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Huge Sony Alpha firmware update includes C2PA compliance

The Alpha 9 III is one of the four models to get major new firmware updates, though you'll have to wait until next month for its v2.0
3 minute read
The Alpha 9 III is one of the four models to get major new firmware updates, though you'll have to wait until next month for its v2.0

Sony has just dropped a firmware update that adds a serious number of new features — over 45! — to the Alpha 1, Alpha 9 III, Alpha 7S III, and Alpha 7 IV cameras.

So, today we have highly anticipated firmware updates for the Alpha 1 (Ver. 2.00), Alpha 7S III (Ver. 3.00), Alpha 7 IV (Ver. 3.00), and coming next month at some point, the Alpha 9 III (Ver.2.00). 

[Update, as per Ned's comment below, here's the statement from Sony re the A1:"It was confirmed that some products updated to Ver.2.00 may not be able to connect to the network. Due to this issue, we have suspended the update. (March 29, 2024)".]

Sony reckons that the update contains some of its most impactful technology, including its Camera Authenticity Solution, the proprietary in-camera digital signature and C2PA (Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity) format support.

We’ll kick off with the shooting and playback updates though. 

  • 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 categorise 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 function 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 camera 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 blurs 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, A7 IV, and Alpha 9 III
  • Matching the time code with other devices is now possible with a dedicated adapter cable (sold separately) 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 models


There are also some file transfer and network connectivity updates too:

  • Cloud upload (camera direct) function allows users to upload images directly to the Sony's Creators' Cloud. 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 streaming 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 site
  • Expansion of app support with Creators' App and Monitor & Control app now supported with the Alpha 1 and Alpha 7S III

Image authenticity

And on to the anti-fake stuff. Sony says its new tools will make it possible for news agencies to ensure the authenticity of images, contributing to industry efforts to protect creators (and even society it says) from fake imagery. "The severity of this issue is only increasing and it's a complex problem that requires the focus and attention of our entire industry,” the company says.

Events in 2024 already suggest that any solutions will face an uphill battle, but Sony’s two-pronged approach shows promise. With this firmware update, the C2PA authenticity information embedded on images from the Alpha 1, Alpha 9 III, Alpha 7S III, and Alpha 7 IV can be maintained from capture through publication. This should provide professional photographers with the ability to preserve their digital signature from the camera, while tracking the editing history throughout revisions.

Added to that is Sony's in-camera digital signature technology that signs images in real-time. This new feature certifies the authenticity of an image at the point of capture and creates what Sony refers to as 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.

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

For complete details of the list of new features added to each firmware as of today, please visit each product support page on the Sony website:

Alpha 1 2.0 Firmware

Alpha 7S III 3.0 Firmware

Alpha 7 IV 3.0 Firmware

Tags: Production Cameras sony