Sony Alpha Hack to Remove Recording Limit on Cameras

April 26th, 2016
Sony Alpha Hack to Remove Recording Limit on Cameras

Sonyalpharumors has brought to light a source claiming to have unlocked the recording limit on Sony Alpha, RX and NEX cameras as well as lifting the language menu fix on region bound cameras, such as bodies bought in Japan. Here’s some information about this latest Sony Alpha Hack—and a warning to those of you that are tempted to try it.

Alpha Hack A7S A7R

Sony Alpha hack – proceed with caution

It seems that user ma1co on Personal View has dabbled in Sony hacking in the past, now claiming this practice has been put to good use in removing the 30minute recording limit of Sony cameras like the A7S, A7R, RX100, and A6300.

It’s done by reverse engineering the Play Memories app, meaning any camera that utilizes the Sony software can benefit from this hack. Click here to see the full list of compatible camera bodies, but in a nutshell, the A7S, A7R II & IIs, as well as the A6300 and RX bodies, are all in there.

Some filmmakers will be well acquainted with hacking cameras; Magic Lantern was (and still is) a tremendous asset to Canon DSLRs, packing a shed load of extra features into the otherwise outdated camera bodies, not to mention the Panasonic GH2 hack for increased bit rate recording.

Sony Alpha Hack

This should be taken with a caution, however. Firstly, we have no first-hand confirmation that this hack works, there is simply a sufficient amount of feedback on the Personal View forums for us to think it’s worth notifying you, the readers (including the above picture) as this could develop into something great.*

*Update – I’ve had a good body of users & peers come forward to confirm that this does in fact work.

Secondly, hacking any camera comes with significant risk and voids any manufacturers warranty. This applies to the Sony Alpha Hack, too. What works for one camera line and their respect hacker is completely different to another (particularly a brand new source).

Sony Alpha Hack_2And lastly is a warning on the actual feature itself.  The recording limit is in place to allow the Sony cameras to fall into a different, cheaper tax band, but many users will know that bodies like the A7R II can suffer badly from overheating and will shut down long before the recording limit is reached.

As an occasional video user of the Sony Alpha cameras in B/C/D unit form, I rarely record clips on the A7R II or A7S II longer than a minute or two, therefore, won’t have any use for the Sony Alpha hack in its current state.

However if there is anyone out there that is in a position to test out the hack, do let us know how you get on.

This is certainly something to keep an eye on, with the potential of other features opening up as the hack develops.

Via Sonyalpharumors

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Joe
Joe
Guest
May 22nd, 2019

No hack for the A9 yet?

William Koehler
Guest
May 22nd, 2019
Reply to  Joe

Given Sony dropped support of the PlayMemories App with the Sony A9/A7RIII/A7III line of cameras, I’d be really surprised to see a hack for the A9.

Charlie Hussle
Charlie Hussle
Guest
February 18th, 2020

since they dropped support would this mod still even work?

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
September 17th, 2018

” hacking any camera comes with significant risk and voids any manufacturers warranty. ”

WRONG, at least in the USA. Federal law (the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act) protects consumers’ rights to modify their property without fear of having its warranty automatically voided.

To deny you warranty service, the vendor would have to prove that your mod caused the issue for which you’re seeking service.

Don’t propagate anti-consumer lies. Stand up for yourself.

Francisco Insua
Guest
December 22nd, 2016

Hi guys! I love your site and your clean explanations:) Congratulations!

I have a Sony Alpha a7s II and I would love to film in 2k at 60fps. Is there any way to hacking it?

Thanks a lot

 Conor (コナー) Keenan (キーナン)
Member
December 3rd, 2016

For the record I can confirm this works with the a6500 that just came out in Japan.

Palmer Woodrow
Palmer Woodrow
Member
June 24th, 2016

“hacking any camera comes with significant risk and voids any manufacturers warranty”

WRONG. That is against U.S. federal law. The Magnuson-Moss Warrant Act was created to protect consumers from this very rip-off. It confirms the right of consumers to modify their property without fear of automatic warranty nullification. To deny warranty service, the vendor must prove that a modification caused the problem for which the consumer is seeking service.

Stop spreading FUD and stand up for consumers’ rights against vendor rip-offs. WTF?

Member
May 19th, 2016

I wish he would reverse engineer the 8-bit limit over HDMI. a 10 bit signal over HDMI would make it an awesome camera when paired with the NEW Atomos Inferno! So, Ma1co, if you’re listening… Unleash the beast!

Peter Kent
Member
May 19th, 2016

Well the HDMI hardware sony used in this camera is 1.4 which officially supports micro HDMI and UHD at 30fps. That HDMI spec supports up to 16bit color depth so the HDMI hardware is capable but they’re are likely other hardware limitations keeping the cameras from processing more than an 8bit output.

Now even though it may be possible doesn’t mean sony put it in these cameras. Remember the current state of these tweaks are enabling or disabling code already in the firmware. Like finding a debug menu or video game “cheat code”.

