Sony major firmware update for the Alpha A9 will arrive on March 25th. This will be the Sony a9 Firmware Update Version 5.0.
This upgrade will add a range of features, including improved tracking in both stills and video, as well as extending Eye AF to animals, something Sony showed at Photokina back in September. The a7R III and a7 III will also gain the improved Eye-AF and animal Eye AF, as well as time-lapse capabilities.
The a9 (Amazon/B&H Photo/Adorama) firmware updates will be coming in two waves: version 5.0 will be available in March while version 6.0 is slated for ‘summer.’
Software ver.5.0 and ver.6.0 for α9
The new version 5.0 software for α9 adds Sony’s newly developed ‘Real-time Tracking’ for object tracking. This mode utilises Sony’s latest algorithm including Artificial Intelligence-based object recognition and processes colour, subject distance (depth) and pattern (brightness) as spatial information to ensure that all subjects can be captured with extreme accuracy and precision. Furthermore, when photographing or videoing humans or animals[i], face and eye position information are recognised by AI and the subject’s eyes are monitored in real-time with extremely high tracking precision. In addition, ’Tracking On’ helps initiate ‘Real-time Tracking’ at any time by simply pressing the custom-assigned button[ii] and ‘Touch Tracking’ which quickly activates through the touch screenii.
Additionally, with this new version 5.0 software, Sony’s acclaimed α9 camera will receive advanced ‘Real-time Eye AF’, the latest version of Sony’s acclaimed Eye AF technology. This exciting new capability employs AI-based object recognition to detect and process eye location data in real time, resulting in improved accuracy, speed and tracking performance of the Eye AF. In all autofocus modes, the camera can automatically detect the eyes of the subject and activate Eye AF with a half press of the shutter button. The camera will seamlessly track the eyes at all times when in AF-C mode. Additionally, with the new software, photographers can select the preferred eye (left or right) of their subject as the focus point.
Other focusing capabilities that will be available with the new software include Touch Pad, Touch Tracking, an extended phase-detection AF aperture range that has been increased from F11 to F16 and Fast Hybrid AF for movie shooting that provides smooth automated focusing or movies.
Image quality will also be enhanced with the new α9 software version 5.0. Specifically, in colour reproduction, as the camera will more accurately account for subtle changes in light for smoother, more natural tonal gradations in elements like the sky. There is also a new AWB algorithm, which produces more consistently balanced images during burst shooting. Other new functions for efficient control and data management include My Dial and Dual Slot media menu improvement, rating and protect functions.
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