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Cameras - Reviews - March 5, 2019

Sony Alpha a9

Sony Alpha a9

The A99 II still wins for outright resolution – 42MP versus the A9’s 24MP, but the A9 thrashes it with its 20fps continuous shooting speed (with AE and AF tracking), massive buffer capacity (362 JPEGs, 241 raw files) and an on-sensor autofocus system with no fewer than 693 AF points covering 93% of the image area.

The A9 is an out-and-out action specialist, sacrificing resolution for speed in the same way as the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and the Nikon D5. These two professional DSLR workhorses have had the world of pro sports photography to themselves for some time now. They may not have been particularly rattled by the A99 II, but the A9 is different.

This is not just because of its speed and the sophistication of its autofocus system. It’s different because when it’s running at 20 frames per second it’s completely silent. In theory, the A9 could let you shoot at sporting events, musical performances and speeches where any other camera would be banned.

The Sony Alpha A9 has quite a job on its hands. While the likes of Fujifilm’s X-T2 and Sony’s own Alpha A7R II have tempted some pros, particularly studio and landscape photographers, to trade-in their DSLR kit, it’s been a harder challenge to get sports and action photographers to give up their Canon and Nikon gear.

Sony Alpha a7R III Specifications

Price
MSRP$4500/£4500
Body type
Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors28 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorBIONZ X
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, ISO 100-51200 (expands to 50-204800)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)204800
White balance presets10
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes5-axis
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsExtra fine, fine, standard
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.31)
  • Raw (Sony ARW)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (2x)
Number of focus points693
Lens mountSony E-Mount Lenses
Focal length multiplier1×
Screen / viewfinder
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
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/32000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
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
Flash X sync speed1/250 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous (H/M/L)
  • Self-timer
  • Bracketing (AE, WB, DRO)
Continuous drive20.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 5, 10 secs + continuous, 3 or 5 frames)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Highlight-weighted
  • Average
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±6 (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)
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
Modes
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 16 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 16 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1280 x 720 @ 30p / 6 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1280 x 720 @ 25p / 6 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesDual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots (One of which UHS-II compatible)
Connectivity
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + NFC + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (Wired or wireless)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-FZ100
Battery Life (CIPA)650
Weight (inc. batteries)673 g (1.48 lb / 23.74 oz)
Dimensions127 x 96 x 63 mm (5 x 3.78 x 2.48)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone

Sony Alpha a9 Price & Deals

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