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
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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