Useful feature in Sony A7Rii and RX10iii, for videographers.

Belinda, looking at slides. 1980.

I never thought much about file sizes and HD video. My office computer, running Final Cut Pro X seems to handle 4K video without breaking a sweat. This being the case I never looked at one of the options in the Sony camera menu that allows one to record both a big, husky 4K video file and also makes a simultaneous, much smaller MP4 file. I enabled this feature before I shot my first interview yesterday because I had the idea that I would be able to send along a bunch of the smaller files to the client for review. The setting, and the duplicate files didn't have any deleterious effect on the camera performance, and the additional files aren't big enough to take up too much space, so, what the heck?

I came to realize the value of the duplicate files when I downloaded the two days of shooting into my 2011 vintage, MacPro laptop. It's got 8 gigs of memory, and a small Intel HD Graphics 3000 card with 512mb on board. No! It can't run 4K video without a very slow, three to four second per visual frame, screen refresh. It's like watching a slow slide show while listening to a continuous audio track. 

I searched and found the much, much smaller, 1080p MP4 files and clicked on one. It plays just fine. No big hit on systems resources. So, the 4K content is safely backed up but I also have duplicate content I can play, without penalty, for my clients. It's a pretty nice deal. It's like making your own "all purpose" proxy files in camera. In fact, that's exactly what it is.

The more I work with the cameras the more fluid I'm getting with both handheld camera movement and decent, on tripod, panning technique. 

We worked outside for about an hour and a half today. The RX10iii took it all in stride. With my GoreTex lined Ahnu hiking shoes, my Merino wool socks and my long underwear, along with my toasty Sherpa hat and amazing gloves, I stayed perfectly warm and was amazed to see Canadians in down outwear shivering and stamping their feet to stay warm. 

I'm heading out to meet a new friend for dinner but wanted to share this largely overlooked feature for other Sony videographers. I'm happy when I realize that a feature is not worthless...it's just sitting there on the camera waiting for me to get smarter...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Kirk - This is an accurate description of me....
"I'm happy when I realize that a feature is not worthless...it's just sitting there on the camera waiting for me to get smarter..."
Take Care.