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pault

Supercamera from Sony

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Posted (edited)

https://m.dpreview.com/news/1308959313/the-sony-a9-is-a-24mp-sports-shooting-powerhouse

 

Not a supercamera I am sure, but it is a super-looking camera spec-wise. This is not an attempt at a review - just a gushing, unfiltered response to the news.

 

Sony just announced its long-awaited A9 camera and it is a real surprise because it is totally a sports and wildlife camera. With caveats, basic specs are things like 24mp, 20fps, best-ever high ISO performance, an AF points covering 85% of the sensor, and a buffer that;ll hold 240+ RAW shots. And your non-shooting partner probably won't even ask how much it cost, it is so small and apparently inoffensive.. not that I would ever deceive my partner in such a manner. <_<

 

Even more surprising they announced a new 100-400 lens for it that promises to match the latest Canon and Nikon models . This means that in some areas it willl effectively exceed the capacities of the Canon and Nikon models because of features that the body offers.

 

Some things that I found interesting, having followed the development of the Sony A7 series.(7 is the number Sony uses for high-level enthusiast bodies - 9 for semi-pro, although I don't think there is much "semi" about this camera, except fot the pro support if you live outside New York, LA or Tokyo). or that wildlife shooters might find intereting.

 

The 20fps has some limits, but it is not "crippled" - the camera will focus throughout and is available in most modes. As usual, there will presumably be a secondary setrting of 14fps or so in which absolutely all features work.

The AF system is new and improved. This has been Sony's weak spot

The sensor is a completely new design, specially designed for speed and ISO performance - so since the A7 series is already pretty close to the best available at high ISOs, I'd expect impressive performance..

The silent mode is totally silent i.e. you can shoot at high frame rate without making a sound. This will blow your guide's mind.

There is an AF joystick and various AF preset options, including a range of AF memory options

Battery life is doubled on A7 series - a major issue solved

There is no flickering (or "blackout" when shooting at high frame rates) and the electronic viewfinder is much improved (on what was already very good) so in many conditions you really will be seeing more or less exactly what you will be getting before and as you press the shutter - esssentially you are "chimping" as you shoot.

 

 

It's already a fanboy's wet dream. Could be a photographer's dream too, if it actually all works as claimed and if that photographer has a few thousand dollars to spend. Not sure that I do, but.......

Edited by pault
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Thanks @@pault - food for thought indeed.

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To correct what I wrote above it appears that the sensor design will not offer improved high ISO performance (probably weaker than the current best of the A7 series) although it will still be very good. Also the lower, "all functions" speed will be 10fps

 

The mechanical, non-silent shutter speed is 5fps. People would use that with flash and certain kinds of indoor lighting, so not all that relevant here, but worth mentioning.

 

The AF assist still won't work well (a tech problem not yet solved) but the sensitivity is increased 50% on the A7R2 so should be a much reduced issue unless you shoot in the dark without a spotlight or torch.

 

Another plus I noted is that the vertical grip is bigger so you have a real two size camera option depending on what you are doing - of course the vertical grip doesn't make the buttons bigger. That issue should be partially mitigated by the joystick addition and the ability to program the AF button on the lenses but I know some people find it a drag.

 

And the AF coverage is over 90%, so I understated that. Essentially anything escaping that net is out of frame already.

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Yes I'm intrigued by this camera as well, but--no long prime lenses available yet and since its a full frame, 400mm is only 400mm...not great for birding. Also...the price tag!!! $4500 and that's before any lenses!! Ouch!! Yes its less than a D5 but that wasn't in my sights either :rolleyes:

 

Still, it looks like an incredible camera...IF it lives up to the printed specs, that remains to be seen. And it could be a game-changer in the way we look at mirrorless.

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@janzin Yeah, although you can use any lens on one of these camera, with an adaptor, AF works less well for long teles than for shorter lenses, and apart from Sony's own lenses is dependent on thrid party manufacturers... and Sony has never competed with Nikon and Canon in the long lense department.

