Sony A7s: Quirky, Weird, Batteries Suck – “But I’m Still Going to Buy One”

by Hugh BrownstoneLeave a Comment

planet5D reader Charlie Locke rented an A7s and learned that all of its real shortcomings don’t hold a candle (HA!) to what makes it great.

At just over 25 minutes, Charlie’s review of the Sony A7s isn’t… compact. But then again, he does a good job of pointing out, as he says, “the good, the bad and the ugly.”

You already know what makes the A7s phenomenal, from its incredible low light performance to external 4K recording, and Charlie is neither the first person nor the last who says point blank that it “blows the 5D out of the water.”

That’s old news.

But what’s nice about the review is that he’s simultaneously candid about the need, for example, for the Metabones Speedbooster and adapter (he’s going to use Canon glass) even as he says plainly that it’s “annoying” and “unreliable” because of how often it won’t properly sync up the camera and lens electronically. This is something I’ve seen myself with both the Metabones and another manufacturer's very similar adapter.

The real world solution (for now)? Take it on and off a couple of times in various combinations until it works.

Yep. [bctt tweet=”Sony A7s weird, clunky – and I'm going to buy one”]

He also does a nice “yes, but” analysis of A7s noise in very low light: he sees noise and banding in the shadows, but then goes on to say that a de-noiser or simply crushing the blacks takes care of the problem – while the overall image still benefits from all of the detail and relatively low noise in the highlights.

I appreciated his candor.

What else?

The batteries. He says that a 14-hour shoot with the 5D3 might take eight Canon batteries, while the same shoot with the A7s would require something like 12 (on the other hand, if you’re really going to use that many batteries, there are MUCH better options including much bigger batteries which don’t seem quite as expensive when put in that context).

Then there are the ergonomics: “weird,” “clunky,” “angular” (is there anyone who DOESN’T hate the location of the record button?). But: “I really do love it.”

And: “I’m going to buy one,” eyes wide open.

And that, after all, is the very bottom line.

Sony A7S the DSLR Killer?


Via Youtube Description:

Here is my video review of the recently released Sony A7S. There has been tons of hype around this camera, that with the recently announced Atomos shogun, you are able to shoot great quality 4K with a relatively small footprint.

Throughout this review I discuss all of the main factors in which I think are most important when looking to buy or (in my case) switch from a Canon DSLR to this system.

There are some interesting qwerks about the camera and the adapters you have to use in order to use Canon EF lenses, but hopefully these will be fixed in time!

Sony A7s

This review featured a short test shoot (in black and white, s-log2) which you can see in full here: Now live:

Special thanks to for the A7S and accessories provided. Without their service, this review would not have happened!

Also very special thanks to IAMMediaUK for allowing me to use the footage I shot for them at a wedding in Green Park, London. For excellent London based wedding services, get in touch @

Find me at;

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

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