Sony's Amazing New Real-Time Animal Eye AF Will Make Sure Your Pet's Eyes Are Always in Focus

Do you love your cute kitty Rufus or your darling dog Fluffy but hate that you can never get their eyes in focus in your photos? Those adorable critters do move fast when you're snapping pics, but Sony now has new autofocus technology to make sure they always look sharp, including their eyes.

Called Real-Time Animal Eye AF, Sony's autofocus technology makes its debut in its Sony A7R III and A7 III mirrorless cameras thanks to a new firmware update. Firmware Update Version 3.0, which you can download for free here and here, also adds Real-Time Eye AF for humans to those two cameras, a feature that had previously been available on Sony's flagship A9 mirrorless camera. In addition, you get Interval Shooting for capturing timelapse movies with the new firmware.

But it's the Real-Time Eye AF for Animals that seems the most groundbreaking to us. Check out the Sony video below demonstrating the feature, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and track animal eyes. Sony notes that the feature, for now, only works with dogs and cats but more animals, including birds in flight, will be supported in future updates.

Creating Real-Time Animal Eye AF was no small feat, according to an article produced for Sony to announce the new firmware update:

"If you think it’s hard for a basic focusing system to find a human face and eyes, imagine how hard it is to find the eyeballs on an animal. Between things like faces covered in fur, and features like elongated muzzles (on dogs) or cute button noses (on cats) standard geometric processing just doesn’t cut it," writes David Schloss of PixelShift for Sony.

Although we haven't tested the Real-Time AF for Animals feature ourselves yet, if it works as advertised, we'll give it two paws up!

UPDATE: Here is an additional video where photographer Matt Granger tries out Animal Eye AF on animatronic pets at Sony's booth during the recent CP+ show in Japan.