Sony A-series cameras hacked to remove 30-minute recording limit and language menu

Apr 25, 2016

Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett is a communications professional with over a decade of experience in content strategy, editing, marketing, multimedia content creation. He’s photographed and written content seen across hundreds of millions of pageviews. In addition to his communications work for various entities and publications, Gannon also runs his multimedia marketing agency, Ekleptik Media, where he brings his expertise as a full-stack creator to help develop and execute data-driven content strategies. His writing, photos, and videos have appeared in USA Today, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek, Popular Mechanics, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Digital Trends, DPReview, PetaPixel, Imaging Resource, Lifewire, Yahoo News, Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, and more.

Apr 25, 2016

Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett is a communications professional with over a decade of experience in content strategy, editing, marketing, multimedia content creation. He’s photographed and written content seen across hundreds of millions of pageviews. In addition to his communications work for various entities and publications, Gannon also runs his multimedia marketing agency, Ekleptik Media, where he brings his expertise as a full-stack creator to help develop and execute data-driven content strategies. His writing, photos, and videos have appeared in USA Today, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek, Popular Mechanics, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Digital Trends, DPReview, PetaPixel, Imaging Resource, Lifewire, Yahoo News, Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, and more.

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According to a report by SonyAlpha Rumors, a code-savvy individual managed to get around the 30-minute recording limit and unlock the language menu of Sony A-series cameras by reverse-engineering the cameras’ firmware.

Under the username ma1co, who is known for hacking Sony equipment in the past, the individual posted the full hack on the Personal View forums. In it, he claims that both the 30-minute record limit and the language menu have been unlocked.

For those wondering, the 30-minute recording limit was artificially implemented by Sony to bypass an EU law that taxes ‘video cameras’ more than still cameras.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 6.43.06 PM

The language menu hack has proven to be wanted by many Sony users, since photographers who purchase their cameras in Japan will now be able to change their menu to English–just don’t expect PAL frame rates.

According to ma1co, the hack will work with any Sony camera that can run Sony’s PlayMemories Camera App. This effectively enables all A7-series cameras, as well as the a6300, a6000 and a5100 cameras.

The hack itself works by downloading a program, plugging in the camera via USB and loading said program to the camera. Unsurprisingly, the hack comes with a massive warning, as there’s no telling how this will affect each and every camera.

If you’re still willing to take the risk though, you can head on over to Github and download the source code.


Image credits: Sony a7 by Kārlis Dambrāns used under CC BY 2.0

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Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett is a communications professional with over a decade of experience in content strategy, editing, marketing, multimedia content creation. He’s photographed and written content seen across hundreds of millions of pageviews. In addition to his communications work for various entities and publications, Gannon also runs his multimedia marketing agency, Ekleptik Media, where he brings his expertise as a full-stack creator to help develop and execute data-driven content strategies. His writing, photos, and videos have appeared in USA Today, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek, Popular Mechanics, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Digital Trends, DPReview, PetaPixel, Imaging Resource, Lifewire, Yahoo News, Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, and more.

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