Sony Releases Firmware Updates for Alpha Mirrorless Cameras

Sony Releases Firmware Updates for Alpha Mirrorless Cameras

After updating the firmware for many of their lenses just a couple weeks ago, Sony today has released firmware updates for many of their popular full-frame and APS-C mirrorless cameras. The updates mainly focus on overheating indicator issues as well as resolving the “star eater” problem that was introduced in a prior firmware version, plus other various support and stability fixes.

Unfortunately, older models of Sony cameras are starting to be ignored even though they still lack firmware upgradable features such as uncompressed raw capabilities and the updated menu system. It appears even the current flagship models aren’t getting the custom menu panel that was introduced in the Sony a9.

Sony a9

  • Change specifications for overheating warning

Download a9 Firmware

Sony a7R II

  • Adds “Auto Pwr OFF Temp.” function
  • Improves operation when AF area is set to flexible spot
  • Adds “Live View Display” into custom button assignation
  • Adds “Set File Name” function
  • Supports visible light LED in external flash for AF (HVL-F45RM)
  • Improves release time lag when wireless flash is used
  • Optimizes exposure algorithm during focusing when Live View is off
  • Improves image quality when Long Exposure NR setting is OFF
  • Improves overall stability of the camera

Download a7R II Firmware

Sony a7S II

  • Adds “Auto Pwr OFF Temp.” function
  • Improves operation when AF area is set to flexible spot
  • Adds “Live View Display” into custom button assignation
  • Adds “Set File Name” function
  • Supports visible light LED in external flash for AF (HVL-F45RM)
  • Improves release time lag when wireless flash is used
  • Optimizes exposure algorithm during focusing when Live View is off
  • Improves image quality when Long Exposure NR setting is OFF
  • Improves overall stability of the camera

Download a7S II Firmware

Sony a7 II

  • Improves operability when AF area is set to flexible spot
  • Adds “Live View Display” into custom button assignation
  • Adds “Set File Name” function
  • Supports visible light LED in external flash for AF (HVL-F45RM)
  • Improves release time lag when wireless flash is used
  • Improves overall stability of the camera

Download a7 II Firmware

Sony a6500

  • Supports new FE 100–400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS lens
  • Optimizes image stabilization performance in movie mode

Download a6500 Firmware

Sony a6300

  • Adds “Auto Pwr OFF Temp.” function
  • Supports new FE 100–400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS lens
  • Modifies aspect of guide frame display in LCD (2.35:1 mode)
  • Improves overall stability of the camera

Download a6300 Firmware

The release notes for the a7R II and a7S II mention improved image quality when the long exposure noise reduction setting is switched off. This is probably where the “star eater” problem has been fixed, and we will have to see if that’s true once reports come in.

[via Sony Alpha Rumors]

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12 Comments

Ben Perrin's picture

Looks good. I'm mostly interested in these 3:
- Improves release time lag when wireless flash is used
- Improves image quality when Long Exposure NR setting is OFF
- Improves overall stability of the camera

Thanks for the heads up. These cameras are good but they certainly have their bugs. Hopefully this will actually make a noticeable difference.

michael buehrle's picture

if i owned a a9 i think i might be a little bit unhappy with this update. what does "Change specifications for overheating warning" mean ? it doesn't say that they fixed it (if in fact there is an issue), they only changed the specs so that it doesn't register anymore ? that doesn't sound right. if i was spending that kind of scratch on one i would expect it to work always like Nikons do.

Spy Black's picture

I thought the same exact thing. It's a placebo to placate the users worried about what is an inherent engineering problem. It doesn't change the situation, it just stops warning you about it. It's like taking a pain killer to kill the pain from a broken foot so you can continue to walk on it.

Once again a6000 owners gets nothing from Sony and plus a6300 owner too still doesn't get the better menu system from the a6500.

That was indeed a disappointment

anttimutka's picture

I'm very pleased with Sony for updating and improving cameras that are close to being replaced.

Donny Cotten's picture

The update does nothing but hide the problems... Typical Sony. This is why I returned my A9 and won't purchase again.

Ryan Mense's picture

Did your a9 overheat? I haven't heard from anyone other than one guy on the Internet who had this happen. And so maybe the rare instances are due to a software glitch that says the camera is overheating but it actually isn't... hence this patch? I've had no issues with this in the weeks I've had the camera.

Donny Cotten's picture

Maybe you missed where Sony released a patch to address the overheating problem.... They admit the overheating issue. Sadly, they only patched the level at which the camera shows the overheating and not the actual heating issue. And yes, the A9 I had overheated. I returned it.

Ryan Mense's picture

I don't see where they admitted to an overheating issue with the hardware? This patch seems to suggest it's just a software bug.

Donny Cotten's picture

Now why would you assume bug? Looking at sony camera history and the numerous models that overheat, it far more likely it is indeed overheating and not a bug. I felt the heat coming off the camera. It was no bug. Sony is trying to hide the issue by pushing the warning indicator trip temp higher...

Ryan Mense's picture

For example: You are shooting with the a9 and it gets to 100 degrees internally (just throwing out a number). The camera can handle running at 100 degrees, there is no problem with the hardware. However, due to a software glitch, 100 degrees trips a warning system. This patch could solve that software bug without ever having a problem in the first place with true overheating of the hardware.