Alpha 7 II: is it overkill as a video production camera

Started Aug 25, 2022 | Discussions
EWarrenX New Member • Posts: 13
Alpha 7 II: is it overkill as a video production camera

Hello!

I am a small business owner who is planning to produce some videos to comment on our firm's services (and perhaps do semi-frequent Q&A with customers about the industry).

I have a $40 Logitech webcam, but I thought about spending more time and effort (use proper lighting, editing) and see if I can achieve higher production value.

After learning more about studio setup (where to place light, what kind of ambience I wish to achieve), I proceeded to learn about cameras.

One of the methods I learned was to lower ISO and increase aperture + use lighting to remove graininess from the picture, and that argues for a full-frame camera. I am also interested to prepare our spare office / studio with some basic clean up but use depth of field to make the background blurry, and here a full frame camera also seem to help.

Given a lot of what we are trying to do exceeds the little webcam's capabilities, and a friend has spare Sony E-mount lenses for us to borrow, that led me to Sony's Alpha 7 II as the most affordable option (out of the Sony line). So we are looking at the following requirements for our use case:

  • Full frame camera to handle low ISO 
  • Does not need 4K - 1080P at 60 frames per second is enough
  • Does not need a microphone to record sound
  • Does not need large storage - the camera would be connected to PC
  • Uses Sony E-mount to take advantage of friend's selection of lenses

Is it appropriate for us to pick Alpha 7 II? Even though it appears to be the least expensive option on Sony's product list, it is still quite costly compared to some of the sub-$1,000 cameras. I am not sure if it is overkill.

Thank you!

 EWarrenX's gear list:EWarrenX's gear list
Sony ZV-E10 Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS
Sony a7 II
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Berto53 New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Alpha 7 II: is it overkill as a video production camera
3

If you have good lighting you dont need the iso capabilities of a full frame camera. An aps-c camera (smaller sensor than full frame, but still not small) such as the Sony a6000 should suit your needs just fine. It has e-mount as well so you can use your friends full frame lenses on it perfectly or just buy one yourself with the money you saved. I‘ve seen the a6000 go for as low as 400$, used even less. The lenses for this are also way cheaper. You can get a Sigma 30mm 1.4 prime lens for less than 300$. I would definitely look for an aps-c setup instrad of full frame.

sportyaccordy Forum Pro • Posts: 20,935
Re: Alpha 7 II: is it overkill as a video production camera
4

I think you'd be much better off spending that money on a crop camera with better video features (i.e. 10 bit video) and good lighting

A7II is just not a good video camera in 2022

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Sometimes I take pictures with my gear- https://www.flickr.com/photos/41601371@N00/

 sportyaccordy's gear list:sportyaccordy's gear list
Sony a7 III Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE
MILC man Veteran Member • Posts: 6,077
Re: Alpha 7 II: is it overkill as a video production camera
2

audio is 50% of the presentation, if you aren't going to do a voice-over you should think about an external mic.

lehill
lehill Veteran Member • Posts: 7,472
Re: Alpha 7 II: is it overkill as a video production camera
1

I'm with that guy - don't use the built-in camera mic for audio.

This guy's video purposely switches between the built-in camera mic and a lavalier mic about every 20 seconds to demonstrate the difference.

DPRTV has a fun introductory video on the basics of microphones and mic placement here.

Is it just me? I think the audio in this guy's video could be a lot better. I couldn't understand what he was saying so I stopped watching.

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Lance H

 lehill's gear list:lehill's gear list
Sony a6000 Sony a7 II Sony a99 II Sony a6500 Sony a7R IV +35 more
OP EWarrenX New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Alpha 7 II: is it overkill as a video production camera

Berto53 wrote:

If you have good lighting you dont need the iso capabilities of a full frame camera. An aps-c camera (smaller sensor than full frame, but still not small) such as the Sony a6000 should suit your needs just fine. It has e-mount as well so you can use your friends full frame lenses on it perfectly or just buy one yourself with the money you saved. I‘ve seen the a6000 go for as low as 400$, used even less. The lenses for this are also way cheaper. You can get a Sigma 30mm 1.4 prime lens for less than 300$. I would definitely look for an aps-c setup instrad of full frame.

Thank you very much for your feedback!

You are right, I will have sufficient lighting, and I found out my friend's lenses are APS-C instead of full frame, so looks like APS-C is the way to go for me.

I am looking at A6000 vs. ZV-E10. I don't need 4K recording, so some of the ZV-E10 features are wasted on me, but it seems harder to find A6000 nowadays, and ZV-E10 seems to be the closest substitute (with higher prices and slightly more features) if I cannot find a new A6000.

 EWarrenX's gear list:EWarrenX's gear list
Sony ZV-E10 Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS
OP EWarrenX New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Alpha 7 II: is it overkill as a video production camera
1

MILC man wrote:

audio is 50% of the presentation, if you aren't going to do a voice-over you should think about an external mic.

Yes, I will get an external microphone - a sound person will let us use one of his microphones (we don't know what type), and we will see if it works out well for us.

I forgot to clarify that I was trying to look for a camera without a microphone to save money, but it seems all the video-capable cameras have built-in microphone these days.

