New Sony a7s III firmware is a Freebie targeting better focus
The Sony a7s is Sony’s low-light powerhouse due to a low megapixel count that creates sharper images at high ISOs. That and the 4K video capabilities make the camera ideal for hybrid shooters, journalism and documentary work. But the camera just got an upgrade. The latest firmware, 2.10, improves eye detection autofocus and operational stability.
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We’ve already given the Sony a7s iii five out of five stars for hybrid shooting and low light, noting that photographers who like big prints will want to look elsewhere. But what does the latest firmware do for this low-light champion?
I spent some time with an updated Sony a7s iii and the Sony 85mm f1.4 GM lens. I have added the following update to our Sony a7s iii review:
Firmware update 2.10 focuses on improved eye AF, as well as eye sensor improvements for the viewfinder and stability for custom white balance and overall camera. Overall, the Sony a7s III’s Eye AF is quite good for portraits as well as street photography. He is able to find the eyes and lock into place fairly quickly. But, it doesn’t always track faster-moving subjects, which is kind of expected. Portrait photographers will get a handful of misses when photographing restless children, though most will still be sharp. It also doesn’t lock onto eyelashes like some eye AF systems still manage from high angles or with eyes closed. While not perfect or even the best, eye AF is still quite good and gives the super sharp eyes that I associate with Sony’s GM E-Mount lenses.
While the latest firmware update focuses on eye AF, the previous update (2.0) added a new color profile, S-Cinetone, which also works for video. I also took a look at the new image profile and added these details to the review:
The colors are consistent with what I expect from Sony cases. The colors seem to have a little more punch. It looks great in some cases, like making the eyes stand out. But that doesn’t always bode well for skin tones. However, with firmware 2.0, Sony added the S-Cinetone picture profile, designed for better rendering of skin tones. Under the standard setting, the blonde hair took on a green tint when the light source was sunlight filtering through the trees. You can see the green tint of the hair on the left side of the image, where the light shines through a window. The S-Cinetone was closer to natural color but a little too desaturated on skin tones and everywhere else. But it’s a more neutral starting point.
Read the full Sony a7s iii review here. If you’re interested, pick one up from Adorama and also check out our guide to excellent Sony E Mount Prime lenses.