Sony A7r IV vs Canon 5Dsr | Instant film cameras | Video editing | The Show for Photographers
Coming up on this episode of Photography Online. We have a new contender for the King of Detail throne. We show you how easy it is to edit video.
And we look at a few options when it comes to instant film cameras. Welcome to another episode of Photography Online. As always we never put those annoying adverts in the middle of our show so we'll be uninterrupted for the next 30 minutes. As you can see, I have got the privilege of having this bluebell woodland all to myself today so I'll be appreciating the smell of spring while we bring you today's show. Before we do that though we've got the important matter of another photography question. What is the most expensive camera ever sold? Was it A: the Hasselblad from the 1969 moon landing? B: a prototype Leica from the 1920s? C: Fox Talbot's Box Brownie, known as the Foxbox? Or D: the Phase One XT IQ4? This is just for fun but I'll be giving you the answer later on in the show. Okay, so let's get things off and
running with the latest instalment of our King of Detail series. For the past year we've been asking you to send in your suggestions for a full-frame camera that can beat the reigning champions sitting together on the throne and this one was probably the most asked for contender… Welcome once again to the Photography Online test lab, otherwise known as Portree harbour here on the Isle of Skye. Now if you haven't seen the previous instalments, this is round four of the King of Detail. So in Round 1 we had the Canon 5Dsr pitched against the newer R5 and this beat it hands down. Then Round 2 we had the Nikon D850 which we couldn't split the difference so the Canon 5Dsr and the Nikon D850 are currently joint King of Detail on the throne there. And then in Round 3 we had the Pentax K1 Mark II which was, well let's just say it needn't bother turning up. So today the latest challenger is the Sony a7R iv. This is the one that's probably been
recommended by more people than any other camera in terms of taking the title away from the 5Dsr and the Nikon D850 so we're here today to see just how much detail it can pull out of these scenes. Now we're using the same lens. Obviously not exactly the same lens because this is a Canon fit and this is a Sony fit but it's a Sigma 50 mm f/1.4 art lens. This one's slightly newer than this one because this is my own one which has been dropped a few times. But you know we won't start using that as an excuse. Now before we pitch these two against each other, why don't we familiarise ourselves with their specifications.
The co-defender of the throne is the Canon 5Dsr released in June 2015. That's seven years ago. It has a 50.6 megapixel full frame sensor with no low pass filter making it the sharpest capture body at its time of release. Today's challenger to the throne is the Sony a7R iv released in July 2019, so four years younger than the defender. It has a 61 megapixel full frame sensor and also has no low pass filter. So as you can see the Sony on paper has an advantage and I would expect this to be the better camera so you're going to do everything possible to maximise the quality. We’re using the sturdiest tripods known to man. There's going to be zero movement. We don't
have any wind today so that's not going to be a factor. Using these lenses at a aperture of f/4 because that's where the sweet spot of these lenses is. Obviously shooting RAW on both cameras. We're going to be using a self-timer on both of them. We're using ISO 100 which is the native of both cameras so the exposure should be identical.
Mirror lock up in the Canon. Obviously no mirror in the Sony because it's mirrorless. So everything else is going to be pretty identical. So I think we should just get on and take the shot. I'm going to manually focus the Canon as I always do so this is my own camera and in order to do that I'm just going to activate the live view and zoom right in on something in the middle of the frame and that will allow me to get it absolutely spot on. Okay there we go, that's pin sharp. So that's that one done. Now I'm not 100% familiar with this camera so bear with me.
So the button with a magnifying glass doesn't actually magnify anything which is not very useful. This icon here says change magnification but what does that represent? There is nothing with that icon on it. That's focusing so it's not that. And it's saying press the delete button, which I'd always be concerned about to be honest, to return to centre.
There's something uneasy about pressing a delete button. Not sure about you but I don't really want to be pressing the delete button but seeing I can't actually work out how to magnify this because the magnify button, that ain't working. That's not working. Back into the menu again then.
Let's try this. I don't want a limit on it. Right, initial focus magnification. Ah. so I've managed to get the focus magnifier on but it's only x6. This one's x16. Slight difference there. There must be a way of changing this surely. Okay, so I'm unable to focus this manually. It's just that wouldn't be fair for me to focus that at x16 and this at x5.9. That's giving that a distinct advantage so we're going to have to
rely on autofocus for this, which I would never do on that camera, but it's forced me into that decision. Okay, right, beep. There's the beep of confirmation. Self-timer's on. Here we go. And I'm going to do this one at the same time. This is only a two second timer. Perfect. So let's head back to the studio to analyse the results. So here's the Sony image, cropped to a 16 to 9 ratio to fit the screen. And here's the Canon image with the same crop. Now let's split the screen with the Canon on the left and the Sony on the right.
