Sony F5 Internal 4K Recording “Mod” Video Tutorial

In less than a week, the Sony F5 4K hack (more-like) “mod” discovered by experienced UK cameraman called Paul Ream became a a topic of hot debate over the state of modern digital cinema cameras, the future of 4K acquisition, and the ethics of manufacturers limiting the internal capabilities of their professional camcorders came into question.

Yesterday we did a post detailing the particulars of the internal 4K recording modification on the Sony F5, which according to the man who discovered it was really a .txt manipulation of camera settings. Nonetheless, in discovering the internal 4K capabilities of the Sony F5, Paul Ream spent a considerable amount of time painstakingly trying out different lines in the ALLFiles camera preferences file in order to arrive at the magical line 150 where the “4K magic” happens. The actual implementation may seem like a piece of cake, but arriving at it took a lot of work, for which Paul Ream deserves all the credit in the world.

Once the cat was out of the bag, and the his detailed write up on what exactly needs to be done in order for it to work circled the internet, it was just a matter of time before someone else tried it out on their F5 and did a video guide/tutorial on how it’s done.

And this is what DP Brian Hallett from Pro Video Coalition just did. Check out his informative video on how to enable the internal 4K XAVC recording on the Sony F5:

As mentioned before, the so-called “4K hack” caused quite a stir online, and as F5 owners and possible future owners rejoiced at the new life their camera can possibly have, concerned F55 owners felt threatened and demanded Sony give them an answer and protect that their $29,000+ investment. Surprisingly (to me at least) Sony’s official response, despite coming as a standard corporate “oh we don’t approve this, so if you break your camera, you may void your warranty” exercise, and although they’d be hard pressed to enforce the warranty clause in such an event, the mere fact that they responded so quick speaks volumes.


Sony have a lot invested in the #TheNewF PMW-F5/F55 line of camcorders with a hefty firmware roadmap already lined-out long before this “Internal 4K mod” business. And there a lot of professional cinematographers, rental houses, and production companies heavily invested in the F5/F55 CineAlta line 0f high-end digital cinema cameras. The next step up is the top dog flagship F65, which is as rare as an IMAX camera nowadays and it costs that much too (thereabouts).

I certainly hope that Sony’s response to the Internal 4K mod is signal that they are actively pursuing viable options to appease/make good with F5/F55 customers who have vested interests in owning these cameras for many years to come, and not just an attempt to put a lid on the whole thing and close the “loophole” with the next round of firmware on the F5.

It would make sense for them to try and stop it, but at the same time, they need to come up with a way to let people upgrade “legally” to a Sony approved internal 4K on their F5’s or as discussed in my previous post – let them upgrade to an F55 at a reasonable price.

Earlier yesterday Paul Ream posted this photo on his twitter feed:

4K SDI Output Sony F5 hack 4K shooters

For all we know from this photo, it may be possible to even output the internal 4K out of the SDI to a monitor or external recorder. Definitely a functionality bound to bridge the gap between the F5 and F55 even more. Certainly exciting times await ahead, and we’ll keep you posted in time.

In closing, Brian also shared some amazing footage shot internally in 4K XAVC on his Sony F5. Enjoy it!

So, what do you guys think of the whole F5 internal 4K hack/mod? What should Sony do? Let us know in the comments below.

[Full write-up, screen grabs and more – Link: Pro Video Coalition]

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    I’ve been telling anyone who will listen, for years, “Sony” is a four letter word for “Sucker”.

    With over 20 years of work invested in the TV Broadcast industry “Sony” has always been the biggest pain in my rear. Unreliable, cheap, over priced, delinquent, thoughtless, weak and bad at customer service.

    The broadcasters I have worked for over the years have spent millions on Sony Broadcast equipment. Only to watch it fail time and time again and allow Sony to rape it’s cash flow with cheap fixes that cost more than the average car.

    Sony loves to push crap out and deal with the aftermath by making their customers pay for their mistakes. Horrible company, when will any of you learn your lesson?

    “Sony” is just a bloody label. If Hugo Boss made broadcast cameras would you buy it just because it said “Hugo Boss” on the side? Well then why the hell does everyone keep getting ripped off by Sony?

    Here is what you can expect from Sony:
    Great big promises…
    Underwhelming delivery on those promises…
    Often riddled with many technical problems…
    Never does deliver what the sticker promises…
    Seriously over priced for any market…
    Additional charges for activating / fixing features that should have worked to begin with…
    Badly engineered products…
    Short shelf life on extremely expensive equipment…
    New crap comes out a few months after you drop 10K on a camera or other gear…

    Accept some wisdom from one who knows.
    Sony does not care about clients, only their bottom line.

    Worst products, prices and service in the global broadcast industry.
    And thats the way it is, flat out!

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