Sony’s $149 USD Custom Gridline License for Alpha Camera Bodies

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Sony is now offering a custom gridline license for Alpha camera bodies, starting with the Alpha 7 IV, although this won’t be available till March 2024.

Sony states, ‘This innovative license enables photographers to import up to four customized original gridlines, enhancing the shooting experience by providing more consistency and precision in image composition.’ From a personal perspective, and I am sure I am not alone here, calling it innovative and charging users for a feature that should be a free firmware update is a very strange marketing decision. Yes, it is good to see Sony offering this as it’s long overdue, but at least in my opinion, it should be free.

There are quite a few mirrorless hybrid cameras on the market that already have the ability to use grid lines. Nikon, Panasonic, and Sigma all offer this. Also, almost every external monitor on the market has the ability to set or use custom frame lines. Custom grid lines are handy if you are shooting for a particular aspect ratio, using anamorphic lenses, or when shooting open gate and needing to frame for more than one aspect ratio.

The license will be available through the Upgrade and License Management Suite in Spring 2024, and according to Sony, it marks a substantial step forward in Sony’s continuous effort to support and enhance the capabilities of photographers. 

The gridlines can be displayed on both the EVF and attached LCD monitors during shooting (as long as you don’t have a clean output selected).

The license will also include the option for partially filled transparency masks. According to Sony, their vision for this custom gridline feature is to boost creativity and work efficiency across various photography sectors

How much does it cost?

The license will be available for $149 USD through the Upgrade and License Management Suite at https://ulms.sony.net. It will be interesting to see how many users will be willing to fork out $149 USD for the ability to use custom frame lines.

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