Firmware Ver. 5.0 and Ver. 6.0 for α9
The upcoming firmware version 5.0 for α9 adds Sony’s newly developed Real-time Tracking mode for object tracking. This mode utilizes Sony’s latest algorithm—including Artificial Intelligence-based object recognition—and processes color, subject distance (depth), pattern (brightness) as well as spatial (distance) information to ensure that all subjects can be captured with extreme accuracy and precision. When photographing or videographing humans or animals, face and eye position information is recognized by AI and the subject’s eye is monitored in real time with extremely high tracking precision. In addition, “Tracking On” helps initiate real-time tracking at any time by simply pressing a custom-assigned button and “Touch Tracking,” which quickly activates through the touch screenii.
With this new firmware version 5.0, 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 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, and the camera will seamlessly track the eyes at all times when in AF-C mode. The new firmware will also enable photographers to select the preferred eye (left or right) of their subject as the focus point.
Other focusing capabilities that will be available with the new firmware 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 for movies.
Image quality will also be enhanced with the new α9 firmware version 5.0, specifically in the areas of color reproduction. The camera will more accurately account for subtle changes in light for smoother, more natural tonal gradations in elements like the sky. There is a new auto white balance algorithm that gets added as well, which produces more consistently balanced images while burst shooting. Other new functions for efficient controls and data management include My Dial and Dual Slot media menu improvement, rating and protect functions.
In addition to the several new capabilities, the firmware also adds compatibility with Sony’s new Imaging Edge Mobile application - the successor to the PlayMemories Mobile™ application. The new Imaging Edge Mobile application features a ‘Transfer & Tagging add-on’ function to assist professional workflow. This allows photographers to transfer images from their camera to their smartphone during capture using the FTP transfer functionality,and adds support for including IPTC metadata on transferred images.
Version 6.0 firmware for the α9 camera will add Eye AF for animal eyesi, an exciting new feature for wildlife photographers that will enable interval shooting functionality for creating time-lapse movies.
The new system firmware update version 5.0 is scheduled for launch in March 2019, and version 6.0 is scheduled for Summer 2019.
Bringing the speed Sony mirrorless shooters have been waiting for, the Alpha a9 Mirrorless Digital Camera takes impressive multimedia capabilities and ups the processing capabilities for ultra-fast continuous shooting. Making use of a 24.2MP full-frame Exmor RS stacked CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor, the a9 is capable of shooting at up to 20 fps, recording UHD 4K video internally, and shooting with an expanded sensitivity range to ISO 204,800. Balancing the quickness of the processor is a well-matched 693-point phase-detection autofocus system that covers 93% of the image area for accurate and quick subject tracking in a variety of lighting conditions. Additionally, complementing both the imaging and focusing assets, the a9 also sports 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization to minimize the appearance of camera shake when shooting handheld.
Matching its professional imaging capabilities is a well-rounded physical construction that is fully weather-sealed for use in trying environmental conditions. For clear, uncompromised viewing, a quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder is featured with an impressive 3.686m-dot resolution and 120 fps refresh rate for clear, bright, and smooth eye-level viewing. Alternatively, a 3.0" 1.44m-dot tilting touchscreen LCD is also available to benefit working from high and low angles. Dual SD memory card slots, a customizable menu system, and a variety of physical control dials further round out the camera's intuitive design, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enables wireless image sharing and remote camera control from linked mobile devices.