This evening, Sony officially released Firmware version 3.0 for the Sony A7III and A7RIII, providing serious improvements in autofocus capabilities and the long-awaited interval timer.
First, the cameras will now have Realtime Eye-AF, essentially an improved version of the existing Eye-AF capabilities of the camera that detect the subject’s nearest eye and lock focus to it when the Eye-AF button is held down. Now, eye detection will be automatic and full-time, with no need to press a custom button to activate it, and Eye-AF will be more robust, maintaining focus even in back-light or when eyes are partially obscured or temporarily blocked completely.
Second, Realtime Eye-AF has been extended to detect the eyes of other animals. Whether this will work equally well on all animals remains to be seen, but we can expect it to work well with primates, dogs, cats, some birds, and other common animals with binocular vision.
And finally, for those of us who enjoy shooting time-lapse sequences, the new firmware adds an interval timer to the two cameras. Strangely, intervals can only range from 1 to 60 seconds (sufficient for most jobs, but why not 1 sec to 60 minutes, just in case?), but can number from 2 to 9999. Along with it, the exposure tracking sensitivity can be adjusted to low (or medium, or high) in order to help reduce flicker during the sequence.