San Francisco: Above the Clouds with an A7S

Friends launch a stratospheric balloon with five cameras from the Presidio in San Francisco, capturing sweeping views of the Bay Area. The balloon travels south along the Pacific coast, bursts at an altitude of 91,470 ft, and lands near Salinas, over 100 miles away.

The payload of the balloon was a Sony A7s mirrorless camera ($2198.oo from Amazon) with a Sony 10-18mm f/4 lens, 2 GoPro HERO4 Blacks, a Samsung Galaxy S5, and a GoPro HERO3+.

The payload was split into two boxes – the first stage (the bottom box) and a smaller second stage (the top box). The first stage contained 3 separate cameras. The first is arguably our primary payload, our selected low light capable camera, the Sony A7S mirrorless camera pointed towards the horizon. The Sony A7S was outfitted with a Sony 10-18 mm f/4 wide angle lens. That specific lens was chosen for its light weight, auto-focusing capability, and cost as it was much less expensive than its full-frame, E-mount, wide angle lens counterparts. Using Canon or Nikon lenses were not an option due to extra weight of the lens adapter. Next, we had a GoPro Hero 4 Black donated by the GoPro team also pointed towards the horizon. Finally, we had a Samsung Galaxy S5 provided by Broadcom taking pictures at 10 second intervals pointed straight down (nadir).

Read more about the Night Crew Labs and the mission details here. This is another, remarkable example of what creatives are doing with mirrorless cameras.

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My daily shooter is Sony a9 II with a vertical grip and various Sony lenses attached like the FE 20mm F1.8. Find more gear recommendations in our shop. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.