Obviously at this magnification we wouldn't expect to see any differences so let's zoom in at 100%. I can't see any difference. Obviously the Sony having 20% more pixels is rendering the image at a slightly greater magnification but in terms of detail and sharpness there's really nothing between them. So we need to go in further, something which in reality you would never do but think of it as the equivalent of a photo finish where we need to split hairs. Zooming in to 400% and we can start to see a few very subtle differences. The red text here can easily
be read on both versions but although we can still read the smaller green text, if you look at the letter “I” in the word Christian, these are much better defined on the Sony version. Moving to a different area. If we look at the sign in the window here, we can just about make out on the Sony version that it says Vacancies but I wouldn't be able to tell you that on the Canon version. If we go up to the church window, I would say this looks sharper on the Canon. But this may be because I'm able to manually focus the Canon whereas the Sony has to autofocus, something which in my experience is never as accurate as doing it yourself. It could also be to do with
the increased contrast of the Canon image. But in terms of detail, which is what this comparison is all about, then the Sony has just as much as the Canon in this area. Finally, let's go to the edge of the frame where both lenses will be struggling. But the Sony does look the clear winner here. So
we have to hand it to the a7 r4 for its 9.4 megapixels of information, it does manage to record slightly more detail and therefore take the crown from the Canon 5Dsr and the Nikon D850. So it was close but we do have a new champion. And if you think you know of a camera which might be able to dethrone the Sony, please do let us know in the comments. Now as well
as bringing you our two free monthly shows such as this one we also broadcast a live show on the third Sunday of every month, aptly called PO LIVE. We discuss some of the recent topics which have appeared on our main shows, give you sneak looks behind the scenes here at Photography Online, have guest pro photographers dropping in, and on our last show we did a live On Location landscape shoot. It's basically 90-ish minutes of photography fun where we answer your questions in real time. And if you missed a live show then you can watch it on demand anytime afterwards. PO LIVE is only available to our supporters of PO LIVE level and above so if it sounds like something you'd like to join us for next time, simply press the Join button under the video or go to the relevant link in the usual place. If you're watching on a Smart TV there won't be a Join button or a link because they're not quite as smart as they make out so you will need to log on with another device but either way we'd love to have you join us.
Okay, so if you thought that digital cameras are the most efficient form of capture through to print then think again. To get the fastest print after capture we need to go back to cameras which were around 50 years ago. Instant film cameras, which do exactly what they say on the tin… I want to show you three levels of instant film cameras which suit different needs and different budgets. So let's start with the basic model. Today there are a couple of instant film brands which are readily available. The cheapest of these is Fuji Instax which comes in three different sizes as well as a choice of colour or black & white, all ISO 800. The smallest Instax Mini is ideal for fun cameras like this and
comes in a wide range of styles. If this isn't big enough for you then there's Instax Square which is 50% bigger than the Mini. Then finally we have the largest, Instax Wide, which is over twice the size of the Mini. The bigger the film though, the bigger the camera needed to take it. You can pick up instant film cameras like these for anywhere between about £80 to £180 new, with the more advanced ones giving you a good degree of control over things like exposure and focus. These are great for taking portraits and record shots of friends and family, surely the most popular use for instant photos. If you want to get a little more serious, not to mention uber cool, then you might want to move up a level to one of these. This is an original Polaroid camera made
in the 1970s but has been lovingly restored by MiNT, a company who have renovated over 35,000 of these before selling them on as fully working, calibrated cameras. This model provides full control over exposure, with times ranging from half a second up to 1/2000th of a second. Plus, it has a Time and Bulb mode for long exposures as well as a couple of auto modes. It also has accurate focusing which is done through the viewfinder, as well as exposure compensation for when you're in an auto mode. This camera requires no batteries because although it needs power, it gets it from the film pack itself. So every time you change the film, the batteries are automatically renewed.
The film options are one size only but in ISO 100 or 600, both in colour or black & white. You can get the ISO 600 in novelty colour frames and even a round version if you're too hip to be square. If you want to take instant film photography to the max then you're going to want one of these. It's a film back which accepts the Fuji Instax wide format and it connects to most large format 4x5 cameras. Now what this will do is it will give you all the control that the MiNT Polaroid camera can give you but in addition to that, we've got aperture control and in this case, all the lens movements which large format is so practical for. The basic Lomography camera is great for portraits and snapshots so considering it's more affordable price it does offer great value for money. The Polaroid version
offers a sharper image but at over twice the price, you need to decide if this is worth it. Then finally the Fuji Instax on the large format camera. And you can see that we have a much shallower depth of field and an overall classier look. But as to whether it's your favourite, that's up to you. Personally I think they all have their merits, depending of course on what you want to get out of instant film photography. If it's fun and practicality then you're probably going to want to have a camera like this from Lomography. If you want to increase the user experience
and your street cred - something I clearly have no problem with - then this original Polaroid camera, refurbished by MiNT, is probably the best choice. But if you want ultimate control then you might want to go for the instant film back for the large format camera. So let's talk about price. I've already told you that a new Lomography camera will set you back between £80 to £180.
