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Lantern was (and still is) a tremendous asset to Canon DSLRs, packing a shed load of extra features into the otherwise outdated camera bodies, not to mention the Panasonic GH2 hack for increased bit rate recording.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
FilmConvert is our film look plugin of choice for many of the review videos we shoot here at cinema5D. It’s easy to use, there are integrated versions for Premiere and Final Cut Pro X as well as a standalone version, and in our opinion, there isn’t an easier and faster way to achieve a very sophisticated film look without much more effort (and no, this is not a sponsored post … I just like it!). One of the qualities of FilmConvert is that they develop their presets specifically for each camera, which makes it actually easy to match different cameras across models and even manufacturers using the plugin. On the other hand, you need to download these profile packs individually. Luckily they have become quite fast in implementing new picture profiles for new cameras. There’s the two fairly new Sony RX100 IV and Sony RX10 II cameras, (small sensor, fixed-lens cameras) that have gained popularity among semi pro filmmakers as B-cameras or quick always-in-your-pocket tools. The amount of possible movie mode adjustments in these cameras make them viable tools also for professionals – just look at my colleague Johnnie Behiri’s great video reviews of the RX100 IV as well as the RX10. To make grading easy with these cameras, head over to FilmConvert to download the appropriate plugin pack for free (if you already own the software).Read more
Back in in November 2013 when reviewing the Sony RX 10, one of its major drawback was its AVCHD codec. This morning we have a sweet surprise! Sony just published a new RX10 firmware update which now allows the camera to record in the XAVC S codec!!!. (Its bringing me to think, will more popular Sony cameras can get the same treatment? Up until now I was assuming we are talking partly about a hardware limitation for implementing the modern codec but now the proof is, it is doable)… According to Sony, those are the benefits of installing the new release: Enables shooting 60p/30p/24p/120p movies in the XAVC S format that supports high bit rates (1920×1080) 50p/25,(1280×720) 100p, (1920×1080) 60p/30p/24p,(1280×720) 120p Note: When shooting a movie in the XAVC S format, ensure that an SDXC card of Class 10 or faster is used. As we can see, Sony is listening and I am sure those who are using the RX10 in a professional way can greatly benefit from such an update. On a side news, the Sony RX100M3 also got a firmware update which according to Sony does the following: This update improves stability in rare cases where the unit does not turn due to low remaining life of the internal back-up battery (used to maintain the date and time) Update links: Sony RX 10 firmware update (Windows) Sony RX firmware update (mac) Sony RX100M3 firmware updateRead more
Italy. Nov 13th. In my hands I have a camera that can change the news/documentary filming industry forever: the Sony RX10 (available and shipping now). Now, before you raise your eyebrow, please take a moment to read what this camera offers: -1 inch new sensor and new engine behind it -“All data read out” from the sensor -Build in ND filter (first in a bridge/VDSLR camera) -Nice range of min/max focal length -Constant fast aperture through the range (2.8) -Min. focus distance of 3cm (in wide open focal length) -Good OLED EVF and LCD screen -Ability to connect Sony’s XLR-K1M (A professional audio accessory) -Can monitor and control audio while recording -Zebra -Peaking -Ability to zoom in for accurate focus while filming -Good “auto focus” performance -Clean HDMI output (8 bit, 4:2:2) -Clear menu structure -Extremely customizable “custom keys” feature! You can assign any button you need for very easy control With so many inventive features I was very excited to finally start shooting the little “custom made” mini doc you see above. My plan was to simulate a real news/documentary run&gun situation when mostly available light is what you have and filming time is very limited. After all, I believe that this camera is aimed for VJ’s (video journalists) and is NOT meant to replace the work/look with a large sensor camera in any way. OK, enough with “words of wisdom”. How was the camera in the field? Well, I am a little bit less excited now after working with it and watching the footage. Here are my main concerns: -The lens is very confusing. While it is really good with manual aperture it is really bad with zoom. There is no real “manual zoom”. It is a “fly-by-wire” one. You can only zoom with your hand on the lens when not in “manual focus mode” as the focus and zoom are using the same ring. If you use your hand to zoom you will find yourself twisting the focus/zoom ring at least 3 times from end to end. Now, if you are in manual focus mode, you can use the little rocker opposite the “on/off” switch for zooming. This rocker has a certain “zooming speed” when not filming. In the minute you press the “REC button” it slows down dramatically. -OLED EVF, the one on the RX10 is less good in my opinion then the one found on the A7/A7r. Focusing is not always easy. For many of the run&gun wide angle situations filmed above I had to rely on the “auto focus” which is pretty good!. -Another thing to consider is the ability to magnify (zoom in) before or while recording. Unfortunately it is only x4 which makes life a bit harder when searching for optimal focus. -Low light capability of the camera is as expected from “less then APS-C” sensor size. The “Pizza scene” was all shot at ISO 1000 and the picture turns (in some shoot which I did not include) to very very soft even if in focus. -Most important, picture quality. This camera DOES have strong aliasing and even worse, kind of micro blocking in “low light parts of the picture” or when it comes to “fine structure” like hair. I wish Sony would have taken a “brave” decision and equipped all their current new cameras with a better codec. Camera settings: Creative style: Netural (All settings on 0 as recommended by Sony) A small amount of brightness/contrast was added to some shots. UPDATE: I can confirm the following regarding Sony’s RX10 SteadyShot as stated by Sony’s technical marketing manager: -Optical SteadyShot Active Mode: roll correction is achieved by crop-out of the picture. -Optical SteadyShot Standard Mode: pitch and yaw correction are done only with optical stabiliser function, therefore no cropping. -OFF: Neither optical nor electrical stabilisation is processed. The resolution of Active Mode is a bit worse than the other 2. Standard mode and OFF should be the same image quality. Music: The music bed “Perfect day” by Holley Maher A big thank you to Isabella and Enrico from en&is studio Johnnie Behiri is a freelance documentary cameraman/editor/producer working mostly for the BBC and other respected broadcasters. He is also co-owner of cinema5d.comRead more
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