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Sony A7mkiii 4K

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Capturing images from 4k footage?

Can you capture images from 4k footage?

Girls dancing

I've been Photographing and Filming weddings for many years, I was always one of those photographers that always said “use a video for film and a camera for stills”

I have worked for some pretty impressive companies in my professional life such as Disney, Sky Sports etc etc.

Over the past few years I have been watching the technological growth of the Sony mirrorless cameras, patiently waiting for the camera that can really provide the option to provide my fusion wedding and Video services, where it would be possible to utilize one camera.

Michael Gane - www.thefxworks.co.uk8.JPG

I've had to eat my words! I have been using the Sony A7iii since it arrived on the market and the results have been incredible. I no longer have to carry several pieces of heavy equipment (or my wife lol) using two of these fabulous cameras with the 28-75mm Tamron and the 85mm sony lens, i'm getting the results.

I was recently asked to photograph a friends show rehearsal of the musical - Westside Story and i thought this would provide me with the opportunity to see if its possible to export individual frames from the 4k footage.

I was very impressed with the results and I have added a few of the images from this test for you to view.

I found the best settings for the 4k were 1/200 shutter speed, f2.8 and let the camera set the ISO. I had read that the footage could look a tad robotic at this frame rate however encoding the 4k footage to 1080p looked absolutely amazing in my eyes.

I captured the frames using Final Cut Pro, exported these into Photoshop, set up an action to increase the size, add sharpening and a touch of noise reduction.

I know a few of the images may not be perfectly sharp and ill need more testing but i’d Love to know your thoughts at this stage.

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Sony A7 mkiii 4K

Sony A7 Mark III


I have to be honest,  the main reason for buying the Sony A7 was because of the incredible low light capabilities.

I've been a keen photographer and filmmaker for about 27 year,  I've been very lucky I'm working for some pretty impressive companies including Disney, Sony, Halfords, Sky Sports just to name a few.

I've never been happy with noise levels in all the cameras I’ve owned, unfortunately I've never been satisfied with the noise in certain images when shooting above a certain ISO.

So although I've filmed with Sony video cameras for many years, I've never owned a Sony DSLR/Mirrorless camera, when it came to wedding photography. I've always wanted and wished for a camera that exceeds in low light, when pushing high ISO.

This Sony A7 is absolutely amazing with regards pushing the ISO,  I keep the in camera noise settings to low because it does tend to smear the images if set higher however keeping the settings low and importing the images into Photoshop, I've seen some pretty impressive photos, I've taken at crazy high ISO levels.

4k image grab Bird1.jpg

An added benefit to this camera is the focus, I use the eye Focus 90% of the time when shooting weddings with this camera,  I have been stunned how this thing locks onto the eye from a distance and catches those images pinsharp.

The speed of which this camera focuses is superb,  it's massively increased my hit rate and helped make being a wedding photographer even more enjoyable.

So a few months ago I was reading a lot of articles with regards to grabbing stills from 4K footage,  because I’ve filmed and Photographed weddings all over Europe, having an extensive knowledge of editing, using programs such as After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Premier, Canopus and Avid, I still find myself being asked to film a Dual service for weddings, I became very interested with the possibility of using the Sony A7 mk iii to film certain sections of a wedding, having the ability to grab images from the footage.

This is going to be my first introduction blog with regards to my initial tests and later after offering the dual service using this camera full wedding (Wedding number 24 with the Sony A7 mk iii)  It's now my workflow for weddings, when asked to provide the full service.

I have only added two images to this article, partly due to time but also so is not to bore you with my attempts at wildlife photography. I clearly remember these first clips were filmed in 4k Aperture setting f 5.6 -  shutter speed 1/1000 and ISO at 8000. I then imported the frames into Photoshop and grabbed 2 frames (of literally hundreds that I could have used) I was very excited and pretty impressed.

4k SonyA7 mkiii Bird2.jpg