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Sony A7IV - Overheating

  
 
Leonberger
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Sony A7IV - Overheating


I actually gave my camera to the store I bought it from for them to run tests on my behalf and here is a summary of what they have found:

Day 1:
I've done some extensive testing on the camera today and figured a lot of things out. There is another test I want to run tomorrow morning that I won't have time for today.

What I've found so far is that 4K 60p 4:2:2 10 bit is limited by heat cut off. The 4K 60p 4:2:0 8bit modes are not at all cut off by heat. The menu use and heat cutoff is because the menu is an overlay and in the background the sensor is still reading the data at the same rate as if the camera was recording. There is no additional heat from the memory cards but the sensor is still cranking out that data. I did some baseline testing on specs from the camera manual to make sure those were correct and they are and while doing so I noticed less heat when in the menu than at the higher output modes.

Not drawing any conclusions just yet, I want to run the final test and 've been poking around in the Sony press releases where I could find them for more information about their claims of 1 hour of 4K 4:2:2 10 bit 60P.

Day2:
The test I ran this morning was very surprising given what I was seeing yesterday.

This morning I shot 4k 60P 10 bit 4:2:2 100 Mb/s like I did in one of the heat limited tests yesterday where the camera stopped just before 10 minutes.

This time I hadn't been running hours of other tests before trying the harder test on the camera. I also mounted the camera on a tripod as opposed to the countertop.

I stopped the recording at 1hour and 5 min or so. I quickly pulled out the battery and card to check their temperatures and they were only a little warm.

The camera body was also very warm but I would not call it hot.

I think that operationally based on my tests if you were shooting 4K 24P 10 bit 4:2:2 most of the time and occasionally using 4K 60P 4:2:2 10 bit for those times you need slow motion you should be fine. However the ambient temperature and the preexisting temperature of the camera play heavily into the recording times. For instance the failed test yesterday I had let the camera cool off from the previous test for around 15 min before starting. Had I started right away I think I would have gotten even less time than the just under 10 minutes I got but I feel it still would have been more than 5 minutes.

I'm running one final test where I'm recording in 4K 60P 10 bit 4:2:0 at 75Mb/s only 5 min after the last test just to see how long it will go for.

From yesterday's tests I know the 8bit 4K 60P 4:2:0 will run for over an hour even with the camera having already been recording previously and quite warm. I want to see if the 10 bit will as well.

I'm going to save the files from this morning onto our computer here in the store and if you'd like you are welcome to bring in a usb drive to transfer and take them home to have a look at them.

My thoughts are that if the bulk of your shooting is being done at 4K 24p 4:2:2 10 bit then the 4K 60P 4:2:0 10 bit for slow motion segments will blend perfectly and not give you as many headaches worrying about the camera's temperature.

My professional opinion is that your camera is not defective but it certainly requires some experience in use to understand its characteristics. Sony's claims for the recording times in both the press release and recording times listed in the manual are true since I have successfully carried out those tests in store in controlled conditions but I do think the camera is workable for how you intend to use it on actual locations in real world use.

The A7iv is recording at a quality level that 3 years ago would have required spending almost more than twice as much and having a physically larger camera. The core challenge with this camera is that it isn't a full on video camera so, like all the other mirrorless and DSLR cameras out there that push the limits of recording, temperature considerations are going to need to factor into the usage of the camera.

As I'm wrapping up this email the camera has been recording for more than 42 min at 4K 60P 4:2:0 10bit 75Mb/s and still going strong. I only gave it about 5 min to cool off from the previous 4k 60P 4:2:2 10 bit 100Mb/s test. The battery will likely give out before the camera shuts down due to heat since there is only 2% left on the charge.



Jan 07, 2022 at 12:48 PM
jslaven
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Sony A7IV - Overheating


I just ran some stress tests of my own.

I have the screen open and bluetooth and steady shot on for these and the camera is sitting on my desk. Recording to a ProGrade v90 256gb card.

