Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor



As users we have asked you on countless occasions to fix this… 2 FW upgrades later and we are still stuck with this absurd record button in the worst position imaginable. Did anyone try to use this before you sent your drawings for approval…no ! If you are forced to use this REC button you are forced to move the camera in a sidewards motion destroying every start/stop you record.


You have a team of software geniuses who could re-program the record button to work from the shutter button…the same as we get with our Panasonic GH4.


It’s not rocket science Sony…it’s the most requested single feature all A7s users would prefer…please attend to this early 2015 please…you have been asked nicely. A simple menu option will suffice giving the end user the option..button 1 (side), button 2 (top).


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

5 thoughts on “Dear Sony, your A7s has a major design flaw

  1. Hi Philip,

    Sony will rather release a new camera than do a software update. Look at the their tablets & phones they have gone throught many iterations and still they have issues. Also seen in pro camera market likes of the PMW 200 for example. Release a new product rather than add a new codec. Add a new lense in there as it wasn’t ready at original release.

    Their cameras / products probably goes from design to prototyping. A prototype would have been made, maybe even several after test and feedback from in house testers. As you can never 100% test it, it is left to the end user as the product is released to the market. Plus each project has a budget +- 10%. It is this budget that customer requirement is adhered to while worked out in the study phase.

    Many of the decision are made in Far East, will little attentioned given to UK feedback.

    In the olden days new cameras newer popped out every year or 2. They use to take their time before releasing a new product. Nowadays with market pressure they are releasing products quicker than ever before. Something has to give- quality, design, testing etc.

    Just wait for A7s mk2 and they may have cracked the rolling shutter issue and tidied few other bits & bobs. Plus that button. This will Probably create some more issues while doing so, lol. It’s a business they need to make money from us! Lol.

  2. Hello Philip,
    This is typical Sony. I bought a NEX-7 when they came out, and I must say I am still happy with the quality of the stills. But they already had the same poor choice for placing the video recording button: right in the upper right corner in the back of the camera, where the thumb rests when you hold the camera! The only choice is to disable the button in the menu. like many other I “fixed” that by buying a 2 cents small rubber washer and gluing it to the camera so it would protect the button. What I find annoying is that Sony doesn’t listen to their customers. And then repeat the same mistakes.

  3. Hello Phillip
    Use the remote shutter release from Sony. I do and it works great for stills and video with my A7s. As for rolling shutter, it’s the nature of the beast. Canon, Nikon all suffer from the same issue, did they fix it yet? I doubt it.

  4. I like it where it is now, and would consider it a major flaw if it came in the place where everybody would expect a release button.
    Well, to each his own, although you COULD scream a little less loud 🙂

    HDW : Hi Harvey I am not proposing to switch it to the shutter button but rather have a menu to allow the user to have the option.

  5. There is a lot of bias in the comments that are far from truth. Firstly the current position of the video button was result of user feedback. On earlier models many people would have pressed the dedicated video button by accident. So it was moved to a place that cannot be accidently pressed (so no need to disable it as suggested). Second I also do not fully comprehend the idea to use the shutter button as video button. The video button as the shutted button have specific distinct function in every camera mode e.g. P,A,S,M. If you are content with just one mode for video then I guess in video mode (what the hell does that mean) the shutter button could double as video button but you see this will be waste of capability that the current cameras have. I also see not a pro me with the current position and actually like it unless the rig you have somehow comes in the way and prevents clear access to the button. The desired herein position of the button will create more camera shake and issues from my perspective and although it will remeble some cheaper 3rd party solutions I do not see it as improvement.

    HDW : If you had a GH4 you would understand, ergonomically and menu wise the GH4 out strips the A7s !

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