Then you'll need to buy the film which comes in packs of 10 and works out around 80p per image. But this varies slightly depending on what size you choose and if you buy a single or multi-pack. An original Polaroid camera like this, fully refurbished, will set you back between three to eight hundred pounds depending on the model.
The film works out about £2 per shot, which is over twice the price of the Fuji Instax, but hey, cool comes at a price. When you consider that batteries are included, it does help to justify the higher cost. The large format back is either the best or the worst bargain, depending on whether you already have a 4x5 camera or not. If you do, then this is only going to cost you £150, which I think is a fantastic deal, especially when you consider that each shot costs less than a pound. If you don't already have a 4x5 camera, then you'll need to buy one, plus a lens and a few other accessories such as a light meter, dark cloth, loupe and cable release.
This could get very expensive but you might be surprised at how cheaply you can get 4x5”gear. For example, a brand new Intrepid 4x5 camera only cost £280. And you could easily pick up a decent used lens for around the same price. So with the instant film back and all the camera gear, you can get a complete setup for under £1000. When you consider that you've then got a camera that can
also take regular film, it could be argued that this actually offers the best value for money, regardless of the cost and value for money. They all provide great results. You can stick these on your fridge, keep them in your wallet, put them in an album or store them in a shoebox under the bed. Whatever you do you can guarantee one thing. That in 20 years time you will still have them and know where they are. But can the same be said about your digital files? So we've spoken many times about the importance of taking snapshots to capture the chapters in our lives as well as those closest to us and there's surely no more nostalgic and effective way of doing that than with an instant film camera. Not to mention doing it in style. Just holding this makes me feel about 20 degrees cooler. A big thanks to MiNT and Lomography
for helping out with the supply of these. We've put links to both brands in the usual place below so do have a browse if you want to make photography a whole lot more fun. Now this camera here was originally launched in the 1970s, which is when this box of film was made. As you can see, it's still sealed. It looks like it's been stored in pretty good conditions.
The expiry date of the film in this box is 1975. Marcus recently found it in the bowels of an independent photography store and bought it for the grand price of £60 to see if it still works, something he'll be finding out soon and we'll be recording for a future show. Okay, so on our last show we played a short film made with nothing but an iPhone. Now in the last
of our Video Academy series we are taking a look at the final stage of video production - editing. This isn't intended to be a tutorial about using video editors but more just about the thinking and the principles behind why and when to make edits. Here's Harry to tell us more. So far in our Video Academy series we've looked at all the basics of shooting video, from planning through to the technical side, recording, showing how to make the most of movement and how to bring non-moving subjects to life. In the previous episode we combined all of these elements together and filmed a short story to show you just what is possible when it comes to shooting video. To drive home just how easy it is, we filmed the entire thing on this, an iPhone, using Dolby Vision HDR. It basically did most of the work for us and ensured the video
looked like a Hollywood production straight out of the phone. For this, the final part of our Video Academy series, we're going to talk you through the thought process of editing our short film. Just like with stills, the post production stage is an important one. But probably more so with video as rather than editing each shot individually we are editing several shots together to create a sequence. We also have audio as an added consideration. So post-production of video tends to be far more involved and time-consuming than editing stills. Nevertheless,
this doesn't mean it has to be more complicated. Just like with stills, there are multiple platforms which you can edit your video on. Some will have to be purchased and others, like the one we use for the majority of Photography Online, have to be rented. Others will be free.
We used iMovie to edit our short film as this is free on most Apple devices and is Dolby Vision enabled. We could have edited it on Adobe Premiere but then we would have lost the Dolby Vision HDR features and the result would have just been like a normal HD video. This isn't going to be an editing tutorial on a specific piece of editing software. More of a creative look as to why we've chosen the edits we have, how they flow and what else we can do to influence the end result. Let's start at the beginning. We chose to fade up the very first clip as this creates a smoother intro to the video and it also mirrors the music track.
