Sony’s $149 Custom Gridline upgrade has arrived for four Alpha cameras – PetaPixel

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Sony’s $149 Custom Gridline upgrade has arrived for four Alpha cameras – PetaPixel

Last November, Sony announced plans to introduce custom gridlines for select Sony Alpha mirrorless cameras for a fee of $150. At the time, the company said the feature would arrive in March. Even though it’s a little late, he arrived.

Available now in the US and Canada, users can achieve “perfect image framing” on the Sony a1, a7S III, a7 IV and a9 III, among other mirrorless camera bodies.

The $150 upgrade is designed for high-volume photography and video production professionals. For example, a school portrait photographer might capture hundreds of photos of different children. A custom grid can therefore help them maintain consistent framing throughout the day and have much less work to do later in post-processing.

A digital camera on a tripod focuses on a young woman in graduation attire, delightfully holding her diploma.  the background is slightly blurred, highlighting the image in focus on the camera's LCD screen.

While $150 is an excessive amount to charge most photographers for what seems like a relatively simple software update, it’s probably a small price to pay for professionals who would benefit from custom gridlines. .

Sony isn’t the only company considering serving the photography market in volume, either. Earlier this year, Panasonic announced firmware offering precision framing masks and reliable photo identification tools, explicitly designed for volume photographers. The US-exclusive Lumix Volume Photography firmware license costs $200.

Rear view of a digital camera displaying its screen, which shows a photo of a smiling woman sitting on a stool, wearing a yellow top and jeans.  Various camera buttons are also visible.

As Sony says, “Custom grids ease the burden on photographers working in schools, photo studios, theme parks, cruise ships or shopping malls, who often have to take similar photos repeatedly, sometimes in thousands in one day. The ability to have a predefined custom grid makes this process much simpler when capturing and when processing files for delivery.

Four framed photos displayed on tablets: a happy black family at an amusement park, a black boy in a school uniform, a baseball team posing on a field, and a smartly dressed white family at a formal event.

Once a user has purchased and installed the license upgrade, as shown in the videos below, they can import up to four custom grids onto their camera. These can be displayed via the camera’s electronic viewfinder, on the rear LCD screen, or via an external monitor connected via HDMI.

Users can create the required gridlines as PNG files containing characters, logos or other graphic elements, and replace installed ones if necessary. Users can also choose grid colors to avoid issues with lines blending with specific clothing or backgrounds.

Sony also says that videographers can benefit from the custom grid license, as they can develop ones specific to the required aspect ratio for different video platforms.

The Sony Custom Gridline License is available now for $149 in the United States and $202 in Canada per permanent camera license. Complete purchase information is available through Sony’s Upgrade and License Management Suite.

While many will likely scoff at a $149 custom grid license, for photographers who would benefit from the paid upgrade, $149 is likely a worthwhile investment.


Image credits: Sony

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