Sony A9 Hands-on, Quick Review: Insanely Quick Shooter

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Here’s our quick hands-on of the Sony A9!

Sony officially launched their newest flagship mirrorless camera today, the A9. The new camera is aimed at professionals that require a fast shooter, something that has long been dominated by traditional DSLR offerings from brands like Canon and Nikon. Sony hopes that the A9’s insane 20 frame-per-second shooting capabilities, 24-megapixel, full-frame stacked CMOS sensor will be enough to court wedding, sports and action shooters to switch to their new baby. We only had a few minutes to spend with the A9, but that was more than enough to leave us thoroughly impressed with what we saw.

A shared design language makes it easy to make the jump

We had to make sure we were picking up the right camera earlier today since the A9 looks a lot like Sony’s other full-frame mirrorless offerings, namely the A7. Take a closer look though, and you’ll see the A9 has a lot of added physical controls to make shooting easier – dials for drive and AF modes, AF joystick as well as dedicated AF-ON and AEL buttons.

Since the A9 is aimed at pros, Sony has added two SD card slots for it, with one supporting the faster UHS-II format. Sony’s also beefed up the battery some, with the A9 using a significantly better battery than the one on its A7 models. That’s not all – Sony also made the A9 more power-efficient, so you’ll be able to squeeze more shots per charge than ever before.

There’s also a number of connections available on the A9, including an Ethernet jack. The A9 is comfortable to hold and use, and is generally lighter than the DSLRs that its striving to replace, though it didn’t feel that way during our time with it simply because the camera lent to us had a gigantic FE 100-400 lens attached to it during the event. The layout of the buttons and dials are pretty good, and Sony’s finally addressed the sometimes Byzantine layout of their menus to something that’s easier to use and navigate, especially for first time owners.

Holy crap is it fast

While a few minutes with a camera is not enough to properly evaluate a camera’s performance, it is enough to see how fast it is when it comes to AF performance as well as shooting. Long story short: the A9 is fast. Significantly faster and quieter than any other camera we’ve ever encountered.

The A9 is capable of shooting at 20 frames per second, and it does so silently, without any of the usual shutter noises that you associate with traditional cameras. When we first picked up the camera and started shooting, we had to verify that we were indeed taking shots when we pressed the shutter button.

It’s insane how fast the A9 shoots images – combine that with the ability for live view in-between bursts and absolutely zero blackout while shooting, and 693 phase-detect AF points scattered around that covers 93% of the frame, and you have a beast of a camera that can do almost anything.

And the A9 is able to sustain that speed too – it can capture up to 241 consecutive RAW images or 362 JPEGs – which makes it the perfect choice for sports and action shooters.

While we weren’t able to take videos with it, Sony advertises that it’s capable of taking 4K videos, and Full pixel readout with no pixel binning makes it possible to condense the equivalent of the amount of data required for 6K into 3840 x 2160 4K output. This oversampling process results in the highest possible 4K movie image quality.

Take note that all images below was taken with the A9 with the FE 100-400 G Master telephoto lens attached with f/4.5 aperture, ISO 5000 and 1/320 sec shutter speed.

Of course, all of that doesn’t come cheap – Sony’s pricing the A9 at Php 239,999 for just the body.



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