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photo:sonya9

Sony a9 full frame mirrorless camera

Introduction

Vastly improved Eye AF in continuous AF even at 20fps and almost anywhere on the screen - class leading performance!

Specs

  • 24.2MP Full-Frame Stacked Exmor RS back-illuminated CMOS Sensor
  • brand new, upgraded BIONZ X processing engine
  • front end LSI
  • ISO range of 100 – 51200, expandable to 50 – 204800
  • uncompressed 14-bit RAW
  • 1200-zone evaluative metering
    • spot meter can be linked to spot focus area
    • highlight metering mode
  • improved AutoISO:
    • shutter speed above which the ISO changes when the camera is set to P or A shooting modes
    • can specify a low ISO Auto limit for minimizing motion blur when shooting a moving subject as wel
  • Blackout-Free (if shutter speed higher than 1/125th sec) Quad VGA 3.7m-Dot OLED EVF
    • optical design that includes a double-sided aspherical element, helping it to achieve 0.78x magnification
    • utilizes a ZEISS® T* Coating to greatly reduce reflections, and has a fluorine coating on the outer lens that repels dirt
    • 60 or 120fps frame rate
    • luminance is 2x higher than the XGA OLED Tru-Finder from the α7R II
  • silent electronic shutter to 1/32,000th sec in S or M mode (1/16,000th sec in other modes) with minimal rolling shutter distortion
  • mechanical shutter to 1/8,000th sec rated at 500,000 shots and fastest burst is 5fps (this thus limits flash photography to 5fps)
  • flash sync 1/250th sec
  • 3.0″ 1.44m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
    • touch focusing on the rear LCD screen for easily selecting of and shifting focus towards a desired focus point or subject
    • EVF/Monitor Switching is now DISABLED when the LCD Monitor is tilted upwards
  • Internal UHD 4K (3840x2160p)/30p Video Recording
    • uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information, oversampling it to produce high quality 4K footage
  • full HD 1080 120p at up to 100mbps with AF Tracking
  • 10fps or 20 fps electronic shutter shooting with AF/AE Tracking for up to 241 RAW/ 362 JPEG images
  • Fast Hybrid 4D AF system with 693-Point PDAF System with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second, for lenses f/11 and brighter
    • 25% faster performance when compared with α7R II
    • perhaps the best AF-C amongst mirrorless cameras
    • vastly improved Eye AF in continuous AF even at 20fps and almost anywhere on the screen - class leading performance!
    • expand flexible spot mode, designed for moving subjects, which can automatically shift focus to one of eight adjacent autofocus points when tracking a subject
    • when using APS-C size lens, image size is 10mp and can use 221 PDAF points and 25 CDAF points
  • 5EV 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
    • half press of the shutter button, the effect of the image stabilization can be monitored in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen
  • Mag. Alloy Body, PC-Sync port, Dual SD Card Slots (one for UHS-II media), Ethernet port for file transfer
  • multi-selector joystick on the back of the camera
  • separate drive mode and focus mode dials
  • new “AF ON” button that can be pressed to activate autofocus directly when shooting still images or movies
  • new “AF Area Registration”, which allows frequently used focus area to be memorized and recalled via custom button assignments
  • new ability to assign specific settings (exposure, shutter speed, drive mode, etc) to a custom button to be instantly recalled when needed
  • camera can memorize and automatically recall the last focus point used in a vertical or horizontal orientation as well
  • “My Menu” feature is available, allowing up to 30 menu items to be registered in a custom menu for instant recall when needed
  • all-new Sony battery (model NP-FZ100) giving double the battery life of a7R II - rated at 480 shots EVF or 650 shots LCD
  • 673 g / approx. 1 lb 7.7 oz incl. battery, SD card
  • 126.9mm x 95.6mm x 63.0mm/5 x 3 7/8 x 2 1/2 inches
  • $US4500
  • optional:
    • VG-C3EM Vertical Grip;
    • NPA-MQZ1K Multi-Battery Adaptor Kit;
    • GP-X1EM Grip Extension;
    • BC-QZ1 Battery Charger

some gotchas and issues

  • continuous shooting mode results in only 12bit files with reduced dynamic range but still in a large 14 bit file
    • dynamic range at base ISO 100 is not as good as the Sony a7R II full frame mirrorless camera, and it is not iso-invariant, meaning that when shooting in low light you do need to bump up the ISO rather than shoot at ISO then increase shadows in post 1)
  • to realise the 20fps AF-C capability you will need to shoot with dedicated lenses designed and optimised for the Sony
    • Canon EF lenses won't cut it, and even Sony Alpha lenses will only achieve 10fps
  • the longest focal length Sony E mount lens capable of 20fps AF-C is the new Sony 100-400mm f/4.6-5.6 and when coupled with the 1.4x converter you get 560mm f/8 so no real advantage over the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II with 300mm f/4 which gets you to 600mm f/4 at 2EV better ISO and with 6.5EV IS at 18fps with AF-C, although you do get to zoom but then it is likely the zoom plus TC will result in less sharp images than the Olympus 300mm prime which is amazingly sharp.
  • if you want to shoot flash, you must use mechanical shutter and thus restricted to only 5fps burst - half what you can achieve with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II with flash and still have AF-C, but if you don't need AF-C, the Olympus will shoot mechanical shutter at 15fps
  • the electronic shutter speed of 1/32,000th second is only available in S or M exposure modes
  • IS unlikely to be as effective as in the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II
  • no 60fps burst mode as with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II
  • no Pro-Capture mode as with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II
  • apparently touch AF does not trigger shutter automatically as can be configured on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II
  • Eye AF cannot be configured to select closest eye as on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II
  • Eye AF cannot be configured to target the subject you want when there are multiple faces
  • no in-camera user configurable focus limiter range to ensure out of range areas are ignored as on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II
  • no long exposure timed modes as on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II such as Live Composite
  • weathersealing unlikely to be as good as the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II - you may want to add some protection in a downpour, and don't pour water on it to clean it!
  • you will struggle to get this into a jacket pocket
  • no support for XQD cards such as on the Nikon D500 and D5
  • video issues:
    • at 4K 30p the image area is cropped (no crop at 4K 24/25p, nor at 1080HD 120p)
    • no S-Log
    • no Picture Profiles as per a7 series

Previews and Reviews

photo/sonya9.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/18 13:01 by gary1