Sony A7s Guide

Very Important: Update Firmware Version ASAP

Update 18th June 2015: Sony has released v2. If you have not updated to v1.2 then please update to v2.0. If you have already updated to v1.2 (as shown below), then forget it.

Original Article: To know why you should update to v1.2, scroll below.

How to update firmware

As of March 29th 2015: Sony has released firmware version 1.20 for the A7s. You can get it here.

From Sony:

Improvements over version 1.10:

  • Improves camera function and provides picture improvement for the new lenses (SEL35F14Z, SEL24240, SEL28F20, SEL90M28G)

Benefits provided by previous updates and included in version 1.20:

  • Improves the power-on time after downloading the Smart Remote Control application of the PlayMemories Camera Apps.

Here are the steps to update your firmware (MAC OS X only!!*):

*You can also update on Windows, just select the right operating system in the above link

Important: I cannot and will not provide support for this, and it is extremely important that you follow the steps correctly in the order given or you will brick your camera.

I have successfully updated to v1.20. Total time taken: 25 minutes.

Why is it important to update your firmware version?

Skin Smoothing Problem

In version v1.0 of the camera, via HDMI, and only via HDMI, the Sony A7s applied skin smoothing (even if it was turned off in the camera) to the HDMI feed – but not to the internally recorded footage.

E.g., if you connected the Shogun to the camera and studied how skin tones behave, you’ll see this (watch my forehead):

In the above video, the Shogun isn’t recording, but the live feed itself has this problem.

Of course, it gets recorded, too. Here’s the Prores version as recorded on the Shogun:

This problem only happens if you trigger the record from the Shogun directly. It does not happen when you trigger the Shogun from the A7s.

Just to confirm, this problem is not recorded in XAVC S internally:

The only way to correct this problem is to trigger record via the camera.

Firmware version v1.20 corrects this problem, so if you’re shooting on the Shogun or 7Q+ (or any other recorder for that matter), then you need to update your firmware immediately. It’s worth the trouble.

With v1.20, you can trigger record from the camera or the Shogun, and still record the same image.

Another reason to update: Startup speed

The Sony A7s took a few seconds to startup with v1.0. v1.10 corrected this, and with v1.20 the camera starts up in one second. The menu also feels snappier.