For the past decade or so– since it purchased the camera Operations of Konica-Minolta–Sony seems to have been trailing in the aftermath of Nikon and Canon as much as DSLRs are involved. Despite producing perhaps the best point-and-shoot camera ever produced, the best travel-zoom camera, and completely dominating the smartphone globe, pros have stuck with the two.
The brand new Sony Alpha A9 (MSRP $4,500) can just be The camera which changes that for great. Even though it looks, feels, and operates like Sony’s previous full-frame mirrorless options (cameras such as the A7R, A7S, A7 II, and Sony A7R II), the A9 is something considerably more. Though still diminutive when compared with full-frame DSLRs, it’s beefier, better constructed, and significantly more capable than anything else Sony has made before.
Though specs barely tell the Entire story, in this case, they Surely set the tone: 24.2-megapixel full-frame sensor, 20 frames per second continuous shooting, 5-axis OIS, a 693-point autofocus system, a beautiful and glowing OLED viewfinder, and in-camera 4K movie capture. It makes for a flexible, expandable, reliable system that pros will absolutely need to test out for themselves.
It’s not perfect, but it has enough going for it professionals everywhere should start figuring out just how much it’d have to switch to Sony
What we like about the A9
Twenty-four-point-two megapixels at 20 frames per second
I am just going to let this hang on its own because it’s Absolutely unbelievable. Even though the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II can hit 60fps in 20.4 megapixels, that’s using a considerably smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor along with a poorer all-around autofocus system. Even the Sony A9 has a high-resolution sensor, using a far more robust monitoring system along with an OLED viewfinder without a “blinking” whatsoever while shooting.
The closest competitors are devoted action and sports cameras such as the Nikon D5, Canon 7D Mark II, and Canon EOS-1DX Mark II. Those three all have approximately 20-megapixel sensors, but leading out somewhere between 10-16fps (along with also the 7D Mark II uses an APS-C sensor). The A9 conveniently outpaces them all.
Is there a Massive difference between the A9’s 20fps along with also the 1DX II’s 16fps? No. However, there is a massive difference between those two cameras, such as…
The A9 puts that power (almost) at the palm of the hands
Even the Sony Alpha A9 isn’t a small camera with no means, however, The entire body is a significant departure from what we’re used to seeing out of pro-grade sports cameras. It weighs a little less than half of the 1DX II weighs, with no lens attached. Although the weight (and overall silhouette) is a little closer if you add on Sony’s optional battery grip, you at least have the option of eliminating the vertical traction–something that you obviously can’t do using the Nikon D5 or 1DX II.
The OLED viewfinder is beautiful and much better than optical in many ways
There are some authentic optical viewfinder die-hards on the market, But even they’ll need to acknowledge there are some real advantages of this Sony A9’s electronic socket. It’s big, it’s bright, it’s very vibrant, and it shows a legitimate readout of just what the sensor is recording real time.
While burst shooting, the biggest benefit is the lack of a “blink” if the framework is captured–you just get a continuous stream of your subject, using a white box which pops up around your subject signaling a framework has been captured. It gives you a far better idea of what you are capturing in the present time and is best for maintaining consistent framing while shooting at a really large speed.
And like most of EVFs, you can also access the menu directly in the viewfinder. This is useful for critical moments if you don’t wish to take your attention off the socket, but it’s also useful on really bright days if the back LCD will become hopelessly washed out. In short, this is among the best EVF we have seen yet.
The low light performance is astounding
Authentic flagship cameras such as the D5 and 1DX II are typically Lauded primarily because of their speed, but in the past couple of years, they’ve become equally proficient at capturing usable images in extremely limited mild. The A9’s highest ISO speed “just” gets to 204,800 (and just 102,400 with the digital shutter enabled), however, you can expect usable picture quality around ISO 25,600.
Though that’s not the best that we have seen, it’s a Significant edge over cameras such as the Panasonic GH5, Olympus OM-D E-M1 II, along with also the Fujifilm X-T2. In bright lighting, the base ISO of 50 provides just over 14 stops of dynamic selection, which is a couple of stops greater than those other cameras. That simply provides a thickness of tonality which other cameras won’t fit without capturing multiple frames.
