In 2017, Metabones released a firmware update for its EF-E Speed Booster and EF-E Smart Adapter lines that added a 10 fps maximum continuous autofocus (AF-C) frame rate to the Sony A9. In an announcement today, the company revealed it’s brought that same functionality to the Sony a7 III model.

The latest update brings 10 fps AF-C to the a7 III via firmware version 62 for the EF-E Speed Booster Ultra I and II, EF-E CINE Speed Booster Ultra, EF-E CINE Smart Adapter and the EF-E Smart Adapter IV and V. These products can be updated over USB with firmware version 62 available to download in the Metabones app.

Metabones explains the 10 fps in the ‘Advanced Mode’ is the theoretical maximum, with both subject movement and the lens AF speed both impacting the actual shooting speed. The company recommends users set the in-camera ‘Priority Set in AF-C’ to ‘AF’ for the best accuracy and hit rate, but warns that it will come with a decrease in frame rate.

The company says older adapter models can be updated to firmware version 62, as well, including the original EF-E Smart Adapter I and II launched in 2012 and the EF-E Speed Booster launched in 2013. These older models don’t feature USB ports, however, so customers will require factory service to get the upgrade. As well, these models will only work in APS-C mode.

Owners of these discontinued products must contact Metabones customer service about upgrading. The company’s firmware downloads can be found here.

Press release:

Metabones® Firmware Pushes A7 Mark III Maximum AF-C Frame Rate up to 10 fps

Vancouver, Canada, June 24, 2019 - Two years ago, Metabones® added support for Sony A9 with a maximum continuous autofocus (AF-C) frame rate of 10 fps by firmware to its EF-E Speed Booster® and EF-E Smart Adapter™ lines of fully-electronic adapters. Today, the same feat is extended to A7 Mark III.

How to upgrade:

  • EF-E Speed Booster ULTRA I/II, EF-E CINE Speed Booster ULTRA, EF-E Smart Adapter IV/V and EF-E CINE Smart Adapter are equipped with USB ports and they can be upgraded to firmware v62 by downloading the latest Metabones App. Choose the "Advanced Mode" checkbox before clicking the "Update" button. To encourage new firmware adoption, the user is assured that the upgrade is reversible to any previous version released in the last 2 years.
  • New customers may set the adapter to “Advanced Mode” with Metabones App or by following the procedure in the online user manual.
  • Even the original EF-E Smart Adapter I/II from 2012 and the original EF-E Speed Booster from 2013 can be updated to v62 and benefit from 10 fps AF-C with A9 and A7 Mark III, but without any USB ports, factory service is required to upgrade the firmware of these discontinued products, and they work only in APS-C mode. EF-E Smart Adapter III (2013) can also be factory-serviced to v62 and is the earliest adapter with full-frame camera support. Please contact Metabones customer service for details.

To achieve the highest possible AF-C frame rate on A7 Mark III, the adapter is set to "Advanced Mode". On the camera we recommend setting "Priority Set in AF-C" to "AF" for the best accuracy and the highest hit rate, even though that will decrease the frame rate. 10 fps is the theoretical maximum and just how close we get to that is highly dependent upon the AF speed of the lens used and the speed of subject movement.

The fastest frame rate is achieved when the subject is at or near the center where phase-detection autofocus (PDAF) is used. Unfortunately only the central PDAF points are effective, because using all of the PDAF points of the camera would have required metadata about the optical formula of the specific lens used, which we do not have. All the PDAF points can be used by setting the Speed Booster or Smart Adapter to "Green Mode", although the periphery points will still not be as effective as the central ones.

Some older lenses may have reduced accuracy and/or speed in “Advanced Mode”, but they can still be used in "Green Mode" on A7 Mark III at a lower frame rate (3 fps). “Green Mode” is also faster at single autofocus (AF-S).

With Speed Boosters and Smart Adapters breaking down compatibility barriers, Metabones believes that the products themselves need to be continuously updated with new firmware to cope with new technologies, new cameras and new lenses. Patrons see value in Metabones products in the long term for compatibility with the broadest range of cameras and lenses and for the firmware updates. Leverage the 10 fps continuous autofocus feature of the best-selling full-frame mirrorless camera today using 32 years' worth of EF Mount lenses.

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