess out of the codec, they will have the edge now.
        These are exciting times for the amateur/enthusiast videographer.

    • mFTeeHeeHEE

      Other than very specific niche shooting mainly low light moving subjects where you need extensive DOF your claim is a major exaggeration. For Low light static shoots you can shoot whatever combo you want { using tripod/gorilla pod/etc or mage stabilization if needed you get FF lenses with image stabilization going from 16mm -1200mm { 1800mm in crop mode}. In normal/decent/good lighting you can shoot at whatever shutter speed you want. The areas where deep DOF is most used such as landscape are often carried out with wider than normal angle lenses , which have huge DOF even on FF even a superfast 28mm @ F1.4 can give you DOF from about 30 feet to infinity.

      So you need to stretch reality to find an example where at best mFT can compete with FF .As for your comparison the E-M5 over states its ISO by almost a full stop. Dpreview do not control lighting in their studio shot so they are not reliable { note that at every ISO the D4 manages to achieve higher shutter speed at the same aperture and ISO.But who knows maybe the 99% of pro sport shooters who use Canon/Nikon just don’t know that mFT is just as good or more likely you are talking nonsense

      • HF

        The Canon and Nikon FF prime lenses I used don’t have image stabilisation.
        He has a point, there is a region of overlap, where what he describes happens.
        Although I have a 85mm/1.8g on a Nikon D610 and 45/1.8 on the Olympus (or 50mm 1/.4 via adapter) for most close-up portraits of people (animals and kids especially) I use the range f3-f5.6 most of the time (f4 the mean value), since I don’t want to have only one eye in focus. Same for group shots. For larger distances FF delivers, since I separate the subject more easily, the same for creative effects (I leave aside dynamic range, tonality etc., but the dynamic range of the OMD is not so bad when compared to Canon DSLRs).
        Nevertheless, dynamic range tonality and the OPTION for shallow DOF let me keep my FF camera. But 90% of my shots are almost indistinguishably from both cameras, for small to moderate print sizes for most of my photography. For others it may be different. So be careful to generalise.

      • Abraham Latchin

        Just a note, your comment about the “overstating” its ISO values are the same uneducated nonsense spouted by those who dont understand DXO mark.

        Suffice to say, from n experienced multi system user, the shutterspeed is no different for the same settings on both cameras… obviously beyond minor metering/exposure differences.

        • Bollox

          And this is the level of M43 marketing: some ignorant embittered trolls… You do know you are funny, right? I mean, unwittingly amusing.

          • Abraham Latchin

            Glad you find me funny, I can see you now, giggling like a little girl.

      • Bollox

        I think those *basterds* who shoot Canon and Nikon are all wrong. M43 is the real thing, and it bends the laws of physics!

    • Bollox

      Finally a M43 fan who understands equivalencies. However, there is still a lot missing: for example, a larger sensor shoots better pictures because of the magnification effect; or, a larger sensor puts up with cheaper lenses; or, a larger sensor system is cheaper when one requires shallower depth of fields.
      All this and more will make the larger sensor vomit on any mini four thirds sensor, and this is not suddenly going to change. So nobody is going to be “confused” because FF “is not the best in practice” LOL. Funny marketing nerd…

      • Abraham Latchin

        Oh look who it is… So in your mind camera sensors can vomit? Pretty much says it all.

  • Dummy00001

    If Sony does a good job with the video quality/inputs/outputs, it might be a hit. They have all the tech and skill required. The question is whether they are brave enough to let it compete against their own video cameras.

  • churnmaster

    I bet Canon c100 blows all of these out the water with it’s combination of full frame sensor, superb lowlight…built in xlr and is down converting 4k from the sensor to 1080…

  • As a 4K camera, it will compete with the GH4 but this should be double the price, so I think Sony’s move is aiming 5D much more than it’s aiming at the GH4. The highlight of this A7S is that with 12MP in 3:2 ratio, it will get 1:1 pixel in a 1.1x UHD size, it should be great for low light. Can Sony deliver a codec that doesn’t cripple the camera? The XAVC-S that Sony uses in the AX100 is at 60mbps but the one use on the AX1 is 100mbps (25p/30p)and 150mbps (50p/60p), so Sony can opt for higher bitrate is they so choose to.

    Another question is if Sony will apply the same intelligent encoding as the GH4 that does all the processing pipeline with 10-bit 4:2:2 only to deliver a 8-bit 4:2:0 in the final stage of the processing, which allows a true 10-bit 4:2:2 HDMI output, something that not many, if any, photovideo camera does.

    With Sony the question is all about if Sony is going to delivery or not, Sony usually goes for anything that looks good on marketing, like calling a bad video camera like the A99 as the Best Hybrid or using big megapixels numbers but this time, if the 12MP sensor is true, Sony might be for real in delivering it but with Sony I’ve learned that although I won’t doubt them, I only believe it when I see it.

  • Jørgen

    Just a great move by Sony. They are making good camerabodies, THe 1″sensor, the FF mirrorless and on top of that this…great move!! And rumoured…a MF cam a la RX1!!!
    I admire that

    Sorry that Sony lenses are not up to scratch though. HAlf of the system is done right, the other half mostly mediocre.

    m43s has the most complete system out there and easily so. But for someone like me, who likes to shoot landscapes, the MF especially is mighty interesting.

    A cliche: good to have competition.

  • Brett M

    HAI GUISE HAS ANYONE MENTIONED THAT DIFFERENT SENSOR SIZES GIVE DIFFERENT DEPTHS OF FIELD TODAY?

    Seriously, every single damn day it’s the same dead horse.

  • contender

    Sony a “contender”? Rather, the FF master to the teeny weeny slave.

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