I ran 24p xavc-s at 4:2:2 for the entire length of one battery with no overheating warnings (about 2 hours 20 mins). It was warm to the touch at this point, but nothing too extreme. After the battery gave out, I put a new one in and then ran the higher 4k 60 settings and got 34 minutes before the heat warning caused a shut off.

I think mine is in line with what can be expected and I'm very happy with its performance. Glad I ran the tests though so I can have peace of mind when I take it out in the field



Jan 07, 2022 at 03:48 PM
joychris
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Sony A7IV - Overheating


Did another run test without airplane mode since someone asked the question on FB - had the LCD out and today I plugged a mic in just to try and create more heat. I ran the battery dead and shot 1hr and 50min of 10-bit 422 XAVC S 4k60p which is the max bitrate outside of the silly huge SI option and more complex to compress than SI, so it should be the most prone to overheating. The battery crapped out about 30 seconds after I took the pic below. No temp warning and the camera was warm, but wasn't that hot, same for the battery. This is what I've managed without overheating, AF-c and the camera pointed at the TV to get faces/eyes, Steadyshot on, auto ISO that was changing with the different light on the TV, airplane mode, LCD out, temp set to high, prograde 128gb v90's:

Over 7 hours of XAVC S 4k60p 10-bit 422 only stopping to swap batteries and delete the file after filling my 128gb card at 1hr 20min

Multiple dual recording of XAVC SI at 60p and 24p until cards were full or the battery died

Simultaneous dual recording of 10-bit 422 4k60p XAVC S until both cards were full

27min of dual recording with the LCD against the body and it shut down, then another 14 min after immediately restarting - these two runs were after doing all of the above all day yesterday - so like 9 hours of non-stop recording with no issues, then the shut down

Today's test was the same as above, just airplane off. I can't get mine to overheat unless the LCD is against the body, but as I mentioned before I don't shoot that way and knowing it won't overheat with it out - I will not hesitate using this in a professional environment alongside my a7sIII. The a7IV is a winner for me.

Chris









Jan 07, 2022 at 06:37 PM
joychris
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Sony A7IV - Overheating


Leonberger wrote:
I actually gave my camera to the store I bought it from for them to run tests on my behalf and here is a summary of what they have found:


After reading your message, I'd still exchange it if possible. You should be getting much better 10-bit 422 performance. My copy is easily running circles around that, and from reading comments elsewhere, many others are getting significantly better performance than the one you have. Just my opinion.

Good luck

Chris



Jan 07, 2022 at 06:47 PM
Duowing
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Sony A7IV - Overheating


So based on this thread I decided to test my a7IV as well. I set it up on a tripod and started recording in XAVC S 4K 60P 200M 4:2:2 10-bit with screen out. I also used auto ISO, AF-C, face detect, and active stabilization. The battery wasn't at 100 and so it crapped out a few minutes before my 128 GB card was filled at 1 hour and 13ish minutes. I put another battery in the camera, formatted the card and started recording. After an hour of recording the TV playing Xbox I took the camera off the tripod and started moving around and using tracking on the cats, and trying to quickly make it autofocus on different things, just to really try and get everything going and my camera shut off at 1hour and 10 minutes, I turned it back on and started recording and it seemed fine. I went and set it back on the tripod and let it finish filling the card which was only about 15 more minutes. So I think my camera is fine. Sitting on a tripod seems to be no issue.


Jan 08, 2022 at 11:41 PM
 


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Dr Al
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Sony A7IV - Overheating


My guess is the chips inside the camera. When it comes to advanced chips like a CPU the chips speed is determined by how good of a copy the chip is. For a computer the faster a chip can run the more it can sell for. While the chips are made identically every chip is slightly different and with the chip shortage right now I'm sure that there's lots of pressure to use every chip to make as many cameras as possible.

I would also guess that the cameras the Sony engineers have are made with preproduction chips. Preproduction chips go through the same production steps but are usually more carefully watched. Also it's more likely that the rejection standard is higher. In time I would expect it to be less of an issue as bugs get worked out. I think I wouldn't wait to return it. It's very possible it could be like a camera lens where you have to go through a copy or two before getting one that's a keeper. Without knowing how many people plan on using the camera for video it's hard to say just how many people are going to have a problem.



