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A7Rii Overheat attempt//band aid


Francesco Spiezia

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I am trying to defend Sony in any way, I am just stating the facts. I don't enjoy gear fights. Of course I would prefer a product that is perfect in every way. Its not about having a different standard but different needs, I need a compact camera with IBIS that shoots great quality video. Neither GH4 nor NX1 do that. Until there is another company that makes such a camera, A7rII appears to be the only choice, as crappy and expensive that might be. I am sure that when they find a way to solve the heat issue they will release yet another camera. Would you prefer not to have the A7rII at all until they solve the problem? From user reports the majority of them sound pretty happy and they definitely don't believe the camera is defective. I think that works well for both Sony and their customers. 

Keep in mind that people had argued that:

FF in compact was not possible (RX1, A7, A7r). 

Then that proper quality video recording with FF in compact was not possible (A7s)

Then that IBIS with FF in compact was not possible (A7II)

Then that 4K with FF in compact was not possible (A7RII) 

Then that long 4K recordings with FF in compact was not possible (wait for A7sII). 

You have to give it to Sony for making it this far. You don't like Sony's products? I have a solution: Don't buy them! 

There are always going to be limitations, with any product, we just have to work around them. 

Now if I were a professional videographer, most probably I would not use the A7RII, but I doubt it was targeted to them anyways. 

 No plans on buying this camera anymore. Sony, no money for you! 

Lastly, remember you said this when it's time to sell this thing. Can't see it keeping its value with overheating and the risk of damage to the sensor. Good luck!

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....What's unacceptable is that it is not written black on white on the specs. Specs should report the minimum time you can expect to record without overheating problems....

This is clearly documented in the manual, page 95 under "Notes on continuous movie recording". There is a table of ambient temp vs recording mode, showing possible recording time limited by internal sensor temperature.

I just shot a 1 hr (two contiguous 29:59 segments) outside video at 4k using Super 35 mode on my A7RII, and it had no problems. Ambient temp was about 65 F. I did have the LCD panel pulled away from the body, which I needed to frame the shot. That took about 90% of the single internal battery. For longer shooting I'd use the battery grip or an external power source.

Last weekend I shot 4k documentary material all day and never had any problems. In general most real world professional material is shot in fairly short clips. E.g, every feature film from the dawn of cinema until 2002 typically used 1000 ft maximum film magazines, which limits a continuous take to 11 minutes at 24 frames/sec.  After that they'd have to stop and change magazines.

With digital video we have become accustomed to the ability to shoot longer takes, but it is usually not needed except for recording an entire stage play, etc. For long form recording of a lecture, etc. you normally wouldn't use 4k, as it burdens post production with a huge amount of material for little practical benefit.

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 No plans on buying this camera anymore. Sony, no money for you! 

Lastly, remember you said this when it's time to sell this thing. Can't see it keeping its value with overheating and the risk of damage to the sensor. Good luck!

i am well aware  of this. Thats why I got it used for $2600. 

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The lesson is simple: Sony designs its stills-oriented cameras according to a principle of cramming the latest technology into the smallest possible bodies. Overheating in video and long-exposure stills mode is the price you pay for that: back in the days of the NEX-5N, now with the RX100-IV and the A7R-II.

But Sony also has a consistent record of video-oriented sister models that don't suffer those limitations: the VG series instead of the NEX series in the past, the RX10-II as an alternative to the RX100-IV (using the same sensor and codec), and the A7S instead of the A7 sister models today. For a video-oriented camera, I would either wait for the A7S-II or use the existing A7S. 

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 just shot a 1 hr (two contiguous 29:59 segments) outside video at 4k using Super 35 mode on my A7RII, and it had no problems. Ambient temp was about 65 F. I did have the LCD panel pulled away from the body, which I needed to frame the shot. That took about 90% of the single internal battery. For longer shooting I'd use the battery grip or an external power source.

Last weekend I shot 4k documentary material all day and never had any problems. In general most real world professional material is shot in fairly short clips. E.g, every feature film from the dawn of cinema until 2002 typically used 1000 ft maximum film magazines, which limits a continuous take to 11 minutes at 24 frames/sec.  After that they'd have to stop and change magazines.

I have done more testing today, and the A7RII overheats in 4k mode more readily than I first thought. It does not take extreme temperatures or direct sunlight. Today it overheated multiple times at 75F ambient, with the LCD pulled out, in the shade with a light breeze blowing on the camera. From a "cold" start you can do at least 29 min (like the manual says). How much beyond that is unpredictable, based on various things.

Unfortunately the camera provides no thermal trend indicators, so you cannot monitor how close to the limit it's getting. You only know when it's getting so hot that shutdown is imminent. If you turn it off for a few minutes, you have no way of knowing how much that buys you in additional 4k operating time because the camera doesn't tell you.

It's not generally a problem for hand-held "run and gun", or most documentary shooting, or most interview shooting. Your takes usually aren't that long, and the typical ratio of shooting time to non-shooting time means the camera has time to cool down. In the case of interviews you probably would not need 4k anyway.

But it's definitely an issue on longer-form material. 4k can be attractive on medium and wider shots because it allows a lot of cropping and recomposing in post for 1080p productions. This can lead to using 4k on longer static shots, which leads to the thermal limit.

Even if it can't be fixed in firmware, there is no question a firmware update could provide thermal trend indicators to show how close to the limit you're getting and how quickly. The camera obviously knows this because it warns at one temperature threshold and shuts down on another threshold.

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I have done more testing today, and the A7RII overheats in 4k mode more readily than I first thought. It does not take extreme temperatures or direct sunlight. Today it overheated multiple times at 75F ambient, with the LCD pulled out, in the shade with a light breeze blowing on the camera. From a "cold" start you can do at least 29 min (like the manual says). How much beyond that is unpredictable, based on various things.

Unfortunately the camera provides no thermal trend indicators, so you cannot monitor how close to the limit it's getting. You only know when it's getting so hot that shutdown is imminent. If you turn it off for a few minutes, you have no way of knowing how much that buys you in additional 4k operating time because the camera doesn't tell you.

It's not generally a problem for hand-held "run and gun", or most documentary shooting, or most interview shooting. Your takes usually aren't that long, and the typical ratio of shooting time to non-shooting time means the camera has time to cool down. In the case of interviews you probably would not need 4k anyway.

But it's definitely an issue on longer-form material. 4k can be attractive on medium and wider shots because it allows a lot of cropping and recomposing in post for 1080p productions. This can lead to using 4k on longer static shots, which leads to the thermal limit.

Even if it can't be fixed in firmware, there is no question a firmware update could provide thermal trend indicators to show how close to the limit you're getting and how quickly. The camera obviously knows this because it warns at one temperature threshold and shuts down on another threshold.

Did you turn down the lcd brightness all the way? That makes a huge difference in the old Nex cameras like my NEX 7

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Did you turn down the lcd brightness all the way? That makes a huge difference in the old Nex cameras like my NEX 7

No, but I will try that next. I had the LCD panel pulled out so heat from the panel itself should not have contributed much, but it's possible the drive electronics for the LCD could be producing more heat if bright. I also have an Atomos recorder so will see if that makes any difference, esp if triggering recording from it vs the camera.

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