Sony A7xxx support

Discussion in 'Image Capture' started by Zak Foreman, Oct 9, 2019.

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Anyone interested in seeing support for Sony A7xxx

  1. Yes! Light weight, low noise, high sensitivity OSC CCD, packaged in a useful camera body!

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. No! Begone with your new-fanged technology

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Zak Foreman

    Zak Foreman Cyanogen Customer

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    Oct 22, 2014
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    Hi All,
    As long term Canon user, I've since been blown away by the portability, sensitivity and image quality of the Sony mirrorless cameras, so much so that I've been migrating all my gear over to Sony for the past year or so and now settled on the A7Riii.

    Hoping that there will be some renewed interest in supporting these cameras within Maxim from the community and DL, as Canon really seems to be lagging behind the innovation curve!

    In any case wanted to put my name down as a Sony user interested in seeing support in Maxim for my new platform.

    Zak
     
  2. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    2,431
    Zak, Sony does not have a software development kit that supports that camera or the A7RIV, so there is nothing we (or other developers) can do. If they decide to make an SDK avaialable, we would consider it.
     
  3. Zak Foreman

    Zak Foreman Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    Messages:
    9
  4. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    I'll refer you to the official word from Sony:
    https://developer.sony.com/develop/cameras/api-information/supported-devices
    "Camera Remote API has now been archived. Developer World no longer offers updates and active support for Camera Remote API."

    Unfortunately Sony ended development on their SDK, and chose not to support the newer cameras.
    I would suggest you need to lobby them to update their SDK and support new cameras they make.

    Generally speaking, we prefer to use officially supported SDKs with signed drivers by the manufacturer to support their hardware.
    Windows 7 through 10 require hardware drivers to be digitally signed by the hardware manufacturer. Win 10 is the most strict.
    In our world, we have to support devices for years (decades!), and so prefer to use the official SDKs from the manufacturer.
    Further, we can't write and sign drivers for Windows 10 for hardware we don't make - that is not permitted by the Windows security model.

    As far as the gphoto stuff goes, it's typical Linux open source development, hacked together by volunteers who reverse engineer camera protocols etc.
    A change in firmware in a given camera is enough to break everything.
    The usual license agreements from most MILC and DSLR manufacturers preclude reverse engineering, so we could not do this.
    Arguably someone could voluntarily write an ASCOM driver using the gphoto stuff, but then there is still the issue of how Windows would treat the camera. Likely you'd have to install a Sony remote control utility and then hack something together to make it look like an ASCOM camera.
    It's not easy to support a product that a manufacturer doesnt wish to open up or to offer options.
    Economically speaking, I don't think any software vendor of astronomy programs can spend the necessary development money (hundreds of hours, many thousands of dollars) to try to come up with a solution for it, without getting a return on that investment. We'd have to sell many hundreds of copies of the software to make our money back. It's just not viable right now. We'd never recover the investment.

    So, until Sony has an official way for developers to support their products, its not going to happen.
     
  5. Zak Foreman

    Zak Foreman Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    Hi Colin,
    Thanks for taking the time to clearly explain the situation in detail, it's all starting to make sense!
    Its a sorry state of affairs and disappointing from Sony, but in any case appreciate the clarifications of how we got to where we are!
     

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