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

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

The Sony a7SII 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 and feedback are always welcome in the comments below. Be sure to check out this post, where we took the Sony a7RII and the a7SII out to shoot in-camera 4K video and see if there was a huge difference between the two.

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Sohail Mamdani is a writer, filmmaker, and photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area.


  1. I’ve been really frustrated with the noise and skin tones shooting with the Sony especially in sLog 3 with this camera. It really hurts the quality when it raises it to 1600 ISO. Has anyone found a work around for this? I’ve had to shoot on PP2 and change all of its settings so I can keep the ISO down. I really was frustrated with the SLog3 footage when I brought it in, applied the LUT then started to grade and looked close at the colors and grain. I compared it it with HD 5D footage we were also filming with and I preferred the 5D even at HD. If they could get rid of the high ISO I think it would work. I was shooting in overcast mid day light. Really great conditions. If anyone has suggestions I’m all ears.

  2. Try overexposing by 2 stops, but be certain not to clip highlights in skin tones (or equivalent), and use the histogram to make sure it’s as full as possible. The more full the histogram, the less noise you’ll find on the image, even at a higher ISO.

  3. You over-expose by +2 but the way to not clip whites is to set zebra to IRE 107 and don’t let anything zebra unless it is literally a light source.


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