Did Sony Fix the Colors on the a7R III?

Did Sony Fix the Colors on the a7R III?

Weird skin tone, strange green tint, fake sky; these are a few things that come to mind when describing the colors in video coming from Sony cameras. They wouldn't look as “natural” as Fuji, Canon, and Nikon colors. But did Sony fix it? According to Dave Dugdale from Learning Video and Andrew Reid from EOSHD, something happened.

Sony has been pushing the envelope over the past few years with an aggressive technological and commercial approach in order to break the usual CaNikon duopoly and take a share of the shrinking camera market. However, the road was not always smooth and some Sony cameras were plagued by critical issues. The Sony a6300 was prone to overheat after filming video in 4K while the a7R II and a7S II have ridiculous battery life. But Sony decided to react and fix the problem with the a6500, the a9, and a7R III. The overheating problem is under control and the battery can provide much more power now. One of the last issues remaining to fix are the colors, which are perceived by some, me included, as unnatural. While you can easily adjust the colors on raw stills, working with 8-bit video files is harder to deal with. You must nail your exposure and carefully set your white balance in S-Log. So did Sony fix the colors on the a7R III? Maybe.

The first analysis was conducted by Dugdale from Learning Video. He compared the a7R III with the previous model and found some “subtle changes.” Check his findings on his website and the video below.

Reid from EOSHD is more direct: “The improvements over the old model turn out to be quite special — especially the new Hybrid LOG Gamma picture profiles.” The difference with the a7R II comes from the introduction of the Hybrid LOG Gamma and new BT.2020 color space on the a7R III. He says that this profile has “a lot in common with Canon LOG and Cinelog” and is “super easy to grade.” Take a look at his Sony a7R III review. He also offers a very good in-camera color profile for Sony cameras.  

[via Learning Video and EOSHD]

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Oliver Kmia is specialized in time-lapse, hyperlapse, and aerial videography. He also works with several drone manufacturers as a marketing and technical consultant. He is the lead brand ambassador of Hello Kitty camera, his favorite piece of equipment. Most people think Oliver is an idiot and they are probably right.

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The A7R3 is obviously more magenta. However that could be a camera-to-camera variance for all we know. I wouldn't consider this to be problematic, it's obviously easily correctable if you had to match those cameras to each other. However the question whether Sony "fixed" the color issue would presume people were objecting to the A7R2 color, which is actually more neutral. So for me the answer would that Sony deteriorated the out-of-camera color, hence made it worse.