This is still a relevant question for many Sony A7S II shooters who are trying to find a workaround and deal with this extremely annoying issue, that unfortunately, as it turns out on various occasions, still does exist. To find the answers Max Yuryev is here with another insightful video where he puts not one but two Sony A7S II cameras to the test to figure out when the overheating becomes a threat.
According to multiple resources, the sibling Sony A7R II also suffers from severe overheating when continuously recording 4K video internally for more than 15 to 20 minutes. Considering the fact that the A7S II is optimised for video shooting in the first place, there should be some improvements on that side. But to what extent? Without further ado, let’s dip in the video below and get the answers.
Unlike the Sony A7R II, the A7S II seems to last for about 50 minutes when recording 4K video internally before it shuts down due to overheating. Right after Max got the first unit he commenced a continuous recording session and surprisingly enough he found out that the camera managed to reach successfully the first 30-minute mark when the recording was ceased due to the time limit restriction that is set by default.
After that, the videographer swapped the battery and hit the record button once again. This time, after another 20 minutes of continuous recording the camera shut down due to overheating. All in all, the result was much better in comparison to the A7R II, but unfortunately, the camera still had the issue. After conducting a few more tests, Max also concluded that the temperature of the room where the camera was tested also had a direct impact on the duration of the recording time.
Finally, Max also tested another A7S II to make sure that the overheating issue wasn’t just a part of the first unit he got. Unfortunately, the two A7S II cameras overheated almost at the same time providing again about 50 minutes of record time.
Max also points out that when you are swapping the batteries of the camera you are actually improving the record time with around 10-15 minutes on average, so if you plan to shoot an extensive interview or a longer take for your project and insist on recording 4K in-camera then you should definitely keep this conclusion in mind. The above results are almost identical to the ones that Erik Naso stumbled upon while doing his own testing some time ago.
Alternatively, you can always record the 4K signal out of the A7S II to an external recorder that should entirely eliminate both the overheating issue and the recording time limit restriction, especially if you need to shoot for a longer period of time under harsh conditions as it turns out that the heat is the Achilles’ heel of these otherwise extremely powerful compact cameras.
Ultimately, we can only hope that Sony will find a solution to this flaw in the next iterations of their successful Alpha series. For the moment, the above practices seem to be still a viable workaround. Kudos to Max for all the testing he did and the invaluable information he shared with the community!