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SI: Sony NEX-3 & NEX-5 Get Firmware Upgrade, New Enhancements

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Sony Europe has let firmware version 3 loose for NEX-3/5 users that allows using Auto Focus with A-mount lenses (requiring a separate LA-EA1 Lens Mount Adaptor which also was blessed with a firmware of its own). Mac users can also upgrade their NEX cameras. A number of other improvements were added to the mix like:

  • Customizable Soft Key settings. It’s possible to customize functions of two of the three soft keys on the camera’s rear panel. Functions that can be assigned include Shooting Mode, Shooting Tips, Precision Digital Zoom, ISO, White Balance, Metering Mode, Flash Compensation, DRO, Auto HDR, Creative Style, MF Assist and AF Area.
  • Menu start. When ‘Menu’ is selected, there is now the option to display either the main menu screen or the last parameter set. This simplifies quick readjustment of recently-selected functions and settings.
  • Aperture priority with video recording. HD video can be shot while maintaining constant aperture, either in A (aperture priority) mode or in iAuto mode with background defocus activated. This aids the simple creation of beautiful background defocus effects during movie recording.
  • MF Assist. An enlarged image portion can be displayed on screen with user-selectable duration while in MF (Manual Focus) Assist mode. MF Assist operation has also been improved. The previously-chosen magnified image portion can now be maintained when MF Assist is re-selected, making repeated checks of fine focus quicker and more convenient.

Check out full press release below. Hopefully Sony US Support for these NEX cameras will follow suit and post the same info, however if you cannot wait, just hit the download link and get your update now.

FURTHER ENHANCEMENTS FOR SONY NEX-5 AND NEX-3 CAMERAS

Firmware upgrade adds AF support for A-mount lenses

A new firmware upgrade adds further operating refinements to the NEX-5 and NEX-3 compact system cameras from Sony.

Available now for download1 with versions available for Windows and Mac OS2, the free upgrade adds several performance enhancements. Autofocus is now supported when using the NEX-5 and NEX-3 with 14 lenses from the full range of A-mount optics by Sony and Carl Zeiss that includes telephotos, primes and zooms. Aperture settings can be maintained during HD movie recording, and system menu operation has been streamlined alongside other usability improvements. Registered NEX-5/NEX-3 owners will be advised of the free update via email.

Autofocus with A-mount lenses
Single-shot autofocus is supported with 14 optional A-mount SAM and SSM lens models3 when used with the optional LA-EA1 Mount Adaptor. Single-shot AF is also possible while in movie recording mode by pressing the shutter button halfway down. Support for AF operation with A-mount lenses also requires a separate firmware upgrade for the LA-EA1.

Aperture priority with video recording
HD video can be shot while maintaining constant aperture, either in A (aperture priority) mode or in iAuto mode with background defocus activated. This aids the simple creation of beautiful background defocus effects during movie recording.

Soft key settings
It’s possible to customise functions of two of the three soft keys on the camera’s rear panel. Functions that can be assigned include Shooting Mode, Shooting Tips, Precision Digital Zoom, ISO, White Balance, Metering Mode, Flash Compensation, DRO, Auto HDR, Creative Style, MF Assist and AF Area.

Menu start
When ‘Menu’ is selected, there is now the option to display either the main menu screen or the last parameter set. This simplifies quick readjustment of recently-selected functions and settings.

MF Assist
An enlarged image portion can be displayed on screen with user-selectable duration while in MF (Manual Focus) Assist mode. MF Assist operation has also been improved. The previously-chosen magnified image portion can now be maintained when MF Assist is re-selected, making repeated checks of fine focus quicker and more convenient.

Notes to editors
1 NEX-5/NEX-3 customers can download the firmware upgrade from http://support.sony-europe.com/hub/hub.html

2 System requirements [PC]: Windows XP SP3 (64-bit and Starter editions not supported); Windows Vista SP2 (Starter edition not supported); Windows 7
System requirements [Macintosh]: OS X (Ver.10.5 and Ver.10.6).
[PC/Mac] Hard disk space: min. 200MB / RAM: min. 512MB.
Upgrade requires USB cable connection between computer and NEX-5/NEX-3.

3 Autofocus function is supported with these A-mount lenses:
SAM lenses

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