Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Paul Ream's Sony F5 4K hack is real - Sony F55 owners not happy

Sony F5 owners just got an early Christmas present. Paul Ream's latest podcast describes exactly how he unlocked 4K recording on the heretofore 2K Sony F5 (discussion of Sony business ethics starts at 11:30 - legal caveats and technical discussion start at 17:15).

For those who need to see the procedure in writing, Paul has spelled it out:

Following on from our fourth podcast, this is the page where we’ve written the 4K4F5 guide down. It goes like this:
  • Save a 2K XAVC ‘All Files’ setting to a blank SD card.
  • Pop the SD card into your computer.
  • Go to the Private/Sony/PRO/CAMERA/PMWF5 directory.
  • Open the 001.ALL file with a plain text editor.
  • Delete the whole of the first line (32 digit checksum)
  • Change line 150 to one of the settings listed below.
  • Save the file as 001.ALL (Plain text)
  • Generate a new md5 checksum for the file.
  • Open the file in your text editor again and add the new checksum as a new first line.
  • Save and pop the SD card in your F5.
  • Enjoy your new settings which can then be copied in camera to taste.
Your choice of new line 150′s are:
  • 4K at 23.98 enter: 150=4096,2160,1001,24000,1,1,0,8,0,0,0,1,1,1,6
  • 4K at 24 enter: 150=4096,2160,1,24,1,1,0,8,0,0,0,1,1,1,6
  • 4K at 25 enter: 150=4096,2160,1,25,1,1,0,8,0,0,0,1,1,1,5
  • 4K at 29.97 enter: 150=4096,2160,1001,30000,1,1,0,8,0,0,0,1,1,1,4
  • 4K at 50 enter: 150=4096,2160,1,50,1,1,0,8,0,0,0,1,1,1,3
  • 4K at 59.94 enter: 150=4096,2160,1001,60000,1,1,0,8,0,0,0,1,1,1,3
  • QFHD at 23.98 enter: 150=3840,2160,1001,24000,1,1,0,8,0,0,0,1,1,1,6
  • QFHD at 24 enter: 150=3840,2160,1,24,1,1,0,8,0,0,0,1,1,1,6
  • QFHD at 25 enter: 150=3840,2160,1,25,1,1,0,8,0,0,0,1,1,1,5
  • QFHD at 29.97 enter: 150=3840,2160,1001,30000,1,1,0,8,0,0,0,1,1,1,6>/li>
  • QFHD at 50 enter: 150=3840,2160,1,50,1,1,0,8,0,0,0,1,1,1,3
  • QFHD at 59.94 enter: 150=3840,2160,1001,60000,1,1,0,8,0,0,0,1,1,1,3
To generate an md5 checksum on a mac you can simply use terminal. Just type “md5 001.ALL” when you’re in the same directory as the file. Finally paste the 32digit code back into the first line in the file.

Not sure how to do this on Windows but there are web sites that will generate an md5 file code just by dropping it on a page!

Alternatively, here’s all my ‘ALL file’ settings as an example. They were generated on my camera with firmware 4.11. These can be saved to an SD card and used directly in your camera. Once loaded you can change any other menu settings and save them to your own camera cards as normal.


It is very interesting to see the shock and outrage over this discovery on Philip Bloom's Facebook page among the F55 crowd, though.

Camera companies make business decisions that disadvantage consumers all the time - at both consumer and pro ends of the market. I don't know why people continue to be surprised by this.

That said, if you've been thinking about getting the F5, but have been holding out for 4K, now may be the time to pick one up from existing stock from retailers (they are still $16,490 at Adorama). Sony will probably close this loophole in units that are yet to ship from the factory.

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