Last weekend, I attempted to apply a firmware update to my Sony Alpha SLT-65V interchangeable lens camera. I’m not sure why. I saw that there was an update available and thought I’d apply it. In the past I’d had greyhound legs splinch when filming with the Sony so I used the iPhone 6+ to take most of my hound video. My hope was that I could do more every day snapshots and greyhound video with the updated firmware.
One evening, I decided to photo some clouds. A thunderhead to the south was looking menacing as it drove by. I grabbled the Sony, put it in manual, and cranked the exposure down by fiddling with the shutter speed and ISO. This brought out some texture in the clouds. I took the captures in to spool them off. For some reason, I checked Google to see if there were firmware updates outstanding.
There were so I had a go and the go went wrong. The little red activity light came on and stayed on. Bad joss. The firmware updater instructions told me I was now proud owner of a brick. I took the battery out of the camera and put it on to charge while looking for salvation. A little poking around had tales about older cameras reacting badly to the 64-bit Mac firmware updater. At this point, I believed the camera was destined to remain a paper weight.
But, mid-week, I came back to the Sony USA support portal, hopped on chat, and explained my tale of self-inflicted woe. Sony said not to worry, there was a fair chance they could help me revive the camera. Apparently the camera’s firmware loader is active when the red light was on. Although, there were no instructions for a second go in my camera’s state, the firmware updater was designed to be able to take it from the top if the load was interrupted. The process involved a slightly different sequence of starting the camera, connecting to the firmware updater, letting the two hook up, and retrying the update. This time, the firmware loader ran correctly and my brick turned into a camera.