The brand new autofocus system is glorious
Professional photographers are faithful to Canon for lots of Reasons, such as its broad range of pro-grade lenses, its elite service and support, and its excellent 1D- and – 5D-series cameras. However, for my money, the actual reason Canon has so many die-hard supporters is its autofocus system.
For professional purposes, Canon has always been ahead of The package when it comes to tack-sharp autofocus and beautiful, reliable subject monitoring. Whether you shoot sports, news, action, or wildlife, Canon has you overspread, with a far extra comprehensive, granular selection of options for tuning it just how you desire.
Sony isn’t very there however with all the A9, but Damn if it isn’t close. The A9 features 693 autofocus points onto the sensor, together with excellent monitoring and several game-changing features such as Eye AF, which focuses and locks on a subject’s eyes above all else. The autofocus system is sensitive to -3 EV having a f/2.0 or faster lens attached.
In practice, it’s almost impossible to trip up. Even while Intentionally shooting tricky subjects like chain-link fences, the A9 discovered subjects and held on these tight. I wish there was a little more command–similar to Canon’s use-case AF modes–but what’s this is compelling enough for photographers of all stripes.
What we do not enjoy the A9
The battery life is great, but not good
If you have shot with some of Sony’s full-frame cameras to this Point, you will wonder why this isn’t at the “That which we like” section; obtaining “great” battery life in the full-frame Sony seems like cause for celebration. Though the battery life is really much improved over previous Sony cameras, you are still just looking at one hour of consistent shooting per fee, or about 600 shots. The optional battery grip helps with this, but you are still just approaching about half of what you get using a 1D X or D5.
It’s also worth noting that this is a brand new battery pack, so If you’ve got a lot of batteries and chargers which you use with an existing A7-series setup, you will want to update (not that you will be complaining that far). The A9 also supports USB charging, so you’re able to supplement the battery using a USB battery backup similar to this, which is a true life-saver if you’ve got a shoot that will take you away from a power source for a while.
Double card slot is great, but just one is UHS-II
Again, file this under “Things we enjoy but are Nitpicking anyhow” The A9 has dual SD card slots, which is fantastic. As soon as it’s somewhat questionable that Sony isn’t supporting its proprietary XQD memory structure (that is located in some Nikon DSLRs), it does show just how much SD has come considering it seemed like it was approaching its performance ceiling years back.
The newest class of UHS-II compliant cards are extremely fast, Which helps because, again, you are going to be capturing 20 24.2-megapixel frames (RAW and JPEG!) Each second. You will want to find those images off your own card fast, and UHS-II is the means to do that. Regrettably, only slot 1 is UHS-II prepared. I don’t have any idea, but it’s frustrating if you would like to stock up on UHS-II cards.
The small size makes wielding Big lenses difficult
Having a performance profile which seems targeted mostly toward Sports and action photography, you will definitely need to slap some authentic action-ready telephoto lenses onto this poor boy. Sad to say, the A9 feels really small when attached to anything much bigger than a 24-70mm f/2.8. It’s workable, but with longer lenses that I felt as though I was holding a huge lens using a camera attached as opposed to the other way round.
It’s not a deal-breaker–if you are shooting a monopod or Tripod you will barely notice, but it may result in some awkward setups with especially wide pieces of glass. It also means that the controls around the body are somewhat close together, so you will want to sharpen your muscle memory if you’re planning to operate the camera by feel alone.
The cost puts the A9 at a no-man’s-property
There are two ways to spin the cost of the A9, depending on your viewpoint. If you are comparing it to the 1DX II or D5, its4,500 body price is quite competitive, even if you’re planning to add about the $349.99 vertical battery grip plus a half dozen extra batteries.
But if you are cross-shopping this with something similar to the Both fast Olympus OM-D E-M1 II ($1,999 body-only), the cost seems somewhat out of control. Many sports shooters do not require outstanding low light or super shallow depth of field, so the benefits of full-frame might not be there for everybody. Sony has a superior pro-grade telephoto lens selection, however, a Canon 7D Mark II is also considerably cheaper, a lot fast, and has more options to get a cash-strapped sports/action/wedding photographer.
