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A7SII 4k LCD Monitor Brightness Dealbreaker

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I just started testing the A7SII outside on a sunny day, set to record XAVC-S 4k, with the LCD Monitor Brightness set to Sunny Weather.  

In every shooting mode, after hitting the record button, the monitor dims to a point that makes it nearly impossible to see in bright sunlight.  

This happens whether Live View is enabled -- or not.  And it does not happen when shooting 1080 HD (although the screen dims a little bit).

Interestingly, the same thing happens in the EVF.

This could very well be a deal breaker for me.  I can't shoot -- what I can't see.

Am I missing something here? 

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I see no reason why this decision is being made for us.  I shoot clips that are typically no longer than 60 seconds.  Therefore, the chance of overheating is zero.  However, this default (and unchangeable) behavior makes it impossible to see what I am shooting in bright sunlight without using the EVF -- which is impossible for a good number of shots.  I bought this camera to avoid the necessity of lugging around extra equipment.  Now I can't effectively monitor what I am shooting unless I drop down to 1080.  How are you dealing with this Andrew -- external monitor?  

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I deal with it by living in Berlin where the sun don't shine!!

Finally, a material advantage to living in a cloudy environment like Berlin or Seattle.

I am not happy about this -- and history has proven that the chances of Sony releasing updated firmware is less than zero.

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It did really annoy me in the summer...

The sunny weather mode however boosts contrast so much, it would make accurately shooting / exposing in S-LOG very tricky for a start.

The EVF in sunny weather is the way to go, ignore the LCD.

But even then the EVF is less than stella - goes invisible when you have direct sunlight coming at the camera sideways.

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The sunny weather mode however boosts contrast so much, it would make accurately shooting / exposing in S-LOG very tricky for a start.

That's a valid point -- that mode really does boost contrast.  Still, not being able to see what you are shooting, and the requirement of an external high NIT monitor, is infuriating.  Sony should at least give us the choice.

I wish someone would come out with a zero latency Head Mounted Display for photographers.  That would solve a whole host of problems.

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It did really annoy me in the summer...

The sunny weather mode however boosts contrast so much, it would make accurately shooting / exposing in S-LOG very tricky for a start.

The EVF in sunny weather is the way to go, ignore the LCD.

But even then the EVF is less than stella - goes invisible when you have direct sunlight coming at the camera sideways.

https://vimeo.com/103261808

for me this accesory is essentiell for shooting witht the a7 camera, it makes the viewfinder behave like it should have done in the first place.

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I have that as well (the original version that required plastic surgery).  Unfortunately, it does vignette the EVF.  I use it with the Kinotehnik Blue Star Oval Small Eye Cushion.

I'm hoping this upcoming Hoodeye product, made specifically for the A7 series, solves that problem:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1165087-REG/hoodman_heyesg_hoodeye_for_glasses_sony.html

Still, there are plenty of situations where having your head glued to the camera simply does not work. 

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I just started testing the A7SII outside on a sunny day, set to record XAVC-S 4k, with the LCD Monitor Brightness set to Sunny Weather.  

In every shooting mode, after hitting the record button, the monitor dims to a point that makes it nearly impossible to see in bright sunlight.  

This happens whether Live View is enabled -- or not.  And it does not happen when shooting 1080 HD (although the screen dims a little bit).

Interestingly, the same thing happens in the EVF.

This could very well be a deal breaker for me.  I can't shoot -- what I can't see.

Am I missing something here? 

I just picked up an A&Rii & a RX100IV last week and noticed the screen dims when you press record on both of these cams. It is very annoying. 

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I love this type of post, and the Internet / camera forums in general.  We go from arguing over how great a camera is going to be, to unboxing videos and camera lust / jealousy, to the inevitable honeymoon is over phase so quickly.

So in lieu of shooting something reliable and proven, we put loupes on our Sony bodies, worry about overheating, worry if the Metabones adapter is going to not work, drag around ND filters and step up rings, external mics, remember to overexpose 2 stops in log mode so we can squeeze 1/5 of a stop of extra dynamic range just to spend hours later grading footage of our....cats.  All while trying to avoid banding skies, black hole suns (Soundgarden anyone?) and instead of actually ENJOYING shooting a nice crisp 1080p signal (like my FS700) and worrying more about content - before we hit record we're trying to remember what our "knee" setting was for test shot #1047.

Hey, I'm one of you too.  Having gotten a proper ND filter / good built-in audio / slow motion FS700 the past few days I've just been shooting everything.  Mostly not even slowmo stuff - and (oh the horror) not $5000 adapted Cooke glass - I even tried the 18-55 Sony kit lens - which smoothly autofocuses and face tracks my subjects.  I locked the iris, set the ISO gain limit and just hit record.  Looking now for cool low angled shots, framing, keeping my subjects (my family) the focus and not the settings.  More "keeper" footage in 3 days non stop shooting than 4 months with the 1dc.

But, I am one of you - always on the quest for the best.  But at some point we are going to have to remember there is *no* perfect camera, nor will there ever be.

DSLR's will probably never have true built-in ND, XLR inputs (save the GH4 and the clunky poorly-powered YAGH), smooth AF in video mode and colors right out of the camera (and dynamic range) that we all like.

Camcorders will never be small, take exception stills, nor have the stealth factor.  I walked around Halloween with the FS and at least 3 people asked me if I was with the news.  At the baseball games with the 1d + 300 2.8 they asked if I was with Sports Illustrated.

 

Sigh.  /ramble off.

 

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use the evf?  It's a cracking viewfinder and adds a valuable additional point of contact to steady up shots.  Learn to view with your left eye and with a battery grip the camera rests perfectly on your shoulder.  

It is not possible to shoot complex tripod moves, with definitive start and stop points, on bright exterior sunny days, with one's head glued to the EVF.  

Also, I realize that everyone does different types of work, but the angle of some of my shots makes it impossible to use anything but the articulating LCD screen to see the framing.  And it's not just me, there is no one in the Cirque Du Soleil cast that can contort their body enough to use the EVF on some of my shots. 

And yes, one can certainly purchase an external monitor -- but many of my shoots require the least-kitted setup possible.  The LCD screen works fine, and the Sunny Weather setting works fine.  

I'm not asking for the camera to be redesigned.  I'm asking Sony to not force a decision regarding power consumption or overheating on users for which that might not be an issue. 

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Like Andrew said this problem exists on the A7RII as well.  It was one of the first issues I ran into when I went down to the beach with my new A7RII to do some test shots and found I couldn't even see what I was shooting after I hit record.  It's terrible Sony doesn't provide an option for this.  Like the OP I shoot very shot clips and I would far rather risk overheating than not be able to frame a shot.

And there are definitely tons of times where you cannot use the EVF.  I bought a gimbal so I can get some nice stabilized shots for example.. no way to EVF with that.

Here's a video I made showing off the screen darkening if anyone wants to see it in action:

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WOW. I'm shocked at this. It's a complete and total dealbreaker, and it hasn't even been widely discussed. I'm returning the camera because of it. What utter BS. It's amazing how engineers and other left-brain geniuses can design such amazing tech and simultaneously be so idiotic when it comes to basic user interface issues. All it would take is a modest investment to hire a small team of creatives to beta-test and avoid this kind of crap. I was really looking forward to using my A7rii as a B cam. For the work I do, this thing is a paperweight. 

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