Sony a6000 Waxy Skin Bug and Overheating Videos

I love my Sony a6000. It’s a great inexpensive body with a lot of features. It’s not perfect, not by a long shot, but I like it.

Two things I do not like about it are the ‘Waxy Skin” bug and the reputation for overheating the body has.


Many people have complained about the tendency for these small mirrorless Sony bodies to overheat after a few minutes of use. Some even say that they can’t record past 5 minutes. I was on a Facebook group thread and had just read another person warn off a potential Sony convert about this issue. I hadn’t ever run into any overheating issues, so I decided to test it. My tests were somewhat surprising.

Waxy Skin Bug:

One issue with the a6000 that I have had trouble with is the “waxy Skin” bug. Basically, the a6000 has a feature that can smooth the skin of the faces of people in the frame. I suppose you can find a use for that with photos, but generally you don’t want that look in video. The “bug” comes when you turn off the smoothing feature, but the camera will still apply the effect while recording video- if the autofocus face tracking is on.

Basically, the bug renders one of the strongest AF features of the camera useless. That means in order to use AF in video you have to rely on object tracking.

I hope that someday Sony fixes this bug with a firmware update. Another fix is to engage the “Clear Image Zoom” which is similar to- but not- digital zoom. It basically crops the image. Once engaged, the camera cannot do face detection. This method allows you to record to an external recorder without the waxy skin bug. But it does crop the image a bit.


Roadblock or Detour?

It’s inevitable. Sometime in media ministry, someone is going to come to you with an idea that just won’t work. There can be any number of reasons why, but they will propose it, and you will be placed in a position of saying “No”.

Here’s the question, will you be a roadblock or a detour?

Will you just say no, and give all the reasons why it won’t work or shouldn’t be done? Or will you step back, look at the end goal, and suggest an alternate route?

I find that when I am tired or frustrated it is much easier to slip into the roadblock mentality. The request may just be the last in a long line of ill conceived ideas, or something that unduly impacts my work for little gain. When I am run down, my focus shifts and I tend to react as a roadblock.

When I am focused on the big picture, I tend to point the way to an alternate solution. I will suggest another way to get the same result. If pushed, I’ll go into why the other path is blocked, but always circle back to how the same goal can be reached.

The challenge is to stay in the “detour” capable frame of mind. Media Ministry exists to support the church. The tools and pathways of communication we use have nuances that not everyone knows. They may suggest something that won’t work, but our job is to help the ministry get where it is going, not just throw a roadblock.

Focus on an alternate route to get to the same place. When you have to say no, be a detour, not a roadblack.

Meetings and Meetings

Recently I found myself in a conversation about meetings. It started with a question about how many do I attend in a week, and ended with talk about what makes a meeting worthwhile, what makes it a good use of time versus a waste of time.

During the exchange, I saw a couple of different approaches to what meetings can be. Is a meeting just a time to disseminate information, or is it a time to wrestle with tough issues, and collaborate on solutions to challenges? One is sort of a traditional way to delegate and communicate, where the boss tells the subordinates what they should know and what they should do. The other can create a climate for a team to work together. Both kinds of meetings should probably happen in most organizations, and should definitely happen in ministries.

During D8, TUAW sat down with Steve Jobs and asked him a few questions, including ones about what he does and how Apple runs. This response was very interesting:

“One of the keys to Apple is that Apple is an incredibly collaborative company. You know how many committees we have at Apple? Zero. We’re organized like a startup. We’re the biggest start up on the planet. We meet for three hours every morning and talk about all the business, about what’s going on everywhere. We’re great at figuring out how to divide things up into great teams, and we talk to each other. So what I do all day is meet with teams of people.”

Apparently Apple operates in a sort of knowledge-is-power, transparency-breeds-trust, change-needs-champions kind of way. (I mean those in the best way possible.) In that climate, every employee knows the vision, and feels like a part of the solution. I doubt anyone was left out, sitting around wondering why the iPhone 4 had a front facing camera. It’s team work, and in a company that is focused on innovating new technology it’s a critical part of their success.

There are pitfalls. Someone has to be in charge, has to be casting vision. Everyone has to participate. This kind of thing can degenerate quickly. If the moderator isn’t prepared the meeting will be a waste of time. Keeping groups of people focused is a skill that many lack. Enter the meeting with clear goals in mind.

I realize that this kind of meeting is something that creative people gravitate toward. People who work in more ‘hard’ disciplines will probably want more form in their meetings. Recently I was in an impromptu meeting with a staff member from my area, and in walked someone from a different ministry area. We all three met briefly. It wasn’t a scheduled meeting, we had no agenda, but quickly worked through some issues. As he left, the newcomer commented that he had never seen one of his staff members put their feet up on the desk during one of his meetings. He was not angry or critical, just pointing out a difference in demeanor between meetings he holds and what we had just experienced. I had not even noticed my team member’s feet were propped up. I am glad we have the kind of relationship where we can be comfortable working through hard issues. My approach to teamwork lends itself toward informality rather than formality.

In a more diverse organization, the other approach is sometimes required. We all need to be aware of the direction and vision of leadership. In a church, hearing from the pastor is critical as other ministry areas make plans and prepare their programs. If God is telling the leadership to move in one direction with the church’s resources, we all need to be adjusting toward that direction.

The caution here is that too much of this kind of meeting results in a team that feels no ownership of the process, of the ministry. Anyone can see the difference in a team that was told to do something versus being allowed to collaborate on what should be done. The difference in energy, morale, and satisfaction between the two is palpable. There are some things that require singular focus and direction, and collaboration will not help. But there are times when working together can produce maximum results. The key is to be able to recognize which is which.

Every week I attend a meeting where I am told what is happening on a large scale. Every week I have meetings where teams come together and figure out how we are going to accomplish the goals before us. Every week I am told some things we are going to do. Every week I gather with small groups of people to work through challenges, and chart a course of action. Finding the balance between those is hard, but required in order to execute with excellence.