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A7Rii problems with LCD flip out screen goes black if I hold the camera too close to my chest, but not if I hold it 20" away.


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I have a new A7Rii and it works fine except I can't use the flip out screen to view my subject if I hold the camera too close to my body while the screen is extended out. The screen returns the image if I hold the camera far enough from my body, but that's a bit impractical. Since I compose mostly with the LCD screen, this is a big problem. The LCD screen works fine if I don't flip it out.

Has anyone experienced this?

Any suggestions are much appreciated! 

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This is caused by the proximity sensor of the viewfinder (EVF). To disable auto-toggle between monitor and EVF, go to:

"MENU > Gear > Finder/Monitor" and set it to "Monitor (Manual)".

This completely disables the EVF. To still have the possibility to use it, you can use a custom button to switch manually by mapping "Finder/Monitor Sel." to it.

Edited by Pieter
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1 hour ago, Bokehbobo said:

In addition to Pieter's solution, if you temporarily position the monitor so it is just a fraction of an inch away from the body it won't go blank until it has been pushed back. Works on my A7rIII.

Thanks, Bokehb. That's interesting, I'll have to try it, but now that I've disabled (toggled off) the EVF and am on Monitor only, will your suggestion still work? I've assigned one of the (too) few buttons on the A7rii for this toggle choice and it all seems to be working for now ?

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Thanks again, Bokehbobo. I tried several different scenarios, shooting stills and video, with the camera and its tilted out LCD both close to my chest and then right up next to it, but then I couldn't see the image that close ?. So the temporary end of this saga is I returned the camera back to the dealer and am now wondering what to replace it with.... or to try another camera, same model. If no one else has experienced this blackening of the screen, then maybe I just had a defective one.

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You said a while ago that my solution worked. What made you change your mind?

There is a simple though somewhat wonky fix for an oversensitive EVF proximity sensor: apply a bit of black electrical insulation tape over a small part of the sensor. Or use the more fancy 'LightDims' tape. This issue has been discussed at length in this thread:

https://www.sonyalphaforum.com/topic/586-fix-for-over-sensitive-evf-sensor/

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16 hours ago, Pieter said:

You said a while ago that my solution worked. What made you change your mind?

There is a simple though somewhat wonky fix for an oversensitive EVF proximity sensor: apply a bit of black electrical insulation tape over a small part of the sensor. Or use the more fancy 'LightDims' tape. This issue has been discussed at length in this thread:

https://www.sonyalphaforum.com/topic/586-fix-for-over-sensitive-evf-sensor/

Thanks, Pieter, it 'did' work but it still limited me to manually switch back and forth between the display and the EVF, which didn't seem worth the trouble given the price of this camera. Doesn't it seem a bit weird to have to tape up the small window of the light sensor? I'd never need to do anything like that on my Canon (5D4) or my 2 Fujifilms. If this is, as the site above suggests, a known problem w. this camera, why hasn't Sony corrected it?

I'll gladly check the link you sent, but the camera has been sent back and I'll soon have the money back in my account.... then I'll see if I want to try another duplicate model (A7Rii) or something else. It's been a real pain to return this one and I've been laid low the past 3 days due to the intense, unreal heat here in the PNW. I finally got my brain working again.

Thanks for your help.

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Your 5D4 was a DSLR so of course that camera didn't have this problem: it doesn't have an EVF. As for the Fujis, depends on which model you used.

The 'older' Sony mirrorless cameras all have a pretty sensitive proximity sensor (mine do too). I think in the newer cameras the sensitivity has been somewhat reduced. If you buy another A7Rii, it will likely have the same sensor sensitivity: for some odd reason Sony decided it was a good idea to have a proximity sensor that sensitive. Some people don't mind but if you do, most people either learn to work with it, do the 'tape trick' or assign a button for manual monitor/EVF switching.

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