Sony A7, A7r firmware update improves AF speed (but only for an unreleased lens), improves image quality [UPDATED]


posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 11:55 AM EST


One of the few complaints leveled at the Sony A7 and A7r (Sony A7 vs. Sony A7R) was that their AF system left something to be desired, especially for the A7r. But with a new round of firmware patches fresh from Sony, not only have both been given a speed tweaks with the 70-200mm lens, but the pair also received improvements to image quality.

The full list of improvements offered in version 1.02 of the firmware is:

  • Provides support for the SEL70200G lens
    • Improves auto focus speed (ILCE-7R)
    • Supports the “Fast Hybrid AF” function (ILCE-7)
    • Supports future compatible E mount lenses
    • Adds the “Focus hold button” function
  • Reduces start-up time when the camera is switched on immediately after being switched off
  • Improves image quality
  • Provides support for additional PlayMemories Camera Apps and adds additional features
    • Supports the “Liveview Grading” and “Smooth Reflection” applications
    • Supports the smooth automatic exposure feature in the “Time-lapse” application ver. 2.00 and later

You can download the firmware for the A7r here (Mac, PC) and A7 here (Mac, PC)

Unfortunately, the documentation isn't specific on what the image quality improvements are, but it's good to see Sony putting a substantial amount of effort into improving these two cameras.

UPDATE: Here's the information on the image quality improvements the new firmware brings:

  • Color noise has been reduced in speed priority continuous shooting mode
  • In movie recording, reduced color artifacts at object edges in very bright scenes