Sony is releasing an updated version of its popular high-speed A9 camera, now with a more durable and weatherproof build than the original.
The full-frame Alpha A9 camera became an instant hit with photographers courtesy of its high-end specs. It featured a 24.2-megapixel Exmor RS CMOS sensor that was capable of shooting up to 241 raw, full-frame photographs at an impressive 20 frames per second. It also boasted a 693-point focal plane phase detection autofocus that could track up to 60 AF/AE calculations.
However, some users often complained about how the A9 was too difficult to handle and not as durable as they would like. These were just some of the things that Sony tried to address with the Mark II model.
High-Speed Photo Capture
The new A9 II camera retains much of the original's ultra-fast processing since it uses the same Exmor RS CMOS sensor. It can easily take photos at 10 fps using its mechanical shutter, as well as blackout-free images at 20 fps using its electronic shutter. The speed of its electronic shutter is twice as fast as Sony's other offering, the Alpha A7R IV.
The Mark II also has the same 693 phase-detection autofocus, which had been one of the signature features of the earlier version.
Sony has fitted the new camera with its Bionz X processor and AI technology that was first seen on the A6400. This allows the camera to have up to 60 continuous AF and AE calculations per second. The chip also improves the onboard face-, eye- and animal-detect systems, making them faster and more accurate than before.
The A9 II has a similar 5-axis in-body stabilization system to the A7R IV, which provides a shake reduction yield of up to 5.5 stops. It also has pretty much the same control layout but with better joystick and dials as its Sony cousin.
However, the Mark II ditches the 5.76-million-dot UXGA OLED viewfinder featured on the A7R IV. Sony instead chose to keep the quad-VGA, 3,686K dot OLED EVF that it used for the original A9. The digital camera maker said this to allow the device to maximize its speed and retain its blackout-free shooting — traits that are an integral part of action photography.
As for video shooting, the Mark II can handle 4K using a full sensor readout, just like the original A9. However, it can only process 4K videos at an 8-bit resolution instead of the customary 10-bit as other high-end cameras on the market. It also doesn't have S-Log2 and S-Log3 options, which are present on the A7R IV.
The new camera does come with the Multi Interface Shoe, which allows Sony devices to be connected to an ECM-B1M shotgun mic or XLR-K3M XLS adapter kit for better audio.
It also has more options when it comes to connectivity, with built-in provisions for an ethernet adapter, with USB Type C 3.2, HDMI cable, and mic/headphone jacks. It supports 5GHz of Wi-Fi as well.
The Sony A9 II will hit stores in November for $4,500 per unit.