To comprehend the Sony A9 II, you must understand that there surely is pro shooting. Then there’s pro shooting – and the most recent Sony flagship full-frame mirrorless camera caters firmly to the latter category.
It’s not the best resolution full-frame camera you may get. Still, it’s created for speed, not a resolution, and its own functionality as a high-speed pro sports camera ensures it a location on our set of the very best full-frame mirrorless cameras you can get.
All professional picture taking has its challenges and requirements. However, regardless of how frenzied a marriage might be, it will by no means torture your camera’s autofocus just how that photographing Olympic swimmers will – and while you may want a decent burst mode to photograph a dance troupe or catwalk model, decent just doesn’t cut it if you are capturing champion kickboxers or divers.
It’s in the fire of the elite arenas that the Sony A9 II offers been forged. It may look like an incremental upgrade over its predecessor for photographers who don’t shoot fast actions professionally. Nevertheless, subject to a specialist environment’s rigors, the A9 II proves precisely how instrumental its upgrades are.
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Sony A9 II: Price
Sony a9 II: Key Features
The camera uses the same 24.2MP sensor and Bionz X processor as the initial Sony A9, yielding an extraordinary 20fps continuous shooting output with the digital shutter, 14-bit RAW result, 4K video up to 30fps and 1080p up to 120fps, 5-axis in-body image stabilization, and an extraordinary autofocus system which makes up to 60 AF calculations per second.
For informal observers, the elevated mechanical shooting burst of 10 fps (up from 5 on the original) might seem like the perhaps most obvious improvement on the Sony A9 II, but if anything it is the least important thing here.
Let’s focus on that brand-new mechanical shutter (right now rated to over 500,000 actuation); because of a fast-response coreless engine, it provides ultra-low vibration, which combined with new chassis dampers and refinements to the IBIS algorithm results in improved stabilization of 5.5 stops.
This also facilitates continuous shooting using exterior flash, and constant shooting today features anti-flicker with AF/AE monitoring. And the autofocus has also received a substantial improvement to its algorithm, thanks to further advancement on the Bionz X processor chip.
The AF provides been performance-tuned to even more reliably monitor fast, erratically moving topics – perfect for subjects making acceleration changes, such as for example triple-jumpers, or quick adjustments of the path like footballers shimmying to get rid of defenders.
It isn’t just autofocus velocity and continuous shooting rate that is improved, although; crucially for experts, transfer acceleration has been improved significantly. To non-pros this might look like nothing at all significant but when the purpose of agency-level sports activities shooting is about who can send the greatest image fastest, that is key crucial for workflows.
The ethernet slot is ten occasions faster compared to the A9, now supporting 1000BASE-T for gigabit transfer. The Wi-Fi is also improved, both with regards to frequency (now offering 5Ghz) along with range and reliability, ideal for pros who depend on a MiFi unit no longer need to keep it unreasonably near to the camera. USB now supports 3.2 Gen 1, and you may conserve to 20 FTP settings (ideal for freelancers uploading to multiple companies), which outcomes in markedly faster document transfer.
Something else that might be completely overlooked by non-professionals may be the voice tagging facility. Definitely not a frivolous feature, this permits you to make a 60-second voice memo that is immediately transmitted with the picture data via FTP within an industry-standard format that may use every press agency program from Reuters to the Daily Mirror.
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A lot more impressively, the Transfer & Tagging function on the smartphone app can automatically convert up to 50 seconds of speech right into a text caption, and therefore the receiving party does not have to manually transcribe the explanation – this means nothing if you are an amateur, but if you’re the AP it offers you the capability to publish images almost mainly because fast as (for instance) Usain Bolt crosses the final collection at the Olympics.
Sony a9 II: Build & Handling
Sony A9 II has been significantly improved when it comes to handling and operability. Considering that sports photographers will spend at least half the entire year shooting in the chilly, the big thing is definitely that the camera may be used effectively while wearing gloves – a thing that couldn’t always be stated of its predecessor.
Crucially, size and area revisions mean that the main element controls – AF-ON, the joystick, and the shutter – sit identically in a horizontal and vertical orientation. And crucially, the vertical shutter stroke possesses the same tactility, so there is absolutely no difference in play (which, again, can be important when wearing gloves).
And a larger focus key and reshaped, retextured joystick, the form and position of the trunk dial has been altered for easier gain access to and operability, and the publicity compensation dial right now possesses a lock. The hold, in addition, has been beefed up for better buy, with more space for pinkies and increased overhang for middle fingertips.
Touch operation is currently 1.5 times quicker, and real-time touch tracking is now able to be engaged with all the viewfinder (instead of just controlling stage selection). The Recall Custom made Setting During Keep function offers been improved, helping you to quickly change your complete shooting construction by depressing a switch (for example, if you are shooting a panning shot of an F1 car and listen to a crash and have to instantly switch to shooting 1/1000 sec bursts).
The Fn button is now able to be customized for independent function in film and stills setting, and at last, you can now access your personalized My Menu options by just pressing the Menu button, to help relieve the patented pickle that’s Sony’s menu architecture.
Best of all, now you can save and bunch to 20 camera configurations – perfect for transferring your settings across multiple bodies, whether you’re unifying the configurations on all cameras in a company or applying them to mortgage cameras.
Dust and moisture level of resistance provides been improved, with the battery compartment cover and mass media slot now being dual sliding rather than simply hinged as on the Sony A9. Talking about the media slot, Sony has finally sorted it out so the top slot is Cards 1 and underneath slot is Card 2!