I doubt sony wrote in code for a 10bit output or used hardware capable of 10bit processing. So this likey requires a new firmware and redesigned hardware or in other words an entirely new camera. But there’s always hope that sony designed some of their cameras to fully support features that they never intended to use.

Paul Boskovich
Paul Boskovich
Guest
May 11th, 2016

Just tried it on my a6300 (US version) and it works perfect. I can now record for 13 hours on a 64 GB card. Only issue installing is that if you run windows, it only works with Internet Explorer. If you have upgraded to Windows 10 it will not work as you cannot run IE, only Edge. Luckily, I still have an old laptop that had not been upgraded and it worked great.

Peter Kent
Member
May 11th, 2016
Reply to  Paul Boskovich

IE is still in windows 10, it’s under Windows Accessories now or you can use edge to open Internet Explorer: http://winsupersite.com/site-files/winsupersite.com/files/uploads/ieopen.png

 Paul Boskovich
Paul Boskovich
Member
May 11th, 2016
Reply to  Peter Kent

Thanks. Did not know that.

 Paul Boskovich
Paul Boskovich
Member
May 13th, 2016
Reply to  Paul Boskovich

Update a6300. When I tried recording in MP4 it kept stopping at around 35 minutes. I think it had something to do with the 4 GB mark even though I had my cards formatted to exFAT. I put the camera in AVCHD and it worked perfect. I was using this as my B camera at a conference and I had one clip go well over 3 hours with no issues. All my other clips were well over an hour and were also perfect. I used auxiliary power for most of my shooting, however, I had one clip that was battery only that went 1 1/2 hours on a fresh battery and I still has 28% left.

Member
May 10th, 2016

Tried it on my RX100 IV, recorded for 1 hour and 25 minutes until my battery ran out.

Member
May 4th, 2016

Can they hack 4K/50p ? Or 1080 raw ?

Peter Kent
Member
May 11th, 2016

Member
May 1st, 2016

Checked today on a gig, everything works great, no problem at all (a7s and a6000). Easy to install and easy to delete (except you need a PC, couldn’t do it on Mac).
It doesn’t even look like a hack, just an app, like any other apps for Sony cameras. I hope they will bring more additional features like unlocking PAL mode on US version of a7s.

 bog t
bog t
Member
April 29th, 2016

My a5100 stopps after 25 min aprox because overheatting. I’ve tested with flipped screen, opened battery door, manual focus and lowest settings ( avchd 17mb) …So not helpfull for a5100. I need a rx10. Will overheat the rx10 version 1?

Member
May 22nd, 2016
Reply to  bog t

watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juO0Uojw8l8
it works the same with a5100

bog t
bog t
Guest
April 29th, 2016

My sony a5100 overheat after 27 min ..with avchd 17mb, screen flipped out and battery door opened. I also had manual focus selected. So not usefull for this model.

Member
May 22nd, 2016
Reply to  bog t

Just need to mod it a little. Watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juO0Uojw8l8
I modded my A5100 and works like a charm.

Member
April 28th, 2016

It works on A7s US model coz I managed up to 1h30m recording time without over heating issues

Anonymous
Anonymous
Guest
April 27th, 2016

Yes exfat is the ticket. On a Mac set it up on the card no problem.

Member
April 27th, 2016

I can confirm this works with no hesitation or problems, and only takes a matter of seconds to do it.

Pablo DP
Guest
April 27th, 2016

what?????????

Greg Michael
Guest
April 27th, 2016

Adam Plowdemfields I’m sure you’ve already seen this haha but just in case :)

Adam Plowdemfields
Guest
April 27th, 2016
Reply to  Greg Michael

Yeah we were debating on publishing it because its a bit like Magic Lantern, not wanting to push a hack that could brick the camera! Certainly interesting though

Gene Nemetz
Guest
April 27th, 2016

You’d think with the huge potential of the a7S that Sony would have designed it so it wouldn’t need a time limit. But then maybe they didn’t know how big a seller it was going to be. Connected to an ATOMOS, video from the a7S looks like a high end, very expensive camera.

Member
April 27th, 2016
Reply to  Gene Nemetz

Actually it is because of it’s potential that sony needs to put a time limit :-)
And to make things as cumbersome as possible (switching to photo mode for wb set and such).
Otherwise a little inexpensive camera like this would chew on their professional line of cameras :-)
It is not because of image quality that we are thinking about buying an fs7, it is because of battery life, erfonomics, reliability and faster setup time :-)

Member
April 30th, 2016
Reply to  Gene Nemetz

Its because of eurpoean tax law, if it records over 30 minutes it is classed as a video camera. meaning there is a %5 tax instead of %2 for just stills cameras.

William Koehler
Member
May 3rd, 2016
Reply to  Alex James

Given what people gladly pay for firmware upgrades/updates, it seems utterly stupid for the camera manufacturers to limit a camera like this for a mere 3%.

