Sony a9 II Mirrorless Camera Review

The Sony a9 II is the second generation of speed, building on the excellent feature set of its predecessor by adding improved connectivity, a streamlined body design, and even faster performance. Utilizing the tried-and-true Exmor RS BSI stacked CMOS sensor and an upgraded BIONZ X engine, the a9 II offers very rapid and responsive performance.

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a9 II specifications Shooting at up to 20 frames per second with a quiet electronic shutter or up to 10 frames per second with a mechanical shutter is supported, and the camera has a wide sensitivity range that extends up to an increased ISO 204800 if desired.

An autofocus system with 693 points has been included in the sensor’s architecture, which provides intelligent subject tracking as well as Real-time Eye AF, which ensures vital focus on moving subjects when shooting video. In addition to shooting at 20 frames per second, the BIONZ X can execute up to 60 AF/AE operations per second, allowing for more consistent results in rapidly changing settings.

In addition to still images, UHD 4K video recording at up to 30 frames per second is enabled, as is Quick and Slow Motion recording. Additional picture stabilization options include 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE sensor-shift image stabilization, which may reduce the appearance of camera shaking by up to 5.5 stops.

In addition to enhanced imaging capabilities, the a9 II has received a significant physical redesign that includes a more ergonomic body form, increased weather sealing, and enhanced connectivity. A 3.69m-dot OLED EVF delivers a bright, clear, eye-level viewing means that is free of blackouts, allowing photographers to shoot at high continuous rates while using the camera.

The rear 3.0 is a 3.0 “Furthermore, the 1.44m-dot tilting LCD includes a touchscreen interface, allowing users simple control over shooting settings and video playback. Flexible file storage is made possible by the inclusion of two UHS-II SD memory card slots, and the a9 II is equipped with an enhanced 1000BASE-T Ethernet connector for quicker wired LAN sharing and remote camera control.

Wireless sharing and remote camera control are made possible by the integration of 5.0 GHz wireless sharing and Bluetooth technology. Additional to this, Voice Memos allows you to create audio snippets of up to 60 seconds in length to go along with each photo. These audio clips may then be automatically translated to text using the Transfer & Tagging app add-on and then incorporated into file metadata.

Exmor RS BSI Stacked CMOS Sensor with BIONZ X Image Processor for 24.2MP resolution.

The a9 II is designed for speed, and it does it by combining a 24.2MP Exmor RS BSI stacked CMOS sensor with an upgraded BIONZ X image processor, which results in an extremely speedy and responsive shooting experience.

Continuous shooting at up to 20 frames per second is feasible when using an electronic shutter, and 10 frames per second are possible while using a mechanical shutter. The sensor’s back-illuminated architecture additionally provides high sensitivity to an extended ISO 204800 while also reducing noise, resulting in crisp image clarity in a range of lighting environments.

Additional advantages of shooting in 14-bit uncompressed raw files include improved color accuracy and increased post-production flexibility, among other things.

Also working in conjunction with a high-speed front-end LSI, the BIONZ X processor allows for speedier processing times while also providing an extended dynamic range along with a smooth tone rendition. As a result of the fast recording capabilities, an equally quick AF/AE metering system has been developed, which operates at 60 times per second to continually review and evaluate and evaluate the scene in order to lock onto and follow moving subjects.

Additionally, automatic anti-flicker photography identifies and timing the shutter motion to reduce the flicker effect, resulting in more consistent results while photographing still photographs. Aside from that, the usage of an electronic shutter allows for completely blackout-free monitoring of moving subjects through the electronic viewfinder, which allows for more precise compositions of moving subjects.

A system with Hybrid AF with Quick Response Time

A Fast Hybrid AF system with 693 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection regions, which covers 93 percent of the picture area, allows for rapid and precise focusing in a variety of lighting circumstances with sensitivity down to -3 EV and is capable of shooting in low light.

With the high density of focusing points provided by this hybrid AF technology, High-density Tracking AF Technology is enabled, which is capable of tracking moving subjects in a range of lighting situations. Updated AF algorithms also profit from the ability to retain critical focus on subjects that move irregularly or unexpectedly.

Additionally, the use of phase-detection points permits the use of A-mount lenses with full continuous AF/AE tracking compatibility when using the optional LA-EA3 or LA-EA1 lens mount adapters, which are available separately.

For improved accuracy, the apt focus system is also capable of a variety of focusing functions. These include Lock-on AF, which maintains focus on moving subjects throughout the use of a configurable frame that is placed over the desired moving subject; and Expand Flexible Spot, which employs neighboring focus points to maintain focus on moving subjects even if the originally selected point loses focus.

When working in Focus Priority mode, the color of the focus frame may be selected between white and red, and AF tracking is feasible at apertures less than f/16 with certain lenses when working in Focus Priority mode. Additionally, Eye AF, which can be used to focus on identified human subjects’ eyes for portraiture, is available in both AF-S and AF-C modes and can be used for both stills and video.

It is accessible in both stills and video modes. When photographing animal subjects, eye AF may be utilized in any focusing mode and with any focusing mode when taking stills. When focusing on minute subject details, autofocus can be utilized in concert with the Focus Magnifier feature to achieve critical focus on the topic at hand.

It is also possible to utilize the back touchscreen for Touch Focus control, and a Touchpad Focus Control mode allows you to operate the rear touchscreen in an easy manner while keeping your gaze fixed on the viewfinder. Using AF-C mode, the focus point may also be adjusted while the shutter button is half-pressed, making it easier to swiftly alter focus without losing sight of the action.

Design of the Body

  • One of the camera’s highlights is a Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF with a 3.69 million-dot resolution and 0.78x magnification that provides bright, clear viewing in rich detail. A dedicated High-Quality setting allows for 120 frames per second refresh rate for especially smooth playback of moving subjects.
  • Additionally, a fluorine coating has been put on the outermost viewfinder element in order to improve cleaning performance.
  • In addition to the EVF, a 3.0 is included “The camera may also be equipped with a back LCD with 1.44 million dots and a touch screen interface for intuitive operation and focusing adjustment. In addition, the screen may be tilted upward and downward to accommodate working at high and low angles.
  • The chassis is made of magnesium alloy, which provides stiffness, durability, and stability while staying lightweight. It has also been enhanced to help support heavier lenses, and the grip hardness has been increased to allow for more comfortable hand-holding when shooting with a tripod.
  • Extreme weather sealing, including improved sealing around the battery cover, terminal cover, and chassis joints, has been implemented to keep dust and moisture out and to ensure dependable operation even in the most adverse weather situations.
  • The a9 II’s battery life is rated at about 500 shots per charge with the electronic viewfinder and 690 shots per charge with the rear LCD, using the same NP-FZ100 battery as its predecessor.
  • Dual SD memory card slots allow for more flexible file storing and processing and may be configured to divide raw and JPEG files, as well as to record overflow data when the card is full. Both of the card slots have been certified to accept UHS-II memory cards, which allow for quicker data transmission.
  • There is now an additional USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port, in addition to a micro-USB port, to allow for speedier and more reliable tethering capabilities. The USB Type-C connection enables the camera to be charged from the host power source while it is attached to the host power source.
  • Wired flash sync with strobe packs or wireless radio remotes is made possible via an integrated PC sync terminal.
  • The shutter design has been tested for 500,000 actuations to ensure it is long-lasting.
  • The updated Multi-Interface Shoe now allows functioning with the optional ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or XLR-K3M XLR Adapter Kit, which delivers enhanced, clear audio recording sound by providing a digital audio signal to the camera, rather than an analog signal, as contrasted to the previous version.
  • An additional feature of the a9 II is a 3.5mm microphone input connection, which allows it to be used with external microphones.
  • Compatible with the optional VG-C4EM Vertical Grip (sold separately).
  • Connectivity
  • In addition, the a9 II has built-in Wi-Fi, which allows it to rapidly transmit images to mobile devices for direct sharing online. The camera also has compatibility for wireless tethered shooting on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
  • Near Field Communication (NFC) is also enabled, allowing for a one-touch connection between the camera and compatible mobile devices without the need for any complicated set-up. If a mobile device is connected to the camera, it may also display a live view image on its screen and control the camera’s shutter remotely.
  • The use of a Bluetooth connection enables the capture of location data.

A 1000BASE-T Ethernet port has been added to the integrated Ethernet port, allowing for faster wired LAN sharing and remote operation.

As a result of the improvements, the Remote Camera Tool 2.1 software now offers decreased release time lag and live view delays, as well as remote SD card formatting, FTP server switching, and changes to the still picture storage destination while operating over a wired LAN connection. Meanwhile, you may continue to shoot while your network transfers are taking place through wired or wireless connections.

It is now possible to use the a9 II for PC Remote shooting via the Wi-Fi connection, as well as shooting while connected to a computer using the wired USB Type-C interface. Even when the camera is not in use, an enhanced data transfer control makes it possible to transmit files from an SD card via Wi-Fi using the Imaging Edge Mobile app, even when the camera is turned off.

