Today DxOMark published surprising rating of the the Sony Alpha A9 II that managed to beat its predecessor while using the very same sensor! The original A9 brought high-speed capabilities to mirrorless cameras that surpass what is possible for action-oriented DSLRs. Last fall, Sony released an update A9 II that is designed to improve workflow while being built on the same imaging pipeline as far as everyone knows.
According to the press release from DxOMark today, the Sony Alpha A9 II gets a score of 93 while its predecessor was ranked at 92. The rating for the second-generation model breaks down into a bit-depth of 25, a dynamic-range of 14 EV and sport score of 3434. The two A9 places 21st and 22nd, respectively, among full-frame digital cameras. Interestingly, all better-performing cameras feature Sony sensors while the highest-ranking Canon is quite a bit below with a score of 89.
While the difference in bit-depth is 0.1 and less than 100 for sports, the most interesting news is that the Sony A9 II manages to capture 0.7-stops more dynamic-range! Although the sensor is the same, it is likely that improvement in manufacturing technology lowered read-noise. Curiously though, gain magnifies noise more than before since the High-ISO score of the A9 II is lower than its predecessor.
The bottom line though is that these results are sufficiently close that there is no need upgrade from one to the next but the Sony Alpha A9 II remains an excellent performer.