Sony is rumored to add H.265 codec support to the A7S full frame mirrorless camera, allowing the device to record 4K videos directly on an SD card without the need for an external recorder.
One of the biggest things in today’s consumer technology is 4K video. More and more products are capable of recording and outputting videos at such high resolution, including the Sony A7S.
The problem with the FE-mount mirrorless camera is that it can only capture 4K videos using an external recorder that is quite expensive. However, it is said that the PlayStation manufacturer is aiming to fix this problem by bringing H.265 codec support to the A7S.
This could mean that the shooter will be able to record 4K movies internally without the need of an external recorder, such as the Atomos Shogun.
Future Sony A7S firmware update rumored to bring H.265 codec support for internal 4K video recording
A source is claiming that it has had an interesting chat with a Sony representative at the Consumer Electronics Show 2015. The rep has hinted that the entire A7-series could get H.265 codec support in the future.
Currently, the cameras come with support for H.264 codec, while the A7S also supports XAVC-S at 50Mbps. However, H.265 has a higher compression rate, thus a significantly lower bitrate. In theory, the Sony A7S would be capable of capturing 4K footage directly on its SD card, thanks to the lower bitrate.
This would mean that A7S videographers would not longer have to acquire an external recorder to gain 4K video capabilities. The quality of the videos would drop, but the advantage is that users will not have to pay an extra $2,000 to shoot high-resolution videos.
For now, the Sony A7S is available at Amazon for a price around $2,500.
Samsung is already using this trick in the its flagship NX1 mirrorless camera
A similar trade-off is offering by the almighty Samsung NX1. This mirrorless camera is capable of capturing 4K videos without an external recorder by using the H.265 codec.
The question is whether or not things are as simple as being fixed with a firmware update. Beside the bitrate, Sony has to take into consideration the overheating issues of the sensor and processor.
If the setup does not overheat, then Sony A7S owners will definitely be happy with the camera’s newly-acquired features.
Either way, this rumor has a low chance of turning into a reality, but it is “doable”, so do not draw a conclusion, yet, and stay tuned for more details!