Sony a6400 Receives Animal Eye AF Firmware Update

Two months after the new Animal Eye AF mode debuted in the full-frame Sony a7R III and a7 III cameras, it now makes its way to the APS-C Sony a6400.

Animal Eye AF works very similarly to the Eye AF tracking mode that has gained quite a positive reputation for its reliability with portrait photographers. It's a continuous autofocus mode that uses AI-based subject recognition to find an eye in the frame and track it. With Animal Eye AF added into the mix, users will need to manually select whether the camera should look for human eyes or animal eyes in the menu; the feature can not look for both at the same time.

The first iteration of Animal Eye AF is primarily trained on working mainly with dog and cat faces, however Sony plans to continue expanding the functionality and reliability. As many early adopters have come to find out using either the a7R III or a7 III, the feature does seem to work OK sometimes with other kinds of animals in its current state.

Check out the video above from Alpha Shooters to see the new feature in action on the Sony a6400.

The new Sony a6400 firmware can be downloaded from Sony's Support website.

Ryan Mense's picture

Ryan Mense is a wildlife cameraperson specializing in birds. Alongside gear reviews and news, Ryan heads selection for the Fstoppers Photo of the Day.

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Thanks for the share Ryan Mense. It's certainly going to be interesting to see where Animal Eye AF will be in a few years from now. I enjoyed your first impressions article on the new 600mm F4. Probably the closest I will ever get to it!

Thanks! I'm sure that was the one and only time I'll get my hands on one too, haha.

Eye AF was a game changer for portraits. Animal Eye AF could be a game changer for wildlife in a couple revisions.

I honestly haven't had that much luck with the Animal AF on my a7Riii. It lags in comparison to the regular Eye AF. I went out a few times taking photos of turkeys, rabbits and other birds on a reverve near me. It doesn't seem to play nice on the long end. 100-400mm GM is what I tested most of it on. Still slow with the 16-35mm 2.8 GM. Maybe it will get better. It's not something I feel I can rely on right now. Although it's not really needed if you're taking pictures of any birds that are perched. Single point is fine. I usually set mine to DMF anyway. I'll keep testing it out overtime though.

In its current state it’s not really meant for prey animals with eyes on the sides of their head, so I can see why the three you listed there were unreliable. Right now since it was trained on dogs and cats, animals similar to them with eyes in front perform better from what I hear. I wanted to believe it would be a killer feature from day one as well so I can understand the frustration. Hopefully it will become much more reliable for birds in the future.