Sony Releases a7II, a7RII, a7SII, a6300, a6500 Firmware Updates

sony-a7rii-firmware-update-4-00

Sony released firmware updates with lots of new functions including Sony FE 100-400mm GM OSS support, better overheating control, improved Flexible Spot AF function, improves release time lag when wireless flash is used, adds ‘Live View Display’ custom button assignable support and visible light LED assist with external flash for AF (HVL-F45RM) on a7II, a7RII, a7SII…..and wait for it….a “star-eater” fix for a7RII & a7SII.

Sony FE 100-400mm GM OSS support (a7II, a7RII, a7SII, a6300, a6500)
• Better overheating control (a7II, a7RII, a7SII, a6300)
• Improved Flexible Spot AF function (a7II, a7RII, a7SII)
• Improved release time lag when wireless flash is used (a7II, a7RII, a7SII)
• Adds ‘Live View Display’ custom button assignable support (a7II, a7RII, a7SII)
• Adds Visible light LED assist with external flash for AF with HVL-F45RM (a7II, a7RII, a7SII)
• “Star-eater” Long Exposure NR fix for (a7RII, a7SII)

List of Improvements:

Sony a7RII and a7SII

Adds ‘Auto Pwr OFF Temp.’ function(*)

  • (*)If the same part of your skin touches the camera for a long period of time while using the camera, even if the camera does not feel hot to you, it may cause symptoms of a low-temperature burn such as redness or blistering.
    Pay special attention in the following situations and use a tripod, etc.

    • When using the camera in a high-temperature environment
    • When someone with poor circulation or impaired skin sensation uses the camera
    • When using the camera with the [Auto Pwr OFF Temp.] set to [High]
  • Improves operability of the camera:
    1. Improves operability when AF area is set to flexible spot
      Refer to here for details.
    2. Adds ‘Live View Display’ into custom button assignation
    3. 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 Display] is [Setting Effect OFF]
  • Improves image quality when Long Exposure NR setting is OFF
  • Improves overall stability of the camera

Sony a7II

  • Improves operability of the camera:
    1. Improves operability when AF area is set to flexible spot
      Refer to here for details.
    2. Adds “Live View Display” into custom button assignation
    3. 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

Sony a6500

  • Supports new lens “SEL100400GM”
  • Optimizes image stabilization performance in movie mode

Sony a6300

  • Adds “Auto Pwr OFF Temp.” function(*)
    (*)If the same part of your skin touches the camera for a long period of time while using the camera, even if the camera does not feel hot to you, it may cause symptoms of a low-temperature burn such as redness or blistering.
    Pay special attention in the following situations and use a tripod, etc.

    • When using the camera in a high-temperature environment
    • When someone with poor circulation or impaired skin sensation uses the camera
    • When using the camera with the [Auto Pwr OFF Temp.] set to [High]
  • Supports new lens “SEL100400GM”
  • Modifies aspect of guide frame display in LCD (2.35:1 mode)
  • Improves overall stability of the camera

Download Links:

Sony a7II FW 4.00: MAC | WIN
Sony a7RII FW 4.00: MAC | WIN
Sony a7SII FW 3.00: MAC | WIN
Sony a6500 FW 1.03: MAC | WIN
Sony a6300 FW 2.00: MAC | WIN

[Please Note: These updates are incompatible with Mac OS 10.13 High Sierra – however first installing Mac OS X Driver Loader before running this firmware update might do the trick.]

Before Updating Firmware Please Read:

Bulletproof Guide to Sony Camera Firmware Updates

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60 thoughts on “Sony Releases a7II, a7RII, a7SII, a6300, a6500 Firmware Updates”

  1. Why did they not include A7ii in the star eater fix? Legitimate reason? Or yet another firmware only gimmick to obligate everyone to spend the extra $$$ on the S or R?

        1. Nope. It was an update for a7RII (not a7II) to reduce hot pixel noise with long exposures when Lonmg Exposure NR was turned off. The update was removed and now operates as before.

  2. Thanks for your support on this, Brian – we finally got there, and my first test last night was 100% positive, despite the full moon – roll on the next new moon!

  3. ILCE-7SM2 Page Says
    “Improves image quality when Long Exposure NR setting is ON”

    ILCE-7RM2 Page Says
    “Improves image quality when Long Exposure NR setting is OFF”

  4. Does it fix the star eater issue for bulb exposures as well? I shoot with a tracker and my exposures are usually longer than 30 seconds. Also wondering why there is no star eater fix for my A7s?

