today we saw the announcement of the a7s ii, a virtually identical camera to the a7s with the addition of ibis (sensor stabilizing), internal 4k, slog3, and 1080p/120fps
coming out only a year after its predecessor, it makes you wonder: “what is sony thinking?”
the a7r2 has built in 4k, ibis, full frame… so the a7s2 is just for low light?
more than a few of those upgrades definitely could have been firmware updates to the first a7s body anyways (slog3 and likely 1080/120). new hardware likely isn’t needed as the camera is capable of processing 4k (and sending it out) which requires a similar amount of processing as 1080/120, so if it isn’t able to record internally, at least externally it should be feasible.
but this isn’t anything new. within the past 4 years as sony has made great headway into the mirrorless market, it’s shown that instead of improving upon cameras, it would prefer to release new cameras, with a few upgrades, for a little bit more, and entice people to continually upgrade.
the problem it would then seem, is that consumers have little confidence that the product they purchase from sony will receive the type of attention that companies like panasonic give to the gh series, or that even samsung has given to the nx1.
i won’t be upgrading. there is no reason to move on from the first a7s… other than ibis, slog3 and 1080p/120fps, the latter two which could easily be added to the a7s via firmware update anyways. 4k internal recording is nice, but recording externally to a shogun, pxe, or odyssey will give you a better image (422 8bit vs 420 8bit, plus a better wrapper than xavcs). not to mention all the added benefits of an external recorder: like false colors, the ability to monitor with a lut, xlr inputs, proxies… the list goes on. will the sensor be more sensitive to light? maybe, but from all reports, it’s essentially the same one in the a7s, so probably not a big performance gain.
so no, i won’t be upgrading. i’ll probably be selling. i’ll probably sell my a7s, and all of its accessories in december. because sony keeps upgrading, there is no value in these cameras. i can rent an a7s for $25 a day locally. $25! why buy when i can rent and not worry about upgrading every year? and the truth is, most of my work requires an epic/f55/alexa equivalent camera, so the small body is pretty much reserved for corporate and low light gigs. but for people that shoot primarily on the mirrorless/dslr format, what does this tell you about how much sony cares about your experience?
i’ll probably get a samsung nx1 or its successor sometime early next year. sony is innovative… but samsung is right on its tail and it’s proven to actually care and listen to its customers.
if i get my hands on an a7s ii i’ll still probably love using it, and i’ll release some luts for everyone to use, but unless sony can convince me otherwise, i wont reward their disloyalty with my product purchasing loyalty.
am i wrong? are you going to upgrade?
take a look at specs and purchase here.
based on recent comments, i feel people are confusing the purpose of this article. the a7s2 is a good camera that does a lot of things well; it’s a better camera than the a7s. the point was that sony easily could have implemented virtually all of the ‘updates’ the a7s2 recieved to the original body via a firmware updates (minus ibis)… and thus, i feel that they have thrown customers under the bus. there is no sense anymore that you will receive extended support for your camera from sony (like you would from samsung, panasonic, red or even canon), you’ll have to shell out thousands a year for minor updates.