While Canon is busy locking down its video product line with no 4K options in its DSLRs and spotty support for clean HDMI-output, Sony is throwing the kitchen sink into its cameras with each release cycle.
The latest evidence of Sony’s bold digital imaging market moves is in the new A7R II, which sports a 42.4MP full frame image sensor with internal 4K video capture using the Sony XAVC-S codec at 100Mbps. While this is solid performance for a camera as small as the A7R II, Sony leaves room for users to go a little more professional by enabling uncompressed HDMI output of the sensor’s 4K signal.
This allows devices like the Atomos Shogun to capture 4K video to 10-bit ProRes or DNxHR codecs at an impressive 880Mbps, which provides a loads of benefits over the A7R II’s internal 50:1 compression.
The Sony A7S was the first camera in the A7 series to support 4K video output over HDMI; however, it would not record 4K internally. The A7R II adds the internal 4K capture but keeps the ability to record externally.
Other advantages of using the Shogun with the A7R II include:
- S-Log2 Gamma and S-Gamut LUTs can be reviewed on the calibrated 7″ LCD monitor and adding the ability to preview looks buy uploading LUTs in a .cube format.
- Bypassing the 30min recording limit imposed on DSLR cameras by recording direct from the sensor.
- SSD recording media, that are faster and more than half the cost per GB compared to the SD cards used by the a7RII.
- The 4K recording, apart from being the native codec for NLEs, is also 4:2:2 color sampling and 10-bit color depth that enables the freedom in post production to integrate 10-bit effects and overlays.
- A 7″ monitor almost six times the area of the a7RII’s 3″ display, is the only way to truly set up Pro shots with features not available on the a7RII like 3D LUTs, 2:1 & 1:1 zoom for critical focus, vectorscope, false color and the ability to have ongoing color calibration using an optional Spyder unit.
- Ability to tag footage on the fly as Favorite/Reject ready for immediate integration into Final Cut Pro, Adobe or other NLE’s.
- With built in HDMI to SDI signal conversion the Shogun/a7RII combination can perfectly integrate into an existing SDI workflow.
- The breakout XLR connection gives the Shogun/a7RII combination both balanced analog XLR audio and 48V phantom power options for condenser microphone solutions.