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Andrew Reid

Sony F5 hack unlocks 4K XAVC recording

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View the Sony F5 'out of the box' specs at B&H here (and add 4K for free)

Paul Ream (Twitter) has spoken about his simple unlocking technique for the F5 to unlock 4K XAVC recording.

It doesn't even require a firmware update.

Via Philip Bloom on Facebook and Paul Ream on the ExtraShot Podcast

Read the full article here

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I really dislike this method of segmentation. It's like telling a wedding videographer that you can't afford their usual rates and they say fine, I'll give you a lower rate but I'll blur the footages and resize them to 720p because that's what you get for the price you're paying.

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Philip says that he's sure it would be shut down in the next firmware update...but wouldn't that firmware update have to offer something useful to make people apply it?  If I was an f5 owner, I'd be sitting there thinking that this hack, with current firmware was extremely valuable - to make me apply a new version, that new version would have to offer something at least as valuable.  Otherwise I'd stay on the same firmware forever - because the camera works perfectly well right now. 

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The A7S probably does 4k internal as well.  At least it should. 

 

I think that too, but the body being so compact, there's a good chance it'll overheat when recording 4k.

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It already does 4K internal, it comes off the sensor as 4K and is debayered, all the hard work done and sent to HDMI rather than compressed and sent to the card. 4K compression is trivial. Mobile phones do it. I don't believe the overheating theory at all... The biggest heat management issue in the A7S comes from the sensor and that is already doing 4K even for 1080p. It's probably more work for the image processor to downsample the 4K output to 1080p than it is to compress the 4K and write it to the SD card. I think they are saving the feature for future models.

 

My message is clear to the manufacturers and always has been... Give us 100% of the capabilities of the hardware we pay for and don't disable stuff with a line of code.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Is it unethical to disable a feature in a product that can do it? I don't know, I think it is.

Quite a confusing situation and it's hard to pick a side!

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Unfortunately for the consumer, companies can do what they want. They will charge as much as people will pay.

If you take into account all of the money spent on development, marketing and all other aspects of the company, the cost to produce the physical product probably isn't that large of a percentage. it may cost the same to produce a £200 camera as it does a £30,000 camera. But if they have different features (even if features are removed) they have different value and so they can charge different prices for them)

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Things like this are going to happen more and more often as hardware becomes more generalized and the firmware and software that runs them becomes more specialized.  Stuff like this obviously happens in the computer realm every day and has for decades, camera makers just aren't used to being hacked because they are so specialized in function.  I don't think it's unethical for Sony to disable features, in fact I think it's probably really common.  They shouldn't be surprised that this happened though.

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I don't think its unethical. Just look at Software. Companies will make LITE versions, or PRO versions. Obviously there are features disabled in LITE for a lower price. You could say the same about Cameras, and hardware.

 

 

Come on ... You are comparing soft and hardware. But let's do it : most of the lite versions are FREE, give me a F55 with no 4K for free I will take it... (Look at Davinci Lite for free..)

Plus, even if a lite version is not free it will be most of the time very cheap. Here we talk about 12 000 $ difference man. 

 

Anyway you just lack of common sense and honesty. As Sony and others do. 

 

 

You know what is the shame in the sorry ? It is us. Because at the end we are the one buying this and agreeing. I don't see why they should not charge 12 000 more for 4K with one line of code. They could charge 100 000 000 more if you still buy it. 

The only way we can stop that one day is stop buying products like this, or from the companies who do that the most, then other companies will get the message and definitely stop this practice. 

So my friends, stop buying Sony. F**k them. That's it... 

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It already does 4K internal, it comes off the sensor as 4K and is debayered, all the hard work done and sent to HDMI rather than compressed and sent to the card. 4K compression is trivial. Mobile phones do it. I don't believe the overheating theory at all... The biggest heat management issue in the A7S comes from the sensor and that is already doing 4K even for 1080p. It's probably more work for the image processor to downsample the 4K output to 1080p than it is to compress the 4K and write it to the SD card. I think they are saving the feature for future models.

 

My message is clear to the manufacturers and always has been... Give us 100% of the capabilities of the hardware we pay for and don't disable stuff with a line of code.

 

This makes sense. Fair enough.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

When buying the F5, are we paying extra money for the hardware that's capable of recording the 4K signal and compressing it XAVC, compared to what we would pay for hardware not designed to do so?

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I would like to see motion in camera at 4K. There could be a reason sony didn't implement it. Give me some quick camera movements and lets see if they truly did cripple the hardware or it simply cant handle it. 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

In Sony's defence, other companies are doing it. Most prominent example, is Arri with their Amira. They sell the same camera in three different firmware packages, one does 1080p, the other enables 2K, third enables 200fps, etc. And the difference in price is 10-20k also. Same camera, same hardware, they even give you the option of renting the higher-end package for a period of time.

Convergent Design does the same, you can buy their external recorder Q7, and then you have to buy an extra expensive (1-2K) software license to enable recording the signal from certain cameras, if you don't, you get a watermark on the footage overlayed. Same hardware, different prices for software.

The F5 is actually an even a better situation compared to those as "some" hardware is different from the F55, as it has a global shutter and a different sensor circuitry and other differences.

I still don't enjoy the idea of paying money for physical hardware for its ability to do certain tasks, and then have it disabled for any reason.

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It already does 4K internal, it comes off the sensor as 4K and is debayered, all the hard work done and sent to HDMI rather than compressed and sent to the card. 4K compression is trivial. Mobile phones do it. I don't believe the overheating theory at all... The biggest heat management issue in the A7S comes from the sensor and that is already doing 4K even for 1080p. It's probably more work for the image processor to downsample the 4K output to 1080p than it is to compress the 4K and write it to the SD card. I think they are saving the feature for future models.

 

This is equally true of the Sony RX10 -- it samples natively at 4Kp60. It then sends the image to the Bionz X processor.

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So they make pay 12 000 USD for 1 line of text... 
What a strange world we live in..

 

No, as F55 sensor is different too: Global shutter on FF

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