The A9 II uses the same electric battery as its predecessor (combined with the same dual- and quadruple-battery pack grips), though CIPA performance offers been improved to 690 photos using the LCD display and 500 with all the EVF (in comparison to 650 and 480 on the prior model).
Sony a9 II: Performance
It’s fair to state that the Sony A9 in 2019 is a completely different camera to the Sony A9 that premiered in 2017, because of the raft of firmware improvements. However, firmware only can only just boost performance so very much – at a particular point fresh hardware is necessary, and it unquestionably makes all the time difference in the Sony A9 II.
This is abundantly obvious in the autofocus. AF in the initial A9 was sufficient, and with the firmware it was great. The A9 II’s AF, however, is way better, more reliable and more instant – in nonprofessional measurements, it could only seem a little amount, but also for sports photography, it becomes a massive amount.
Photographing swimmers and viewing how quickly it’ll discover and lock onto eye demonstrated this aspect with crystal clarity – not forgetting the actual fact that real-time Attention AF is now available when shooting 4K.
When it comes to transmission, this is a totally different camera than the original thanks to things like the 1000BASE-T support. For instance, transferring a batch of 60 images took 71 secs on the A9, however, it now takes just 25 seconds on the A9 II.
Again, nonpros wouldn’t look two times at things such as the tone of voice tagging, but it’s a casino game changer for this sort of photography. The actual fact that the app also allows you to manually input captions, in addition, to use saved glossaries (to save lots of you misspelling the hard titles of European sportspeople), implies that transfer can be carried out without actually needing a computer – once again making life that considerably faster and better when looking to get a graphic to Getty faster compared to the additional 400 shooters at a meeting.
Even little points, like having the ability to change the focus body color to white or reddish, or the choice of the brand new 4:3 element ratio (much-required by photographers capturing potential magazine addresses) certainly are a big deal here. Although bigger things, like the improved IBIS and much less crunchy ISO overall performance (shooting easily up to ISO6400) are obviously much larger headline getters.
In terms of real shooting, we torture examined A9 II in a number of unique conditions. When photographing volleyball, we had been impressed by the robustness of the AF; the camera could acquire Eyesight AF on a new player from one end of the courtroom to the other.
Sony A9 II: Key specifications
- 24MP full-frame stacked sensor with 93% autofocus coverage across the frame
- 20 fps continuous shooting with full AF (electronic shutter)
- New mechanical shutter rated to 500k shots, allows for 10 fps shooting with full AF
- 5.5-stop (CIPA rated) 5-axis image stabilization
- Dual UHS-II SD card slots
- 3.69M-dot OLED viewfinder (1280 x 960 pixels) with up to 120 fps update
- 1.44M-dot rear touchscreen LCD
- Oversampled full width UHD 4K/24p video (1.24x crop for 30p); no Log option
- Gigabit ethernet, 5GHz Wi-Fi, 10 banks of FTP / camera settings
- Support for voice memos
- Battery CIPA rated to 690 shots
- 678g (24oz)
Sony a9 II: What we like about Sony A99 II
- Excellent 24MP sensor with great noise performance for its class
- Truly impressive autofocus for all types of photography
- 20 fps blackout-free bursts with e-shutter, 10 fps bursts with redesigned mech. shutter
- Mech. shutter rated to 500k shots
- JPEG engine balances noise and detail exceptionally well
- Enhanced ergonomics with better dial and button feel
- Good 4K detail capture
- Great battery life
- Dual UHS-II card slots
- Good customization options, including a ‘My Menu’
- Faster Wi-Fi, more robust FTP settings
- USB Type-C connection for file transfer, charging, and powering the camera
- Voice memo capability
Sony a9 II: What we don’t Like about Sony A99 II
- Video features and performance have fallen behind the competition
- The rear screen needs a bump in resolution
- The touch interface is lacking
- The menu system remains overwhelming
- Slight interface lag persists
- Exposure settings carry over from stills to video and back
- Some buttons (C1 and C2) are difficult to reach, awkward to use
- No in-camera Raw processing
Sony A9 II: Conclusion
The Sony A9 II may be the fastest, many ferocious full-frame sports activities camera we’ve ever utilized. Its blistering swiftness and autofocus overall performance are matched just by its phenomenal connection, which promises to be a video game changer for pro shooters.
Mainly because fast as the Sony A9 II is, nevertheless, there is, therefore, a very important factor that lets it straight down: how fast the photographer is usually… or isn’t it. This camera is currently faster Atlanta divorce attorneys conceivable method – from burst shooting to vision tracking to autofocus get and follow – however your reaction speed just can’t match the quickness of the camera.
Yes, you can shoot 20fps bursts – but only after you have reacted to what’s occurring and strike the shutter. If you are unable to anticipate a motion (and let’s encounter it; if a boxer can’t anticipate the shock ideal hook that lands on his jaw, the professional photographer does not have any chance) then you’ll get a 20fps burst of everything following the moment.
We would want to have observed Sony implement something comparable to the Pro Catch feature seen on cameras just like the Olympus OM-D E-M1X, which starts buffering 14 frames before you completely depress the shutter, so you never skip the critical moment. For all your other tech which has been included to ensure you obtain the shot, it’s a shame that the tech isn’t right here to make sure you do not miss it.
Still, that’s, even more, a feather in the cap of Olympus’ pro digital cameras than it is a genuine criticism of the A9 II. And if our most damning criticism of a camera can be that it is too fast for all of us to maintain with, surely that’s the only objective accomplished for Sony!