Member
May 11th, 2016

It’s not really stupid. It’s actually a very important limitation that is used to separate the DSLR camera markets from the camcorder markets. It has very little to do with taxes.

Peter Kent
Member
May 11th, 2016
Reply to  Cliff Totten

Most “DSLR like” cameras with video features are restricted to writing data in a FAT32 systems which has a limit of about 4GB per file. That isn’t far from a 30min 1080p recording in today’s popular codecs so most of them just kept that limit in rather than creating localized firmware to get an extra 5 mins; also I assume ‘Some manufacturers’ still implement it in all their regions to help hide their overheating and battery performance issues.

Sony couldn’t charge to add this functionality because people would complain about unreliable performance over 30min recordings. Making this the perfect feature for the community to add themselves without pissing anyone off …hopefully.

Member
April 27th, 2016

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!

Adrian Anthony Eyre
Guest
April 27th, 2016

Jason Vanstone Jordan Flemming!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jason Vanstone
Guest
April 27th, 2016

Very interesting, I will be waiting to see some more reviews and any possible side effects before i install it on one of our cameras. But this could be saving us some money.

Palmer Woodrow
Palmer Woodrow
Member
June 24th, 2016

Random name without any useful information!!!!!!!

Member
April 27th, 2016

It works alright! Did a 90min recording on my A7s-II and a 3 hour recording on my RX10-II. I stopped both recordings on my own. Both were done indoors using USB plug in power. No heat trouble whatsoever. Both got normally “warm” at the 20 minute mark and appeared to stay the same temp past 30min all the way until I stopped them myself. I’m going to do some torture testing before I begin to seriously rely on them but so far it looks like a home run.

Jason Graisa
Guest
April 27th, 2016

Tied it earlier and couldn’t get it to work. It kept saying “network error” I’m on Mac OS and using Safari

Jason Hung
Guest
April 27th, 2016
Reply to  Jason Graisa

Not working on ei captain

Jason Graisa
Guest
April 27th, 2016
Reply to  Jason Graisa

Ah thanks

Member
April 30th, 2016
Reply to  Jason Graisa

Yea same problem with me, i had to install windows 7 on a virtual machine and use internet explorer! works great though :)

Member
April 27th, 2016

Hacked my a7s, 6000, and 6300 and everything seems to be working as claimed. There’s times (like at weddings) when a un-manned camera might need an extra 15 min. to make it through the ceremony. This will be useful. Hope this opens more doors for other hacks that could be useful. Thanks to all those responsible.

Peter Kent
Member
April 26th, 2016

I’ve tested it on my a6000, the most I got was 1hr:30mins when I stopped it. My battery (a Dek 1500mah) started at 96% and ended at 10%, I did not overheat but it was in a cool temperature room. Other attempts ended around 45mins (45mins, 49mins and 58mins) due to overheating in a warm environment.

From what I understand so far they’ve found camera settings that Sony already has in their camera’s OS but never made an end-user GUI for. This App “MemoriesTweak” is an End-User GUI to allow changes to those settings. Supposedly there are about 15,000 similar entries so their may be more settings to “Unlock”.

I’m hoping there is a 3rd Party PDAF support setting and maybe an uncompressed Raw setting in the a6000.

Oscar M
Member
April 27th, 2016
Reply to  Peter Kent

yes please more hacks for the 6000 :)

Phillip Shvartsman
Guest
April 26th, 2016

Found this yesterday, tested on A7sII, works great!

Gene Nemetz
Guest
April 27th, 2016

There’s no problem with heat?

Phillip Shvartsman
Guest
April 27th, 2016

Gene Nemetz I use a battery grip so it helps with heat but no problems with heat in general

Marc-Ferdinand Körner
Guest
April 26th, 2016

and it works like a charm!

Jari Berger
Guest
April 26th, 2016

yep, I can confirm that it works for A6300. Testing it under 720 MP4. There seems to be a filesize limit at 4.2GB which is roughly 35mins 1080P. Will test 4k tomorrow.

Peter Kent
Member
April 27th, 2016
Reply to  Jari Berger

use XAVC, it’s exFAT based rather than FAT32

Augustin Petre
Guest
April 26th, 2016

Adam Vice probs already knew about this?

Adam Vice
Guest
April 26th, 2016
Reply to  Augustin Petre

Sounds like only works with Japanese models

Adam Vice
Guest
April 26th, 2016
Reply to  Augustin Petre

Sounds like only works with Japanese models from what I read. But will try it when I know for sure

Member
April 27th, 2016
Reply to  Adam Vice

Works extremely well on US models. (A7s-II and RX10-II)

Member
May 13th, 2016
Reply to  Augustin Petre

Removes video limit from all Alpha models. Plus unlocks language settings on a japanese version.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn5WJBJ5mYE

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