Sony a7s Review

Sony a7s Review

Briefly: A Review Disclaimer

I only put reviews on this site for products I use on a regular basis. I may try out a new product from time to time, but I won’t put a review up unless it makes it to my camera bag. I’m not going to commit a ton of my time to putting up a negative review on something. I am also never paid to do these reviews, ever. They are products that I genuinely love and recommend, so you know I’m not just saying something because someone asked me to. There are companies that send me products from time to time, but that never means they will be guaranteed a review.

Where To Buy

If you decide to purchase this camera, please consider doing so through the link below to help support this site!

Amazon – Sony Alpha a7S Mirrorless Digital Camera

Sony a7s : A Perfect Compliment to the a7

As many of you know, I made the switch over to Sony back in late 2013. I still had some Canon gear back then, but went all in mid-2014. I haven’t looked back since. Sony has completely revolutionized the way I capture what I see in the field, whether I’m standing in front of a beautiful sunset on the shoreline of California or starring down a monster supercell on the plains of West Texas.

The Sony a7 (likely upgrading to the a7r II soon) is my go to camera for just about everything. Landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, storms, etc. It shoots at 24 megapixels and puts my old Canon bodies to shame when it comes to dynamic range and overall functionality. So why would I need an a7s if the a7 performs so great? Here are the reasons…

Low Light

The Sony a7s was built for low light. As the sun sets below the horizon and ambient light becomes more and more scarce, I eventually put the a7 away and reach for the a7s. This usually happens when either my ISO starts creeping up above 800 or my shutter speed starts getting close to 30 seconds.

The idea behind the sensor of the a7s is that because it only comes in at 12 megapixels, it’s able to perform at extremely low light levels at extremely high ISO ranges and produce extremely clean images.

I can say with confidence after using the camera for nearly a year now that it is an incredibly capable low light camera. What’s surprising is how well it does in low light even compared to my a7. It’s very noticeable, especially when you start pushing past ISO 1600. I can get print quality images out of the a7s at ISO 4000-12000 all day long. I can get web quality images even higher than that. It’s just crazy.

Small Image Size: A Blessing In Disguise

At first, I was a been skeptical about spending over two grand on a camera that puts out the same megapixel count as some smart phones. But then I started to think about how probably 99.9% of the time, my images are viewed online and in my products like ebooks and video courses. I don’t pursue print sales or galleries or anything like that, I make my living online. So really, the megapixel race is useless to me. Sure, I’ll probably jump onboard with the a7r II when it comes out, but the megapixels (it will likely be around 42) won’t be 1st, 2nd, 3rd or even 4th on my list of reasons why.

Processing 12 megapixel images is a breeze. They download fast, they upload fast, they process fast and the file sizes are extremely manageable. On top of that, I find myself reaching for my a7s any time I want to take pictures of my family or people of any sort. These images get printed only in extremely rare instances and even then it’s usually between a 4×6 or 8×10.

Video – True 4k at 30fps

The video capabilities of the a7s are the best in the industry right now. It shoots 4k video at 30fps with the same mind boggling low light capability that the camera is famous for with stills. Granted, I’m not much a video guy, but it’s certainly nice to know that I have this at my finger tips should I need it at any time :-).

Here’s an incredible video I came across a while back on Vimeo featuring the video capabilities of this amazing camera 🙂

Downside(s)

There really aren’t too many. The a7s has slightly less dynamic range than the a7, but still more than any Canon I ever owned. I suppose the small megapixel count can be called just as much of a downside as a selling point, depending on your angle. You certainly wouldn’t want to try and print an image from an a7s at 70 inches wide or anything like that. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you think you might want to print an image really wide, you can always shoot a panoramic of the scene to get a larger image size. Panos can be made in Lightroom so quickly now that this barely takes any extra time at all.

Conclusion

The Sony a7s is my go-to camera for low light, astrophotography and family photos. It’s a perfect companion to my a7 and while the images it produces are only 12 megapixels, I’m confident you won’t ever be able to tell on a computer screen, no matter the resolution.  Here are some samples 🙂

  • Jonathan Mayfield

    Hey buddy, I’m curious about your thoughts on the a7rii vs the a7s for video? Granted I know you haven’t actually touched the rii, but as a video heavy shooter, internal 4k and ability to go to 120fps is awesome. Plus it looks like it’s going to be great low light with that massive sensor and the sensor is stabilized like the a7ii. Seems like it could be the best of both worlds. Interested in your thoughts.

  • Rusty

    Are you using Sony or Canon lenses with the a7 / a7s?

    • All Sony now Rusty! Sold off all my Canon gear mid-2014.