If you had to name the most important part of a portrait or image that includes living beings—whether human or animal—and has remained so throughout the centuries, going back as far as the Italian and Northern Renaissance right up to the present day, it would be this: The eyes. And it’s perhaps one of the reasons Sony is so focused on expanding how its AF works. In allowing a photographer to track a subject’s eyes no matter where that subject moves within the frame, the photographer can keep the subject in focus. And now, after installing the latest firmware version for Sony’s a6400 mirrorless camera, you can use this feature—real-time Eye AF tracking, which pins your autofocus to the eyes and ensures that the camera will track the subject throughout the frame, in real time—when shooting your pets.
Yes! Once you download and install Sony’s latest firmware, the Sony a6400 will add this capability and you’ll be able to track the eyes of domestic animals, like dogs and cats. (Future updates are also planned, including the ability to track birds, which are more difficult to track.)
However, although this is Sony’s latest AF iteration that it has announced this year, Sony’s made earlier real-time Eye AF announcements:
- When the Sony a6400 was announced in January 2019, it was the first Sony to have real-time Eye AF.
- Sony enabled its flagship mirrorless a9 with real-time Eye AF in March.
- Then, When Sony released its firmware 3.0 update for a7 III and a7R III, it added real-time Eye AF for animals.
One thing, though, that’s important to note is this: When using the video mode, the AF isn’t “pinned” to the eye (whether humans and now, animals, in the a6400)….but Sony says it’s possible that Animal Eye AF may help tracking animals in general.
To learn more, check out this Sony video:
For more specifics on real-time Eye AF tracking, check out this page on Sony’s website: https://support.d-imaging.sony.co.jp/support/tutorial/ilc/en/ilce-6400/03-1.php
To download the firmware update, go to this webpage: sony.com/electronics/support/e-mount-body-ilce-6000-series/ilce-6400/downloads/00016148