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Sony A7s Firmware Requests

Since the Sony A7s camera was released a few weeks ago, early adopters have been using the camera in the field shooting a variety of material with it, in both stills and motion. I personally pre-ordered it the day it was announced at NAB in April and received my camera as soon as they were released to the general public in the first week of July. I put the camera through a series of tests before using it on actual client work, and I just completed a somewhat major corporate video shot entirely on the A7s.
The camera is truly exceptional; Sony’s sensor technology has, very simply, put Canon and Nikon to shame. Most pros who I’ve spoken to agree though that the A7s’s firmware could use a little bit of polish. There are a number of requests for alterations to the firmware that have become almost universally agreed upon by the pro community.

Therefore, in an effort to make a great camera even better, I’m sharing this list (and I invite other pros familiar with the A7s to chime in with their suggestions) in hopes that Sony may listen to the feedback from the pro community and consider including some of these suggestions in the next version of the A7s firmware. This list is taken both from my own experience using the camera in a variety of settings shooting a variety of material as well as conversations with other users, and it presented in order from most basic (and hopefully most attainable) to most complex. (NOTE: As the A7s is primarily a video camera for me and only secondarily a stills camera, this list is biased towards video, although some of the items are applicable to stills shooting as well).

Sony A7s Firmware Requests

#1: In movie mode, allow shutter release button to be configured to start/stop movie recording (this is the single biggest one: EVERY video shooter I’ve spoken to is begging for this)
#2: Allow video record button to be configured as a custom button
#3: Allow the “APS-C Size Capture” menu item to be assigned to a custom button (at the moment there is no option to assign this function to a custom button)
#4: Allow the “Video Record Setting” menu item (where frame rate and codec are chosen) to be assigned to a custom button (like APS-C mode above, it currently can’t be)
#5: Allow the “FINDER/MONITOR” menu item (where EVF vs. screen use is configured) to be assigned to a custom button
#6:
 Move the “APS-C Size Capture” menu item out from where it is currently buried (in tab 5 of the gear menu) forward into a more prominent and accessible place in the shooting menu in the first couple of tabs
#7: Create display mode with histogram on same screen as all other info (scrolling through the display modes by pressing the “DISP” button only shows the histogram in 3rd screen where much other information is omitted
#8: Create option to reconfigure function of scroll wheels (a number of people, myself included, find the scroll wheels’ function unnatural; it would be nice to be able to configure how each of the three wheels works)
#9: Create iris-open function assignable to a custom button (being able to hold the lens iris to its maximum size by holding down a custom button would make manual focusing much faster & easier)

I would encourage everyone to share this page with Sony (you can tweet it to @SonyProUSA, @SonyProEurope, or any other Sony contacts you may have). And if you’re a pro who uses the A7s and has a suggestion I haven’t included above, please mention it in the comments below!

I already love the A7s… and now I’d love to make it even better. :-)

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10 Responses to “Sony A7s Firmware Requests”

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  1. jason says:

    • Allow slog2 to be used with the remote / wifi app. currently is disabled.

    • Can’t power camera via the supplied power supply only charge battery?

    • USA cameras have no PAL frame rates, only 24/30/60/120

    • The whole PAL / NTSC issue is very frustrating..
    - WHY are USA cameras NTSC only? Sony said specifically at NAB that the A7s would be a world camera.
    - why do PAL / NTSC capable cameras need to reboot the change from PAL to NTSC mode?
    - WHY when you do change from pal to ntsc are you only able to shoot if you format the card? madness
    - Currently you cannot have 24fps and 25fps footage on the same card.
    - Not all frame rates are available at any time if im shooting 25fps, i can’t switch to 120fps without much menu dishing, a camera reboot AND switching memory cards.
    ….Basically give us ALL the frames rates possible… all the time.

    • 30 min run Time despite it being an EU tax rule it seems to affect every camera sold worldwide! Why is a camera sold in Asia Pacific affected by an EU tax rule?

  2. Pippin says:

    I feel the same about many of your thoughts, but what if many of your requests were found under the Fn. button in movie mode… easy.
    1. More assignable button configurations (record button, etc…)
    2. More assignable configurations in the function menu- (APS-C, 60/120 FPS. Just MORE specific video functions under Fn. in movie mode. Easy)
    3. Set custom white balances 1, 2, and 3 in movie mode- C’mon, seriously isn’t that what they’re for?
    4. Adjust audio levels while recording- unless I’ve missed something, please comment..
    5. 1/48 shutter speed
    6. 2.7x, and 5.4x zoom in movie mode- not just photo modes!
    7. Photos in movie mode possible- sure, why not?
    8. LUTs- I know wishful thinking

    • Asarma says:

      @Pippin – you can assign one of the tiles from the Fn button to Rec Level, the frustrating thing is you cannot adjust mic levels while watching what you are recording. The adjustments happen on a black screen.

  3. JJ says:

    #10 Make it possible to shoot less than 3200ASA in SLog2 (I know this will reduce the latitude, but still very useful.

    #11 An option to reverse the direction of the scroll wheels (to me, they all seem the wrong way around)

  4. Michael Tapp says:

    I second all of these suggestions and I have one more to add to the list.

    Make the REC icon on the LCD display larger while recording. I think it’s a little bit too subtle. There were a couple of times when I thought I was recording and I wasn’t. Regardless, I still love the A7s!

  5. Izzy pollak says:

    Request:

    Allow fps to be hot keyed.

    That is all :)

  6. Asarma says:

    #12 – Allow Zebras to be adjusted below 70%

    Alistair Chapman wrote an excellent article about properly exposing SLog2 for the A7s. You need to over expose by 70%, this can be achieved with a white card IRE reading at 55% (but the camera won’t let you go below 70%).

  7. Gerardo says:

    we need internal recording in 4K, many other brands are doing it with they little cameras; and if the heat is the problem then Sony must make a battery grip with cooling system to keep temperature down and allow 4K internally

  8. HB says:

    10bit. 10bit. 10bit. 10bit. 10bit. 10bit.

  9. Marcel says:

    - SDI output
    - 10 bit Raw via SDI to external recorder
    - 150 fps in 4K
    - Global Shutter
    - Built in ND Filter
    - 16 stops dynamic range in Raw

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