New Sony Firmware Allows You to Close Shutter When Swapping Lenses

New Sony Firmware Allows You to Close Shutter When Swapping Lenses

In a move that’s destined to please a lot of fans, Sony has released a firmware update that allows you to close the shutter of the new Sony a9 II while changing lenses. Will the update roll out to other cameras, and is Sony about to kill off its Imaging Edge Remote mobile app?

Firmware Version 2.0 was released this week, bringing a few other tweaks to the Sony flagship. These include a High Frequency flicker function which will reduce the flicker of artificial light sources by adjusting the shutter speed; the option to toggle Face/Eye Priority Autofocus using a custom key; some minor changes to FTP functionality; and overall improvements to the camera’s stability. A full list can be found here.

For many Sony users, the option to close the shutter when changing lenses will be a welcome update. It’s been a subject of much debate, with an argument over whether it’s better to have dust land on your sensor (which can be cleaned) rather than the wafer-thin, rapidly moving shutter blades. Plus, any accidental contact with the delicate shutter blades could be far more damaging than to the sensor itself. This argument has not stopped other manufacturers from closing shutters while changing lenses and it seems that Sony a9 II shooters might now at least have the choice.

It’s seems logical to assume that this change will be rolled out across other Sony models.

One of the details included in this announcement has drawn a few raised eyebrows: “NOTE: The Imaging Edge Remote, Imaging Edge Mobile, and Remote Camera Tool software will not be supported after April 9th, 2020.” Camera manufacturers have a terrible reputation for producing smartphone and tablet software, and Sony has been no exception: its app currently scores just 1.6 stars on the Apple App Store. At this stage, it’s not entirely clear what this announcement means. Is Sony planning a replacement to its replacement of the much derided PlayMemories app?

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

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David Pavlich's picture

How 'bout that? They caught up to Canon. :-)

Tony Northrup's picture

Those who are about to post, "If you turn this option on, you'll ruin your shutter": Has anyone actually ruined the shutter on a camera that automatically closes when you turn the camera off?

We use both Canon and Sony mirrorless bodies in similar ways. The Canon mirrorless bodies have always closed the shutter over the sensor. My main Canon has NEVER had a dust spot in 1.5 years, including traveling with it, regularly changing lenses, etc. My Sony cameras get dust spots literally every time I use them, even if I don't change lenses. I have to clean them before every shoot (or deal with the consequences).

So anecdotally, closing the shutter over the sensor seems to reduce or eliminate dust, but I hear warnings about damaging the shutter... but that's never happened to me, nor have I ever accidentally contacted the shutter, sensor, or mirror on any camera, nor have I ever heard of anyone doing that (and people often contact me with broken cameras). So the downside risk seems to be zero, unless you have a story...

M R's picture

You’re the first person I thought of when I read about the update. You’ve been talking about this a while on your channel. It’s good to hear you’ve had no issues on Cannon so far.

One question comes to mind for me. Since Sony didn’t originally design their cameras to do this, would they be at any more risk for breaking the shutter if they add this feature in an update? I don’t know if Canon designers do anything specific to ensure the safety of the shutter when the camera is off and it’s blocking the sensor. Hope that question made sense!

iran ramirez's picture

I did read somewhere about someone leaving the camera out in the sun(not on purpose) without a lens cap and burning a hole on the shutter but one can argue damage to the sensor is also possible in the same scenario with the shutter down.

John Anderson's picture

Oh man, I hope this makes it to the A7R3 also. It's currently a huge annoyance for me that I get sensor spots half the time I swap in the field.

Heiko Kanzler's picture

Hmm... if they stop supporting the apps, how can I transfer then data from my Camera to my mobile / whatever? The apps are essential to make use of the build-in wifi, so removing the apps makes the network connection useless?

Eric Salas's picture

It’s already pretty useless considering you’re stuck transferring a 2mb image.

And yes, I’m a Sony user.

Tom HM's picture

In the latest version of Imaging Edge, there's an option in the settings to change from 2mb to 'original'. :)

Eric Salas's picture

I’ll have to see today then. I know most of us have sworn off using that terrible app for anything.

jim hughes's picture

I'm afraid camera makers are just going to throw in the towel on apps and 'connectivity'. They're now so far behind the smartphone companies that they've lost sight of them due to the curvature of the earth.

PlayMemories was unbelievably bad; in fact I never even got it to work.

Camera makers should open their APIs and develop a plug-in architecture so third parties can create solutions.

Giuliano Cecatto's picture

I wanna see this update to Sony A7III. Sony, please, allow us to change change focus point colour! That grey colour at night is terrible. 😭

David Wilder's picture

Sounds like a crucial update for the shutter, I think this should be applied across all of their line up. Being out in nature with wind I worry about changing lenses.

I just picked up my first Sony (a7r3) after 16 years with Nikon.

The few things I can see that would help:

Tap to focus on the rear screen. Not just tap to select. (Cutting down steps in work flow and accidentally bumping camera with multiple touches)

I agree with changing the focus point to red as an option, way easier to see at night.

Option to turn off red Focus light during timer shots. (Helps when others are around during night shooting and less distracting or attention grabbing for wildlife)

Turn of the rear display from glowing during long exposures. (Saves battery life, and helps when shooting at night for light leak, especially with others around)

These are all super minor changes that would round out the camera.

Ryan Ringstad's picture

I don’t have an a7m3 but I do shoot with an a9 and it can do all those things. I’m pretty sure if you update to latest firmware and spend some time researching you will solve all those complaints.

Eric Salas's picture

You should really read the manual for your camera. Most of your complaints can be solved with a simple change in settings .

David Wilder's picture

As it turns out fellas. I have looked and these things can’t be changed hence my post.

Eric Salas's picture

Seems like you might be missing something then because I can turn off my rear screen, turn off my red light, and tap to focus using the rear screen.

David Wilder's picture

Ok prove it. Show me the spots you can change it.... and let me be more clear

If you are taking a long exposure let’s say 15 seconds the rear lcd will glow.

When you do a 2 second timer release the light will flash

You can tap on an area to select it but that tap won’t focus. You have to move to your auto focus button and press it.

Socrates Vela's picture

One of the biggest reason I went with an a6000 and later picked up a a7ii and later an A7rii, was because of the wifi connectivity. The app worked great for transferring image, until Android 10 came out. I couldn't get imaging to work on my Pixel3xl, but then I went into the wifi settings and I told it to forget my old camera wifi connections. After that, I was again transferring images. I think if Sony works with Google a little closer, they can avoid this or at least give us a bare minimum transferring app. They better not pull out of wifi connectivity, it will kill them.

Susan Egan's picture

I’ve gotten a lot of use out of Sony’s remote app, particularly when experimenting with settings on my a6000. Hopefully it will continue to function if I don’t update the camera firmware. I also use the app for full-resolution image transfers. My mobile device is Samsung S9+.

Karim Hosein's picture

This is not a feature.

This is a fix to bad engineering.