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Sony Ver. 3 firmware updates add animal eye AF for A7 III and A7R III

Sony animal eye AF

Not content with automatically recognising and focusing on human eyes, Sony’s latest Version 3.0 firmware update adds animal eye detection capability to the Sony A7 III and Sony A7R III models.

Sony’s very proud of its high-tech autofocus technologies, and many reckon its eye-detection AF is the best in its class. Now that same eye-detection can be used for pet, zoo and wildlife photography, where the subjects can be even more difficult to follow than humans, and don’t usually stand still when you ask.

Here’s a video from Sony showing how the animal eye AF feature in the Version 3.0 update works.

The Version 3.0 update also brings Sony’s latest Real-time Eye-AF to the A7 III and A7R III, two of the best Sony cameras in our opinion. This enhanced version uses AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning to improve eye detection and tracking, even if your subject is looking down, partially blocked, turning or backlit.

Sony A7R III

The new Sony Version 3.0 software update brings animal eye AF and in-camera time-lapse movie features to the Sony A7 III and A7R III.

New interval timer mode for the Sony A7 III and A7R III

Animal eye detection is not the only new feature in this Version 3.0 update. Sony has also added new interval timer modes to these cameras for the creation of time-lapse movies. 

Sony has published this movie by time-lapse specialist Drew Geraci to show the new feature in action.

Interval timers work by taking a series of still images at fixed intervals, and a time-lapse movie is created by importing them as a series of frames in a video. The new update allows intervals between 1 and 60 seconds, depending on how much you want to speed up time in your video, and you can choose to capture anywhere from 1 to 9,999 frames. At 30fps, this gives a time-lapse movie length of up to 5.5 minutes.

Read more:

• The best Sony cameras in 2019
How to create your first time-lapse video
How to shoot a single-frame time-lapse

Rod Lawton

Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio. Previously he has been Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. 


Rod's near-encyclopedic knowledge of cameras both old and new makes him an invaluable resource, whether we need to ask a question about transparencies or the latest X-Trans sensor. He owns all manner of cameras, from Nikon DSLRs through Olympus, Sony and Fujifilm bodies, and on any given day you'll see him using kit from just about every manufacturer.