Major Update For Sony a9 Released: Firmware v5.0 Adds Improvements in AF, Interface

This evening, Sony announced the release of the version 5.0 firmware update for their flagship A9 mirrorless cameras. Available for download now from Sony for use with Windows or Mac computers, the upgrade offers significant improvements to the performance and interface of the A9 camera. Before updating, understand that the new firmware will restore all default settings and add new menu pages.

Highlights include the new “Real-Time Tracking” and “Real-Time Eye AF”, which (Sony claims) use artificial-intelligence to improve subject and eye tracking, even when the subjects (or eyes) are temporarily hidden. I prefer the nickname given to it by sports photographer Patrick Murphy-Racey, who calls it “Spider Monkey” mode because of the way it clings to the subject.

Among numerous other improvements, Sony has added a “Touchpad” mode in which the rear LCD touch-screen can be used for faster and easier AF point adjustment while using the EVF rather than using the thumb joy-stick.

According to Sony, the new firmware also uses processing improvements to enhance overall image quality, including better handling of fine tonal gradations and better auto white-balance.

Interface Improvements include:

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

The release of version 5.0 anticipates version 6.0, which will be released in July and include additional improvements such as eye-AF for animals. For full details about the firmware, visit the Sony A9 firmware page.

The Sony A9 is available from your favorite photo retailers such as B&H Photo and Adorama, as well as Amazon, for $3999. You can use these affiliate links to help support Light & Matter.

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