It's important to have a few scene setting clips to start your story. Using a combination of static shots containing movement and shots where the camera was moving, just like we explained earlier in the series. Try not to linger on shots for too long as it's really important to create pace and try to grab the attention of the viewer. We also used sound effects where appropriate but only subtly. Don't overdo these. On the subject of audio, if you want to include music it is important to choose a track which is suitable to create the desired mood. Having a music bed saves a lot of work when it comes
to sound effects as without music we would have needed to have sound effects for every single clip. This adds to the workload massively. So if you want to simplify the process, make sure you use suitable music. Please remember that you cannot use commercially released tracks if your video will be uploaded online or endorses a product. We used a site called Epidemic Sound
to source the music for our short film. The start or introduction to our story lasted 40 seconds, at which point we needed a change of pace and mood. The music used for the intro was melancholic, to reflect boredom and a lack of inspiration but we now needed to change to a more optimistic and hopeful track. This has to happen as the postcard is discovered and the idea to explore the mountains is sown. Changing from a solo violin track to an upbeat tinkly piano did the job. We used a combination of different camera angles to give the viewer a 360 degree, immersive experience. Using a mixture of internal and external shots of the car puts the viewer in the driving seat as well as putting the character in his surroundings, which are an integral part of the story.
Think creatively when shooting your footage and don't be afraid to try ambitious and quirky shots. If you can leave the viewer wondering how you did something then it will help keep their attention. Each clip we recorded is far longer than the part actually used. Be ruthless with the content you end up using. Don't be tempted to use all of every clip. Typically we only use about 5% of all the footage recorded, sometimes only using a few seconds from a 60” clip, sometimes not using some clips at all, even if they required a lot of effort to shoot. If they don't add any value to
the story, don't include them. We're now into the main body of our story and need a second change of music so we opted for something with drama and tension to suit the landscape and the jeopardy of the approaching journey. Once again we're using a combination of close-up and distant shots. This adds to the immersive experience for the viewer, making them feel engaged in the story. As well as filming the main character it was also important to include some scene setting shots of the landscape, such as water flowing and clouds moving. This is basically landscape photography in motion. You could even try a time-lapse
but often it is easier to just speed up normal footage, which is what we did here. I'm not doing anything clever here, just doing simple chop edits. Don't fall into the trap of trying to do anything too creative by using too many crossfades or swipes. We only had one crossfade in the entire sequence and that was to transition between the start and main body of the story when we also had a segue music change. I'm also paying attention to ensure I continuously change the viewpoint. If you edit together too many shots that are either behind or in front of the subject, this won't be very engaging. This is partly done at the filming stage
and partly done at the editing stage. The climax of our story had to be both visual and aural so it was important to synchronise the music crescendo with the reveal of the mountain view. We then cemented the fact that this was the view on the card by providing a first-person view of the two together. This is the perfect end and it would have
been a mistake to include anything after this, other than the shot from the camera. Finally we ended with some text.Iit is always good to do this but keep it to a minimum. Don't start listing a load of credits as that's a real turn off. If you shoot your footage on a digital camera, then once all the edits are in the right place you'll need to grade all the clips individually to ensure they are colour matched and looking their best.
We let Dolby Vision do this for us by shooting on an iPhone 12 but any iPhone from 2019 onwards will allow you to do this. This saved us loads of time when it came to post processing. Basically we had to do nothing. We hope you've enjoyed our Video Academy series. Thanks to Dolby for partnering with us hopefully you're now armed with enough information to give video a try for yourself. As we mentioned right at the start of this series, video can be a great way to draw attention to your stills work, whether that's on social media or on your own website.
Moving images are always more engaging so use that to your advantage. Good luck and let us know how you get on. But most of all, have a bit of fun. Okay, so at the start of the show I asked, What is the most expensive camera ever sold? Was it A: the Hasselblad from the 1969 moon landing? B: a prototype Leica from the 1920s? C: Fox Talbot's Box Brownie, known as the Foxbox? Or D: the Phase One XT IQ4? The answer was B: the prototype Leica from the 1920s sold for 2.97 million dollars in 2018. That's just about enough to pay for the entire Photography Online team to come and photograph your birthday party! So sadly we are out of time again but don't go just yet because I want to tell you what you can look forward to on the next show. We will be in Utah looking at a new location for photography, Harry will be telling us why he thinks digital is better than film and Marcus sets off on another Mission Possible adventure, even though he's still got to complete the last one that he started three years ago. That is all coming up in just a couple of weeks time so do make sure that you join me for that. Until then, take good care but most of all take good photos.
Now these are ideal for portraits of friends and famuliy, famuliy, what’s famuliy? Now these are great for taking portraits and record shots of friends and famuliy, famuliy. What's wrong with me? Good luck and… God's sake. Sounded like I was signing off from a visit to the International Space Station.
Now before we pitch these two together… together… against each other for God's sake. Each cleep, cleep, cleeeep. Each cleep, cleep, cleep… You've got aperture control for things like depth of field and in this case you've got all the lens movements because persthpective… I mean how difficult can it be? I just want to enlarge the image… I can't do it without saying cleep now… Cleep!