I guess the few weeks right before NAB are now unofficially the window in which all of the major camera manufacturers unload their latest firmware updates for their most popular cameras.

Is this a “cleaning house” method to get the updates out before shifting their focus to bigger projects? Or is it a way to get users talking about their cameras before launching newer, better versions in a few weeks? Who’s to say?

But on the heels of some major Canon camera firmware updates, we now have some even more major firmware updates just announced for four Sony cameras including the a1, a7S III, a9 III, and a7 IV. Let’s take a look at these new updates and explore how they’re set to evolve your everyday shooting functions, as well as provide format support for Sony’s Content Authenticity Solution.

Major Sony Firmware Updates

Usually with firmware updates, there’s maybe one or two major upgrades unlocked with these new versions. However, with Sony, it seems like they’ve gone all out—or perhaps just waited a bit to lump several updates together.

But for these four Sony cameras, we’re looking at some notable improvements that come directly from the requests of the Sony Alpha community, including new everyday shooting functions like breathing compensation and streamlined workflows.

The other major update is format support for Sony’s Content Authenticity Solution, which helps to make it possible for news agencies to ensure the authenticity of images as a way to contribute to the larger industry effort to protect creators (and society) from fake imagery.

Sony\u2019s Content Authenticity Solution

Sony’s Content Authenticity Solution


Sony Firmware Shooting and Playback Updates

These firmware updates also include over 10 new features in total, as well as improvements to existing features all designed to improve the user’s overall shooting experience. Here are the big highlights worth mentioning:

  • Relay Playback: Enables seamless sequential playback from one memory card slot to another on the Alpha 1, Alpha 7S III, and Alpha 9 III.
  • Playback Filter Condition: Lets users categorize image playback based on select criteria including date, folder, file format, and more on the Alpha 1 and Alpha 7S III.
  • Breathing Compensation: The highly requested Breathing Compensation function is now available on the Alpha 1 and Alpha 7S III.
  • Upgrade DCI 4K / 24.00p Upgrade License on Alpha 7S III: via a free downloadable license through Creators’ Cloud.
  • Sync Release function: Enables simultaneous shutter release with two or more multiple cameras connected to the main camera5 on the Alpha 1 and Alpha 9 III.
  • Focus frame display: Focus frame will be displayed on the Remote Camera Tool screen on the Alpha 1 and Alpha 9 III.
  • Enhanced image stabilization: The camera body and lens effectively work together to correct larger blurs6 on the Alpha 1.
  • Increased upper limit of recordable images in a folder from 4,000 to 9,999 on the Alpha 1, Alpha 7S III, Alpha 7 IV, and Alpha 9 III.
  • Matching the time code with other devices is now possible with a dedicated adapter cable (sold separately)7 on the Alpha 1 and Alpha 7S III.
  • Up to 20 IPTC presets can be on the Alpha 1 and Alpha 7S III.
  • Custom Grid Line is available as a paid license basis for some models8.

And here are the updates available for each camera individually below.


Sony a1 Firmware Version 2.0

  • Relay playback of images in multiple media
  • Select copy between memory cards
  • EVF ON regardless of LCD angle
  • Enhanced image stabilization (allows certain OSS Sony lenses to be paired with IBIS for increased stabilization)
  • Marker display for stills
  • Focus frame display
  • Custom Grid Line License
  • 4K 30P support for UVC streaming
  • Breathing compensation
  • Subject recognition frame display for movies
  • Time Code sync
  • Creator's App support
  • Cloud upload (camera direct) function
  • C2PA Compliant
  • Plus more...

Sony a7S III Firmware Version 3.0

  • Anti-dust shutter when powered off
  • Touch operation enhancement
  • My Menu registration by touch
  • DCI 4K/24P Upgrade License (free upgrade similar to ZV-E1)
  • Cam ID and Reel No. support for playback
  • Focus Breathing compensation
  • Up to 20 IPTC Presets
  • Focus frame display
  • Monitor & Control App support
  • Creator's App support
  • RAW transfer to smartphone
  • C2PA compliant
  • Preset Focus/Zoom function
  • Auto power off at high temperature
  • Plus more...

Sony a7 IV Firmware Version 3.0

  • Network streaming
  • Cloud upload (camera direct) function
  • Saving lens model name as MP4 metadata
  • Cam ID and Reel No. support for playback
  • Custom Grid Line License
  • Creator's App support
  • C2PA compliant
  • Plus more...

Sony a9 III Firmware Version 2.0

  • 1/80,000 s shutter speed in continuous shooting at f/1.8 or darker
  • Max number of images per folder increased to 9,999
  • SFTP support
  • Focus frame display
  • Extracting still images from a movie
  • C2PA compliant
  • Plus more...
  • (Note: the Sony a9 III update is slated to arrive next month.)
For more info about these firmware updates and links to download them for your cameras, follow this link here.