Every one in a while, there is a significant leap in technology which results in a new level of performance. Last month, after offering 6 variations of A7 full-frame mirrorless cameras, Sony jumped forward with their new A9. Externally looking similar to the highly successful A7 series, the A9 incorporates all-new technology which delivers unprecedented capabilities.
The Sony A9 is a full-frame E-mount mirrorless digital camera with the world’s first Full-Frame Stacked CMOS-Sensor. This technology developed by Sony and first appearing on smaller 1″ sensors of Premium fixed-lens digital cameras, is significantly faster than traditional High-Speed CMOS sensors. It works by building layers of silicon to include memory with direct access to the imaging layer of the sensor. All layers are CMOS which allows extremely fast read-out speeds. Using such speed, the A9 is capable of continuously measuring exposure, focus and provided a Live-View of the scene without any blackout.
The key specifications of the Sony A9 are a 24 megapixels CMOS sensor with standard ISO 100-51,200 sensitivity range, expandable to a very impressive 50-2,048,00. Not only is the sensor ultra-sensitive to low-light, it is also mounted on a 5-axis image-stabilization system rated at 5-stops of stabilization, currently the maximum achieved by any camera. The Full-Frame Stacked CMOS Sensor in this mirrorless also features a whopping 693 Phase-Detection AF-points. This combines with the ultra-fast read-out to equally fast autofocus speeds.
The A9 features a whole new hybrid shutter which features all-electronic speeds of up to 1/32000s or mechanical speeds up to 1/4000s. This allows completely quiet and vibration-free operation. With both a fast shutter and read-out, this full-frame digital camera can capture full-resolution images at 20 FPS for up to 362 JPEG images or 241 RAW files, making it more suitable for high-speed action photography than any mirrorless camera.
Clearly aimed at professionals, the A9 is designed for efficient use in any conditions. Its magnesium-alloy body is weatherproof and offers a huge number of controls, including triple control-dials plus a dedicated EC dial, Mode-Dial, Drive-Mode dial, Focus-Mode dial and Focus-Selection joystick. Controls are highly customizable and made for easy of use while reducing the potential of accidental changes.
The back of the A9 offers a class-leading built-in 0.5″ EVF with an incredible 3.6 megapixels, 0.78X magnification and 100% coverage. All this without showing any black-out during shooting as it refreshes at 60 Hz without interruption. There is also a 1.4 megapixels 3″ Touchsreen LCD with tilting mechanism.
There are plenty of video features in this flagship mirrorless. It records 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS by oversampling to render very smooth video. Three codecs are supported: XAVC S, AVCHD 2 and MPEG-4. There are mini-jacks for stereo input and output, plus 4K HDMI, USB and an Ethernet port. The camera is equipped with Sony’s multi-interface Hot-Shoe plus a Sync-Port and Wired Remote support. Built-in WiFi is also included for good measure.
Reading this description, it clear that the Sony A9 is perfecting camera technology to an unprecedented level. This full-frame mirrorless camera is expected later this month for a retail price of $4500 USD. It is certainly bound to be a hot item among professionals, particularly those who have moved to mirrorless technology already, so pre-order yours from Adorama or B&H Photo to secure on of the first ones.