Jan 09, 2022 at 01:14 AM
Leonberger
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Sony A7IV - Overheating


Thanks for chiming in and also thanks to everyone else who has contributed to this thread. After speaking extensively with the store I decided to keep the camera. With my new settings I can essentially record for as long as I want with some minor drawbacks that will hopefully be fixed eventually via firmware. This will be the last time I update this thread but in case anyone else ever experiences what I did My video settings moving forward are as follows regardless of 4K24 or 4K60 all at the highest bitrates:

- Monitor Quality - Standard
- Auto Power Off Temp - High
- Active Shot - On
- Airplane Mode - On
- Rec Media Settings - Simultaneous Off (only recording to one card at a time.
- Screen always flipped out (mandatory to do)
- Only charging batteries in external Sony battery charger. Never charging batteries internally in the camera.

Thatís it for my settings which have essentially eliminated my overheating issues. The only drawback is o canít record to two SD cards at once as my camera finds that a bit too intense for video.

Hope this helps and thanks again to all for their input. Iím happy now that my camera can basically operate without overheating now.




Dr Al wrote:
My guess is the chips inside the camera. When it comes to advanced chips like a CPU the chips speed is determined by how good of a copy the chip is. For a computer the faster a chip can run the more it can sell for. While the chips are made identically every chip is slightly different and with the chip shortage right now I'm sure that there's lots of pressure to use every chip to make as many cameras as possible.

I would also guess that the cameras the Sony engineers have are made with preproduction chips. Preproduction
...Show more



Jan 09, 2022 at 10:08 AM
v3suv1us
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Sony A7IV - Overheating


Leonberger wrote:
Thanks for chiming in and also thanks to everyone else who has contributed to this thread. After speaking extensively with the store I decided to keep the camera. With my new settings I can essentially record for as long as I want with some minor drawbacks that will hopefully be fixed eventually via firmware. This will be the last time I update this thread but in case anyone else ever experiences what I did My video settings moving forward are as follows regardless of 4K24 or 4K60 all at the highest bitrates:

- Monitor Quality - Standard
- Auto Power Off Temp
...Show more

I'm so glad to hear this good news from you, so i can assume its not bad copy or defect batch from sony.
But what is the point number 7 means ?
"- Only charging batteries in external Sony battery charger. Never charging batteries internally in the camera. "
is there any correlation charging the batteries internally (instead of using external charger) with overheating ?




Jan 09, 2022 at 12:14 PM
screeskier
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Sony A7IV - Overheating


tschopp wrote:
It seems pretty clear your camera has a problem. I would exchange it, or if that is a problem return it.

We had a Dell laptop that was overheating. Dell decided it needed a new motherboard. The Dell tech came to the office and replaced the motherboard. The overheating problem continued. But watching the tech we learned how to open the laptop. We opened the laptop and discovered the gpu was not making good contact with the heat sink. We created a copper shim to fill the gap between the gpu and the heat sink. Problem solved.

Your camera sounds like it
...Show more

This sounds exactly like what is going on. Because of the variation between users, tolerance stacks are likely big and don't give enough compression to the thermal interface material in some cameras. Also if the screen is in its default position, the cooling won't be as effective as if it's flipped out somewhat because convection is blocked and the screen generates a bit of heat. Ambient air temperature and casing material choice play a role too.

The flip-out screen is new to Sony so it sounds like they weren't thorough enough in their design and testing, or they knew of it and accepted this issue as a compromise to more complicated cooling.



Jan 10, 2022 at 11:58 PM
ymphoto
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Sony A7IV - Overheating


I just noticed Sony advertises the A7 IV body as made out of SORPLAS, which is made by blending recycled and waste plastics. The plastic build might be the reason why it overheats faster than the A7S III. No mention of SORPLAS is found in the A7S III body from what I can find so far. The body style may look similar but it is not the same material.


Jan 13, 2022 at 12:20 PM
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