I Tried to Solve The a6300 Overheating Issue When Shooting 4K Video

June 29, 201643 Comments

I’ve updated this post twice since it was published so if you’ve already read it go to the bottom of the post starting with UPDATE header for new info. I’m not sure the faster cards are helping. Today’s testing was crazy and I was getting wildly inconsistent results. Please go to Test In Progress  in red below for new info.

Love Hate a6300 no Graphic

As you may know I’ve been pretty vocal about my Love Hate Relationship with the Sony a6300 and I’ve also been on the fence about selling it. Why? Well primarily the issue for me is with overheating and especially in 4K. Even in a cool 75 degree room it would overheat. I stopped using 4K and was shooting in HD. Auto focus is really great on the a6300 and my main purpose for it was on a gimbal. Check out my YouTube Vlog on using the a6300 with Came-TV Mini 2.

a6300_front

Instead of selling it I decided to try a few things. First I tried a dummy battery powered with external battery pack. That didn’t stop the overheating because the electronics are inside the dummy battery and would heat up.
I then found and ordered an IndiPRO Tools 69SA7 2.5mm to Sony a7s Dummy Battery Cable (24″, Regulated) dummy battery with the electronics in-line. Since this design is suppose to take the heat out of the dummy and in theory not add heat inside the battery. This product has arrived but my external battery doesn’t have the 2.5mm plug needed so I have to get an adapter for it to work. Some of my friends have used something similar and said it does help. I’ll update this post when I get the adapter.

IndiPro dummy battery

Another theory I had was that the camera was working really hard down sampling the 6K image to 4K and struggling to write it to the SD Card causing it to get hot. I liken it to rendering video on your computer. When it starts crunching the fans on the computer kick in to cool it down while it’s grinding away. With the Sony a6300 no fans are available inside to cool it down. So what if the camera could write files faster? Or if the card was faster maybe it won’t heat up because it has more headroom. Would that help?

OVERHEATING PART 2_ a6300 lexar and cage_

Well… YES IT DOES! I purchased a Lexar Professional 2000x 64GB SDXC UHS-II/U3 (Up to 300MB/s Read)

I ran two test. It was 80 degrees in my house. With a SmallRig cage on the a6300 and the LCD flat on the body. Below is the first test record times.

Each clip recorded for the following lengths.

1st. 19:49
2nd. 19:00
3rd. 14:47
4th. 19:12 (Started to get hot around 16 minutes in and shut down)
5th. 01:45 (Battery died)

Not bad right? Why the strange record lengths? Because I was taking temp readings with a laser and kept accidentally hitting the record button but I would then within a couple of seconds re-trigger the camera. Ugh! The a6300 usually shuts down around 107 degrees. I pulled the card out and took a temperature reading. The card was 101 degrees. With a slower card the temperature was 109! 8 degrees cooler. That’s a lot! This test gave me over an hour of continuos recording (30 minute intervals because the a6300 max record is 30 minutes) before the camera’s temperature warning came on. This is HUGE! I wasn’t able to get more than 15 minutes with my other class 10 U3 SD Cards before it would overheat and shut down.

So this could explains why we are seeing so many different results from people and why some are not having any or much less overheating issues. Safe bet is the faster cards don’t get as hot and or are able to take some of the load off the camera stoping it from overheating.

The Sony qualified cards are as follows.

SD
SDHC
SDXC
Memory Stick Pro Duo
Memory Stick PRO HG-Duo

No mention of speed. Now I’m not sure how fast the a6300 can write to the SD Memory Card but I can tell you that if you get the fastest ones your overheating issues will be drastically reduced.

For my second test I pulled the LCD away from the body about a 1/4 of an inch. Sony recommends doing this to help with overheating. I recorded 4K continuously until the battery died with NO OVERHEATING.

How cool is that!

Just to make sure I put a Transcend U3 Class 10 R65 W60 MB/s SDXC I card in and it overheated in 16 minutes.

I don’t have other fast SD Cards to test but I can recommend the one I have and tested with. The Lexar Professional 2000x 64GB SDXC UHS-II/U3 (Up to 300MB/s Read). Since the SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-II memory cards are also very fast I would think they would also not overheat when shooting 4K.

UPDATE

I’ve learned that the a6300 writes to the SD card at only 32MB/s max. This isn’t very fast and in theory most cards shouldn’t be an issue however I’m starting to think that the Lexar 2000x memory chips are modern and more efficient and don’t heat up as much compared to other brands. Lexar is a Micron company so I would assume they are Micron chips.

