Since the very strong release of the Sony a6500, the popularity of the camera body has continued to grow with each passing month within both the photography and videography communities. Although Sony have released a number of additional camera bodies into their Sony Alpha range of mirrorless cameras, the sales of the a6500 continue to increase.
Due to this, we constantly see a wide range of frequently asked questions being asked week in week out about the a6500 and how you are able to get the best possible performance from it. Although we have already answered some of these questions in other articles on the blog, we have noticed more and more people specifically reaching out and asking for advice on how you are able to remove the 30-minute Sony a6500 recording limit.
This is one of the few things that can be considered as a negative when it comes to most of the Sony Alpha range, especially if you are planning to do large amounts of videography work. That said though, Sony added this 30 minute recording limit for good reason, most of the Sony Alpha range, including the Sony a6500 are designed for use as stills cameras and can quickly over heat when being used to capture video.
If you are wanting to follow our method below to remove the video recording limit on your a6500, then we would highly recommend that you take steps to protect it from overheating. The most commonly used method that we see is to make a custom cooling rig for your a6500 using cheap, decent Raspberry Pi fans. Although this method is a little fiddly, it can work extremely well and prevent your camera from overheating when recording those longer videos.
Another method that we would not recommend but many videographers use is to apply thermal paste to the areas of your a6500 that are prone to overheating. We usually advise against using thermal paste as there are mixed reports to if it even helps with overheating or not. Additionally, getting to the areas of your camera that require the thermal paste can be fiddly and applying the paste can void your warranty.
How To Get Around The Sony A6500 Recording Limit!
There are a number of different methods out there that can remove your Sony a6500 recording limit. Although there are some videos on YouTube that show you how to tweak the hardware of your camera to remove the limit, we would never recommend that you do this as there are much easier options available and tweaking the hardware in your camera definitely voids the warranty.
In our opinion, the best way to get your a6500 to record videos that are longer than one hour long is to install one of the popular third-party apps that allow you to unlock the video recording limit. Although there are a number of different apps available that all offer similar functionality, in our opinion, Open Memories is the best and is the one that we always recommend to our readers.
Not only does Open Memories have an excellent reputation amongst the community who use Sony camera bodies but its development team often releases updates to ensure it works as efficiently as possible. It is also quick and easy to install onto your a6500 too, especially if you follow our guide below on how to actually install the app below. The whole process, including reading the article should take you no more than ten minutes while unlocking the recording limit on your camera forever.
How To Install Open Memories On Your Sony A6500 To Remove The Recording Limit
As you can probably guess, the first step of removing your Sony a6500 recording limit is to actually download the Open Memories application to your computer. The app is available for both Windows and Mac so be sure to download the version that you require for your computer operating system as they are not cross-compatible. Once the app is downloaded, install it onto your computer, this usually takes less than thirty seconds.
Although this next step is not essential, we would recommend that you remove the memory card from your Sony a6500 at this stage. This is due to a bug that used to be in an old firmware build that could cause the camera to essentially wipe all of the data on a memory card in the camera when installing a third-party app.
Although this bug has since been fixed by Sony in a new firmware build, so many photographers and videographers don’t keep their firmware releases up to date on their cameras. As we have no way of knowing what firmware version you are running, it is easier to just remove your memory card and not take the risk.
At this stage, you will want to turn your a6500 on and open up your camera settings, scroll across the the tab on the right hand side of your camera settings to open up your USB connection options. The majority of people will probably have this set to the default option that is the Auto mode, switch this to MTP and then turn your a6500 off.
Plug your camera into your computer using a USB cable and then turn your camera back on. Once your camera has booted up fully, open the Open Memories app on your computer and you should see a button called “Get Camera Info”. This will run a quick diagnostic check that usually takes less than a minute to confirm that your a6500 is set up and connected correctly ready for the install.
Once the diagnostic check has completed, select the actions tab on the Open Memories software on your computer and then scroll down a little. You should now see a button that says “Install Open memories Tweak”, click this button and let the software install the app on your Sony a6500, this usually takes less than a minute.
Once complete, you will get a message box on your computer letting you know that the installation of the app was successful. At this stage, remove the USB cable from your camera and then reopen the camera settings on your a6500. Just like above, select the right-hand tab to open your USB connection settings and switch it back from MTP to the Auto option.
Keep the camera settings open on your camera but change the tab to the fourth tab from the left. This is your third-party applications tab showing you all of the different third-party applications that you have installed on your a6500. If Open Memories is the first app that you have installed, you should be able to see its icon, if you have a number of other third-party apps installed, you may have to scroll down a little to find it.
Select the Open Memories icon to open the app and then scroll over to the second tab from the left within the Open Memories app. This is your video options tab and right at the top, you should see the “Disable Video Recording Limit” option, select it to disable the 30-minute video recording limit on your Sony a6500, and then you are good to go.
At this stage, we would recommend that you put your memory card back into your a6500 and run a test to make sure that the whole process has gone smoothly and that you are now able to capture video on your camera that is longer than 30 minutes. Although it is rare, there are two common problems that we will go into below that may not allow the app to unlock your video recording limit on your camera.
The most common problem that we see is that people will get to close to the 30 minute recording time and their Sony a6500 will overheat and stop recording making it look like installing Open Memories did not work. This is not due to the application, this is due to the design of the Sony Alpha range as they have little to no overheating protection available on the cameras.
This is why we highly recommend that you try to make your own cooling rig for your a6500 using decent Raspberry Pi fans. Although this is a little fiddly and can take you around half an hour to make the cooling rig, it is probably the best option available to prevent your camera from overheating. As you are making your own external cooling system, it does not void your warranty on your camera either while keeping your camera cool enough to record hours of video footage.
The second common problem that we see is that people don’t have the 3.2.1 firmware or newer update running on their Sony a6500. If you are using an older firmware build, you can quickly update to a newer firmware release for free from the Sony website. Not only does this fix a number of issues with the earlier firmware builds, it will also ensure that Open Memories will work correctly when disabling the video recording limit on your a6500 too.