Here Are the New Features Available in the Sony a9

March 25, 2019

By Greg Scoblete

Sony has released a firmware upgrade for its a9 camera that unlocks a number of new autofocusing capabilities and a host of other goodies as well.

With firmware version 5.0 the a9 will gain Real-time Tracking autofocus that uses an object recognition algorithm derived from machine learning to improve accuracy. It also enables Real-time Eye AF, an enhancement of Sony’s existing Eye AF. The new firmware lets you activate Eye AF with a half-press of the shutter and can track a subject’s eye even if it becomes temporarily obscured.

Sony also improved AF operation during video recording.

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Beyond more tenacious autofocus tracking, the a9 will see changes to its image processing which Sony says will improve auto white balance and more accurately reproduce subtle changes in light for more natural tonal gradations. A new AWB Lock function has also been added for use when shooting in mixed lighting.

There are several menu and functionality changes coming to the a9 as well:

  • Revised Custom Key menu: you’ll now see an illustration to help you assign custom controls.
  • Custom functions can now be assigned to the front/rear dials and the control wheel.
  • Improved touchpad capability lets you enter into subject tracking simply by touching the subject on the camera’s display.
  • Enhanced dual-card functionality for separating RAW and JPEG images across two memory cards.
  • New transfer and tagging mobile application enables FTP background transfers to a mobile device during shooting. IPTC metadata  can be entered for images transferred to the mobile device either manually or via voice recognition.

The firmware is available for free now on Sony’s website.

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