The Sony A7 range of cameras has proven to be a huge hit amongst the community with Sony releasing a number of different camera bodies within the range to maximize the market share of their A7 range of cameras. That said though, the majority of the camera bodies in the range are all predominantly stills cameras for photography and although they do record video, they are plagues by the 30 minute Sony recording limit.
At the time of writing, the Sony a7iii is one of the most popular camera bodies from the wider A7 range of cameras. Due to this, we constantly see people reaching out and asking questions such as “How long can the Sony a7iii record for?” (just shy of 30 minutes) and the initial question is then usually quickly followed by “How can I get around the Sony a7iii recording limit?“.
Well, thankfully, there are a few methods that you are able to use to disable the recording limit on your Sony A7iii and the best part is, if you are using any of the other camera models in the range including the Sony a7, Sony a7R, Sony a7S, Sony a7ii, Sony a7Rii, Sony a7Sii, Sony a7iii, Sony a7Riii, Sony a7Riv, Sony a7Siii, Sony a7C, and any future additions to the Sony a7 camera range, many of these methods will also work this those too!
How To Get Around The Sony A7iii Recording Limit!
Although there are a number of different ways that you are able to get around the 30 minute Sony A7iii recording limit for videos, we would only really recommend one that we will go over below. That said though, you have to realise that Sony added the video recording limit to their cameras to help protect them from overheating. If you are wanting to unlock the recording limit then you will have to take steps to prevent your Sony A7iii from overheating when recording these longer videos.
In our opinion, the best option is to make a mini cooling rig for your Sony A7iii using some cheap Raspberry Pi fans. Although this can be a little fiddly and require some DIY to actually build the mini cooling rig with the fans, in our opinion, it is definitely the best, and cheapest way to prevent your Sony A7iii from over heating.
Another option that has proven to be popular is to apply some decent thermal paste to the areas of your Sony A7iii that can get hot and cause the overheating issues. Although this is a popular option, it can be just as fiddly to do as making your own cooling rig with Raspberry Pi fans while also potentially offering no benefit at all. On top of this, applying thermal paste to parts of your Sony A7iii may void the warranty so this is just another reason that we recommend the Raspberry Pi fan method.
Getting Around The Sony A7iii 30 Minute Limit
As we touched on above, there are a number of different methods that you are able to take advantage of to get around the Sony A7iii 30 minute recording limit on your camera as well as any other cameras from the Sony a7 range. That said though, the only one that we recommend to our readers is using the Open Memories app.
Not only does the Open Memories app have an excellent reputation amongst the videography community who use Sony cameras but the developer team behind it also work hard to keep it up to date. Although the process may seem a little annoying at first, you should be able to get everything done in around ten minutes to totally remove the Sony A7iii 30 minute limit for video on your camera and let you record video footage for as long as you want.
The other methods available to remove the video recording limit on your camera are not as reliable due to the development team for the apps not keeping their software up to date. We have also seen a few tutorials on YouTube where people show you how to alter the hardware on your Sony A7iii to remove the recording limit too. We don’t recommend that you use any of the hardware alterations due to them voiding your warranty and the Open Memories app being so easy to setup as explained in our setup guide below.
How To Install Open Memories On Your Sony A7iii To Remove The Recording Limit
The first step to removing your Sony A7iii recording limit is to download the Open Memories app and install it on your computer. Be sure to select the correct version of the app as it is available for both PC and Mac and they are not interchangeable with each other. The software will work on all releases of Mac OS but does not work on versions of Windows released before Windows NT but all modern versions of Windows are supported.
Next up, we would recommend that you remove the memory card from your Sony A7iii as there used to be a bug with Sony cameras where installing a third-party app onto your camera would wipe your memory card. Although this has been fixed for years now, we don’t know the firmware build that you are running on your Sony A7iii so taking the couple of seconds to remove your memory card can be worth it, especially if you have lots of your work saved on it.
Once your memory card has been removed from your A7iii, turn your camera on and open your camera settings. Once the settings are open, select the tab on the righthand side for your USB connection options. Once on the tab, you will have a number of options for your USB connectivity, the default option is Auto but for this process, you will have to switch it over to MTP.
Once you have selected MTP, save the setting and then turn your camera off and plug it into your computer using a USB cable. Once you have your Sony A7iii connected to your computer, turn it back on and let it boot up, once your camera has booted up, open the Open Memories app on your computer and click on the button that says “Get Camera Info”.
This can take around a minute depending on the firmware version you have running on your Sony A7iii and it will run a full diagnostic and confirm that everything is connected and set up correctly to install the app. Select the actions tab in the Open Memories software on your computer and then click the button that says “Install Open Memories Tweak” and let the app install on your Sony A7iii, this will usually take around a minute.
Once the app has been installed on your camera, remove the USB cable from your camera and re-open your camera settings. Just like before, navigate to the righthand tab to open up your cameras USB settings and switch it back from MTP to the default Auto setting. Now navigate to the fourth tab from the left in your Sony A7iii camera settings to open your applications tab.
You should instantly see the Open Memories Tweak app icon in your applications tab but if you already have a number of third-party apps installed on your A7iii, you may have to scroll down to find it. Once you have found the app, open it up and then scroll to the second tab from the left, the video options tab.
Right at the top of the video options tab you should see the option “Disable video recording limit” and click it. This will remove your Sony A7iii 30 minute recording restriction and allow you to record videos that are as long as you need without issue. At this stage you can put your memory card back into your camera and take it for a test recording to check that you are able to record for more than the usual 30 minutes.
Although the process is very simple, there are two main common problems with removing the 30 minute video recording limit from your Sony A7iii. The first one is that you are not running the 3.2.1 firmware or newer on your camera as this is needed for the Open Memories software to work. If you are running an older firmware build on your Sony A7iii then you can just update it via the official Sony website and this should fix the issue.
The second most common problem is that Open Memories will remove the Sony A7iii recording limit for you but your camera will often overheat around the 30 minute window anyway and then turn off. This is why we pointed out earlier in the article that you have to take steps to prevent your Sony A7iii from overheating when capturing these longer videos.
As we pointed out above, we feel that the best option is to make your own cooling rig for your camera out of cheap, decent Raspberry Pi cooling fans. As you are making it yourself, you can pretty much come up with any rig required to ensure that you are able to provide the required airflow for your Sony A7iii to prevent it from overheating. You can try to apply thermal paste if needed rather than making your own cooling rig but we usually advise against it as it may not provide any benefit at all.