    Any information you can provide would be much appreciated!

    Thanks Brian!

    1. Star-eater refers to an update to a7RII that automatically added Long Exposure NR (as some users had requested). Today’s update undoes that.

      Since no other camera got the auto Long Exposure NR update – there’s no action needed. If you don’t want Long Exposure NR on a7S simply turn it off in the menu.

      1. I was under the impression that the A7s had the same issue with its last firmware update. Thanks for clearing that up.

        As for Bulb exposures with the A7Rii, does the star eater fix take effect? I’ve heard that the fix is only for exposures up to 30 seconds in length.

        1. Only a7RII had long exposure NR enabled automatically (in a7RII FW 3.30 in response to user requests). That update is removed in 4.00

          No other cameras ever got the first update so none require the update. Simply turn Long Exposure NR OFF in the menu.

  5. Is the firmware same for all countries? Today I went to the service center Guwahati India Asia , they told me that they can update my camera because they haven’t received the file officialy, and if they installed the file provide in the Sony USA it wouldn’t be working properly as the camera is going to be used in India as the Indian used the broadcasting band in pal were as the NTSC for USA and it would effect the colour of the vedio also. Please helped out, thanks Ger Sing

    1. It’s always a good idea to install your regional updates however updates do not normally change camera settings – plus it is NOT possible to change a native PAL camera to native NTSC. If your camera was made for PAL that will always be the native setting.

  6. Being very optimistic here but is “Supports visible light LED with external flash for AF (HVL-F45RM External Flash)” by any chance allowing the use of the red focus assist beam on half press with external flashes?
    The lack of that feature alone is preventing me from switching to Sony mirrorless. I don’t know how anyone is using these cameras on a wedding dance floor in almost pitch black without it.

    1. Nope. External IR focus assist is NOT compatible with any mirrorless camera and it’s never gonna be.

      That red laser scope focus beam will only work with an off-sensor focus module found in DSLR and DSLT cameras.

      However, because HVL-F45RM has a visible light focus assist beam – it WILL function off the camera axis.

  7. If I update the firmware, will I have to re-set all of the changes I made in the menu? Button customizations, etc.? For that matter, is there a way to backup my settiings?

    1. Generally no, but there are a few Menu changes and additions requested by users (such as the change from ‘Standard’ to ‘Focus Standard’ when using Flexible Spot) so it’s possible those might need to be adjusted – but worth the minor inconvenience for added control.

      1. Just to make it clear. It is safe to update the latest firmware to my a6300 and use the camera for the astrophotography? If I don’t use the bulp-mode, I don’t suffer noise reduction related problems like this “star eater”?

        1. Only a7RII and a7SII got the long-exposure NR update in the previous version and these updates reverse that. Sony a6300 was never affected so this update changes nothing in that regard for a6300. Update away!

  8. Just updated my A7II to 4.00. I do like the new AF-Point functionality. Much more workable.

    The one thing that really makes it no pleasure to work with the camera any more is this clue-text that is constantly flashing on the screen. Telling you can now press a butten to access AF-selection.

    The funny thing, it’s also flashing when using an all manual Leica M lens on the camera.

    Dear Sony please make it go away.

    1. Dear Brian and Robert B.: do you know how many and in what places text-tips pop up with the 4.0 firmware?

      I would want the ability to have no text tips as a setting.

      Thanks to both of you for the great information.

      Keith

      1. I wasn’t sure what you meant since those tips don’t show up through the EVF – only on the LCD. It might have something to do with assuming whether LCD users are more likely to want tips than EVF users.

    1. What you may be seeing may not be ‘Star eating’ but simply the difference between 14-bit and 12-bit capture.

      Bulb Exposures and Continuous Shooting drop capture from 14-bit to 12-bit.

      When shooting 30 second exposures I recommend selecting 30 sec – not Bulb – and shooting in Single Shooting Mode – not Continuous.

      1. Nah, you won’t see much difference in stars above 8-bit as they are tiny points of concentrated light. Going from 14-bit to 12-bit won’t effect the stars at all.

        You can clearly see the smoothing going on in the bulb image, killing off the stars. A shame really as the a6300 is one of the few cameras that can still operate when hooked up to a power bank.