Still, the A9’s Speed, silent shooting chops, multimedia capacity, full- fixture sensor, optical photo stabilization, and small size will Attract a whole lot of buyers. Though there are specific use cases where It makes sense to spend more (or less) into a different camera, the A9 makes a compelling case for itself.
Should you purchase it?
Yes but only if you are a professional that needs it.
Even though Sony’s A7-series cameras have offered a tantalizing Glimpse into Sony’s vision for its long run, they always seemed to be missing that extra bit of polish. Creaky lens mounts, a pokey autofocus system, pitiful battery life… they have been fantastic cameras, but not compelling enough that you would consider dropping everything to switch to Sony; after all, there are tons of excellent cameras these days.
The A9 is something different. Where the A7 seemed as a Promising notion being sketched out in real time, the A9 is a full, finished product. Plot it in an evolutionary deadline of Sony cameras and you would be tempted to call it a brand new species entirely–or search for some missing link that explains the sudden burst of progress.
The combination of speed, power, reliability, and Customizability is simply unbelievable. Even though there are small things that I miss in comparison to similar Canon and Nikon cameras, it’s well worth noting that all those competitors are either a) much bigger( b) more expensive( c) slower, or d) all the above. The A9 doesn’t completely wipe them off the field, but if you’ve been whining about lugging around a Nikon D5 or 1D X Mark II, the A9 will feel as a genuine breath of fresh air.
Of course, its diminutive size is also the A9’s biggest problem. Even in comparison to mirrorless competitors like the Panasonic GH5, the A9 feels cramped. Professionals that are fully accustomed to shooting using a 1D X Mark II on one hip and a 5D or 7D across the other might not be able to get over just how small that the A9 feels–especially with a huge telephoto lens attached.
Most seriously, tapping into the A9’s greatest strength–its Speedy continuous shooting–means you are stuck using an electronic shutter and compressed RAW output. Though I have long learned to live with no ka-thunk! With a mechanical shutter slamming shut, professionals who’ve been happily grazing in Canon or Nikon’s lineup might find it off-putting–or unworkable, if they rely on quite high-speed flash syncing.
However, for wedding and performance photographers, in Special, the silent shutter, burst shooting, and crafty autofocus system mean you will capture more moments (discreetly!) Than before. For these, this camera is going to be quite tempting–especially if you’re prepared to throw out old habits and find out all of the neat little tricks and shortcuts which Sony has baked in along the way.
For existing Sony fans, the A9 presents a different issue. The A9 solves nearly all of the significant issues we have had with all the A7-series cameras (especially battery life), but it costs significantly more money. It’s probably those improvements will probably trickle down to prospective A7 cameras, however, so patience might be the wisest choice.
Will the A9 eventually be Sony’s ticket to the hearts, minds, And bags of leading professionals everywhere? Probably not–old habits die hard, and lenses, support, and familiarity are not just as much to working pros. But if the A9 doesn’t have people trading in their 1D X IIs and D5s in droves, it’s a smashing success for Sony.
Following a decade of building, Sony has produced a camera which Can stand alongside the best from Canon and Nikon. Perhaps Sony could not Very follow Canon and Nikon’s route to the very best, but it’s reached the summit all Exactly the same.
|Camera Type||Professional SLR|
|Lens Type||Interchangeable Lens|
|Total Pixels||28.3 Megapixels|
|Effective Pixels||24.2 Megapixels|
|Image Stabilization||Optical (Sensor Based)|
|Viewfinder Coverage||100 %|
|Viewfinder Magnification||.78 x|
|Diopter Range||-4 to +3 m|
|Display Type||Articulated Touchscreen LCD|
|Display Size||3 in.|
|Display Resolution||1440000 pixels|
|Video Recording Features||1080p Recording
External Microphone Jack
|Flash||Hot Shoe Only|
|Connectivity / Ports||HDMI Out
Flash Sync Port
|Battery Type||Removable Lithium-Ion Pack|
|Battery Model Number||NP-FZ100|
|Weight (Body Only w/ Battery)||673 g|