Sony A7, A7r photogs report light leaks, some reports suggest service centers aware of the problem


posted Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 1:12 PM EDT


Across various forums and discussion boards, a number of Sony shooters have spotted a problem with the Sony A7 and Sony A7r: it leaks light. It doesn't seem like this problem is hitting all users, but the number of people who have encountered it does seem to be substantial enough to indicate that it's a real problem—and from the sounds of things, Sony is investigating.

The issue has popped up multiple places online—with some remarkably simple fixes. The light leaks appear to occur around the lens mount itself. To test if your camera is one of those with the light leak, try putting your lens cap or body cap on, then shooting a 30 second exposure with the ISO ramped up very high. While doing that, shine a flashlight around the base of the lens. If you get results similar to these or these, you might have a problem. 

As of right now, we haven't seen any official announcements from Sony acknowledging the matter. However, there are reports that the company does know it is happening, and is investigating the issue. SonyAlphaRumors sites "Bart (in NJ)" as receiving this statement from Sony:

Sony is aware of and acknowledges this light leak problem with the A7 and A7r and our engineering department is currently researching a solution. We will release a notice to the owners once a resolution is found.

Other users are reporting similar notices from Sony. Despite loud headlines on other sites claiming otherwise, Sony hasn't published any official advisories. We do have to wonder when this problem would manifest itself in normal usage. Specifically, how many bright light sources would be shining on your A7 while you're taking 30 second exposures with your ISO cranked up? Perhaps some very strange off-camera flash compositions or astrophotography with a flashlight trained on your camera? 

We'll be investigating this issue ourselves with the review units that we currently have to see if there are any real world implications. We'll be sure to update with more information, if and when we discover it.

(updated article to reflect the questions of real-world implications)