Sony’s new firmware updates bring Content Authenticity and more to its top-end cameras

Mar 28, 2024

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

News Editor

Sagiv Gilburd is an Israel-based commercial photographer and videographer with extensive expertise in studio work, event photography, and managing large-scale photography projects.

Sony’s new firmware updates bring Content Authenticity and more to its top-end cameras

Mar 28, 2024

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

News Editor

Sagiv Gilburd is an Israel-based commercial photographer and videographer with extensive expertise in studio work, event photography, and managing large-scale photography projects.

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Sony just released firmware updates for the Sony A7SIII, A1, and A7IV, and an extra update is still on the way for the A9III. The firmware updates add many new features, and in this article, I’ll go over the more important additions. For the smaller changes, you can head over to Sony’s site for the full list.

The new Content Authenticity system for Sony cameras

Content Authenticity (or CA, for short) has been an interesting topic since we first saw it in the Leica M11-P. To the unaware, Content Authenticity systems record the origins of an image and then sign the image. You can use this encrypted signature to check if an image was shot on a camera, who shot it, when, if it was ever edited, etc. It’s useful in this day and age when people can edit or generate fake media more easily than ever before.

Sony announced a while ago that a CA system will be added to some of their cameras. With the recent firmware update, Sony delivered on that promise. Well, almost. The Sony A7IV, A7SIII, A1, and in April, the A9II, now have CA capabilities, but to use them, you’ll need a specialized license from Sony. (because, of course, Sony demands a license for a new feature).

The new Content Authenticity system for Sony cameras

Sony has yet to announce when the license will be available or if it’s a free or paid license. What they did share is that the feature will first be available to select news media agencies, and later to other agencies. No word on public access yet.

Sony’s implementation of a CA system is based on the C2PA development, and it is pretty interesting. Sony developed a method to verify whether or not a photo captures a 3d object. I assume this is meant to avoid a specific loop around content authenticity systems – if you use a camera with a CA system to take a picture of a flat, edited image, it will almost look like the real deal while you also get a real CA recordings that you can use as “proof” your image is real.

Sony's example of how to bypass Content Authenticity systems

Finally, Sony added breathing compensation

Breathing compensation is a convenient way to reduce or even eliminate lens breathing from your recordings. The feature works by adding a small digital crop to your recording. The amount of crop adjusts automatically when you focus the lens to counteract the lens breathing.

Some more affordable Sony cameras, like the A7IV, have had breathing compensation for a while now, which made it all the stranger that the professional-grade A7SIII and A1 didn’t. Finally, three years after these cameras were released, the A7SIII and A1 also got the feature.

File Transfer and Network Connectivity

The last sections I want to discuss are the new file transfer and network connectivity options. There are pretty useful features added here:

  • You can now live-stream directly from the Sony A7IV
  • You can now stream via USB on the Sony A1
  • You can now upload images from the camera directly to the Sony Creators cloud
  • You can transfer RAW files to smartphones via the Sony Creators app
  • Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) has been added to the Sony A1, A7SIII, A9III
  • WPA3-SAE is now supported for wireless LAN on the Sony A1 and A7SIII.
  •  “Protected Images Only” and “Protect Image in FTP Transfer” FTP transfer options were added to the Sony A1, A7SIII, and A9III.

Personally, I’m really excited about the direct cloud upload and live-streaming updates. I said this before, and I’ll say it again: Connecting from the camera to the internet directly is great! If phones can have such capabilities, then I don’t see why cameras can’t.

Conclusion

These are all the updates for now. Sony is definitely still working on more updates, and I assume it’s only a matter of time before cameras like the A7RV or FX3 also get new features. One way or the other, I’m happy to see camera companies update their cameras regularly. High-end cameras aren’t ever open-source, so whether we get new features or not is only up to the camera brand.

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Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd is an Israel-based commercial photographer and videographer with extensive expertise in studio work, event photography, and managing large-scale photography projects.

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