I decided to test my newer 128GB 90MB/s SanDisk Extreme SDXC I U3 Class 10 Memory Card but with and without the cage on the a6300 and the LCD was flat against the body. Here is the results.

First Test with the Cage

a6300 with cage shutdown at 112 degrees 30min + 12min = 42 minutes then overheated and shutdown with SanDisk 128gb SD Card. My house is 80 degrees inside during all tests. 

Second Test without the Cage

a6300 without cage and same SanDisk 128gb SD Card at 15:38 recording temp warning came on and then 2 minutes later it overheated and shutdown. 

OVERHEATING PART 2_ 17 minutes high temp

OVERHEATING PART 2_ 17 minutes high and shutdown

The cage cooled the camera enough to get an additional 24 minutes of continuous recording. That’s a little less than double the recording time without the cage on the a6300. It also took longer to overheat after the high temp warning came on. The SanDisk performed better than the Transcend 60MB/s SDXC I U3 Class 10 card.
Okay now with the cage off let’s try the Lexar 2000x SDXC card again and see how it performs. Things get strange from here….

TEST IN PROGRESS….

OVERHEATING PART 2_ Cooling in the fridge

I have to say the a6300 is wildly inconsistent on when it gives a high temperature warning and the true temperature reading when it overheats and shuts down. After retesting the Lexar and Sandisk Extreme 90MB/s SDXC cards I was overheating pretty much in every configuration. I was floored! WTF is going on here? The camera was shutting down at temperature readings off 112 degrees on the back no matter what card I used.

Here is what I did and again it makes no sense! I put the cage back on and ran the same test and never could get past 17 minutes before it would shut down. Strange. Not really having any more options I decided to try a forced Pixel Remapping by forwarding the year to 2017. Exiting and powering down then restarting. You can here a long shutter sound and the camera powers up. I did this when I had a dead pixel on a a7s ii last year and it fixed it.

I can’t believe it but now the a6300 is recording continuously without even getting a temp warning. Even at it’s highest temp reading of 119 degrees. Not even a temp warning! No settings on the a6300 are different. Nothing changed. Strange, very strange. Plus I used the Transcend card and got 2 full 30 minute recordings and no overheating.

OVERHEATING PART 2_ After pixel remapping

Second round of 30 minute recordings finishing up.

After reading this long messy post I feel like the camera is flawed in some way causing the shutting down. After the Pixel Remapping it’s going strong. What else does this do? Could performing the pixel remapping actually reset the temperature gauge?
As for the super fast SD Cards? I’m not sold now that this alone will fix the issue. Sorry to say. Something else is going on and it’s really baffling.

My suggestion to you is if you get hot just do the force pixel remapping thing and see if it helps. It did in this test but who knows what will happen the next time and to be honest I’m getting a little overheated myself……

I hope this help! Please leave a comment if you find these solutions to help .

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Interested in buying a new camera? Well I have a course on Lynda.com you should watch that will help you pick the right one for the job.

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About the Author ()

I'm a broadcast DP In San Diego. I enjoy sharing what I'm working on and testing new equipment. This blog is also part of giving back. I've learned so much from so many people.

Comments (43)

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  1. Jay Windland says:

    There should be an award for this kind of discovery and community contribution. Thanks!

    • Erik Naso says:

      Ha! Well I do like to troubleshoot and when I can fix something I like to share! It makes me feel good. The best way to thank me is please use the links on my site! Thanks

  2. Jason Rae says:

    Wow!!! Love that you found this out and it will help a ton of other shooters when using this camera. Ordering the faster card now!

  3. Caleb Pike says:

    Great discovery Erik!!! You know what’s funny? I’ve shot for hours with those transcend cards without issues. Outside on a hot day I’ve run into problems but smooth sailing otherwise. So strange!

    • Erik Naso says:

      Crazy right? I couldn’t get more than 16 minutes of 4K with them but what a difference those fast Lexar cards make. Very interested in the feedback from this. I hope others find it helpful. I’m still wondering if my copy is more sensitive. I still might send it in to Sony so they can have a look.

  4. pancho abrigo says:

    Thanks for your discover.

