Sony A7r video with 35mm and 55mm Zeiss lenses - something special?


I am aware that I said my video testing was finished, but it did occur to me that I had missed trying one thing out. Most of my A7 / A7r video tests were done with the 28-70mm zoom mainly because of it's hand holding capabilities. One thing I hadn't tried however was the 55mm f/1.8 lens on my A7r. Plus since I now have the 35mm I thought I would check them out and also have a look at how using the APS-C crop worked. The video is below. Shot at 25fps. 1920 x1080.


So is this something special? Well compared to my GX7 m4/3 footage, not really. The video I shot below with all my small light Panasonic and Olympus lenses is sharper and  better defined. However I did think the APS-C crop on the A7r produced good results.



This does prove that video quality has to do with other things than sensor size and stills lens quality. The A7r footage looks nice yes, but compared to the Panasonic footage I've been shooting lately it looks like the Sony clips are shot through some kind of diffusing filter. Now whether this is applied noise reduction, I cannot say but there is definitely a softer look. 

I've been wondering if my workshop / photo tours venture takes off about buying either a Sony A7s or Panasonic GH4 and I think I've pretty much decided that the GH4 is the better option. Apart from the fact that it would cost a lot of extra money to actually be able to record 4K on the Sony with the extra kit required, I like the Panasonic output a lot more, should I want to shoot 4K.

It is yet another reason why I constantly criticise the Sony FE system for not being as 'professional' as the supposedly inferior smaller sensor m4/3 equivalent. And yes 'proper' videographers and film makers will probably have all sorts of options available to sharpen the footage and may well find advantages in what Sony have to offer, particularly with the low light capabilities of the A7s, but the whole Panasonic video package seems to me to be much easier to use, have better initial quality straight out of the camera and a much more flexible and useful way to shoot a combination of high quality stills and video. While the A7r plus these Zeiss lenses turns out incredible still images, it does strike me that both the Sony FE cameras are somewhat lagging behind Panasonic in terms of video.

There's even a comparison between the GH4 and Canon 5D Mk III here at 43rumors that indicates for video the GH4 is no slouch at high ISO's either. 

Now this was worth doing and it's further confirmation that I'm making the right decision in terms of my 'hybridographer' aspirations. I'm still mightily impressed by the A7r + these Zeiss primes for stills but that I think is what I will keep them for. Aside from the fact that my GX7 outfit is so light, small and easy to use, the fact that I can get better looking footage as well makes it a no-brainer for me. So in answer to the question in the title of this post - Sony A7r video with 35mm and 55mm Zeiss lenses - something special? Well for me, no it's not.

For my continuing SONY A7r OWNER ASSESSMENT - Click Here
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