The Sony A7 Firmware Wish List

I made a wish list of firmware improvements for the Nikon Z system back in February. I originally planned to roll out other firmware wish lists, but life got in the way and the project tabled for a bit.

Today, I'll tackle the A7/A7R/A7S series cameras from Sony. When I get time, I'll tackle the A6### and perhaps the A9 models. 

Despite Sony's long head start on full frame mirrorless, the list of things Sony needs to still do is reasonably long, and some of the things I list are quite overdue: 

  • Address menu organization
  • Improve the menu help system
  • Do a thorough pass on naming and consistency (e.g. fewer acronyms and weird abbreviations and more use of common photography terms, not engineering words)
  • Add touchscreen focus sensor positioning
  • Add more touchscreen support, particularly for menus and settings
  • Reduce raw file sizes
  • Create a true lossless compressed format
  • Add raw exposure tools
  • Fix Pixel Shift shooting
  • Add Focus Stacking
  • Add Live Composite shooting
  • Extend Time-lapse capabilities
  • Improve hot pixel suppression (star eater)
  • Add TIFF, HEIF support
  • Further reduce buffer full restrictions on continued camera settings/use
  • Add shutter speeds longer than 30 seconds
  • Add BIF focus AI
  • All cameras should have a changeable focus point color
  • Save/Load settings to card, including multiple file support
  • Support additional aspect ratios (5:4, 4:3, 1:1)
  • Improve reliability of smart device connection

That's probably a bare minimum of things that should be eventually done in firmware and/or Mark # updates. Additionally, Sony needs to look at how the firmware update process actually works. Installing new software, particularly on macOS, is currently problematic the way Sony has chosen to do it.

Note that because the A7, A7R, and A7S models leapfrog, they may be in varying states of firmware "completeness." It's probably not useful to wish for simultaneous improvements on all three models (Nikon has it easier with two models that appeared simultaneously). However, the faster Sony can roll firmware changes through all the models, and as far back in the Mark series they can extend that to, the better. In other words, the upcoming A7 Mark IV will likely leapfrog the A7R Mark IV, so a firmware update for the A7R to help make the cameras "match" is something to be highly desired.

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