Sony Catches Up, Finally Adds VBR Cap

After years without, in firmware version 2.1 for their 6th generation cameras, Sony has added an option to cap bitrate when using VBR:

This alleviates one the key disadvantages to even their newest cameras, with nearly every other manufacturer including VBR with a cap as an option. Also see our VBR vs. CBR tests for reasons why this is most recommended and preferred.


Is Panasonic the only big player still without VBR Cap? I don't ACTi has it either.

Good question. I haven't seen Panasonic's new generation yet (though we'll be testing it this summer, most likely), but in past cameras, you are correct.

If I remember correctly, ACTi's "CBR" is actually sort of VBR, with a hard limit of whatever you specify as the upper limit, though I believe it will run up to 10-20% below that limit on average. If you set max bitrate to "unlimited" you can set a target average bitrate, but it won't cap.