Sony just released a firmware update, version 1.01 for their NEX-5N camera, which improves autofocus speed.
The update doesn’t do much, here’s all it does:
- Enhancement of AF response: When subject distance changes enormously.
- Improved stability in certain camera operations:
- When setting [Lens Compensation: Distortion] “Auto” and [Picture Effect] “Miniature” at the same time.
- When setting [Exposure Compensation], [Intelligent AF] operation improves.
The most important one probably being autofocus speed. It seems, what Sony did, was to avoid close-focusing (macro) under normal shooting conditions. With version 1.0 you could pretty much shoot macro without enabling it in the menu first, because it would allow you to focus so close – but with this new version, it seems the camera doesn’t try to autofocus so close, thus giving the camera a less “range” to cover for focusing and making it faster to find focus in that area.
The downside being that if you need to shoot macro, you now have to tell the camera that you want to shoot macro, so that it will autofocus close – but that’s how it is with most cameras out there anyway, so I think that’s okay, especially since you do get faster AF speed now. Below is a video that shows before/after the firmware upgrade.
Click here to download the firmware update, note that you might have to change your region on the Sony site, to make sure you get the one that is applicable for your local NEX-5N camera. This firmware update also does NOT work for 3, 5 or 7, it’s only for 5N. Several threads on camera forums such as dpreview.com confirms that this firmware update indeed has increased autofocus speed on their NEX-5N’s.
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