The Sony a7s is Sony’s low-light powerhouse because of a low megapixel count that creates cleaner images at high ISOs. That and 4K video features make the camera ideal for hybrid shooters, journalism, and documentary work. But the camera just got a bit of an upgrade. The latest firmware, 2.10, improves eye detection autofocus and operational stability.
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We already gave 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 champ?
I spent some time with an updated Sony a7s iii and the Sony 85mm f1.4 GM lens. I’ve added the following update to our Sony a7s iii review:
Firmware update 2.10 focuses on improving the eye AF, along with improvements to the eye sensor for the viewfinder and enhancements to the stability of the custom white balance and overall camera. Overall, the Eye AF on the Sony a7s III is quite good for portraits as well as street photography. It’s capable of finding the eyes and locking on fairly quickly. But, it doesn’t always keep up with faster-moving subjects, which is a bit expected. Portrait photographers will get a handful of misses when photographing squirmy kids, though most will still be sharp. It also doesn’t lock on to eyelashes the way some eye AF systems still manage to from high angles or with the eyes closed. While not perfect or even the best, the eye AF is still quite good and results in the super sharp eyes that I’ve come to associate with Sony’s GM E-Mount lenses.
While the latest firmware update focuses on the eye AF, the previous update (2.0) added a new color profile, the S-Cinetone, which also works for video. I took a look at the new picture profile as well and added these details to the review:
The colors are consistent with what I’ve come to expect from Sony bodies. The colors seem to have a bit of extra oomph. That looks great in some cases, like making the eyes really pop. But, it doesn’t always bode well for skin tones. However, with firmware 2.0, Sony added the S-Cinetone picture profile, designed for better skin tone rendering. Under the standard setting, blonde hair took on a green tint when the light source was sunlight filtering through trees. You can see the green tint to the hair on the left side of the image, where the light is coming through a window. S-Cinetone was closer to the natural color but a bit too desaturated on the 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 check out our guide to great Sony E Mount Prime lenses as well.