Sony Announces A9 "Sports" Camera

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by Ed_Ingold, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Sony announces a9 24MP 20fps high-end full-frame sports camera

    Sony announced today the new A9 "Sports" camera, optimized for high speed capture (20 fps), no-blackout viewfinder, dual memory cards and double the battery life of the A7 (new battery, not reverse compatible). The first model has a back-lighted 24 MP sensor with ISO to 204,000. The viewfinder has twice the resolution (3 MP) and twice the refresh speed (120 fps) of the A7. Autofocus has over 600 sensing points in the focal plane, and is optimized for high speed acquisition and tracking down to f/11 (in Sony, the aperture closes to the preset value once focus lock is achieved). There is a built-in LAN connection for real time uploads to a control room or studio.

    The targeted marketplace for the A9 is clearly focused on the niche long held by the flagship cameras of Nikon and Canon. It is likely that an high resolution "R" model and high ISO "S" model will follow.
  2. $4,499 on B&H
  3. Specs looking rather good; now let's see how the camera delivers in real shooting situations. It's price certainly is a lot lower than Nikon's and Canon's asking prices for their flagship cameras.

    Size is virtually identical to the A7 II series bodies, the weight increase of 75g is negligble.

    Also released: FE 100-400/4-5-5.6 GM OSS, $2500. About time Sony offered a tele option for their E-mount cameras; the lens is no smaller or lighter than their DSLR counterparts from Nikon or Canon though. To handle Nikon 80-400 on a D7200 body, I require the external battery grip; so I fully expect to need one on the A9 as well.
  4. I could have used a longer lens on a recent trip to Iceland, or at least a tele-extender. However I made good use of my long but lightweight Sony 70-200/4. I would rather have a constant f/stop lens, but f/5.6 is adequate for landscapes and such, with or without a tripod.

    A battery grip makes it easier to use a camera in the vertical orientation, but I don't find the lack of one inhibits the use of an A7 sized camera with a long lens. I have mounted my Nikon 70-200/2.8 and 300/4 on the A7, but simply balance the lens near the lens foot in my left hand while operating the camera with my right. Using a shoulder type strap like a Black Rapid makes it easy to carry a honker lens for extended periods.
  5. Also, that's 20 FPS in SILENT mode too! Eye focus is 30% faster as well. Let's not forget that articulating rear screen. Not being a sports or wildlife shooter, My A7RII will suffice for my portrait, nature and table top work, but hats off to Sony.
  6. Does anybody have guesses about the time frame for R & S releases? - The A9 looks pretty tempting so far. I can't wait to see more AF evaluation than cellphone footage of it's rear screen on Youtube.
  7. If the A9 is indeed the "lower end" of the A9/A9R/A9S trio akin to the A7/A7R/A7S, then for the R and S we might be looking at a $6K price point.

    Five things I like on the A9 body:
    1. drive and focus mode dials (more direct access than what's currently available).
    2. Dedicated AF-ON button.
    3. Joystick multi-controller.
    4. Larger battery.
    5. no viewfinder blackout
    Hope to get those in the A7 Series Mark III successor without having to spend A9 Series money.

    You're not alone on that one.

    Awfully quiet in here given what Sony just released...
  8. I think people are quiet because of the price tag. Also I think 135/2.8 for 2000€ can create a similar kind of silence.
  9. My educated guess is 6 months or less. If we look at Sony's history, the A7ii was released in November, 2014 (approximately, mine was delivered in early December), and the A7Rii was delivered in May, 2015 on pre-purchase. The A7Sii followed the R by about 6 months.

    There isn't anything about the A9 that I must have (or want) at present. The pace at which i work doesn't need 20 fps, and seldom even 5 fps. I do need more resolution than 24 MP, so we'll see what the future brings.

    On a recent trip (photo trip) I found myself switching between single-servo and bracketed exposures. A knob to accomplish that would be welcome. I would have really liked GPS input for geolocation for an area which I had never visited and couldn't identify or pronounce the place names. The most interesting scenery was seldom marked on a map. I did, however, have a local SIM card, which provided me with consistent service even in the boonies. Shooting to fill a 64 GB card every 12 hour day (= 770 exposures), I never needed more than two battery changes.
  10. Why? Price includes the usual $600 premium for the ZEISS label. And surely, APO warrants another premium on top of that.
  11. Camera looks great. But who really wants to spend this money on a camera like this? It's a nice camera, but not for the masses, even for the masses here on Pnet. I suspect even with the higher resolution A9r - will anyone here really need it over the current 42 MP A7IIr? What real life advantage will it bring? This probably accounts for the silence. Specification fatigue. I say this as someone who spent too much on a Canon 5DIV just because I could.
  12. Zeiss isn't the source of the premium; their 135/2 Apo Sonnar for the F mount is one stop faster and yet less expensive than the Batis. Nikon's 105/1,4 is two stops faster, has autofocus and costs about the same as the 135/2.8 Batis, and close to apochromatic as are the Zeiss. Sony also prices some of their E mount lenses high. Neither Sony nor Zeiss exist in a vacuum outside of competitors.
  13. My reply was strictly "tongue in cheek". Obviously, high premiums are firmly the purview of Leica ;-)

    B&H has the "old-style" Apo Sonnar at a $623 instant savings for $1499 but the Milvus 135/2 is $2199. Still doesn't justify the Batis price though.

