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Adam Plowden Video produces bespoke videos and media for local and global business, products and events, telling your story through engaging media. Video production agency in Epsom, Surrey.

Out filming with the Sony A7S and Atomos Shogun in 4K!

I am still testing out the many brilliant features and benefits of the 4K combo I now have, one biggie was being able to grade the footage much more than what you're able to with internal camera recording.

I headed out to a local country park to catch some of the spring bluebells flowering, as well as to try out the dynamic range of the 4K Prores HQ footage and really push it in the grade.

A couple of photos while I was out and about, lovely day!

I took the Manfrotto 755CX-3 tripod with me as it is brilliantly lightweight, and despite the center column it can get pretty low to the ground for shots needing some perspective.

Still no Movcam cage yet, so I'm pretty nervous about having the Shogun on a ball mount, on the hot shoe, I did take care when moving around and took out the HDMI cable just in case.

I had 3 lenses with me, the Tamron 24-70, Sigma 70-200 and Canon 100mm L as I wanted to have a simple setup, one Manfrotto bag, essential kit, batteries etc.

After watching Philip Bloom's talk hosted by B&H a few months back, I set the camera settings to what he advised and went from there. Using PP7 for S-log increases the native ISO to 3200, so is not practical for bright scenes without ND filters, so here are my settings.

PP6 (allows ISO 200, practical for bright shoots) - Black Level 0, Gamma Cine 4, Color mode S-gamut, Saturation 0, Detail -7.

It was a bright sunny day and the Shogun was the perfect tool for the job. It's screen is very clear, unlike cheaper monitors which don't have a high contrast ratio or use LCD screens. Exposing for the highlights, I used the in-built Waveform monitor to gague exposure as well as the 2:1 crop in for getting critical focus - definitely needed for the wide landscape and macro shots.

You will not be surprised to see the HUGE file size of recording 4K in Prores HQ, averaging at about 2GB for 20 seconds.

It's less than 10 minutes worth of footage, in fact!

I did find this out while I was trying out the different outputs and recording formats.. For the PAL region the A7S has THREE HDMI output settings -

 - 1080 50p, 1080 50i, 4K 25p.

The Shogun will not record 25p footage from the camera when the HDMI output is set to 1080 50p, but you can record 1080 50p slow motion on the Shogun. Remember to set the A7S' recording format to 50p/50, instead of 25p for normal speed filming.

The Shogun will only record 1080 25p footage from the camera when the HDMI output is set to 1080 50i, with a 2:2 frame drop set. Remember to set the A7S' recording format to 25p/50.

You must set the '4K HDMI' setting in the A7S to output the 4K signal, and record in 4K 25p on the Shogun.

As part of the new 4K workflow, I am using Davinci Resolve Lite (FREE) for the colour grading process, but as this is a short video I tried out it's NLE which worked great. Similar look and feel to FCPX, but it gives you the ability to change edit points, manipulate scale, track and much more. It even has a keyer!

First Image - Editing interface, Second Image - Adjusting saturation in Color interface, Third Image - High contrast image BEFORE correction/grade, Fourth Image - High contrast image AFTER correction/grade, Fifth Image - Delivery interface.

Here is the ungraded version, with footage captured on the Shogun.

Here is a work-in-progress edit that is down-ressed to 1080 to upload it to Vimeo, the Youtube version in 4K (remember to change the resolution to 2160) is below!

I look forward to hearing your comments on the  videos I've put up!