  5. Very cool! Literally.

  6. Adam Cook says:

    Thank you Erik! I’ll try that out. I’ve been using my a6300 as a drum kit camera while out on tour with a band. The image stabilization with the kit lens gives me much better results dampening vibration than mounting a GoPro. I am excited to try the faster cards method. Was getting so tired of the overheating issue, EVEN IN 1080!!! Cheers!

    Adam

  7. DragonPunch says:

    Hey Erik, Thanks for posting your test results. Per another blog – http://alikgriffin.com/best-sd-memory-card-sony-a6300 the author notes, “The Sony A6300 like all of Sony’s other E-Mount cameras also exhibits the same slow bottleneck with memory card write speeds. This means most memory cards perform about the same, around 32MB/s.” The author also posts a table of the best SD cards to use for the a6300. If the a6300 only writes to SD cards at around 32MB/s, why would there be a temperature difference between the cards on the table?

  8. Al Gardner says:

    Erik,
    What card were you using when you were getting the heat problems? This is a nice find but I would still say the camera is going to overheat outdoors no matter what. I use Sandisk cards in my Sony A7SII and can shoot 4K indoors all day. But outside in the sun it will go down repeatedly.

  9. Marco says:

    Great news. Im going to have to give the faster card a try. I can confirm that the dummy battery fix doesn’t work. I have the Atomos Power station and am using the included dummy battery with it. No luck. I currently use SanDisk Extreme Pro (U3 95MB/s) but it still overheats on a warm day like we have right now in Socal.
    I really don’t want to sell this camera either. I been so tempted to buy this cooling fan made for the Atomos Shogun to see if it would fix the overheating. Overkill, right?

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1197899-REG/varavon_cooler_at_shogun_cooler_atomos_shogun_fan.html/BI/19238/KBID/11079

  10. Would you expect the Lexar 128 GB card to behave in the same manner as the 64 GB card? I would be more interested in a larger card. Thanks!

  11. Heath Jordan says:

    Awesome find, It stinks you have to try all this trial and error stuff to make a $1000 camera work right.

  12. Louis says:

    So is the potential “fix” the faster cards or forced pixel remapping or both? I’m on vacation in Italy and this overheating issue is driving me nuts.

    • Erik Naso says:

      As I stated in the post I can’t figure out how to consistently keep the camera from overheating. I tried so many things and they would work for a while then the next day it would overheat again in the same situation. Best to keep it out of direct sun. Pull the LCD away from the body and possibly swap out batteries if you shoot long takes. Sorry it’s very frustrating.

  13. a says:

    Sounds like sd card performance headroom.
    Faster cards will not heat up as much when used below rated maximum speed.
    So less heat gets dump into the system.
    Just shows how close to the limit and over Sony is pushing their camera.
    At least they’re not sand bagging like Canun.

  14. Willy says:

    Excuse me, What is a forced Pixel Remapping?

    • Erik Naso says:

      Every month the camera will remap the pixels. It’s an automatic thing. You can force it by advancing the year ahead then turn off the camera. Did you see the blog post I linked?

  15. Yevgeniy says:

    Hi, I have been fighting overheating with a6300 every since it came out, with poor results, yesterday i didn’t have my dummy battery and used regular battery in 85f and sunny day surely expecting it overheat. but it didn’t, didn’t even get a warning sign….I also had the senser remapped right before i went out filming and again absolutely no overheating in situation where before i couldn’t even get 10 min without shutdown.

  16. Dmitri says:

    Erik, there is a simple fix to overheating. Take a look at this video at 28:50 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juO0Uojw8l8 The problem is in the thermal pad. Just simply replace Sony’s tiny pad to a much larger one. I did this to all my Sony cams and I am recording for hours. Hope this helps!

  17. Dmitri says:

    LOL… Erik, if you really want it – you can do it 😉 Your are a pro and small challenge is not gonna stop you! Good luck!

  18. Dmitri says:

    Yes, it should! I tested it on a7s, a7sII, a6300 and a5100 – no issues to report.

    • Paolo says:

      Hi Dmitri, me too I’ve tried this way with an a5100, is different from an a6000, I tried to remove the back of the camera, but I failed to remove the top part of the iron frame just above the SD card slot, have a suggestion?