    They sure do.

    As far as E-mount is concerned, they pretty much do at this point. Some Canon-mount Sigma lenses can be adapted via the MC-11 adapter but to me that's a stop gap solution far from ideal. Other than that, third parties haven't really taken to the E/FE-mount yet.
  14. In addition to Sony and Zeiss, Voigtlander and Samyang make native E-mount lenses, and probably others as well. The E-mount is gaining favor for Super-35 video cameras as well. The fact that Zeiss has invested heavily in this format is a testament to their confidence that it will endure in the future.

    Some people choose lenses for their individual characteristics. Zeiss, on the other hand, takes the opposite approach. Lenses in a given series, such as Loxia, Batis, Milvus and Otus, are designed to have consistent color and rendition between the various focal lengths. Premium lenses, designed to provide resolution and rendition commensurate with high resolution sensors, are going to be expensive by DSLR standards. They provide exceptional performance even when wide open, rarely found in DSLR lenses. In fairness, few DSLRs exceed 24 MP resolution, and the flagship cameras, designed for action sports, top out at 20 MP. The bar for their lenses is a lot lower than for Sony.

    Sony has several lenses in common focal lengths for $500 or so. You can also use existing DSLR and RF lenses with adapters. That flexibility is one of the selling points for Sony mirrorless cameras. Some of these lenses are very good, but on the whole, you sacrifice performance by going cheap.
  15. Lenses in a given series, such as Loxia, Batis, Milvus and Otus, are designed to have consistent color and rendition between the various focal lengths

    Does this mean that Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Fuji, etc. don't too? I had no idea that Zeiss (and presumably Leica) were the only ones aware of such things. Those Germans sure are clever and thank goodness Sony are talking to them and not to some of those other, second rate, lens makers.
  16. Unless I'm not interpreting this right, I don't see Fujinon lenses grouped in association with Canon, Nikon, Pentax as second rate lens makers. In fact it is my experience that the best Fujinon lenses are the best of the best. Where this gets confusing is that Fuji, had they entered the full frame realm, there would be a more clear, or easier perception of how to make decisions on lens choice. I agree with Ed that its surely obvious that lens makers in mirrorless have been pulling out all the stops, no pun intended, to provide the best of imagery in this category.
  17. aiveThere is nothing slow about Sony auto focus if used correctly. It is as fast in that regard as any Nikon camera I've owned, including a D3. Edward.

    A post from Edward on the Leica forum. Obviously Sony disagreed hence their new camera. Seems a well thought out camera but how does it feel in your hand? Has it that instinct feel of a Nikon or Canon...or, a little pretend camera?

    "Unless I'm not interpreting this right, I don't see Fujinon lenses grouped in association with Canon, Nikon, Pentax as second rate lens makers. In fact it is my experience that the best Fujinon lenses are the best of the best".Donbright.

    The Fujinon are among the best of the best and in the real world Sony struggle to match them.

    "Where this gets confusing is that Fuji, had they entered the full frame realm, there would be a more clear, or easier perception of how to make decisions on lens choice" Donbtight.

    Don, sorry to say but you are lost in the marketing hype of the so called full frame hype nonesense...ask youeseld two large are you going to print and are you a pixel peeper. In the real world you would not have a clue what sensor camera took what.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  18. In the real world you would not have a clue what size sensor camera took what.

    And that has been proved time and time again by the most respected web sites.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  19. Maybe it's because:

    A. PN itself is quiet, or

    B. We're waiting for thorough opinions by people like Steve Huff etc.

    Sadly, I think it's more A than B.

    BTW I tend to prefer smaller sensors. Digital photography has allowed us to get great results with smaller sensors and therefore smaller lenses. Imagine the next A6000 series body with 25fps unlimited RAW capability. A true hybrid camera that's affordable (the only camera that can give high res RAW files in silence at a high frame rate is something like a RED Epic or Weapon).

    BTW Fujinon cinema zooms are quite amazing, according to those who use them.

    PS There is lots of underrated equipment out there. The trick is to find it before it becomes 'recognized'. Especially relevant to CSC (mirrorless) users are underappreciated lenses.
  20. In the Leica forum, and other posts, I make it clear that single-servo focusing is as fast in a Sony as in a Nikon. The new A9 addresses continuous focusing, and in particular, subject tracking. This is one of the areas in which a top of the line DSLR surpasses the Sony A7xxx, but challenged by the A9.

    There are many advantages, both theoretical and practical, to a full-frame sensor over APS-C or 4/3. Whether they are obvious in a print or image is subject to other limitations. Shooting using the 1/F rule, without image stabilization or a tripod, is effectively limited to about 6 MP performance. Action sports images are usually printed 4 columns (~6") or less at 80 dpi, for which 6 MP is more than enough. It is also easier to design wide angle lenses for FF sensors, without resorting to an extreme inverse-telephoto model.

    I'm amused by the assertion that a Sony A7 is a "pretend" camera from someone who uses an even smaller Fuji mirrorless camera. If the tool does its intended job, it is the right tool. The little Fuji is an excellent camera, but not a good fit for me.

    On a recent "photo" vacation the A7Rii was an effective choice of tools. With in-body image stabilization I could shoot at high resolution without using a tripod, even bracketed exposures and for stitched panoramas. Twilight shots (which lasts a long time at 65 degrees latitude) came off without a hitch.

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