Sony’s new firmware v5.0 for the A9 is out now, adding AI-enhanced real-time Eye AF tracking

Mar 25, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Sony’s new firmware v5.0 for the A9 is out now, adding AI-enhanced real-time Eye AF tracking

Mar 25, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Announced in January, the first of two new firmware updates for the Sony A9 is now available. Sony A9 firmware v5.0 adds real-time Eye AF as well as specific eye preference detection, better low light autofocus performance, increased AF accuracy, and a whole host of other new and updated features.

One word of warning – Installing the new firmware update will erase all your current settings. So, be sure to make a note of anything important!

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The Eye AF evolution has been enhanced so that it still operates while the shutter button is pressed halfway down or the AF-ON button is pressed. You can also tell the camera which eye to focus on, or have it automatically select an eye to lock onto.

The new Real-time Eye AF also uses AI-based object recognition resulting in what sony describes as “an unprecedented level of speed and performance for locking on and holding focus on a subject’s eyes”. They also say that tracking now holds well even when a subject’s eyes are temporarily closed or otherwise obscured.

Sony says that the phase detection autofocus accuracy has also been improved during AF-C continuous shooting, with better performance in low light situations. The maximum value has been increased from f/11 to f/16, offering a whole extra stop of low light autofocus capability.

Image quality updates also come with firmware 5.0, saying that now more accurately reproduces subtle changes in light for smoother and more natural tonal gradations. It also apparently improves the camera’s ability to auto white balance, too. Not so essential if you’re shooting raw stills, but potentially very handy for video shooters.

Other features include…

  • New My Dial menu
  • Revised Custom Key menu
  • Improved touchpad capability
  • Enhanced dual-card functionality
  • Enhanced tagging

If you want to see the complete list of changes, and there are quite a few, and download the firmware for your A9, then head on over to the Sony website.

There’s no sign of the Animal Eye AF or built-in intervalometer features yet. Those will be coming in Sony A9 firmware v6.0 at some point this summer.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “Sony’s new firmware v5.0 for the A9 is out now, adding AI-enhanced real-time Eye AF tracking”

  1. Paul H Avatar
    Paul H

    AI? so where is the “Intelligence” in the software? AI is the most abused expression in photography