The Sony a7S is well known for the quality of its groundbreaking high-ISO video, with an endless amount of test videos posted online.
Back in September of last year one video rose above the rest when Carbon Studios released a short film lit entirely by moonlight, aptly named ‘Moonlight’.
Blown away by the video, a director by the name of Sam Shapson said he “felt compelled to apply what they’d accomplished to narrative”, and the result is the first narrative film ever to be exclusively lit by moonlight. Of course this film was also recorded with the a7S.
Unlike ‘Moonlight’, however, which was mostly recorded using ISO 12,800 and just two scenes used settings of up to 32,000, ‘Refuge’ was shot at ISO 51,200.
The resulting video is, unsurprisingly, far from perfect, but the camera’s low light capabilities are absolutely incredible.
“After concluding that we would bring no lights, we found that large bounce cards would be absolutely key. This allowed us to literally bounce moonlight to fill in the deep shadows cast on the talents faces,” Sam told Sony Alpha Rumors.
The team then began monitoring the moon and weather for several months until they had the right conditions, but the difficulties had only just begun:
“Lemme just say that while producing a low-budget, two night shoot in a remote location is one thing, doing so without allowing ANY light spill whatsoever is something completely different. Miraculously, my team and I managed to get everything we needed while avoiding any light from astronomical twilight, city spill, or our flashlights — which we generally discouraged using to keep our eyes dilated”.
Watch the film below to see for yourself just how impressive the Sony’s low light capabilities are:
Now that you’ve seen what can be achieved at ISO 51,200, just imagine what the Nikon D5 will be able to record with a native max. ISO of 102,400 (extendable perhaps to over one million), if the latest rumors are true.
For those who haven’t seen it, here’s Carbon Studio’s ‘Moonlight’:
[via Sony Alpha Rumors]