When director Alec Ernest approached us seeking help with a low-light project, we were eager to hear about it. He was going to shoot a short documentary about Eric Merrell, an LA artist who paints in the desert under moonlight. We all knew this would be a great opportunity for the Sony A7s to shine.
If you’re not familiar, the Sony A7s maxes out at ISO 409,600. But how far can you push the ISO and still have your image not be too grainy? Far enough to get a decent exposure using moonlight? Alec did a number of camera tests with the A7s trying to find out exactly that. You can see more details in the BTS video below, but he and his crew felt that around ISO 24,000 – 32,000 was the sweet spot.
In the behind the scenes video they shot for us, Alec goes over several tips for shooting with A7s at night. He also talks a little about their post process, including color grading and noise reduction.
Tips For Shooting With The Sony A7s At Night:
- Plan around a full moon
- Record at the highest bit depth possible
- Don’t have on-camera subjects wear black
- Don’t whip pan/don’t move the camera too fast
- Don’t go overboard with noise reduction
Watch the full Nocturnes Behind The Scenes video: