April 26, 2017
NAB 2017

Everything You Need to Know About Sony's New a9 and Super Telephoto Lens

Will the a9 trump the a7r and a7s? 

By now, you've probably heard that Sony has made an all-new camera. Announced last week, the A9 is a step up from the A7 models, and also quite a bit more expensive—and faster. In fact, Sony boasts that it's 20x faster than its predecessors.

Sony A9

With a stacked sensor providing full pixel readout and no pixel binning across the entire width of the full-frame sensor, the 24.2mp sensor camera can shoot in still mode at a quick 20 fps in both JPEG and RAW. Even more impressive, it's the first camera in 20fps still mode to have no blackout and continuous af/ae tracking. That feature, in addition to an unprecedented 693 phase direction af points across 93% of the sensor, lets this camera track any movement across the sensor and focus the image appropriately.

Sony a9.

Along with the 5-axis stabilization, the camera has an improved 5 stops of latitude compared to the 3.5 on previous models for fast tracking and steady motion. And if all that wasn't enough, the camera captures a 6K image, oversamples it, and saves it as a 4K image, providing you with incredibly detailed photos.

Sony also improved the viewfinder, which now has 2x the resolution and clarity as previous models. There isan additional dial on the top of the camera; now, the user has one dial for drive mode one for focus mode.

To improve on storage, Sony added another SD slot. Now, the user can assign JPEGs to one card RAW to the other, or proxies to lost A and 4K video to slot B. The camera can shoot in 100% silent mode, so the user can get any photo in any environment.

Tech Specs

  • 24.2MP Full-Frame Stacked CMOS sensor (world’s first)
  • Blackout-free burst rate up to 20fps
  • Burst rate up to 241 RAW and 362 JPEG continuous images
  • Silent Vibration-Free shooting
  • Top shutter speed 1/32,000 sec
  • ISO 100-51,200, expandable to 204,800
  • 693-point focal plane phase detect AF w/60 AF/AE calculations/sec
  • Ethernet Port
  • Dual SD Card Slots
  • 5-axis in-body stabilization

The A9 will be shipped late may and ready for market early June for a price of $4,500.

Super Telephoto Lens

Sony also showed us the A9's new partner in crime, the 100-400 F4.5-5.6 G-master lens. This lens uses a dual focusing motor system to operate the front elements of the focus lens. The DDSSM, or Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave Motor, drives the heavy elements in the middle of the lens to acquire fast and accurate focus.

It has all the same features as the other G-master lenses: AF-MF switch, Optical Stabilization switch, and Focus Range switch. The new addition is a tension variable dial that controls how much resistance is in the focus ring. 

  • 9-blade circular aperture for pleasing bokeh
  • Optical Steady Shot image stabilization
  • Aspherical, Extra-Low Dispersion and Nano AR coatings to improve image quality
  • Dust, Moisture resistant
  • Multi-function focus hold button
  • Zoom torque adjustment ring
  • Close focus to 3.22 feet

No Film School's complete coverage of NAB 2017 is brought to you by My RØDE Reel, Vimeo 360, and Blackmagic Design.

More of No Film School's coverage from the NAB showroom floor:

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1 Comment

One of the Sony reps said that their early tests showed that the a9 may be as low light sensitive as the a7S, due to the backlit sensor. The bad news: because it's designed for photojournalists, Sony has removed all Picture Profiles, including all Log modes. There are Styles, including a Neutral setting, but no editable PPs.

April 27, 2017 at 1:48PM

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Scott Ressler
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