Team PolarPro's Favorite Sony a7SII Accessories
Since the release of Sony’s primary video camera, the a7SII, it has been one of the top choices for videographers and cinematographers alike. The Sony a7SII has gained popularity in the television and film industry as a smaller camera option for on-location shooting, in comparison to large, bulky rigs. The “S” in the Sony a7SII stands for “sensitivity”, which refers to the ‘sensitivity’ to low light situations. This 35mm full frame video expert has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, great autofocus controls, a native ISO range from 100 to 102, 400 and an extended ISO range from 50 to 409,600. In other words, the Sony a7SII’s calling card is its low light performance capabilities. In addition to its exceptional ISO abilities, the Sony a7SII can record 4K video internally to the memory card of your camera, which was not possible in the original model of this camera. The Sony a7SII is a great camera for video, but please remember it was released back in 2015 and the new Sony a7SIII is long awaited-- and we can only imagine what the specs will be like on that one! In the meantime however, when using your Sony a7SII on location it is important that you bring more than just your camera to help you with your next video shoot in order to streamline your workflow process.
1. On-Camera Light
Although the Sony a7SII is an expert when it comes to low light performance, when filming in extremely dark settings, and on-camera light would serve as an extra tool to help you get the right exposure. First on our list of our favorite Sony a7SII accessories is the Aputure Amaran H198C On-Camera LED Light. This on-camera light by Aperture is the one we use here at PolarPro for our in house productions, so of course we refused to leave it off of our list. First of all, it is extremely bright and can illuminate any dimly lit setting. In addition, this light is a Bi-Color LED light, rather than a Daylight on-camera light like the last model. Where the two differ is that the Bi-Color LED light offers multiple color temperatures, allowing you to have more a more advanced and flexible lighting system. For example, Bi-Color lights will transition from from one end of the spectrum to the other, which in turn, offers a whole variety of Kelvin color temperatures.
2. Slate Case
Since it is more than likely that you will be bringing multiple SD cards with you on location, you will definitely need something to hold them all so they don’t get lost in the bottom of your camera bag. Luckily, the next option on our list of Sony a7SII accessories will mend this issue of disorganization. Our Slate Memory Card case is the perfect solution for carrying your SD memory cards, and depending on which model you decide to get can hold anywhere from 12 to 24 memory cards. With the Slate Memory Card Case’s cast-aluminum design, it will be sure to protect your saved content through the most rugged of conditions. In the SD Edition of our Slate Case you can store up to 24 cards, 16 MicroSD and 8 StandardSD; whereas in the QXD Edition stores up to 12 memory cards which include, 4 QXD, 4 StandardSD, and 4 MicroSD. The Slate Memory Card case can inspire creativity when using your Sony a7SII. For instance, when empty, Slate is a blank palette to begin creating your content upon; however, when full, Slate offers peace of mind, knowing the content you have captured is compiled in a premium safe, single location
At the top of our list for the best Sony a7SII accessories, is of course filters for your camera. Filters are an essential part of enhancing your creativity within your workflow. For instance, filters allow you to properly expose your images within bright environments by limiting the amount of light that is able to reach your camera’s sensor. At PolarPro, we believe that having high-grade filters is an essential addition to any photographer’s camera bag. QuartzLine filters are a quintessential accessory for your new Sony a7SII, which are made of fused quartz glass and built to withstand the harshest of conditions. With these filters hand crafted construction, they can prove to be a beneficial part of your workflow due to their optically pristine properties.In addition, QuartzLine filters have the ability to resolve up to 100 megapixels which means that each of the Sony a7SII’s 12.2 megapixels will be captured with effortless clarity.The QuartzLine collection is offered in various filter types, and have the ability to block anywhere between 3 and 16 stops of light. Additionally, these filters will also help enhance your footage to make it look more professional and cinematic.
There are multiple types of filters, such as: CP, UV, ND, and ND/PL. Each type of filter is used for a different purpose, and when deciding on which one to take on your next photography project it is good to know which each filter type is used for.
CP: A CP, or circular polarizing filter, allows you to capture vividness and contrast in an image. These polarizing characteristics do not only enhance the colors of your image, but also reduce glares and reflections within your photo or video.
UV: When shooting outside, UV can affect the image quality in a variety of ways. For example, UV light manifests itself in the form of haze-- this haze can rob image’s detail, especially at longer distances with longer focal lengths. As a result, the cumulative haze densities can greatly soften the sharp details of distant images. It is greatly debated amongst photographers if they actually provide a benefit to their workflow, but in our opinion it never hurts to have an extra line of defense against potential damage.
ND: A ND filter, or neutral density filter, is used to limit the amount of light that is able to reach your camera’s sensor. As a result, these filters allow you to control the exposure in your image very easily and prevent you from having to over extend the use of your camera’s settings, like ISO, aperture, or white balance. ND filters also help keep the shutter open longer on your camera, and achieve long exposure shots, the milky effect of water, and also show the movement of clouds in the sky.
ND/PL: A ND/PL filter combines the features of two popular filter types, a neutral density and circular polarizing filters. These filters are used to achieve smooth, flushed out photos or videos at slower shutter speeds with improved contrast and color saturation. Unlike straight ND filters that usually have a neutral color profile, ND/PL filters provide more color saturation due to the polarization effect.
Another type of filter is a variable neutral density filter, or a VND. A VND is a type of ND filter that combines multiple filters into one. For example, instead of only being able to capture 3 stops of light with one ND filter, you can capture a range of stops by physically rotating the filter to control the amount of light that is let in. In other words, a variable ND filter combines multiple filter elements into one and eliminates the hassle of carrying numerous filters with you while out on location. Here at PolarPro, we teamed up with one of the biggest creators in the industry, Peter McKinnon, to engineer the highest quality VND filter on the market. Much like our QuartzLine filters, the Peter McKinnon Variable ND filter is made of our quartz glass technology which allows for increased durability and a reliable Sony a7SII accessory on any rugged adventure. Our Peter McKinnon Variable ND filter is available in both 2-5 and 6-9 stop options, making it easy for you to adapt to any outdoor environment.
4. External Microphone
Since this Sony camera model known for its video capabilities, it was only right for us to add another a7SII accessory that would help you best execute your next videography project. When filming, you should always have the proper setup and with that, a good microphone is an absolute must, as well as one of our favorite Sony a7SII accessories. RODE is one of the leading competitors in the portable external microphone industry. Our favorite model of theirs for filming is the VideoMic Pro, which is a professional grade shotgun microphone. This external mic is battery powered, making it an easy addition to your cinematic rig setup without having to worry about unnecessary cables. It also includes a good shock mount to lessen the noise from the camera, when it is attached to one. The RODE VideoMic Pro, is what we think the perfect microphone would be for the cinematographer that is constantly in transit or traveling.
5. Lens Protection
Carly San Filippo
Copywriter at PolarPro