How to (sort of) shoot 6K and 8K RAW video with the Sony A7III and A7RIII

Nov 13, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

How to (sort of) shoot 6K and 8K RAW video with the Sony A7III and A7RIII

Nov 13, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Sony has become rather popular for its video features over the last few years. But with the latest round of mirrorless cameras from Fuji, Nikon and Canon, we’re starting to see them lag a little behind. The new cameras from all three of those brands shoot 10Bit video (through HDMI, even if not all internally), while the Sony still only puts out 8Bit.

Can Sony still keep up? Well, yes, kind of. It’s not quite the same as shooting actual video, but the burst modes, according to Josh Yeo are so quick that it might as well be video. He uses the burst mode to create full raw file image sequences to use in his videos.

The Sony A7III and A7RIII both offer 10 frames per second at 6K and 8K resolution respectively. But 10 frames per second isn’t 24 frames per second. In order to turn the images into a video, Josh treats it the same way you would with timelapse or hyperlapse footage.

This process does speed up the footage slightly (2.4x in this case), but it can create some very interesting results. And, of course, you get that versatility of RAW. You only get bursts of maybe 7 or 8 seconds, though. So, you can’t keep this kind of thing going for several minute sequences.

Josh mentions in the video that you’ll soon hit the buffer when shooting like this, so make sure you’re using a fast UHS-II SD card. There’s a list of SD cards that have been tested for write speed with the Canon EOS R, but you’d probably see similar results with Sony bodies. Personally, I prefer ProGrade Digital these days.

Using continuous high speed shooting to create video isn’t a new idea. Keith Loutit was doing it a decade ago for his Bathtub series. But it is a technique we still don’t see all that often. I can’t see it replacing video actually shot at 24fps anytime soon, regardless of the resolution available, but it’s a cool technique for certain uses.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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