Pro Tip: Shoot 4K Video in Manual Mode for a Brighter Screen on Sony Alpha Cameras

Alright, so I love my Sony cameras. And I love shooting in 4K resolution. However, if you’re a Sony shooter, you know that Sony’s cameras have a tendency to overheat. And, in an attempt to prevent that, Sony automatically dims the brightness of the screen when shooting in 4K.

Now this can make it obviously more difficult to judge your exposure, and can make the screen really hard to see if you’re shooting outside or in bright conditions, and it forces you to rely more on your metering, etc. etc.

However, there is somewhat of a workaround for this. Shooting in Manual mode instead of video mode will keep the screen at its normal brightness until you press record. During recording, the screen brightness will dip down to the level of luminance you're probably used to, and as soon as you’re done recording, it will raise back up again.

This can be super-helpful if you really need to see your screen and are annoyed by how dark it gets.

Also, there’s another feature available in Manual mode that’s not available in Movie mode, and that’s Manual Focus Assist. I’ve already made a video about this, but in case you haven’t seen it, MF Assist is a really cool feature that will zoom in your image every time you adjust the focus ring on your lens so you can make sure your focus is as sharp as possible when not using autofocus.

Just make sure that in your settings, the “Movie button” option is set to “always,” otherwise you won’t be able to shoot anything but stills while in Manual mode.

And that’s it guys, let me know what you think about shooting video in Manual mode, and if the brighter screen helps out while shooting in 4K.