 EWarrenX's gear list:EWarrenX's gear list
Sony ZV-E10 Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS
CaliforniaDave Senior Member • Posts: 2,606
Re: Alpha 7 II: is it overkill as a video production camera
2

EWarrenX wrote:

Berto53 wrote:

If you have good lighting you dont need the iso capabilities of a full frame camera. An aps-c camera (smaller sensor than full frame, but still not small) such as the Sony a6000 should suit your needs just fine. It has e-mount as well so you can use your friends full frame lenses on it perfectly or just buy one yourself with the money you saved. I‘ve seen the a6000 go for as low as 400$, used even less. The lenses for this are also way cheaper. You can get a Sigma 30mm 1.4 prime lens for less than 300$. I would definitely look for an aps-c setup instrad of full frame.

Thank you very much for your feedback!

You are right, I will have sufficient lighting, and I found out my friend's lenses are APS-C instead of full frame, so looks like APS-C is the way to go for me.

I am looking at A6000 vs. ZV-E10. I don't need 4K recording, so some of the ZV-E10 features are wasted on me, but it seems harder to find A6000 nowadays, and ZV-E10 seems to be the closest substitute (with higher prices and slightly more features) if I cannot find a new A6000.

Shooting in 4K then editing down to HD will give better results than shooting in HD.

PAntunes Senior Member • Posts: 1,405
Re: Alpha 7 II: is it overkill as a video production camera
1

Is your plan to record, edit and share, or are you thinking livestream?

You mentioned that the camera would be connected to the computer. For video, unless you're streaming or doing HDMI capture, I'm 99% sure you can't just connect the camera and expect it to save video to the computer.

You also mentioned 60fps.

I think the only camera that does 60fps from your list would be the ZV-E10

I think the ZV-E10 would be the best bet and would also be more future proof if you decide to do more video content, depending on the industry you're in...

 PAntunes's gear list:PAntunes's gear list
Sony RX100 VA
QuietOC
QuietOC Veteran Member • Posts: 7,140
Re: Alpha 7 II: is it overkill as a video production camera
2

EWarrenX wrote:

Hello!

I am a small business owner who is planning to produce some videos to comment on our firm's services (and perhaps do semi-frequent Q&A with customers about the industry).

I have a $40 Logitech webcam, but I thought about spending more time and effort (use proper lighting, editing) and see if I can achieve higher production value.

After learning more about studio setup (where to place light, what kind of ambience I wish to achieve), I proceeded to learn about cameras.

One of the methods I learned was to lower ISO and increase aperture + use lighting to remove graininess from the picture, and that argues for a full-frame camera. I am also interested to prepare our spare office / studio with some basic clean up but use depth of field to make the background blurry, and here a full frame camera also seem to help.

Given a lot of what we are trying to do exceeds the little webcam's capabilities, and a friend has spare Sony E-mount lenses for us to borrow, that led me to Sony's Alpha 7 II as the most affordable option (out of the Sony line). So we are looking at the following requirements for our use case:

  • Full frame camera to handle low ISO
  • Does not need 4K - 1080P at 60 frames per second is enough
  • Does not need a microphone to record sound
  • Does not need large storage - the camera would be connected to PC
  • Uses Sony E-mount to take advantage of friend's selection of lenses

Is it appropriate for us to pick Alpha 7 II? Even though it appears to be the least expensive option on Sony's product list, it is still quite costly compared to some of the sub-$1,000 cameras. I am not sure if it is overkill.

Thank you!

The A7II throws away the vast majority of its pixels while recording video. You get full-frame coverage, but noise performance and quality is worse than a good webcam. It really is not a good camera for video.

The APS-C A6000/A5100 are about the best 1080p quality mirrorless cameras Sony has made other than the A7S series. A Micro Four-Thirds Panasonic G6 is probably better than those.

 QuietOC's gear list:QuietOC's gear list
Pentax Q7 Sony a7R IV NEX-5T Sony a77 II Sony DT 16-105mm F3.5-5.6 +103 more
OP EWarrenX New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Alpha 7 II: is it overkill as a video production camera
1

lehill wrote:

I'm with that guy - don't use the built-in camera mic for audio.

This guy's video purposely switches between the built-in camera mic and a lavalier mic about every 20 seconds to demonstrate the difference.

DPRTV has a fun introductory video on the basics of microphones and mic placement here.

Is it just me? I think the audio in this guy's video could be a lot better. I couldn't understand what he was saying so I stopped watching.

The difference is huge! Thanks for introducing the video!

I will wait for the sound person to let us use his microphone - hopefully it will be a decent one that suits our needs.

 EWarrenX's gear list:EWarrenX's gear list
Sony ZV-E10 Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS
OP EWarrenX New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Alpha 7 II: is it overkill as a video production camera

Thanks! I will try that!

 EWarrenX's gear list:EWarrenX's gear list
Sony ZV-E10 Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS
OP EWarrenX New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Alpha 7 II: is it overkill as a video production camera

PAntunes wrote:

Is your plan to record, edit and share, or are you thinking livestream?

You mentioned that the camera would be connected to the computer. For video, unless you're streaming or doing HDMI capture, I'm 99% sure you can't just connect the camera and expect it to save video to the computer.

You also mentioned 60fps.

I think the only camera that does 60fps from your list would be the ZV-E10

I think the ZV-E10 would be the best bet and would also be more future proof if you decide to do more video content, depending on the industry you're in...

Yes, after getting all the helpful feedbacks, I plan to use this setup:

Camera connects to PC via HDMI capture card, such as cam link. This will provide one of the video tracks. Another video track will be the desktop (showing various data). A separate microphone connected to the phantom power supply would provide the audio track. OBS would take in all the tracks, and I would edit them in Adobe Premiere Pro.

I will look into ZV-E10!

Thanks!

 EWarrenX's gear list:EWarrenX's gear list
Sony ZV-E10 Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS
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