      • Dmitri says:

        At first I had that same problem, but look right under the flash, you have to remove that plastic cover (upper left corner) and you will see another screw…

  19. John Smiths says:

    This is utter bullshit. The fastest cards available cannot write any faster than the camera can. I am using 1000x cards and still have severe overheating

  20. Sascha says:

    Hi Erik,
    just to let know… i´ve tested the pixel remapping Procedure on my a6300. Before i wasn´t able to record 4k Video longer than 12 min. I tried almost everything (Battery Flap open, Cage, external Powering……) In other words i never came close to the internal recording Limit of 30 mins because th a6300 was overheating before. Now after i did this pixel Remapping Stuff i am able to record 1:30 h (with hack applied) of 4K continiously before the Overheating Warning apears for the first time. Whatever this remapping thing is doing it seems to has effect on the overheating issue as well.

    Thanx for the Hint

  21. Geza Nagy says:

    Hi, does sony 6300 overheat when using recorders like Atomos Ninja ?

  22. Aks says:

    Well written. I just want to share my find g

    I can record full 29:59 length at 4k 100M rate. But it shuts down almost right after that.

    Test 1:
    Ambient temp: 31 C
    Setup : a6300 + fotodiox adapter + sony u3 64gb sdxc + canon ef 24-105 + original batt + display flip up
    Run time: 29:59 + 04:30

    Test 2:
    Ambient temp: 30 C
    Setup : a6300 + sony u3 64gb sdxc + sony sel50f18 + original batt + display flip up
    Run time: 29:59 + 00:05

    What’s the longest everyone have without cage and adapter? I found my fotodiox adapter becomes very hot while recording video, so it acts like a heat sink too.

  23. Oliver says:

    So I’m guessing more than a few are going to scoff at my suggestion but here is how I solve the issue of overheating on an a6000 currently. I’ve been recording lectures/workshops etc. with the a6000 (which is notorious for overheating) that run in excess of 2 hours…continuously with no overheat. (I am running the OpenMemories mod of course in order to remove the recording time limit).

    Here’s the setup/rig. External power supply to dummy battery (and yes you can run 9V adapter into the battery compartment through a dummy battery), SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Card (95MB/s), and a folded up, damp paper towel that is placed between the LCD and camera body (sticking up to the right, beside the viewfinder). That’s it. Every 30 minutes or so, pull out the paper towel, flip it around so the “hot sandwiched” side is “exposed” and the “cool end” is sandwiched between the LCD and body. It takes a lot of energy to heat up water…so it very effectively dissipates the heat generated by the camera.

    It looks a little tacky sure, but it works. I just filmed at least 3 hours of lectures/day, Monday-Friday this past week. No overheat warning, camera barely “warm” after the continuous recording.

  24. Daniel says:

    What about using a Card extension cable to keep heat from “cheaper cards” out of the body….

    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Carte-SD-vers-SD-Card-Extension-Extender-Cable-SDHC-32-gb-64-Compatible-GPS-TV/2055600131.html

    Daniel

  25. Hi Eric, FYI, after installing the firmware update my overheating issues are gone.

    I was able to record 1,5 h at all (where I ended the test by myself), with short stops at the 30min recording limit and I even didn’t get any temperature warning. Before the update I only got 40 minutes recording time at maximum with the warning comming up at about 20 minutes.

    My test enviroment as always:
    22° C room temperature (about 72° F), 4K 25p (Super35) recording, external power with Sony AC-PW20, Movie mode, Airplane mode, manual focus, tilted display, cage (Aptaris).
    The body and the battery dummy had the same temperature as before, so I think, Sony redefined the temperature thresholds for the warning and the camera shutdown.

    However, this is huge and now one can rely on this great little guy even for longer interviews.

  26. Deborah says:

    I am amazed at this doable solution, you are the best! I am teetering on sending back an A6000 for the very same heating problem that somehow I did not know about prior to purchase from B&H despite hours of research. My video tests of this camera upon receipt (and the final deal breaker) revealed that if you shot for say, 20 or so minutes, and then immediately stopped and started a new recording, you got about 2 minutes and to my amazement, just shut down saying it was overheating. I use Sandisc Extreme 64GB cards. Otherwise I love the camera, but for video it is a deal breaker, and that is what I purchased it for to use with my Pilot Fly H2. Should I keep it and try the Lexar as you suggest? I cannot take the chance of unexpected shut down after only few minutes—we do oral histories.
    Thanks!!

  27. Justsomeolddude says:

    There’s a reason professional 4K video camera’s have vents, fans and massive heatsinks ;o)

    Thanks so much for recording your efforts here. Very helpful.

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