The Sony Alpha A9 has pretty a task on its arms. While the likes of Fujifilm’s X-T2 and Sony’s own Alpha A7R II have tempted a few professionals, particularly studio, and landscape photographers, to trade-in their DSLR package, it is been a harder venture to get sports and motion photographers to surrender their Canon and Nikon gear.
[Update: Sony’s just announced a new Firmware update for the Alpha A9, with version 2.00 offering a number of tweaks and refinements. For Continuous AF, performance has been improved when tracking moving subjects, while there’s enhanced stability of the AF-C when zooming. There’s also now the option to protect images to a custom button, as well as the ability to transfer (via FTP) all protected files at once, overall operational stability has been improved.]
Rather than being cosseted in a comfy camera bag, the gear of these movement photographers is going to get bashed approximately on a every day basis, at the same time as the performance demanded from their camera our bodies method we haven’t yet seen a mirrorless rival to the likes of Canon’s EOS-1D X Mark II and the Nikon D5.
Until now. The new Alpha A9 from Sony has those two speed merchants of the digital camera global firmly in its sights. So will it fall at the first hurdle, or can it give its rivals a run for their money?
Full-frame stacked CMOS sensor, 24.2MP
3,686K-dot digital viewfinder with 120fps refresh rate
3.Zero-inch tilt-attitude touchscreen, 1,440,000 dots
The key piece of tech at the heart of the Alpha A9, and one it really is had a knock-on impact on the overall performance of different components, is the 24.2MP complete-body stacked CMOS sensor.
While it has appreciably fewer pixels than the forty-two.2MP Alpha A7R II, it does offer a mild resolution gain over the 20-ordinary megapixels of the Canon 1D X Mark II and Nikon D5, but it’s the architecture of the chip that is the key element here.
The stacked layout approach the incorporated DRAM reminiscence modules, a high-pace processing circuit and the BIONZ X photograph processing engine are all lined up behind the photo sensor.
This design has allowed Sony to push the facts thru the sensor, no longer around it, resulting in a sensor that reads facts 20 times faster than might otherwise be feasible, allowing the Alpha A9 to shoot at a blistering 20fps for 241 uncooked files or 362 JPEG photos.
How does that evaluate to the EOS-1D X Mark II and Nikon D5? Very nicely in reality, with no trouble beating each the EOS-1D X Mark II’s 170 uncooked files at 14fps and the D5’s two hundred uncooked files at 12fps – although in case you’re making plans to hold down the shutter for that long you may need to re-evaluate your technique.
The stacked sensor design additionally way the Alpha A9 and might perform an impressive 60 AF/AE tracking calculations consistent with 2d (we will get onto the nuts and bolts of the AF quickly).
Designing the sensor this manner would not just have performance benefits – it must additionally supply higher noise overall performance, thanks to the light-amassing elements of the photosites (pixels to you and I) being closer to the surface of the sensor.
The Alpha A9 functions a vast native ISO range of 100-51, two hundred, and this can be accelerated to 50-204,800. That said, for people who shoot frequently in low mild, the likes of the D5 provide an extra four stops at the A9 right here, with an expanded ISO ceiling equal to 3,280,000.
We’ve continually preferred the large electronic viewfinder on the Alpha A7R II, but the EVF on the A9 is larger and higher.
With about three,686,000 dots, the all-new, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder is the highest-decision viewfinder Sony has ever integrated in a digital camera. It boasts 0.78x magnification, a 120fps refresh price, and a Zeiss T* coating to significantly reduce reflections, as well as a fluorine coating at the outer lens that repels dirt.
Thanks to the digital shutter, which guarantees to be both vibration-unfastened and absolutely silent (with a maximum shutter speed of one/32,000 sec), there may be no terrible viewfinder blackout even at 20fps (though the refresh charge of the EVF does drop to 60fps).
As properly because the EVF, there may be a 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen with a strong, if now not ground-breaking, resolution of one,440,000 dots (although it’s a modest improvement over the 1.23m dots of the A7R II’s).
The Sony Alpha A9 is ready with a progressive 5-axis image stabilization machine that gives a shutter velocity advantage of 5 stops.
As you’ll count on for Sony’s mirrorless flagship digital camera, the video is properly catered for. For a begin, there’s 4K (3840 x 2160p) video recording across the entire width of the entire-frame picture sensor. When shooting on this layout, the camera makes use of full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of records, oversampling it to provide first-rate 4K photos. Recording is also available in Super 35mm size.
Additionally, the Alpha A9 can record Full HD at 120fps at up to 100Mbps, which lets in photos to be reviewed and subsequently edited into 4x or 5x slow-motion video documents in Full HD resolution.
The Alpha A9 benefits from two SD card slots, however, it’s possibly slightly disappointing to look that Sony has opted to provide best one slot the faster UHS-II media aid. In some methods, it’s a piece of a wonder to see the A9 forego the even faster XQD card layout (especially as Sony changed into instrumental in its development) that each the Nikon D5 and D500 assist.
As nicely as having the same old Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth credentials, the A9 capabilities a flash sync socket (something that became lacking from the greater studio-focused Alpha A7R II) and Ethernet port, underlining Sony’s view that it sees the Alpha A9 as a camera it really is going to muscle its way pitch-facet, where fast switch of images is prime.