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Sony Alpha Mirrorless and DSLR
Sony Alpha a7s: Full HD Recording in XAVC and 4:2:2 UHD 4K Output via HDMI.


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Old July 21st, 2014, 11:00 AM   #1
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Sony a7s 30 min clip limit

I did not do enough research on this camera and found out it has a 30 min clip limit.
Will I be able to get around this limit with an external recorder?
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Old July 21st, 2014, 03:28 PM   #2
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Re: Sony a7s 30 min clip limit

I saw a video from a Sony rep talking at NAB and he said there was no video clip record time limit in the A7s. Looks like he was wrong. I don't know if recording to an external recorder will be any different, I would guess there would be no time limit via HDMI in that case, but there's the substantial cost of the recorder to consider.
Personally, I'll be purchasing a PXW-X180 as a replacement for my NX5u. Since they're actual video cameras, they don't have the recording time limitations of a DSLR or mirrorless cameras adapted to shoot video.
The only new mirrorless camera I know of that can shoot beyond 29 minutes 59 seconds is the Panasonic GH4 which can shoot continuous video up to 220 minutes.
Is it too late to send your A7s back and get something else, or is the video quality so good that the record time limitation is something you can live with?

Last edited by Ed Arszyla; July 21st, 2014 at 07:37 PM. Reason: typo
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Old July 21st, 2014, 06:48 PM   #3
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Re: Sony a7s 30 min clip limit

The A7s "should" be the same as the RX10. Internal recording is a 29 minute limit. However, HDMI runs for as long as you have power. (Single battery, dual battery or AC adapter)

Will know for sure tomorrow night! I just bought it at B&H today with the Sony DSLR trade in deal. (15% discount PLUS the value of your DSLR) I got a total of $500 dollars off for giving them my really old Sony A300!!

From what I have seen, this A7s is a total knockout!

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Old July 21st, 2014, 07:21 PM   #4
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Re: Sony a7s 30 min clip limit

Is anybody else completely surprised that Sony made this camera to begin with? Its' a baby F5 without the 10bit and a fraction of the cost!
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Old July 21st, 2014, 10:07 PM   #5
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Re: Sony a7s 30 min clip limit

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Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
Is anybody else completely surprised that Sony made this camera to begin with? Its' a baby F5 without the 10bit and a fraction of the cost!
Chris, I can tell you are excited to get the A7S. I would be too. I am a bit envious as I am still trying to justify getting one. To me it seems like an indy film maker's dream come true. I remember futzing with 35mm adapters chasing that elusive shallow DOF and now there is a camera you can slap any 35mm lens on and wham. Shallow DOF not to mention an amazing image quality for $2500! Be sure to tell us how great it is once you get your hands on it.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 07:16 PM   #6
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Re: Sony a7s 30 min clip limit

Realize this is an older thread, but wondering if the A7s can record more than 29 minutes continuously when using an external recorder.

Thanks.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 08:39 PM   #7
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Re: Sony a7s 30 min clip limit

If nobody gets to it sooner I can give it a shot tomorrow. Just got my micro HDMI cable and I'm also curious.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 08:45 PM   #8
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Re: Sony a7s 30 min clip limit

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If nobody gets to it sooner I can give it a shot tomorrow. Just got my micro HDMI cable and I'm also curious.
Thanks Ryan. If you get a chance that would be great!
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Old September 17th, 2014, 10:59 PM   #9
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Re: Sony a7s 30 min clip limit

As expected it records 30+ minutes just fine. I'm still rolling at 32 minutes and counting. Camera isn't even warm. Most of the heat must be generated from the processor compressing and writing to the memory card. Biggest issues is that the camera has a maximum 30 minutes before it wants to "sleep" so you need to hit a button every once and a while to prevent it from shutting down.

CORRECTION: Camera doesn't go to sleep when HDMI out is active. (See updated post on following page of this thread.)

Some other details:
Test was done with the back LCD on simultaneous to the HDMI out.
Capture device was a Blackmagic Ultrastudio MINI Recorder (thunderbolt)
Battery was at 62% after 32 minutes of recording (started fresh)
No frames were dropped recording 1080p to a cheap Toshiba USB3 drive using ProRes LT compression
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Last edited by Ryan Douthit; September 18th, 2014 at 04:19 PM.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 11:34 PM   #10
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Re: Sony a7s 30 min clip limit

Kept rolling up to an hour. No issues. Camera did get a bit warmer, but nothing unusual.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 11:38 PM   #11
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Re: Sony a7s 30 min clip limit

Awesome, thanks. Any way to shut the auto sleep off?
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Old September 17th, 2014, 11:43 PM   #12
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Re: Sony a7s 30 min clip limit

Doesn't seem to be. It's adjustable, but there aren't any options longer than 30-minutes max.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 09:17 AM   #13
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Re: Sony a7s 30 min clip limit

That's too bad as I was hoping to use it as a stand-alone camera that I don't need to monitor over periods for more than 30 minutes.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 09:38 AM   #14
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Re: Sony a7s 30 min clip limit

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That's too bad as I was hoping to use it as a stand-alone camera that I don't need to monitor over periods for more than 30 minutes.
How about controlling it with your iPhone?
But I guess that means there needs to be wifi available to work...
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Old September 18th, 2014, 04:06 PM   #15
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Re: Sony a7s 30 min clip limit

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Doesn't seem to be. It's adjustable, but there aren't any options longer than 30-minutes max.
Really? Can't switch sleep mode off? Hdmi out then stops?

Well, that's ridiculous and makes it a useless camera for me. Was just about to buy one or two, but they have to keep on rolling with Shoguns stand-alone.
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