Transfer & Tagging is an add-on tool that allows you to transmit FTP configuration parameters from your mobile device to the camera, upload data to an FTP server with attached metadata, and do automated voice-to-text translation all from your mobile device.

In combination with still photographs, Voice Memos may be produced, and they allow for the attachment of voice recordings of up to 60 seconds in length to individual images. These notes, which are saved as WAV audio files, may be added to files and played back while the photographs are being analyzed.

The Transfer & Tagging add-on for smartphones allows you to convert audio into text, which can then be placed in the image’s metadata either automatically or manually, using the audio as a source.

FTP settings may be saved and kept on an SD card in batches of up to ten, or they can be saved in batches of up to twenty using the Imaging Edge Mobile app.

UHD 4K video recording in the XAVC S format is supported.

Because of the Super35mm recording area and effective 6K resolution, internal recording of UHD 4K movies is possible at multiple frame rates up to 30 frames per second. Oversampling provides greater detail, and full pixel readout, which is devoid of pixel binning, allows for higher quality imagery with reduced moiré and aliasing.

A significant improvement has also been made to full-frame 4K recording in order to increase quality while operating at medium to high sensitivities, allowing for full utilization of the complete sensor width. It is also possible to record in full HD 1080p at frame rates of up to 120 frames per second, and both resolutions make use of the 100 Mbps XAVC S codec, which is stored behind an MP4 wrapper with 4:2:0 sampling.

The high-speed, 120-frame-per-second recording also allows for 4x and 5x slow-motion video recording at frame rates of either 30p or 24p, depending on the frame rate setting. An optional external recorder capable of clear 4K recording with 4:2:2 sampling can be used in conjunction with the high-resolution internal recordings made possible by the uncompressed HDMI output, which is also available.

While recording 4K video, users will have the option of creating 8MP still images during playback by capturing a frame grab from the video and saving it as a separate file.

5-Axis SteadyShot Image Stabilization INSIDE the camera

The a9 II is equipped with an improved 5.5-stop effective 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization technology, which compensates for five distinct forms of camera shaking that can occur when shooting stills or video with the camera in hand.

The ability to utilize any lens, even adapted lenses, for important images without encountering blur due to camera shake is a huge advantage for photographers.

When working with longer focal lengths, the system will compensate for pitch and yaw corrections automatically. The incorporation of horizontal and vertical shift correction will, on the other hand, be beneficial for macro and high-magnification pictures.

The roll compensation will be beneficial to photographers of all shooting types. No matter if you are using third-party lenses and adapters or lenses with built-in optical stabilization, all five axes of stabilization will always be active and working properly.

Additional Camera Functions

  • The ability to save and load camera settings is available both in-camera and on an SD card, allowing you to use the same shooting settings across numerous camera bodies.
  • The customizable Fn button may be configured to do different actions depending on whether you are working in stills or video mode.
  • A Rating tool allows you to apply star ratings to photographs in-camera, ranging from 1 to 5, to make editing and sorting easier at home during post-production.
  • When used in multi-segment, center-weighted, or spot metering modes, an innovative 1200-zone evaluative exposure metering sensor produces consistent and precise results.
  • With the Highlight and Average metering modes, you can avoid blown-out highlights and achieve consistent auto-exposure, which are both beneficial.

Sony a9 II Specs

Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors28 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm)
Sensor typeStacked CMOS
ProcessorBIONZ X
ISOAuto, ISO 100-51200 (expands to 50-204800)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)204800
White balance presets9
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes5-axis
CIPA image stabilization rating5.5 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsExtra fine, fine, standard
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomYes (2x)
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points693
Lens mountSony E
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,440,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.78×
Viewfinder resolution3,686,400
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/32000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject / scene modesNo
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)
Flash modesFlash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Red-eye reduction, Wireless, Hi-speed sync
Continuous drive20.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 5, 10 secs + continuous, 3 or 5 frames)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weightedAverageSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames, H/L selectable)
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 50i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 50i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 16 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 16 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1280 x 720 @ 30p / 6 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1280 x 720 @ 25p / 6 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
Storage typesDual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots (UHS-II compatible)
USBUSB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
Wireless notes802.11ac + NFC + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (Wired or wireless)
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-FZ100
Battery Life (CIPA)690
Weight (inc. batteries)678 g (1.49 lb / 23.92 oz)
Dimensions129 x 96 x 76 mm (5.08 x 3.78 x 2.99″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes

Sony a9 II Price