by Fabian Chaundy | 21st April 2017
The attractively-named Sony NPA-MQZ1K is probably everything you’ve been looking for in those third-party power solutions for your Sony Alpha camera, all smooshed together into one nifty — if a bit pricey — little product. So, what exactly does it do? Sony NPA-MQZ1K – Quad Battery Charger This new battery adapter from Sony is first and foremost a quad-unit battery charger for the teeny-weeny NP-FW50 batteries we have come to know and love in cameras such as the Sony A7S II or Sony A6500. It is also compatible with the newer, higher-capacity Z-series batteries just announced alongside the Sony A9, and claims to be able to charge four of them in 8 hours. I think it’s safe to say that Sony shooters have been frustrated with the laughable performance of the NP-FW50s of around one hour of video use, meaning that many looked at purchasing extra batteries and multi-unit chargers, often from third-party manufacturers. This alone makes an official product from Sony with this kind of functionality not just necessary but also overdue. But its $400 price tag means it better be more than just a charger… Unlimited Power for your Sony Alpha Like the battery charger included with the FS5 or FS7, the Sony NPA-MQZ1K goes from charger to direct power supply for the camera with just the flick of a switch. The unit supplies constant power to the camera via a tethered dummy battery, which means you will have to remove the battery compartment cover to leave place for the cable. It also means you can’t charge your batteries simultaneously, but hey… at least you’ve still got that single charger that came with your camera lying around, right? There have been other dummy battery options available from third-party manufacturers, though I suspect many have decided against going down this route due to multiple forums reporting fried cameras as a result of faulty adapters. This official solution from Sony may make a lot of shooters revisit the dummy battery option, especially those in need of an unmanned B-Cam with unlimited recording time via an external recorder, such as event shooters. In addition, the Sony NPA-MQZ1K can also power up to 2 USB devices. You can use the on-board switches to choose how to route the DC power. Power… On the Go. If you thought the Sony NPA-MQZ1K would tether you to a wall outlet, think again. You can remove the battery protector, cover two of the battery bays with the included lids, and turn the battery adapter into a portable two-battery power pack. Sony NPA-MQZ1K in portable mode Sure, it may not seem as elegant a solution as a battery grip, and you’re right… if you’re a photographer. The Sony NPA-MQZ1K features six standard 1/4-20 threads to mount the unit to your rig, making it much more suitable for video shooters since battery grips are incompatible with most fitted camera cages. The Sony NPA-MQZ1K is available for pre-order from B&H for $400. It may sound a bit steep, but it does include two of the new NP-FZ100 batteries too, so yay! Is the Sony NPA-MQZ1K the holy grail of power for the Sony Alpha series? More importantly, does it sound like the right solution for YOU? Let us know in the comments below!Read more
by Tim Fok | 26th April 2016
Sonyalpharumors has brought to light a source claiming to have unlocked the recording limit on Sony Alpha, RX and NEX cameras as well as lifting the language menu fix on region bound cameras, such as bodies bought in Japan. Here’s some information about this latest Sony Alpha Hack—and a warning to those of you that are tempted to try it. Sony Alpha hack – proceed with caution It seems that user ma1co on Personal View has dabbled in Sony hacking in the past, now claiming this practice has been put to good use in removing the 30minute recording limit of Sony cameras like the A7S, A7R, RX100, and A6300. It’s done by reverse engineering the Play Memories app, meaning any camera that utilizes the Sony software can benefit from this hack. Click here to see the full list of compatible camera bodies, but in a nutshell, the A7S, A7R II & IIs, as well as the A6300 and RX bodies, are all in there. Some filmmakers will be well acquainted with hacking cameras; Magic Lantern was (and still is) a tremendous asset to Canon DSLRs, packing a shed load of extra features into the otherwise outdated camera bodies, not to mention the Panasonic GH2 hack for increased bit rate recording. This should be taken with a caution, however. Firstly, we have no first-hand confirmation that this hack works, there is simply a sufficient amount of feedback on the Personal View forums for us to think it’s worth notifying you, the readers (including the above picture) as this could develop into something great.* *Update – I’ve had a good body of users & peers come forward to confirm that this does in fact work. Secondly, hacking any camera comes with significant risk and voids any manufacturers warranty. This applies to the Sony Alpha Hack, too. What works for one camera line and their respect hacker is completely different to another (particularly a brand new source). And lastly is a warning on the actual feature itself. The recording limit is in place to allow the Sony cameras to fall into a different, cheaper tax band, but many users will know that bodies like the A7R II can suffer badly from overheating and will shut down long before the recording limit is reached. As an occasional video user of the Sony Alpha cameras in B/C/D unit form, I rarely record clips on the A7R II or A7S II longer than a minute or two, therefore, won’t have any use for the Sony Alpha hack in its current state. However if there is anyone out there that is in a position to test out the hack, do let us know how you get on. This is certainly something to keep an eye on, with the potential of other features opening up as the hack develops. Via SonyalpharumorsRead more
by Johnnie Behiri | 12th February 2014
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