        As far just sticking to 30 seconds, that’s a no go in astrophotography. On tracking mounts 2-5 minutes are considered normal exposure times. Would be nice if Sony updated their timelapse app to 5 minute exposures! But then again we have been asking for that ever since it came out 🙁

          1. Interestingly he’s given a good explanation showing why he’s right. Doesn’t fact trump opinion? Sorry if I sound facetious, but seriously.

          2. I’m also stating fact. Bulb shooting mode drops capture from 14-bit to 12-bit. For best results for astrophotography with Sony mirrorless cameras I’d recommend Single Frame shooting with shutter speeds of 30 seconds or less (not bulb) and Uncompressed Raw (if available on your camera).

  9. Alessandro Varini

    Shouldn’t they add on the function buttons the possibilty to see the monitor “always on” and bypass the proximity sensor?? i can do it just opening the menu of the camera, it’s very annoying.

  10. Hi there Brian,

    Thanks for all your research and tutorials on the Sony cameras. I was wondering if you have had any reliability issues with the A7 cameras. My A7ii recently gave me an error “Camera Error, Turn Off and On”. Taking the camera into the authorized repair facility resulted in a repair estimate of approximately $900. I have extended warranty on my 16 month old camera, so it will be covered. Just wondering if you have had any other people running into costly repairs.

    Repair comments: Camera presents “Camera error” within seconds of Initialization regardless of setting. Slider unit’s O-ring displaced causing jammed.

    1. That error is usually related to an impact warning. I saw it once when a camera slipped off my shoulder – even though I caught it by the strap before it hit the ground. I followed the prompts and kept on shooting without any problems. It appears to be a warning to allow the camera to check it’s functions even in the case of whiplash…

  11. Jermaine Beckley

    Hey Brian,

    Do you know if the Live View display for the A7II is the same as assigning a custom function for switching between the lcd and the evf like the a6300 and above cameras have? I haven’t upgraded the firmware yet but just wondering if Sony is ever going to release that feature.

  12. Hello Brian , I’m doing long exposure photography with an a7rII since last year , recently I “upgraded “the firmware of the camera to the last release and I start finding some issues, i notice that the image has more noise than before , in several situations that I shoot in the past I never found this kind of hot pixel aircrafts , with the new firmware I star finding this even in 6 minutes exposures…
    i will keep making some tests and see how the camera reacts at the end …
    I feel that the camera is getting more and more noisy with the time because of the use , or maybe it’s the new firmware update… it’s possible to return the camera to a previous firmware version?

    1. LOL! You can thank the extremely vocal astrophotography community for that one…

      Nope, you cannot downgrade firmware. I would suggest applying noise reduction in post using either Lightroom or Capture One.

  13. Hello Brian, with a A7sII on order for mid August, I just like to know if I am on the save side asking my retailer to do the fw update to 3.0 concerning star eater problem. If read the info provided here correctly, up to 30 sec exposure value it won’t affect the process, right?

  14. Christopher O'Grady

    I was hoping for the added functionality of “PC Remote Settings” that the a6500 and A9 have for my A7Rii.

    This allows the option to save files on the card when tethering to Capture One and using devices like CamFi. Now when you use the camera in MTP mode it does not store files in camera which has always been frustrating to me.

    1. There are many new features that involve a hardware change. While it’s always nice to get a free firmware update for features you didn’t buy your camera with. It’s a bonus when it happens…

  15. Usb plug port is wobbly,just bought cameta a few days ago,is this port supposed to be wobbly/loose?bought through Best Buy,will best buy fix this issue since I just bought this a few days ago?

  16. Hi Bryan- I have had my a7ii for two years and have never been totally happy with any of the follow focus features: lock on auto, focus areas set on AF-C. I have read and watched tutorials and even sent my camera back to Sony for them to check it out. Will the 4.0 help or am I expecting too much from this camera. Thanks

    1. FW 4.00 offers “Improved Flexible Spot AF” but generally problems stem from selecting an AF point that’s too small. Never, ever, ever use Flexible Spot Small. Never.

      Instead choose Large for Action. Always.

      1. Thanks Brian. I always use flexible spot, large. Even when subjects are static my focus on subjects is not always sharp. Hopefully 4.0 will improve
        my dissatisfaction with follow focus with flexible spot, large or wide.
        By the way, I took your advice on the Gmaster 24×70 when I purchased my camera two years ago. Gary

  17. I’m trying to update my a7rii to 4.0 on Mojave 10.14.2. Is this possible? Every instruction I’ve seen is for 10.13 High Sierra or older. Thanks

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