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Sony Electronics Delivers Firmware Updates Including C2PA Compliancy As A Next Step To Ensure Authenticity Of Images

SAN DIEGO, March 27, 2024 – Today, Sony Electronics delivers the highly anticipated firmware updates for the Alpha 1 (Ver. 2.00), Alpha 7S III (Ver. 3.00), Alpha 7 IV (Ver. 3.00), and after April 2024, the Alpha 9 III (Ver.2.00). The update contains some of Sony’s most impactful technology, including Camera Authenticity Solution, the proprietary in-camera digital signature and C2PA (Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity) format support1. Together, these tools will make it possible for news agencies to ensure the authenticity of images, contributing to industry efforts to protect creators, and society from fake imagery.

See step-by-step how to update the firmware in your camera in this Quick Guide.

Additionally, the firmware updates include many requested features to improve everyday use. The update evolves shooting functions and post-shooting workflow and brings advanced movie features like breathing compensation. It also includes new remote-control capabilities, new features for professional applications, and expanded access to cloud services applications.

“There is nothing more core to our mission than listening to the voices of the photographers, videographers, and filmmakers who shoot with Sony Alpha cameras. We know this community has been asking for these updates, and we’re happy to deliver. Each of these updates are designed to promote ease of use for our creators and allow them to maximize the strengths of their cameras,” says Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. “We’re especially pleased to deliver C2PA compliancy with this update. This compliancy paired with our unique digital signature technology, allows us to offer the most secure and comprehensive solution to protect professional photographers, news agencies, and society from manipulated imagery.”

Camera Authenticity Solution

Last year, Sony announced its commitment to developing technology in its cameras to aid in the fight against manipulated imagery and AI-generated fakes. The severity of this issue is only increasing and it’s a complex problem that requires the focus and attention of our entire industry.

One critical part of the solution is making more Sony cameras C2PA compliant. C2PA is a Joint Development Foundation project, where Sony is a steering committee member. C2PA aims to develop an end-to-end open technical standard to provide publishers, creators and consumers with opt-in, flexible ways to understand the authenticity, and provenance of different types of media. The C2PA is a standards-setting body that will develop technical specifications on content provenance and authentication by certifying the source and history of media content. With this firmware update, the authenticity information embedded on images from Alpha 1, Alpha 9 III, Alpha 7S III, and Alpha 7 IV can be maintained from capture through publication. This provides professional photographers with the ability to preserve their digital signature from the camera, while tracking the editing history throughout revisions.

Another critical component of the solution is Sony’s in-camera digital signature technology2 that signs images in real-time. This new feature certifies the authenticity of an image at the point of capture and creates a ‘digital birth certificate’ that is retained throughout revisions. The signature contains metadata including 3D-depth information captured through the proprietary technology in the image sensor developed by Sony. This depth information can show if the image captured was of an actual 3D object, vs a photograph of an image or video, providing an extra level of protection and even more assurance of the content’s authenticity, and making Sony’s solution especially unique for photojournalists and news agencies.

Sony’s solution also helps protect the authenticity of content by including an Image Validation Site, which verifies the image even after edits have been made by C2PA-compliant editing software. This service confirms the authenticity of the photo was taken by a specific camera and that the object of the photo is 3D. This service will initially be offered to select news media agencies, expanding to other agencies at a later date.

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Shooting & Playback Updates

The firmware updates include over 10 new features, as well as improvements to existing features, designed to improve the user’s overall shooting experience. These improved capabilities showcase Sony’s commitment to continuing to evolve the functionality of Sony’s existing camera models. A few highlights of the firmware update functions include:

  • Relay Playback: Enables seamless sequential playback from one memory card slot to another on the Alpha 1, Alpha 7S III, and Alpha 9 III.

  • Playback Filter Condition: Lets users categorize image playback based on select criteria including date, folder, file format, and more on the Alpha 1 and Alpha 7S III.

  • Breathing Compensation: The highly requested Breathing Compensation function3 is now available on the Alpha 1 and Alpha 7S III.

  • Upgrade DCI 4K / 24.00p Upgrade License on Alpha 7S III: via a free downloadable license through Creators’ Cloud.

