Sony users frustrated over company's outdated firmware strategy

Sony A1
(Image credit: YouTube: Tony & Chelsea Northrup)

Professional Sony users are calling for Sony to improve its firmware update strategy as it's high-end products are missing important features. While Nikon and Canon ensure the longevity of a camera by constantly upgrading their firmware, Sony is not so quick to ensure the Sony A1, the Sony FX3 and the Sony A7S III are bang up-to-date with software upgrades. If the two leading camera brands can do it, surely Sony should follow suit…

When Nikon first launched the Nikon Z9 it came with a bunch of desirable features that would become available at a later date through a firmware update. These included things like internal 8K 60p video capture, increased buffer size for JPEG and RAW photos, High-Res Zoom and introducing a C60 mode so users can shoot 19-megapixel stills at 60fps. Annoying as it was that the Z9 didn't come with it from the get-go, it goes to show how many things can be upgraded just with a firmware update and how far Nikon is willing to go to keep their customers loyal. 

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Director and filmmaker Philip Bloom recently posted a video to YouTube where he highlighted several issues he has with Sony's update strategy using the Sony FX30 an example. In the video he talks about all the advanced software features it comes with such as animal eye AF and focus breathing. Despite costing half as much, these are features that are missing from Sony's pro-end gear such as the Sony A1, the sony A7S III and the Sony FX3.

Since they are software issues rather than hardware, these are features that Sony should and could be installing into their latest cameras but for whatever reason, they are choosing not to. Andrea Pizzini is another photographer that has called Sony out, not only for leaving out these important updates but for not even amending the menu accordingly. It seems that while Sony decided against including features such as Animal AF there is still a menu option to use it only it doesn't work - not only is that incredibly frustrating for the user but it shows a complete lack of care from Sony. 

If Sony are to continue to produce high-spec cameras costing thousands, it needs to start making sure that its users don't feel like they're missing out on new, desirable features. If Sony can include the option in the menu system and Nikon and Canon can roll out impressive upgrades through firmware updates then surely the company that was first to make a full-frame mirrorless can do the same? 

Check out the best Sony lenses and the best cameras for filmmaking

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.