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Sony A9 Review

This camera changes the rules for sports photography

Sony A9 specifications

 

Sensor    24.2MP full-frame Exmor RS CMOS (35.6 x 23.8mm)

Focal length conversion on lens    1x

Memory    2 x SD card slot (1 x UHS-II, 1 x UHS-I)

Viewfinder    OLED EVF, 3,686k dots

Max video resolution    4K UHD 3,840 x 2,160

ISO range    100-51,200, expandable to 50-204,800

Autofocus    Hybrid AF, 693 phase-detection AF points, 25 contrast AF

Max burst rate    20fps (electronic shutter), 5fps (mechanical shutter)

Screen    Tilting 3-inch touchscreen, 1,440k dots

Shutter speeds    30-1/8,000 sec, Bulb, 30-1/32,000 sec (electronic)

Weight    673g (body only, with battery and memory card)

Dimensions    127 x 96 x 63mm

Power supply    NP-FZ100 lithium-ion battery (supplied)

Lab results

We use Imatest and DxO Analyzer hardware and software to test cameras for their colour accuracy (colour error) signal to noise ratio (the amount of noise in the images) and dynamic range (their ability to capture detail in very bright and dark areas). We also pick three rival cameras to test them against. 

Colour error

We pitched the Sony Alpha 9 against three high-speed pro rivals: the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, the Nikon D5 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. In the colour error test, the Alpha 9 was just beaten by the Canon.

Signal to noise ratio

These cameras are evenly matched here. Again, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II was a narrow winner, while the Olympus and its smaller sensor lagged a little behind.

Dynamic range

Despite its newer sensor, the A9 does not have the best dynamic range here. At low or medium ISO settings, both the Canon and the Olympus are a tad better.