  • Sync Release function: Enables simultaneous shutter release with two or more multiple cameras connected to the main camera5 on the Alpha 1 and Alpha 9 III.

  • Focus frame display: Focus frame will be displayed on the Remote Camera Tool screen on the Alpha 1 and Alpha 9 III.

  • Enhanced image stabilization: The camera body and lens effectively work together to correct larger blurs6 on the Alpha 1.

  • Increased upper limit of recordable images in a folder from 4,000 to 9,999 on the Alpha 1, Alpha 7S III, Alpha 7 IV, and Alpha 9 III.

  • Matching the time code with other devices is now possible with a dedicated adapter cable (sold separately)7 on the Alpha 1 and Alpha 7S III.

  • Up to 20 IPTC presets can be on the Alpha 1 and Alpha 7S III.

  • Custom Grid Line is available as a paid license basis for some models8.

File Transfer & Network Connectivity

Additional updates aimed to optimize the post-production workflow efficiency include improvements to International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) preset and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) transfer operability. To streamline processes for users, expanded cloud upload and application services will be available. Key updates include:

  • Cloud upload (camera direct) function allows users to upload images directly to the Sony’s Creators’ Cloud9. Key additional features include simplified camera software updates, direct camera registration to the Creators’ Cloud, and a flexible system for uploading, storing, and sharing content. Additionally, the capability to manage video and LUT files via mobile apps, along with the transfer of RAW files to smartphones, optimizes the creative process in fast-paced environments.

  • FTP Transfer Improvements: A “Protected Images Only” option for the Auto FTP Transfer and a “Protect Image in FTP Transfer” option for the FTP transfer function have been added. Available on the Alpha 1, Alpha 7S III, and Alpha 9 III.

  • Support for USB streaming10 on the Alpha 1.

  • Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) has been added to secure protocol on the Alpha 1, Alpha 7S III, and Alpha 9 III and WPA3-SAE is now supported for wireless LAN on the Alpha 1 and Alpha 7S III.

  • Network streaming enables direct live streaming from the Alpha 7 IV to a streaming site7.

  • Expansion of app support with Creators' App and Monitor & Control app now supported with the Alpha 1 and Alpha 7S III.

Many of these updates are applicable to multiple cameras, however for a list of each body’s specific update please check the Sony website.

Exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with Sony's imaging products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, a site created to educate and inspire all fans and customers of Sony α - Alpha brand.

About Sony Electronics Inc.

Sony Electronics is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America and an affiliate of Sony Group Corporation, one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world, with a portfolio that encompasses electronics, music, motion pictures, mobile, gaming, robotics and financial services. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Sony Electronics is a leader in electronics for the consumer and professional markets. Operations include research and development, engineering, sales, marketing, distribution and customer service. Sony Electronics creates products that innovate and inspire generations, such as the award-winning Alpha Interchangeable Lens Cameras and revolutionary high-resolution audio products. Sony is also a leading manufacturer of end-to-end solutions from 4K professional broadcast and A/V equipment to industry leading 4K and 8K Ultra HD TVs. Visit https://pixt.me/sonynews. for more information.

Notes

1This feature is available to some news organizations at the press release timing.
2Both Sony’s in-camera digital signature technology and C2PA compliancy are currently available through a separate upgrade license.
3For compatible lens information, please refer to the support page (https://www.sony.net/dics/breathing/)
4For regional app/service availability, check here. To use this service, it is necessary to download and install the upgrade license.
5Remote Camera Tool Version 4.1.0 is required to activate the function.
6For compatible lens information, please refer to the support page (https://www.sony.net/dics/fnc1002/)
7A dedicated adapter cable, which is sold separately, is required to connect to the timecode source equipment.
8Availability varies depending on country and region. Available through the Upgrade and License Management Suite at https://ulms.sony.net.
9For regional app/service availability, check here. Creators’ App Ver.2.3.1 or later is necessary. Settings must be made in the Creators' App in advance. For more information, please visit the Creators' App support website (https://www.sony.net/ca/help/opr/).
10When connecting to a device with a USB Type-C port, please use a commercially available USB cable or a conversion adapter.

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