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.
There’s been a lot of buzz around the new real-time Eye AF and AF tracking on the recently announced Sony A6400. Even more exciting, though, is that this system is also coming to the Sony A9, A7III and A7RIII full-frame mirrorless cameras in a future firmware update.
Photographer Patrick Murphy-Racey recently got the chance to try out the new real-time autofocus tracking with version 5.0 of the firmware for the Sony A9 in Los Angeles. And, fortunately, he filmed it for the rest of us to see.
It looks like Sony are taking a leaf out of the Fuji playbook by introducing new substantial features through firmware updates rather than entirely new bodies. The Sony A9, A7RIII and A7III are about to get quite a significant feature upgrade with new firmware updates coming out over the next few months.
The first firmware update for the Sony A9 is due in March bringing the realtime Eye AF performance expected in the newly announced Sony A6400. The Sony A9 will see Animal Eye AF added in a second update coming in summer. The A7RIII and A7III will also receive these updates in a single firmware in April.
Sony mirrorless cameras are used worldwide for a reason, but just like all brands, they have some quirks you may find annoying. Michael Andrew a.k.a. Michael The Maven shoots primarily with Sony, and he shares 14 of the biggest weaknesses of all Sony cameras. Some of them are just minor annoyances, but the others could be dealbreakers for some of you. So, before you switch systems, maybe you’ll want to watch this.
Sony is taking no prisoners. In their latest mid-term strategy paper, they pledge almost a 1 Trillion Yen (~$9 billion) investment into camera technology over the next three years. The investment is primarily in image sensors, with the goal of becoming the “top brand in the overall camera market” by 2021.
With Canon’s recent announcement to take more than 50% of the interchangeable lens camera market in the next few years, things should get exciting. Given Sony’s rapid growth in the camera market over the last few years, both Canon and Nikon will have an even greater challenge on their hands now.
The desire to switch brands has never really been there for me. That’s not to say that I believe the brand I shoot is particularly the best, just that there doesn’t seem to be much point. The gear I use gives me what I need, and all the brands seem to leapfrog each other every year or two anyway. But there are an awful lot of people switching over to Sony right now.
The latest to join the list is photojournalist David Burnett, who’s been shooting Canon for 40 years. He recently posted a video to his Vimeo account talking about why he decided to make the transition over to Sony. And for what he shoots, it makes a lot of sense.
There has been some discussion among photographers on Sony’s performance when it comes to skin tones. Photographer David Oastler has put a Sony a9 to a test and compared it with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Judging from his photos, it seems that Sony is improving on skin tones and it’s pretty close to Canon.
The Sony A9 was pretty much an instant hit once it was announced early last year (that feels weird to type). Being able to easily keep up with its Nikon D5 and Canon 1DX II contemporaries in most respects, and even beating them in some. But if you own one, have you ever wondered how it was made? The folks at Photo Gear News were lucky enough to get a bit of a tour through the Sony factory in Chonburi, Thailand where the A9 is made, to see first hand.
One of the impressive features of Sony a9 is its continuous shooting speed of 20fps. Sony and photographer Amar Ramesh decided to demonstrate the cameras continuous shooting performance in quite a creative way, so they created a video. The video that was made entirely out of stitched photos shot with the a9’s burst mode. Since 20fps is quite near the standard 24fps of video shooting, the result is really impressive.