Does your Sony A6400 have overheating problems? Or do you own any other camera in the popular Sony Alpha series which is not letting you shoot high-quality videos for longer durations without heating up and shutting down? Your camera shutting off in the middle of a recording, especially when it has only been 20-40 minutes at max, can be really off-putting!
Where Sony boasts that the A6400, from Sony’s line of E-mount mirrorless cameras, is “The Perfect Vlog” camera with some amazing specs like 4k video and a front-facing screen along with the most amazing autofocus technology ever, it also says it’s good for continuous recording. A lot of people never even run into an overheating issue and you’ll find a good deal of reviews online saying that this camera has no such problem. David Oastler also tested it and fortunately didn’t face any issues at all. If you’re shooting at 1080p, then it’s unlikely you’ll run into this either- it will pretty much record non-stop. But shooting at 4k can heat up the camera eventually and people have been reporting this.
Why Does It Shut Down?
Your A6400 shuts down a few minutes after it displays the overheat warning to prevent your camera suffering any damage. This is actually a great fix in the A6400 that wasn’t originally part of the A6300 or A6500 (although now their firmware has also been updated).
You’ll find an “Auto Pwr OFF Temp” option in the setup menu, which is set to standard by default. When the camera crosses the standard temperature limit, it displays a warning and then powers off after a few minutes. If you change the setting to high, this will increase the maximum temperature limit and allow you to go on a bit longer.
How Long Can It Record Non-stop Before Overheating?
Now there’s no decipherable pattern or fixed limit to how long the camera can go non-stop without heating; reviews show that it varies a lot. The reason is probably that this actually depends on many factors, both internal and external, which we will explain as we give you tips to stop your Sony A6400 overheating.
Ways To Stop Your Sony A6400 Overheating
If your camera overheats just too fast and barely lets you record half an hour, chances are you’re making some mistake or not taking good precautions. Or maybe your niche requires shooting really long videos and your camera just can’t hold up that long.
Either way, here is a list of tips for you to tick off if you want to get rid of this problem. We guarantee that if you just follow these simple ways, you’ll get over this issue completely or, at the very least, increase shooting duration by multiple times.
Keep Your Gear In A Bag
ALWAYS protect your gear from the sun. Direct sun rays really make your device heat up fast. On a very sunny and hot day, a few minutes of non-stop recording are the best you can expect if you’re shooting 4k. You’ll run into the overheating warning very soon.
So, in general, always keep your gear in its protective bag or covered with anything light-colored like a white cloth (when you’re not filming of course). Don’t ever leave your camera on your car’s dashboard or front seat- basically anywhere the sun could reach and make it warm up. Keep it in shaded and cool places.
Power Down Completely When Not In Use
Power off your camera properly when you’re not shooting- don’t leave it switched on or in standby. That would just consume power unnecessarily and cause your device to slowly keep heating up instead of cooling down so you can film for longer later when you need it.
Clean Your Camera
All these initial tips may sound too basic and completely non-technical but, in all honesty, they are really important for any kind of device you use, and people do overlook these sometimes.
Keeping your device clean (and cleaning it thoroughly) would also help keep it from warming up abnormally. The dirtier it is, it would only trap more heat and make it harder for it to be dissipated to the surroundings.
Keep Spare Batteries
The main reason your Sony A6400 heats up is because of battery heat. Since the design is so compact, it’s hard for that heat to be dissipated very fast and it inevitably heats up. The solution is to keep spare batteries and keep switching between them to avoid heating up one battery too much. When you switch to your spare battery, you give the first one time to cool down, and then you can switch back. If you’re filming at maximum settings (very high fps and resolution) then it’s recommended to just keep switching every 15 minutes or so. The more spares you have the better, but even one or two will really help.
It’s recommended to buy the official Sony NP-FW50 batteries for best performance, but there are cheaper substitutes available which serve very well.
Switch To An External Power Source
To completely eliminate the battery heat issue, you could switch over to an external power source instead. Either you could plug in your device to an external power outlet or use a portable USB power bank. Either way, the power source would then be outside the camera and it would barely heat up.
Use A Fast SD Card
This is the second-biggest culprit behind the heating issue and overheating is often caused if you are not using an SD card with the right recording and transfer speeds. For every camera fps and resolution setting there is a minimum criteria required of the SD card, and it gets higher for higher-quality videos. For 4k videos, you should go with 130 MB/s recording rate and 250 MB/s transfer rate on your SD card for a very smooth performance.
Use External Storage Instead Of An SD Card
This is the storage equivalent of switching to an external power source. If you remove the SD card from the camera altogether, it will greatly reduce heat, BUT it is rather cumbersome to arrange the connecting equipment and impedes movement while recording. Most people don’t resort to this.
Use A Thermal Pad/Paste Or Ice Pack
Although thermal pads or pastes can be very effective, you should know very well where to put them (follow instructions carefully) so that you don’t actually end up causing some damage like a short-circuit. These are really cheap and effective if you know how to use them safely.
Similarly, a small ice pack can really do the job and let you shoot for as long as you like without trouble if you attach it properly. You’ll need to use a towel so that it absorbs the condensation on the ice pack and doesn’t wet your camera! (It can fit in nicely between the screen and camera body.)
Block Sunlight With A Mini-Umbrella
We’ve already talked about how sun rays can be your worst enemy. If you’re always working in the sun, you should get one of these mini umbrellas to shade your camera. Mini umbrellas in different sizes are easily available. You can hold it yourself, have someone else hold one, or easily fix it with your tripod or the camera itself. There many kinds of attachments, clips, and holders available to hold it in the right position.
Tilt The LCD Screen
Another simple but super-effective way is to tilt the screen of your A6400 away from the body of the camera. The screen also tends to get warm so tilting it away will ensure that there is a passage for air to flow in between. This will also increase the surface area in contact with the air and hence help cool down the camera.
Open The Battery Door And Flash Housing
Opening the battery door can really help circulate air and cool down the battery if you don’t have to move your camera around much (because otherwise the battery may fall out). If you fix the battery in place, then open the door to allow heat to escape to the surroundings easily.
You can also try opening the flash housing to increase the area for air passage.
Switch To Airplane Mode
This will allow you to go on much longer without overheating because it will simply shutdown all extra and background processes running inside the camera that you don’t even need for recording.
Use A Fan
A small fan nearby, like a USB-controlled one, will help throw air to cool down the A6400. The feasibility really depends on how much you move around. If you can keep a cooling fan near your device without it being difficult to move around, that’s great. Beware of the slight whirring noise from the fan though!
Take Breaks While Shooting
If your niche requires shooting very long videos, then it’s too much to expect of the A6400 to keep going for many hours, especially in broad daylight. You should take regular breaks to allow your device to cool down a bit. If the surrounding temperature is very cool and there is good air circulation, then you may be able to go on without stopping even once.
Don’t Max Out Unnecessarily
It will rarely be a requirement to record at both the highest resolution and highest frame rate. Even if you have to record 4k, you can almost always ease out on the fps. The lower settings you use, the less hard work your camera needs to put in, and it will not overheat.
Honestly, if you’re recording at anything below 4k and keep a reasonable frame rate, you will most likely never even face an overheating problem. Just go easy on your device!
Update Your Camera
Sony releases firmware updates for their cameras that actually fix quite a lot of common issues. So as a last resort you can try switching to the latest version as it may even help with your overheating problem amongst others.