The Sony A7sII was unveiled to the public at IBC 2015 in Amsterdam alongside the other big Sony camera announcement – the PXW-FS5, and it quickly became a very popular camera among indie filmmakers, corporate and promo shooters. Now finally we can record 4K internally on the Sony A7sII however as early tests showed, the new S-Log3 gamma will best benefit high quality 10bit external 4K recording instead of the rather thin – internal UHD 8bit 4:2:0 recording, which in S-Log3 due to its really aggressive spread of luminance resulting in an extremely flat image can introduce severe banding in skies and other tones with very smooth tonal gradations. On top of that, some users in PAL countries soon discovered that when shooting into the sun or a very hot specular highlight a nasty black spot appeared in the center of the hot spot rendering the shot useless.
This sun spot issue was also a problem on early Blackmagic cameras, however was resolved in a firmware update. And this is what Sony just recently did.
Sony has released firmware update 1.10 fixing the dreaded sun spot issue on their latest 4K mirrorless Sony A7sII camera. According to them:
This utility updates the ILCE-7SM2 camera firmware to version 1.10 to address a condition where a black spot may occur in a high intensity lighting part of a shooting scene.
Note: This condition is especially seen in PAL 25p, it rarely happens in NTSC 30p or 60p.
Luckily for shooters in NTSC land such as the US, this sun spot was not an issue in the first place so they may consider skipping this firmware. For the rest of you in Europe and elsewhere using PAL – head on over to Sony UK and download firmware update 1.10.
Here is an example of the sun spot issue on the A7sII as demonstrated in a video by nezzeslassponteu
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the main features of the Sony A7sII here are some highlights from our friends at B&H: