PSA, part II: turn your α9 up to 11 with today’s firmware update

Last week, I reported on some incremental updates—exciting, important, but not massive changes. Little did I know that Sony would release its long-teased overhaul of the α9‘s autofocus system in this massive firmware update, only a few days later! (They have also introduced a successor to their PlayMemories Mobile and desktop applications, which will be helpful for all Sony shooters. See the press release, below, for complete details.)

Before you update, be advised: THE CAMERA WILL BE RESET TO FACTORY DEFAULT CONFIGURATION IN THE PROCESS OF THE UPDATE. As you have surely spent a lot of time fine-tuning your experience, make sure to record your current settings before you perform the update. A quick and easy way is to scroll through the menu and take pictures with another camera or smartphone.

Without further ado, please click here to download firmware version 5.0 for the Sony α9. The official release describing the new features is reproduced below.

Sony α9 Gains Powerful New Autofocus Capabilities and More through Software Version 5.0 Update.

Sony’s industry-leading a9 camera has received a significant software update that brings AI-driven autofocus capabilities to its award-winning autofocus (AF) system, improves image quality, and introduces a range of customer-requested workflow improvements. 

Autofocus Improvements:

Firmware version 5.0 for the Sony α9 adds Sony’s newly-developed, AI-driven Real-time Tracking mode for precise and robust subject tracking. Real-time Tracking uses Sony’s latest AF algorithm—which includes Artificial Intelligence-based object recognition—to detect and follow subjects with unprecedented accuracy. 

Real-time Tracking AF works in conjunction with Real-time Eye AF, also added with Firmware version 5.0.  The latest iteration of Sony’s best-in-class Eye AF technology, Real-time Eye AF also uses AI-based object recognition, resulting in an unprecedented level of speed and performance for locking on and holding focus on a subject’s eyes.  Additionally, with Real-time Eye AF, users can now activate eye detection via a half-press of the shutter release, and can enjoy focus tracking accuracy even if a subject’s eyes are temporarily obscured during shooting. 

Also added with firmware 5.0 is Fast Hybrid AF for video, which now provides smoother, more accurate focus during video shooting, even if/when objects move in front of the subject.

Image Quality:

Firmware version 5.0 offers notably improved image processing, which maximizes the capabilities of the full-frame sensor.  The camera now more accurately reproduces subtle changes in light for smoother, more natural tonal gradations and improved auto white balance results. 

Improved Usability And Workflow:

With Firmware version 5.0, the Sony a9 adds several customer-requested features:

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

Imaging Edge:

Sony is also announcing the release of Imaging Edge™ mobile applications, the successor to the PlayMemories Mobile™ applications, plus updates to the ‘Remote,’ ‘Viewer’ and ‘Edit’ desktop applications that brings exciting new features to all Sony imaging customers.  

For professional photographers, Sony is also releasing a new mobile application ‘Transfer & Tagging add-on’ that supports instant delivery workflow by allowing users to transfer content to their mobile devices via the camera’s FTP background transfer functionality. It also enables voice input for text captioning to streamline overall workflow between photographers and other team members.  Compatibility with ‘Transfer & Tagging add-on’ is exclusive to Sony’s a9 camera.

For more information on the new application updates, please visit the “Imaging Edge” website at

For more information on product updates and a variety of exclusive stories and exciting new content please visit, a site built to educate and inspire all fans and customers of the Sony α brand.

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