“It’s the Port, Stupid!” Brilliant Atomos Shogun/Sony A7s Combo Marred by micro HDMI

by Hugh Brownstone6 Comments

Whenever someone says “worst thing ever invented,” it sounds suspiciously like our 17-year-old (whose brain is still forming and we hope will someday complete the process). But in this case, we sympathize with Luke Neumann of Neumann Films when he describes the micro HDMI out port of the Sony A7s just this way. Have no fear, however: he found a solution, and it’s called the Lockport A7.

Luke has just posted his video review of the Atomos Shogun/Sony A7s combo, and he loves the footage coming out of it.

Not surprising.

But what is surprising (to those who haven’t already experienced the micro HDMI port on ANY camera) is that Luke saves his only real criticism for something as mundane as the port that connects the two together:

“… The fact that a camera company advertised this camera as 4K ready yet only gave us a micro HDMI out to achieve that 4K is a cardinal sin…micro HDMI is the worst thing ever invented. I lost about a week of shooting trying to get a good micro HDMI setup for the Sony A7s…”

I feel you, brother.

When I first connected a field monitor to my a6000 (clean HDMI out, oh yeah!), I couldn’t get a reliable connection from the micro HDMI port on the camera. I thought it was defective, and arranged for a return and exchange. But then I thought I’d try a different cable, and lo and behold, it worked. Better, anyway (stay tuned for a separate piece on how I more fully solved the micro HDMI port issue on the a6000). I kept the camera, and have been enjoying it immensely ever since.

Luke’s solution for the A7s was to purchase a device called the Lockport A7, which is essentially a custom-machined base plate with integrated side clamp and 90° micro HDMI to HDMI adapter. It truly locks the micro HDMI connection into place, and then allows any HDMI to HDMI cable to be used back to the Shogun – or any other full HDMI port.

If I was running Atomos, I would hook up with these guys and include the LockPort with the Shogun Click To Tweet

Luke continues:

“… if you’re going to buy a Shogun for your A7s, this is an essential purchase… If I was running Atomos, I would hook up with these guys and this product would be included in the Shogun purchase – or at least as an optional accessory. Don’t purchase the Shogun without this…”

At $169 it isn’t cheap, but on the other hand that price is just noise when you consider the peace of mind it brings. I think Luke is exactly right.

Having written this, Atomos’ own Ninja Star uses the micro-HDMI port, and their implementation is a uniquely tighter fit, in my experience. Even so, I’d expect it to loosen up quickly.

So: no harm/no foul, Atomos and Sony, for doing everything you can to shrink the footprint of gear, but please: get rid of micro-HDMI, fix it, or throw in something like the Lockport A7 for all of your models (though this really does undo whatever size advantage gained by going micro-HDMI in the first place).

NEXT!

Atomos Shogun / Sony A7s Impressions

 

Atomos Shogun - Sony A7s Impressions image

Via Youtube Description:

Atomos Shogunwww.atomos.com/shogun/

Lockport A7www.lockcircle.com/lockport_a7/buy/

The Atomos Shogun 4K Recorder/monitor is an essential purchase to go alongside your Sony A7s. The most important thing to consider is the Micro-HDMI connection on the A7s and purchasing the right adapter could save you a lot of stress later on.

Check out our website for Royalty Free music, color grading presets, film effects, Royalty Free aerials, and more!

www.neumannfilms.net/

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

Hugh Brownstone

Hugh Brownstone

Hugh is the founder of Three Blind Men and An Elephant Productions. He and the team write, direct, shoot, score, and edit web-centric films; conduct photo shoots; and write copy, white papers and blog posts. Hugh also writes screenplays (he recently optioned a TV pilot) and just published his first eBook (Apple's iPhone: The Next Video Revolution). If it's about telling stories, it's in their wheelhouse.

And always with the ambition of authenticity, humanity and wit.
Hugh Brownstone

Comments

  1. High praise to compare the Sony A7s / AtomOS Shogun combo with the Red Epic Dragon. And exactly right to identify the Micro HDMI connector as the Achille’s Heel threatening the viability of shooting this way. Like you, I think the LockPort HDMI port stabilizer is far and away the best design on the market, but with one major shortcoming: incompatibility with Really Right Stuff camera plates. It has been several months since I looked into this, but unless LockPort includes an Arca-Swiss compatible mount on their HDMI protector, or RRS has redesigned their kludgy universal cable clamp, the dual demands of the quick release and HDMI port integrity continue to be a pain in the neck. I took up this issue some time ago with RRS, but they didn’t get too excited about doing anything but recommending their goofy cable clamp. I’ve got one purchased for one of my Canon rigs, but with a smaller and more fragile connector like Micro HDMI, besides being too big for any camera cage, it looks like it would be just as likely to torque the connector and to cause connection failure, and perhaps even break the port on the camera and cause an expensive repair.

  2. Pingback: Sony A7s et Atomos Shogun

  3. I haven’t worked with the A7s yet, but its Micro HDMI port can’t be as bad as the GH4. We own one, and have rented 2 and they ALL have had issues that had major impact on productions.. And the GH4 we own keeps getting worse with each shoot.  I tried several of the various cage / port protector options and found them quite fussy.  The LOCKPORT is the answer. I ordered it initially because it didn’t require a cage and we were looking for an option that would work on our gimbal. Its design and build quality is SO much better than anything else out there.

    Anyone know of any options for getting their GH4 port repaired in a reasonable amount of time?

    Danny, I am not familiar with the RRS plate but can’t the quick release plate just attach normally? Or is the problem with the vertical side piece?  The Lockport’s super thin bottom plate essentially just mimics the GH4, I assume the A7s Lockport is similar.

  4. DannyGrizzle I use the RRS L bracket on my a6000 and have the cable clamp as well.  The clamp is a little big for my cage, but I know it’s there if I need it.

  5. My first job with A7s, I destroyed three micro HDMI cables in two weeks. My solution: bought the brilliant A7s cage from Movcam off ebay (much cheaper than anywhere else). Comes with a simple and effective cable lock, that can lock up to two cables. It’s also the best designed and most low profile cage out there. I can swing my camera with it should the desire grab me.

    Worth every penny.

  6. Cages with HDMI locks.

    Movcam cage with HDMI Lock: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Professional-Movcam-15MM-Baseplate-Cage-With-HDMI-Clamp-For-Sony-A7R-A7S-Camera-/251658314353?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a98012271

    Here’s another one. Looks to steal and improve on movcam with the removable handle (great for packing) and the side handles. 

    www.ebay.com/itm/Professional-Dual-Wood-Hanlde-Grip-A7S-Baseplate-Cage-For-Movcam-FF2-SONY-A7S-/151441784270?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2342a23dce

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