Photography just got a whole lot more fun

Real-time Eye AF

Real-time Eye AF makes it possible to shoot like a professional photographer, with perfect focus on the eye in the split-second when the subject-even a challenging subject like a child on the move-turns to face the camera. Furthermore, deep learning made Real-time Eye AF compatible with animals as well. Real-time Eye AF will change your everyday life with your camera.

Yu Kimishima · Shinichi Inoue Software Technology Div.1, Digital Imaging Group Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc.

Yu Kimishima · Shinichi Inoue Sony Corporation

Making it easy and fun to take pro-quality pictures

Inoue: All camera enthusiasts know that focusing on the eye is a pro skill for portraiture. Eye AF helps with this, but it is still difficult to track people's movements. Sony developed Real-time Eye AF to make Eye AF more practical, and based their development on the combination of Speed and AI. Real-Time Eye AF instantly recognizes the subject's eye and holds focus as they move, and makes it easier for photographers to take attractive pictures with the eyes in perfect focus. The speed of the eye tracking and focus is on the same level as the equipment pro sports photographers use.

Deep learning expanded the scope of Real-time Eye AF to animals

Kimishima: After releasing cameras equipped with Eye AF, we realized that people wanted to photograph animals, and this represented a great need. Dogs and other animals have longer noses than humans, so cameras often focus on the tips of their noses, which makes difficult to photograph animals. Moreover, it is difficult for AI to capture animal eyes because the shapes and patterns differ by species and breed, and these traits vary more for animals than they do for humans. To address this problem, we utilized deep learning to develop AI to equip Real-time Eye AF with the capacity to capture animal eyes. We were able to achieve this thanks to deep learning, which is capable of learning higher volumes of highly expressive features.

Sony has advantages in edge AI as well

Inoue: AI created in this way requires a considerable level of computational power. Running AI on immense cloud servers is quite different from equipping the camera with the functions to do so. Fortunately, Sony has distinct advantages in edge AI, which achieves lower computational complexity along with high-performance AI. We also equipped the Xperia1 with Eye AF. Edge AI helps us better adapt tools to people.

AI brings more delight to everyday life

Kimishima: Real-time Eye AF was developed to free pro photographers from the nuisances of focusing. This enabled them to concentrate on the more creative elements of composition and shutter timing. The function is highly recognized because it also enables general users to take many pro-quality pictures. This adds a new dimension to the fun of taking pictures, and helps people develop a greater affinity for their cameras. This is an example of how AI can change people's lifestyles. Machines help people do what they previously had to do on their own. AI will end up being able to do anything. That is why we intend to thoroughly examine and stay abreast of what our customers want.

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