Field Report: Sony a7S II S-Log2 vs S-Log3 Test

Field Report: Sony a7S II S-Log2 vs S-Log3 Test

The Sony a7S II has a couple of neat features that make it a worthy upgrade over its predecessor. It still has the same class-leading low-light performance but adds in-camera 4K recording and a new S-Log3 shooting mode – something that’s typically found on Sony’s more expensive video cameras. This clearly makes the Mark II version of the a7S as a very video-centric ILC, so we took it out to see just how different the S-Log3 mode was from the S-Log2. For this test, we used a Sigma 24-105mm f/4 lens. Camera settings were as follows: Exposure: ISO 1600, f/8, 1/50th of a second Framerate: 24 FPS WB: Daylight Codec: X-AVCS 100 MB/s All footage is straight out of camera, with no color or exposure adjustments. So, what did we find? Well, S-Log3 really is noticeably flatter than S-Log2. Moreover, it doesn’t seem to increase noise at ISO 1600 over S-Log2 mode, which I’d expected at least in the shadow areas. I see no reason not to shoot in S-Log3 unless you’re looking to match footage with other cameras that don’t have this mode. Further, the S-Gamut3.Cine gamma profile seems to offer a slightly less contrasty image than S-Gamut3 alone. The difference is small in many cases but, occasionally, it is noticeable. Finally, – and this might be just my perception – S-Log3 seems to expose about a quarter to a third stop brighter than S-Log2. Again, this might absolutely just be my perception of the increased flatness, but it certainly feels that way. What do you folks think? Anyone going to switch from shooting S-Log2 to S-Log3? Questions...
Color Grading Made Eas(ier) with FilmConvert

Color Grading Made Eas(ier) with FilmConvert

The field of film emulation software has some pretty well-established players in both the video and stills worlds. On the still photography side, there’s Google’s Nik Collection software, VSCO’s Film Series of plugins, and a variety of others. On the video side, however, things are… somewhat more complex (as all things video generally are). For starters, there isn’t just one way to get your footage looking like film. LUTs, or Lookup Tables, are an easy way to add film-like color and gamma settings to footage, while scanned blank negatives of 35mm film are converted to digital files and made available from a variety of vendors for you to overlay on your footage (here’s a particularly nice selection of free grain scans from various companies). Other software packages like Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Suite and FilmConvert can act as plugins for apps like Premiere, After Effects, and Davinci Resolve. In this article, we’ll be looking at FilmConvert in particular, as it has turned into one of my favorite color grading tools. Why FilmConvert? When I first started shooting video, I was pretty surprised by the restrictions imposed on me by the limitations of the codec, bit rate, depth, and resolution of files I was working with. Being used to RAW files that can have the white balance and exposure (among other things) adjusted to a pretty wide degree, having to deal with what was somewhat like a JPEG file in its flexibility was a bit jarring. After all, I came from the world of Lightroom, Capture One, and Photoshop, which made image manipulation almost ridiculously easy. Imagine my surprise when...
Using ND Filters for Video

Using ND Filters for Video

There are more than a dozen Neutral Density filters available under the Video section of our website, ranging from screw-on fixed-value ND filters to high-end Schneider rectangular filters for matte box stages. In this video, we walk you through why you’ll want an ND filter when shooting video and what your options...
Understanding Video Resolutions

Understanding Video Resolutions

SD. HD. Full HD. Quad HD. UHD. 4K. DCI4K. Something-point-something-K. Video resolutions are confusing enough for consumers but as a content creator they are even more confounding. Here at BorrowLenses, we carry cameras that shoot everything from 720p HD all the way out to 6K. That variety can be somewhat confusing when you’re trying to sort out just which camera you need to rent and what resolution to actually shoot at once you’ve rented it. And that’s before you begin diving into the world of aspect ratios, too. This article will try and demystify that morass a bit. Here goes. What’s a Resolution? For That Matter, What’s an Aspect Ratio? Let’s start with understanding exactly what we mean by “resolution.” Every digital video file has certain set dimensions, measured in the number of pixels. When you see something like “1920 X 1080” or 1080p, that is referring to the dimensions of that picture. In this example, it’s 1920 pixels wide, by 1080 pixels high. In the image below (and all the other examples included), I’ve taken a “true” 4K frame from a video shot on a Panasonic GH4 and outlined the various resolutions in red boxes for reference and comparison. Then there’s aspect ratio to consider. Most TV programming, as well as a lot of what you see online, is in the aspect ratio of 16:9. If you divide 1920 by 1080, your are left with 16/9 as your end result – that is the ratio of horizontal pixels to vertical pixels. This particular aspect ratio is also known as “Widescreen” and is currently the most used on TV...
In-Camera Time-Lapse Photography Resource and Guide

In-Camera Time-Lapse Photography Resource and Guide

Fast-disappearing are the days of having to have a separate interval timer to create time-lapses. Many cameras now have built-in intervalometers. The following is a guide to setting up the time-lapse function for most cameras. 1. What is a Time-Lapse? 2. What Gear Do I Need for a Time-Lapse? 3. Notable Cameras with Built-in Interval Timers 4. What Settings Do I Need for a Time-Lapse? 5. For How Long Should I Make My Time-Lapse? 6. Time-Lapse Instructions By Camera 7. How to Put Together Your Time-Lapse What is a Time-Lapse? Time-lapses are comprised of a bunch of pictures of the same thing taken over a long period of time. You then display them quickly in sequence when you’re done. The result is a little “movie” that displays a slow passage of time quickly. Time-lapses are a great way to show how a kid grows, how a flower dies, how stadiums fill up, how the weather changes, and even how the Earth rotates! Most of time, though, you just want to show something simple made interesting, like the sun setting rapidly or the bustle of traffic. Time-lapses also make good scene fillers for larger visual projects. Pay attention and you’ll start noticing them everywhere, from the credits of TV shows to commercials and music videos. What Gear Do I Need for a Time-Lapse? Before we get into interval sequencing, it is important to understand some basic fundamentals of time-lapse photography. Consistency is key. You will need the following: • A tripod or other very stable environment. • A lens with manual focus. • Distance from random light sources (for example, don’t turn your...