Last month Sony announced the new ‘Real-time tracking’ autofocus system. It’s first implemented in the new A6400 but coming soon via firmware upgrade on the A9 too. (UPDATE: A7rIII and A7III will get real-time AF update not “real time tracking as I previously stated incorrectly). At first look this might not be news that grabs big headlines. But if you digg into the new AF system you start to realize this is quite a big thing!
Dpreview tested the new tracking modus and writes:
What makes the new system better? Real-time tracking now uses additional information to track your subject – so much information, in fact, that it feels as if the autofocus system really understands who or what your subject is, making it arguably the ‘stickiest’ system we’ve seen to date.
What does all of this mean for the photographer? Most importantly, it means you have an autofocus system that works reliably in almost any situation. Reframe your composition to place your AF point over your subject, half-press the shutter, and real-time tracking will collect pattern, color, brightness, distance, face and eye information about your subject so comprehensively it can use all that to keep track of your subject in real-time. This means you can focus on the composition and the moment. There is no longer a need to focus (pun intended) on keeping your AF point over your subject, which for years has constrained composition and made it difficult to maintain focus on erratic subjects.