Does the Sony a7S III Stand a Chance Against $60,000 Hollywood Cameras?

After so much talk about how great the Sony a7S III is, it sure is nice to be able to put it in its place. Here’s a wildly unbalanced comparison between Sony’s latest a7S and a couple of extremely expensive cinema cameras.

In this new video from Indy Mogul, Dave Maze is pitting the Sony a7S III against two Hollywood powerhouses: the ARRI Alexa Mini LF and the Sony Venice. Both of the cinema cameras have full-frame 6K sensors and have been used in big-budget productions such as the upcoming films “Top Gun 2” and “Dune.” While the use case between the hybrid shooter and the fully-fledged cinema cameras doesn’t have much overlap, it’s still a fun experiment seeing the image quality side by side.

As we learn from the video above, the Sony a7S III doesn’t hold a candle to the colors of either the Venice or Alexa, however it’s really not that bad considering its value. Plus, taking a look at the ISO test and there’s just no comparison to match the a7S III’s low light capabilities. Literally, the Alexa stops at ISO 3,200 and the Venice goes to ISO 10,000, both shadowed by the whopping ISO 409,600 ceiling of the a7S III.

If you promise not to take things so seriously, check out the full video above for some side-by-side action.

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14 Comments

Momchil Yordanov's picture

OK, I appreciate the entertaining value of a video like this, but in reality, it's so pointless :) It's like asking "Can your Honda Civic hold up against the Ford F250?" I mean, what's the task? Are we trying to get around town saving money on gas or we are trying to carry twenty 80 lb bags of cement?

Norm Clare's picture

ND
Timecode
Power
LUTs
SDI
.... and they don’t look the same even on YouTube

Alex Herbert's picture

They look very close on YouTube, and granted I was watching it on a 4K TV, not 6 inches away from it on a monitor working on the footage. But to my eye, at first glance I prefered the image out of the A7SIII to the Venice footage.

Cool Cat's picture

On YouTube my iPhone looks great.

Alex Herbert's picture

Well considering the last 20 films I watched were streamed online (I'm sure I'm not alone) I think how it looks online is relevant?

And your iPhone might look great on YouTube, on an iPhone... but on a 65" 4K TV it's gonna look like garbage.

Marius Pettersen's picture

It's relevant if you need to put a camera in a tight space. If the main cam is a Venice, then it would be great to use a smaller (and cheaper) cam for shots with a likelihood of damaging it. I've often noticed in films where they cut to a lower-end camera to get the shot - not any more!

Charles J's picture

Use what you can afford.
Use what best fits your needs.
Use what you prefer.

EVERY SINGLE comparison video ends with that message. Without fail.

Sridhar Chilimuri's picture

I was eager to see someone compare such equipment. A few years ago I was on a wildlife trip and I saw one of the professional photographers using Sony A7SII at the time. His footage eventually ended up on a Nat Geo film. In many remote areas the Sony A7S is much easier to carry and manage especially if you are shooting in low light.

Deleted Account's picture

Probably depends on what you're looking to do. I'm sure that it's more appropriate than a proper video camera like an ARRI for certain purposes. I would like to point out that Hollywood doesn't just use large video cameras. They've been employing DSLR's and MILC's to capture video from certain vantage points for sometime now so it's clear that these cameras have their uses even in Hollywood productions.

Khalid Aziz's picture

Well, we will see if it gets a Netflix approval like the Panasonic S1H

Bill Metallinos's picture

Wow! The image is pretty nice!
The first test I like better #2 and the second test #1 camera

Greg Silver's picture

The question really isn't which camera is better but rather, "Is the footage really worth an extra $55,000?"

Alex Herbert's picture

I guess until you reach the point where an extra $55,000 in production costs isn't a big deal, it's probably best to stick with the mirrorless :)

Timothy Gasper's picture

I've searched in my pockets, my wallet, in the cookie jar, under the mattress and my bank and just couldn't find $55,000 for either of those high-end cameras, but lucky for me this video gives a lot of relief. If I want to shoot very good quality videos, I know what to grab. Hey, why isn't everyone in Hollywood using the Sony, exclusively?
I know I plan on using one when I start shooting our short films. Thanks for the enlightenment.