Sony has quietly released a firmware updates for their flagship mirrorless cameras, the Sony a7R II and Sony a7S II, that seem to solve the overheating issues that many users have experienced when shooting 4K internally on these cameras.
The 3.00 firmware update for the a7R II can be downloaded by clicking here, the 2.00 firmware update for the a7S II can be downloaded by clicking here.
Sony is quite vague about the improvement however, this is their stated main improvement in both firmware update versions:
Improves 4K movie recording time when using the vertical grip (VG-C2EM) or when the APS-C/Super35mm mode is activated
Additionally, they state that it “improves picture quality”. What exactly that means remains to be seen. We don’t even know if they are referring to video or still picture quality with this statement. There have been numerous reports by users complaining about macro blocking and other issues in the HD mode of the Sony a7R II in particular.
Thanks to cinema5D reader Jonathan Fuentes we know that the 4K overheating issue seems to be resolved after the firmware update. He sent us links to two YouTube videos in which he documented hour-long internal 4K recordings with his a7R II, without the camera ever showing any overheating warning, after performing the firmware update. We expect the a7S II to behave in the same way after the update. (Recording time is limited to 29:59 on all these cameras, but he restarted recording right after the automatic stop.)
We have heard firsthand from Sony engineers before that solving these overheating issues is very hard due to the compact way in which the cameras are built, so we are surprised to see this firmware update. Sony possibly only raised the critical temperature to a higher level, meaning that the camera would only show the warning at higher temperatures now. Jonathan tested his continuous a7R II recording at 70 degree Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius), which is normal room temperature – we expect warnings to still show up in warmer conditions. With winter upon us here in Northern hemisphere, maybe our Australian friends can help us out with a test in the sun ;-)
Today, Sony has already issued a firmware update (v 1.10) for their new a7S II mirrorless camera that fixes the “black hole sun” problem that we reported about just over a week ago.
A word from Sony:
(…) It is designed to eliminate the occurrence of a black spot that may appear in frame when shooting in a specific set of high intensity light conditions. The new firmware, version 1.10, will be available for download through Sony’s e-support site http://www.sony.eu/support/ on the product page for model “ILCE-7SM2”.
This is the direct link to the UK site for the a7S II firmware update:
Wolfcrow has already posted a video demonstrating the fixed footage.
via Sony Europe & NoFilmSchool (Wolfcrow Video)
The Sony a7S II is the latest and greatest in Sony’s mirrorless video camera lineup. But since its release last month several users have been reporting a bug where overexposed areas are displayed as black instead of white pixels, also referred to as the “Sony a7S II black sun” bug.
Sony have now issued a statement to the press saying they acknowledge the problem and they are working on a firmware fix:
“We have confirmed this phenomenon and are now analyzing it to develop a firmware solution to solve it.”
Apparently the a7s II black sun bug only appears in Slog 2 & 3 mode and when the camera is set to PAL framerates, so NTSC shooters and those using 24p are safe. Looks like filmmaker Ben Walton was one of the first to discover the issue in his a7S II article.
At this time there is no release date for the firmware in question, but Sony will keep us up to date and we’ll keep you up to date…
For a detailed analysis of the Sony a7S II check out our Ultimate Sony a7S vs. a7S II Test.
You might have heard or experienced the issue yourself: Some wide angle lenses can’t be focused to infinity on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. This issue has now been addressed, but the solution won’t make current owners happy.
Blackmagic has been looking into the issue last month when it was reported. See a sample on one of the affected lenses (Tokina 11-16mm) below.