Sony Charges $149 for Custom Gridline License for Alpha Cameras

Sony Charges $149 for Custom Gridline License for Alpha Cameras

Sony has announced a new update – a custom gridline license for the Alpha 7 IV, which will be available in March 2024, though other cameras will be able to get this update in the future, as well. Let’s take a look at what this license adds to Sony cameras!

With this new license (which seems to me to be a minor firmware update), Sony users can import up to four customized gridlines. Photographers and filmmakers know how important it is to have a grid reference for specific projects to be consistent throughout the shoot. Camera manufacturers know this as well since Panasonic, Canon, and Blackmagic, to name a few, as well as monitor brands such as SmallHD, have been including this feature in their cameras for years. What makes this particular license “news-worthy”, is the hefty pricing at $149.

Finally, framing guidelines for the Alpha series

After learning the price, I was expecting an AI feature or something rather outstanding to be included in the license, but what Sony is offering here (and it’s about time) is the possibility of displaying color gridlines on EVF, LCDs, and HDMI output monitors. Additionally, they can be used as partially filled transparency masks.

We love some of Sony’s top-notch features like their AI technology for auto-framing and their autofocus system, but frankly, this paid update is rather late to the party. I question why this update/license has not been added for free in a firmware update, and why Sony claims this feature constitutes an innovation that will boost creativity. And even if they want to make some money off a feature that not everyone might need, why charge $149, which adds 15% more cost to the current price of a Sony a7 IV?

Framing guidelines, an essential tool for photographers and filmmakers. – Source: Sony

According to Sony, these gridlines will benefit staff at schools, photo studios, theme parks, cruise ships, malls, and so on, as they will now have the ability to update their cameras with ease and utilize this tool for quick, precise, more professional shots. Good to know, in 2023.

The ability to import customised gridlines into a mirrorless camera is an essential feature for all of our photographers to capture images consistently.

Frank Lombardo, National Photography Manager for Inter-State Studio and Publishing.

Pricing and availability 

As mentioned above, the new Sony custom gridline license will be first available in March 2024 for the Alpha 7 IV and will have a retail price of $149. Users will be able to download it through the Upgrade and License Management Suite here.

What do you think about this update? Did you miss this feature as a Sony user? Let us know in the comments!

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