If you want an all-around full-frame mirrorless camera in the smallest package possible, you go for the Sony A7 series. But what if you need more speed — something really fast? You’d have to save up a lot, because the A9 is the next level, but it comes at a heavy cost.
Beginning July 1, Sony Philippines is offering its latest mirrorless camera, the A9, for — get this — PhP 239,999! That’s just a little over the base price of $4,500 in the US. But what sort of technical wizardry justifies such a price tag?
Any serious photographer must already be familiar with the power backing this beast and can stop reading here, but for the less informed, get ready for a large dose of numbers.
The A9 prides itself in having the first full-frame stacked CMOS image sensor. Already confused? Let me explain: By having additional layers of circuitry on the sensor, the A9 can handle image processing and delivery to the memory much faster. It basically allows the system to skip steps in getting the photos to your display.
This leads to a blistering burst of 20 frames per second (FPS) while still being able to autofocus. That’s just four FPS short of cinema-level videos (24fps), so it’s almost like shooting a movie with each frame at a full resolution of 24.2 megapixels! Process that for a moment with your non-stacked brain.
And since this is a mirrorless camera as clearly shown in the photo above, there’s no mirror slapping involved like on a traditional DSLR, meaning there are no distracting and potentially image-ruining vibrations to endure while shooting at max speed.
Sony’s excellent 5-axis image stabilization is once again built in, just in case your hands are too unworthy to handle this monster. And if you’re still unconvinced to splurge on an A9, realize that there’s a grand total of 693 autofocus points covering a remarkable 93 percent of the viewfinder. No cat, dog, or unruly child is going to escape the A9’s sights.
If all else fails, you have an ISO range of 100 to 51200 (expandable from 50 to 204800) to play with, ensuring you’ll always have enough light entering your shots no matter how difficult the lighting situation gets.
My A7 II suddenly looks really stale, but I’m sure owners of every other camera feel the same. That’s how far mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras have come, and the A9 is leading the charge like no other.