 

I think Sony will be focusing on the professional sports journalism market at first, prior to the 2020 Olympics in particular. I guess there will be at least one long prime in the next year or two, but it won't be with birds in mind I imagine. Few will be selling their 600/4 just yet, even if they are really keen on the Sony concept. Guess it'll be more of a second body thing at first? However, they are certainly going for it now. The new longer lenses (even 70-200) are getting in lens stabilisation as well as the in-camera stabilisation (because that works better for longer telephotos of course) and that was something that Sony never showed any interest in doing before.

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@@pault are you by any chance a Sony fan?

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@Soukous Wouldn't call myself a fan quite. A long-time user of Minolta and Sony gear I guess.. And I suppose I am among those who are fans of the potential of the mirrorless cameras and follow developments closely. Mainly because I am looking for a new camera - the whole first A7 series more or less passed me by.

 

Why, do I sound like a rabid fanboy? I am aware this is the second time I've done this with a Sony announcement, so I probably do. :D

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If you want to buy Minolta XE-1 i've still got one @@pault

 

As far as Sony goes I've never used one of their cameras, they always seem a bit expensive without the availability of good long prime lenses. Maybe that will change in time.

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If you want to buy Minolta XE-1 i've still got one @@pault

 

As far as Sony goes I've never used one of their cameras, they always seem a bit expensive without the availability of good long prime lenses. Maybe that will change in time.

 

Daddy! :D:D

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about lens availability, one interesting thing I omitted is that there is a Sigma adaptor (made by Sigma, not like the Canon adaptors) with which all of the Sigma Art and Sport lenses will work with full functionality on Sony E mount cameras. While that only gives one the 120-300/2.8 and 150-600 for now (and the adaptor will not work with a teleconverter) any future long Sigma primes should be compatible.

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If you want to buy Minolta XE-1 i've still got one @@pault

 

As far as Sony goes I've never used one of their cameras, they always seem a bit expensive without the availability of good long prime lenses. Maybe that will change in time.

 

Daddy! :D:D

 

 

 

I can add a Minolta 7000, and Sony A100 to above offer :P:P .

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Haha... I have an A100 already. A truly great camera for the price at the time.but now useful most as a paperweight I am afraid. Not yet quite old enough for nostalgia shooting although the ISO performance and focus system are straight out of the Minolta 6D.

 

You are a relatively recent convert to the "dark side" then @@xelas ?

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Hmmm, the story of me and Minolta goes way back into the time when this company was on the leading edge of the innovation in the industry by introducing the first autofocus system. I have not taken photos for many years before that because of my prescrption glasses and the split prism did not cooperate well, and all my photos were out of focus. Sony came after my wife (always on the dark side) restricted my access to her gear. As there were several A mount lenses in the drawer, it was an obvious choice. Unfortunatelly I have not used it much as the dark side bodies started to breed with astonishing speed (having 4 of them now).

A while ago when travelling in Tuscany I have met a local photographer that uses A100 and its fabulous CCD sensor but purely for artistic landscape photos. He said the colour of that sensor cannot be reproduced with modern sensors. I am sure @@PCNW would be able to squeeze the juice out of this one, but me, not. So this gem is resting in the drawer beside its much older cousin. A shame indeed.

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@@pault so are you thinking of getting one?

 

I did read the latest ISO testing but all the talk of 12 bit Vs 14bit made my head explode!

 

Really interesting technology. This and the Oly Om1 MKII and the panasonic GH5 are coming out with some amazing technology that can really do wonders.

 

It's way out my price range, but fascinating none the less.

