August 15, 2015 at 3:19AM

0

A7rii Overheating Issue - Improvements

I may not have entirely solved the overheating issue, but I think I found a way to make it last long enough for me: just turn off the LCD.

The first video I've been shooting with the camera is just testing the overheating...I need to know if it can handle wedding ceremonies, especially outdoors. So I flipped the camera on, pushed record (4k 100mbps, FF mode) and it goes all the way 30 minutes (actually 29:50 or so). I start it up again in FF mode and get maybe another 15 or so, then switch to Super 35, get like 5 minutes, then decide to cover up the EVF to switch off the LCD. Now I get 10 minutes. Go again and I get a full 30 minutes again.

I can't imagine it's random or coincidence. The test was conducted in my room, which is maybe 74 degrees, so it's not too hot. I'll try to test it again maybe tomorrow starting by turning off the LCD and see how long I can run it for. I'll have to do another test outside as well. Just wanted to share my findings and perhaps offer a solution that others can test.

I also want to point out that I occasionally turned the LCD back on to "check" my shot just like I would if I were actually shooting. I switched the battery and the memory card (maybe a few minute break), switched the camera on one more time in Super 35 mode, and got about 5 minutes before overheating again. IBIS was on during the whole test--not sure if that's a factor or not.

Moral of the story:
1. Super 35 mode generates a lot of heat, avoid it for long takes if you can.
2. Pull the LCD away from the body and turn it off if you can afford to.

Other potential things to help would be turn camera on airplane mode and turn off IBIS.

Again, I'll try testing again soon and see just how long I can get it to go.

8 Comments

Today I was able to test the camera outside, warm day (85 degrees Fahrenheit), in the sun. I recorded in FF mode, for 30 minutes just fine, then only about 4 minutes. At that point I decided to switch to 60mbps instead of 100mbps to see if that made a difference. Then it recorded a full clip again until the battery died around 24 minutes into the clip. Now I'm testing indoors at 60mbps.

August 16, 2015 at 12:01AM

0
Reply
Jeremiah Kuehne
Filmmaker
857

Indoors at 60mbps didn't work. Got about 45 minutes before overheating. Switched it immediately to 1080p video and the camera handled it like a piece of cake. Cooled off completely while shooting 1080p at 50mbps. So it's definitely the processor that's warming up the camera. It seems like a firmware problem to blame as well though because half the time there is no warning before shutting off and sometimes it gets much hotter than others before it shuts off. Pretty weird, but at least I know that if it overheats I can flip it to 1080 and it will be reliable.

August 16, 2015 at 3:32AM

0
Reply
Jeremiah Kuehne
Filmmaker
857

I am surprised that Sony would release a camera that acted this way, as you would think that they would find a way to build the camera so that it never overheated.

I wonder if there is a way to attach a heatsink to the body of the camera to help deal with the extra heat it produces in 4K mode ?

August 16, 2015 at 9:32AM

12
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30990

I'm thinking someone will come up with a semi-convenient solution. I'm still in love with the camera though as 95% of the time I'm not doing long takes, I do photography as well, and I have the RX10II which doesn't have the overheating issues it seems. And if nothing else, I can switch to 1080 immediately after it overheats and let it cooldown while still capturing a solid 1080 image.

August 16, 2015 at 5:30PM, Edited August 16, 5:30PM

2
Reply
Jeremiah Kuehne
Filmmaker
857

Well, for the same price, around 3000 bucks you could have waited for the Ursa mini, which is a real 4K camera and have the amazing ability to shoot ProRes HD, oh well!

August 18, 2015 at 12:45PM

0
Reply

But the URSA Mini is about 5 times the size, doesn't have sensor stabilization, and doesn't take 42mpx photos...which are all things that I need for my work. I don't need 4.6k raw quite yet, so the A7rii/RX10ii combo are the perfect fit for me right now. Although I am considering buying an URSA Mini or whatever is out in that market next year.

August 18, 2015 at 2:08PM

0
Reply
Jeremiah Kuehne
Filmmaker
857

Yes, these are very different cameras with very different features. One does not replace the other.

August 18, 2015 at 3:35PM

9
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30990

URSA mini...not exactly 3K$. Add some more for EVF, shoulder mount...C-fast cards (one costs around 600$ and you need at least two)...etc,etc...you'll end up with 5K$ minimum. And this is for 4K model which has an old sensor from Production camera model, less dynamic range stops, etc..and that has no sense of buying. So if you buy a 4.6K mini URSA you'll cash out 5K$ for the camera alone and a total of cca 7K$ for camera and all that extra but neccessary stuff I mentioned. So it's not exactly the same price range as an a7r ii :)

September 1, 2015 at 3:07PM, Edited September 1, 3:18PM

0
Reply

Your Comment