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


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Old April 25th, 2016, 10:56 AM   #1
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Sony 30min recording restriction HACKED!

Sony 30 minute limit HACKED!
A first real Sony hack removes the 30min video recording limit and unlocks the language menu

Looks like some brilliant people have created a Play Memories APP that runs on many newer Sony Cameras. The app REMOVES the 30 minute time restriction.

I have installed the APP to my A7s-II and RX10-II and both work perfectly. I made a 90minte recording this morning on My A7s-II and stopped it on my own. I'm currently on my RX10-II right now and it's running time is 2:13 minutes as I type this. (running off USB plug in)

Both camera tests were done indoors under air conditioning. No heat problems whatsoever on either camera. I'm leaving the screens unfolded and away from the body. Both camera felt mildly warm but "hot" at all.

This is a breakthough! It's quite possible that these cameras can now be used reliably for long form recording!

On the other side,....I'm sure that is something that Sony marketing must be extremely unhappy about. As many of us know, the 29 minute limitation is not just there for tax purposes, it plays a FAR more important roll of separating these cameras from the "camcorder" markets.

There is no Full Frame A7s-II "camcorder" today. but with this app installed, your A7s-I/II is one step closer now.

WOAH!........
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Old April 26th, 2016, 07:16 PM   #2
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Re: Sony 30min recording restriction HACKED!

Results of my first heat test:

Camera: A7s-II
CODEC: XAVC-S UHD 100Mbp/s
Room: Air conditioned, about 76 drgrees.
Temp location: Behind open screen pointing at sensor wall.
Camera running on battery only - Third party "Wattson" brand.

Start 85.1
5 min 95.0
10 min 97.8
15 min 100.0
20 min 101.1
25 min 102.7
30 min 105.7
35 min 103.2
40 min 104.1
45 MIN 103.4
50 MIN 103.8
55 min 103.1
60 min 102.9
65 min 103.2
70 min 103.1
Battery Exhausted

As you can see, the camera heats up to about nominal temperature at roughly 25 min then HOLDS that basic level the rest of the way until the battery dies.

Looking good so far!! Fascinating!
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Old April 27th, 2016, 04:07 AM   #3
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Re: Sony 30min recording restriction HACKED!

Wondering what happens to warranty of camera after user hacks in...
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Old April 29th, 2016, 07:45 AM   #4
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Re: Sony 30min recording restriction HACKED!

This is super cool. Don't need this right away so I am going to wait just to make sure there are no bugs in adding this app.

Excited to see what could come next!

If only a hack could add an extra card slot. =)
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Old April 30th, 2016, 05:37 PM   #5
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Re: Sony 30min recording restriction HACKED!

Thanks so much for testing this out Cliff - I've been bitten so many times by the 30 minute limit and having to remember to find an opportune time to restart recording. This will make life easier using this cameras for interviews and unattended recording. From what I've read it seems like an innocuous modification...
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Old April 30th, 2016, 10:11 PM   #6
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Re: Sony 30min recording restriction HACKED!

Got on my list to test this out on my RX10, RX10II, RX100M3 and RX100M4... not sure the early RX10 is supported, but I suspect it should be... the others are all on the list,and this makes the RX100's more usable (aside from the potential to overheat in 4k on the M4... but if it will record even 15 minutes without too much heat, it would be more usable!)....

Since this came out right before my return time for the AX53 ran out, I returned that camera, the RX's are enough sharper that they are a better camera for video for my needs, Sony worked wonders with a small sensor, but it still isn't as sweet as the 1" class RX's!

I was allergy addled this week so the instructions for the "hack" may as well have been in ancient Phoenician, I hope they will make a bit more sense when I get around to installing! I see the guys taking the source code apart are still looking at what else can be "enhanced", I may have to see if I can get on with their efforts, as there ought to be many "fun" things that can be accessed!!
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Old May 1st, 2016, 10:05 AM   #7
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Re: Sony 30min recording restriction HACKED!

Working fine on an RX100 IV down here. Camera kept recording until it ran out of battery at 79 mins. RX 100 didn't overheat either which was pretty good I thought.

Main info here:

https://github.com/ma1co/OpenMemories-Tweak

Supposedly a list of supported cameras here:

https://github.com/ma1co/OpenMemorie...ocs/Cameras.md

Install from here:

https://sony-pmca.appspot.com/apps

But like with all non factory mods I can't stress the following enough though.

"Caveat Emptor. [Latin, Let the buyer beware.] A warning that notifies a buyer that the goods he or she is buying are "as is," or subject to all defects."

So far so good here. Thanks for the heads up on the A7S II Cliff.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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Old May 1st, 2016, 03:25 PM   #8
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Re: Sony 30min recording restriction HACKED!

Hi Chistopher - were you able to get that clip time in 4K? My early tests indicated I probably could get 15-20 minutes before overheat in 4K, but I'll be running those again with the hack... I've got a stack of cameras to "hack" including a couple I'll be selling, so I should have a heap of data to share when I get done!
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Old May 1st, 2016, 10:14 PM   #9
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Re: Sony 30min recording restriction HACKED!

No I wasn't Dave.

Obviously it looks like that part of the camera's time record limit is controlled in a different way. It stopped on 5 mins as per the spec when rolling in 4K/QFHD. To me HD still is the most important for my clients. 4k for my corporate clients is an absolute non issue... at the moment. If I can increase the roll time on either of A7S models in HD then that's of big interest to me for long interview sessions.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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Old May 1st, 2016, 11:01 PM   #10
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Re: Sony 30min recording restriction HACKED!

That makes sense, it's probably another line of code, like the hackers were talking about sorting through. The 5 minute limit is only in 4K, and primarily to avoid heat damage,

I know that in 4K mode it does heat up after a couple 5 minute clips back to back, seemed to stay cool in 1080/60p XAVCS. The RX100 is such a handy little camera just for the small size, it's probably unreasonable to expect TOO much from it, but one can always want more!
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Old June 10th, 2016, 10:03 AM   #11
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Re: Sony 30min recording restriction HACKED!

@Cliff - I'm about to try this hack out with an original A7s. How is the hack working for you on the cameras you've tried it? Thanks so much for doing this! -Keith
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Old June 10th, 2016, 02:43 PM   #12
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Re: Sony 30min recording restriction HACKED!

RX10-II 4k 100mbp/s

I made 3 back to back 3+ hour recordings using a battery plug. No heat warnings or problems whatsoever.

The RX10-II is a heat controll CHAMP!! That 1inch type sensor runs cool.

CT
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Old June 11th, 2016, 07:55 AM   #13
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Re: Sony 30min recording restriction HACKED!

anyone tried with an a5100 ?
I have one and I seriously doubt its ability to stay cool enough to record extended time but I would be thrilled if someone tells me differently.
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Old June 14th, 2016, 02:17 PM   #14
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Re: Sony 30min recording restriction HACKED!

Right, i'm about to install this on my A7ii ... thing is I updated it to the latest firmware just the other day so I wonder if it will work ! about to try it now.
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Old June 14th, 2016, 02:54 PM   #15
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Re: Sony 30min recording restriction HACKED!

IT WORKS.

Failed to install the app several times but disabling my anti virus did the trick.

Once disabled, the app installed quickly.

Went in to the app via my camera and there are several options available ... Unlocking all languages, Unlocking record limit, Unlocking PAL/NTSC etc etc etc

What a beautiful and USEFUL hack.

My A7ii is out of warranty anyway so this is perfect for me. Going to run tests to make sure it's all good and then can't wait to use it as a locked off B cam.

Might pick up a A6000 and 12mm Samyang ultra wide lens and get rid of my PJ780VE now as well.
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