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@@KaingU Lodge I just bought an A7rII to make sure I didn't go silly and get one. Now I'll build up the lenses and so on for the wide and macro and travel and arty stuff (slowly replacing my Sony Alpha mount gear, although I can continue to use that via adaptors with variably fair to excellent results) and stay with Canon for the wildlife for now. I could have afforded one, but I mean ONE!!! That would be it for a few years. If I didn't like it, it would bre really bad. Better to move slowly and slightly more afforadably into mini-cam territory.. :) Love it so far (since I already know all the limitations). It makes my other gear seem so "square" and fat and loud.

 

I would guess a lot of the tech will leak down to the A7 series in their nextr incarnations, making it more affordable - but I also guess that sensor isn't cheap, so not sure whether that will include the amazing buffer size.

 

@xelas Yes, the A100 really was really nice within those limitations. I can understand why somebody would want to work within them too.

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@@pault so are you thinking of getting one?

 

I did read the latest ISO testing but all the talk of 12 bit Vs 14bit made my head explode!

 

Really interesting technology. This and the Oly Om1 MKII and the panasonic GH5 are coming out with some amazing technology that can really do wonders.

 

It's way out my price range, but fascinating none the less.

 

@@KaingU Lodge , I would not be too excited about the 12 vs 14 bits. In real world, 95% of us would/will never see the difference if not in smaller size of the RAW file, and higher fps. Of course, why using something that is on paper less of a quality when you have paid for the higher?! We all have cars that can drive up to 170 km/h, and even if on the German highway (no speed limit there) I am still keeping the speed below 150 km/h. For minor loss in time I have greater benefits in lower fuel consumption and better safety. Not an exact analogy but I hope it helps.

 

Those mirrorless cameras are lighter and smaller and thus more appealing, but much of weight benefit is lost when a (long) lens is attached.

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@@KaingU Lodge I just bought an A7rII to make sure I didn't go silly and get one. Now I'll build up the lenses and so on for the wide and macro and travel and arty stuff (slowly replacing my Sony Alpha mount gear, although I can continue to use that via adaptors with variably fair to excellent results) and stay with Canon for the wildlife for now. I could have afforded one, but I mean ONE!!! That would be it for a few years. If I didn't like it, it would bre really bad. Better to move slowly and slightly more afforadably into mini-cam territory.. :) Love it so far (since I already know all the limitations). It makes my other gear seem so "square" and fat and loud.

 

I would guess a lot of the tech will leak down to the A7 series in their nextr incarnations, making it more affordable - but I also guess that sensor isn't cheap, so not sure whether that will include the amazing buffer size.

 

@xelas Yes, the A100 really was really nice within those limitations. I can understand why somebody would want to work within them too.

 

@paulkt , I have remembered that both Sony A100 and Nikon D60 are sharing the same type of 10 MP CCD sensor. Having both, Nikon is more user-friendly but Sony feels more pro :) by the approach of the buttons etc.

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@@pault - will you be using adapted canon glass on your A7RII?

 

If so I would be very interested in how you get on.

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@@pault - will you be using adapted canon glass on your A7RII?

 

If so I would be very interested in how you get on.

 

I will but not for a while I think. I got the Sony adaptor first and next will be the Sigma one - as they are the ones that give full/ almost full functionality (limited to lenses with a motor in them for Sony as otherwise they can only use phase detect focus and not the hybrid phase and contest detect of the camera). They are not cheap so it's not like you buy them for fun. I may try the Canon lenses on the Sigma one for EF mount as it apparently works quite well (but also causes occasional complete system blackouts as it is not designed for that use - just for fun. I do think a really functional Canon telephoto is some time away though, especially as they work so well on Canon bodies. If we were 10 years ago in Canon body terms, the functionality would already be competitive I guess, I even have quite limited expectations for the Sigma kenses right now. I was using a Sony wide angle zoom yesterday and it worked great (better than on my Sony A mount bodies because it is just impossible to microadjust a wide angle lens throughout the range and this one unfortunately needs microadjusment). but there were still a couple of times it did something a bit weird. Telephotos appear to be a bigger challenge - "the algorithms are more complex" or something else way beyond my understanding.

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