Sony a9 firmware update 5.0 improves autofocus for video

Sony’s extremely popular a9 camera is receiving a powerful update that brings AI-driven autofocus capabilities to the a9’s autofocus.

While Sony’s a9 is a very powerful camera, it’s not the most ground-breaking video camera you’ll find out on the market. It’s a much more powerful stills camera than it is video camera. However, the 5.0 firmware update does improve its video capabilities, because the update is specifically focused on improving the a9’s autofocus for video shooting.

A9’s autofocus now uses AI-driven real-time tracking

The firmware version 5.0 for the a9 update adds Sony’s new AI-driven Real-time Tracking mode for “precise and robust subject tracking,” according to the company. The real-time tracking feature uses Sony’s most current AF algorithm. The algorithm can reportedly detect and follow subjects due to its AI-based object recognition.

The real-time Tracking AF works with Real-time Eye AF, which has also been added with the update. Sony says the Eye AF uses AI-based object recognition “resulting in an unprecedented level of speed and performance for locking on holding focus on a subject’s eyes.” Users can turn on the eye detection with half-press of the shutter release and can track eyes even if they’re temporarily blocked.

Fast Hybrid AF for video is also added in with the firmware 5.0. Sony says it “provides smoother, more accurate focus during video shooting, even if/when objects move in front of the subject.”

The a9 also got a boost in image quality

The image processing on the 5.0 pushes the full-frame sensor to its limits. The camera “more accurately reproduces subtle changes in light for smoother, more natural tonal gradations and improves auto white balance results,” says Sony.

Sony’s implemented a few customer-requested features

Along with the massive AF upgrade and the boost in image quality, Sony’s thrown in a few features that users have been requesting for the a9. Here’s what’s been added:

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


The a9 version 5.0 firmware update is out now and can be accessed here.

Image courtesy Sony

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's managing editor.

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