Star Eater

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by Tipton, May 4, 2017.

  1. Tipton

    Tipton TalkEmount Regular

    Jan 30, 2016
    Rae Leggett
  2. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ad Dieleman
    I'm not into astrophotography at all, but I understand the frustration about Sony effectively breaking existing cameras by a firmware update. No manufacturer should ever break existing functionality. Ever. In this case a menu option should be provided to revert to behaviour of previous firmware versions, or something else to that effect.
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  3. Mus Aziz

    Mus Aziz TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2015
    I read about the Star Eater yesterday. Must be a real bummer for those who do astrophotography. Since it's a firmware thing, I'm sure it can be undone in the next firmware update.
  4. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    This seems to be a pretty poorly thought out 'update' by Sony developers! It makes no logical sense to add it to firmware that affects the RAW image, especially while utilizing BULB. Renders the cameras useless. They already have an option for long exposure noise reduction to address the hot pixels. It should be kept within this menu option.

    The article states quite a number of Sony models are affected.
    I wonder when this was rolled in? Makes me hesitant to flash my a6000 to the latest firmware, which I haven't done yet.
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  5. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Here's hoping that the campaign to get Sony to undo this works. Clearly it wasn't thought through.
  6. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Sep 10, 2015
    From what I have read, it was supposed to be a fix for hot pixels and most models including the A6000 are only affected this way when using bulb shutter speed. Unless you are using a tracker, this is likely not what you will be using as you would get star trails with longer shutter speeds. But the A7 series version 2 bodies have it occur at most (all?) shutter speeds, including those used for astrophotography.

    This has been known about for some time. You would think Sony would really want to repair this on flagship cameras as soon as it was feasible. It should be an embarrassment they would want to see fixed asap, even if there were few other changes. Surely they still have the source from before and could either easily revert, or make a menu option - in effect use old or new algorithm. It is rather baffling.

    As long as they are in there, maybe they could give us the A9 menu improvements, too. :)
  7. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    I'm a cynic, and Sony has a rather notorious rep when it comes to support and firmware fix requests. I wouldn't bet on a fix or admittance of oversight. Some of the articles linked are nearly 2 years old! The problem was rolled in several versions ago.
    I think it's a matter of bottom line. Hot pixels are a reality, and they can be a burden on Sony if too many returns are based on it. Or service/warranty inquiries. Easy solution is to permanently avoid the future problems by a software update to hide them even at the cost of crippling the performance. To the corporate shirts, it's a wise move. And I suspect the motivation behind it.
    I've experienced Canon crippling models of cameras in the past as part of their marketing. Sony is no different.
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  8. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    @Alex_Apo@Alex_Apo doesn't seem to have an issue with star eating.
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  9. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    No one ever said you can't get good pictures. :)

    Just because the end result is acceptable doesn't mean the camera should indiscriminately remove stars (or anything) from the scene. That should be left to the photographer. Especially when it comes to the raw file. Sony does a fantastic job with innovation, but the fact is their support for existing tech is the worst in the camera industry among major players. Even when they seemingly fix things for people, I feel they are in someways doing it in a defiant way to show they were right to begin with. for example:
    • People wanted to use PDAF on adapted lenses with all focusing features - They gave some half baked solution with LAE3 and made it like it was impossible. So you had to choose the LAEA4. They even acted like there was some magic hardware change in the A7RII that allowed it to work. When other adapter makers made fast focusing available for Canon lenses, Sony was suddenly able to make it available in the A7II A-mount lenses. A camera that uses PDAF hardware that dates back to the original A7. Was this ever really a hardware dilemma?
    • People wanted the them to produce lossless files - Sony answers this by removing compression altogether instead of creating a lossless compression algorithm like other manufacturers. So now when people choose the lossless options the files are ridiculously large.
    • People wanted a touch screen on high-end bodies - Sony makes the touch screen on the new bodies but only makes it available for focusing. An imperfect implementation that frustrates people as if it has to be that way.
    • People complained about focus breathing issues on "some" lenses - Sony addresses it by completely eradicating it from every scenario by changing the focusing method to use chosen aperture for almost all lenses instead of traditional wide open focusing. A7RII users are beside themselves on this one.
    • People complained about hot pixels in long exposures - Now some may say, they already have LNR, but kepp in mind, many LE photographers still leave this option off because while it's effective, it doubles the exposure time. This means less photo opportunities. Sony addresses this with the star eater LNR. This happens because the camera can only guess what is a hot pixel if it doesn't do a traditional dark frame exposure.
    I know this may sound cynical, but in each case Sony could have chosen to make the fixes/upgrades options and let the photographer choose when or how to apply. Instead they provide a solution with a passive aggressive defiance that basically says, "here you go, I hope your happy with what you wanted"
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  10. unlo

    unlo Sony ******

    Jan 19, 2014
    I stopped in at my local camera store. There was a vendor fair, Sony was present with the A9. One of the local camera store employees I've seen behind the counter before was wearing a Sony shirt. I stopped and played with the A9, I also mentioned this article and if he'd heard about it. He had not, he mentioned it to some of the Reps who were on location for the vendor fair and they hadn't heard of it either. Not that i'm expecting anything but I was told directly after they had a chance to skim over the article they would be mentioning it to engineer / developer people who they were 'quite sure weren't aware of this issue at all'. Take it for what it's worth.

    Hopefully it can get corrected with a future update.
  11. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    This has been aroyfor a long time. The only thing different is that Peta pixel wrote an article. I saw a Sony Rep at a expo near me and mentioned the focusing issue and he said he had never heard of that either. I don't believe anything reps say. Just do a google search on Sony Star eater. It's been around for almost 2 years.
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  12. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    For those that think Sony isn't aware of this. There are pages and pages of "star eater" discussion on Sony's own community forums but not a single acknowledgement from Sony. Sony doesn't show the Year in the posts, but You can see some of the threads have dates of May 26th so you know it's been discussed for at least a year on their own site.

    Search - the Community
    • Informative Informative x 3
  13. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Sep 10, 2015
    I've seen it discussed for some time myself, and I don't read all that many sites. Plus the Sony site as mentioned.

    If they are really not aware of it, shame on them for not even responding to customers on their own web site.
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