Software Version 5.0 is now available!
With the release of Sony's Software Version 5.0, the a9 receives a myriad of new features and performance upgrades. The biggest factor here is the autofocus system. The a9 now supports Sony's evolved Real-time Eye AF and tracking functionality that improves the conventional Lock-On functions. Not only has the performance of the a9'a autofocus increased significantly, but the menu has been updated with numerous quality-of-life improvements to make the autofocus system deeper and more customizable. You can read the full list of changes and download the firmware update by following this link to Sony's a9 firmware download page.
In one game-changing leap the revolutionary image sensor and high-speed processing of the α9 reaches performance levels far beyond the incremental improvements gained through decades of mechanical refinement. There is no viewfinder blackout. Continuous shooting speeds exceed those possible with mechanical shutters. Higher shutter speeds are available, and all without noise or vibration. The ability to keep an eye on moving subjects at all times leads to faultless AF and AE tracking, and the photographer’s view is consistently up-to-date with an absolute minimum of lag. In short, the digital promise has been realized at last.
World’s first Full-frame stacked CMOS sensor
From the world’s largest sensor manufacturer comes the world’s first 35mm full-frame stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor with integrated memory and includes a number of features that contribute to outstanding image quality. High sensitivity, a back-illuminated configuration, gapless on-chip lens architecture, and other Sony innovations deliver stunning images in a wide range of photographic situations. This unique 24.2 megapixel sensor, when combined with the refined BIONZ X image processing engine and front-end LSI, delivers approx. 20x faster data readout speed Sony full-frame mirrorless α7 II cameras. The result is unmatched by any DSLR or Mirrorless camera before it.
Up to 20fps Continuous Shooting
Capture fleeting moments and the highest speed subjects with incredible continuous shooting of up to 20fps at full 24.2MP resolution in RAW+JPEG with continuous AF/AE (autofocus and auto exposure) tracking and no EVF or LCD blackout. The large high speed buffer allow for up to 241 RAW images or 362 JPEG images. With camera set to “Hi” continuous shooting mode, UHS-II memory card. Sony tests, compressed RAW or JPEG respectively.
Ever since the film era, camera mechanisms have been designed with shutter and mirror mechanisms that interrupt the incoming light when creating a photographic image. High continuous shooting speeds pose even more of a problem for traditional DSLRs. It is time for a change. Even at up to 20fps continuous shooting, this isn’t an issue for the groundbreaking α9 mirrorless camera. You have a continuous, uninterrupted view of the subject with a 60 fps live-view refresh rate thanks to the Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF (Electronic Viewfinder and minimal display lag while shooting continuous bursts. Display updating will be slower at slow shutter speeds.
Silent, vibration-free anti-distortion shutter
Shooting wide open in brightly lit conditions or freezing a fast moving object in a moment without distorting the image due to slower shutter speeds is made possible with a fully electronic, high-speed, anti-distortion shutter that can achieve speeds as high as 1/32,000 sec., way beyond the limits of a mechanical system. In addition, the electronic vibration-free shutter delivers sharp images and is completely silent, without mechanical noise that can be disruptive when shooting sports or events in a quiet environment.
693 Detection AF points
In addition to industry-leading speed and innovative silent shooting, the α9 features a fast, wide and dependable 4D Focus system with the world’s most: 693 Phase Detection AF points with wide coverage over 93% of the frame. Fast Hybrid AF System has been optimized for speed, achieving approximately 25% faster AF operation than the 7R II. This focusing system ensures that even the fasting moving subjects are reliably tracked and captured across the frame – even when shooting at high 20fps.
Up to 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per sec.
The α9 never rests. It employs an ingenious blend of mirrorless construction and new speed enhancing technologies to allow autofocus and auto-exposure calculations to continue even between the frames unlike conventional cameras. Unprecedented sensor readout speed means that subject motion and exposure changes can be tracked without interruption during continuous shooting, regardless of release timing. Up to 60 calculations are made per second, providing accurate tracking of complex, erratic subject motion and brightness changes.
Enhanced BIONZ X image processing engine
The enhanced BIONZ X image processing engine incorporates a newly developed image-processing algorithm which reduces noise in the medium-to-high sensitivity range while enhancing subjective resolution. Sensitivity up to ISO 51,200 (expandable to ISO 204,800) and a wide dynamic range, plus 14-bit readout and 14-bit uncompressed RAW format, deliver clean images in almost any lighting conditions with great detail, colour and gradation.
Ethernet port for FTP file transfer
In addition to wireless LAN capability, a new Ethernet terminal for wired LAN connection allows convenient transfer of high-volume still image files to a specified FTP server where they can be viewed and managed via a local computer. A wired LAN connection provides high stability and transfer speeds for large image files, and is an ideal solution for situations where large amounts of data must be transferred quickly and reliably as in studio photography, high-profile news, sporting events and more.
5.0-step, 5-axis in-body image stabilization
The 5-axis SteadyShot in-body image stabilization unit and high-precision gyro sensors provide a 5.0-step shutter speed advantage for full-frame images. Camera shake is effectively compensated on 5 axes: pitch and yaw that have the largest overall impact on image quality; X and Y shift that is most apparent at high magnification, and roll that can ruin night shots and movies. Stabilization is applied to the live-view image, making it easier to frame fast-moving subjects. Effective stabilization is provided for movies as well as stills, and for A-mount lenses attached via a mount adapter.
Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder with 120 fps refresh rate
The α9 boasts a high-luminance 3,686K-dot Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder which reproduces the finest details, and incorporates legendary ZEISS T* coating to greatly reduces reflections and double-sided aspherical element to achieve 0.78x magnification with outstanding corner-to- corner clarity. A 120 fps frame rate provides a smooth viewfinder image with minimum display motion blur when shooting fast moving subjects, and high luminance keeps the brightness of the viewfinder image close to that of the actual scene for natural, seamless viewing. There’s even a fluorine coating on the outermost viewfinder lens that repels fingerprints, dust, water, oil, and dirt.
Wide dynamic range, 14-bit uncompressed RAW
14-bit RAW format is supported, and is a good choice in situations where the sensor’s wide dynamic range and fine gradation reproduction will benefit the images being captured. 14-bit RAW output is even available when shooting single images using the electronic shutter.
Eye AF automatically detects and focuses on the subject’s eye. It has been notably improved in the α9, providing approximately 30% greater eye focus accuracy (Compared to the α7 I) even when shooting a moving subject in continuous AF mode. Face detection has also been updated for higher reliability when the subject is looking away from the camera, when the face is in partial darkness, and other challenging situations.
Fast focus with A-mount lenses
The focal plane phase-detection AF system does its job even when an A-mount lens is mounted via the optional LA-EA3 mount adaptor. 693-point focal plane phase-detection AF provides wide-area coverage and fast response for A-mount lenses as well as E-mount types, offering high tracking performance for an extensive lineup of lenses. A software update for the LA-EA3 (scheduled for release in May 2017) will allow continuous shooting with AF and AE tracking at up to 10 frames per second.
Dual media slots (UHS-II SD Card compatible)
Two SD media card slots are provided for still and movie storage (one slot for SD cards or Memory Stick) with the lower card slot being UHS-II compatible for faster write speed. Still or movie data can be simultaneously recorded to both cards for backup, or RAW images can be recorded to one card while JPEG images are recorded to the other. It is also possible to record stills and movies to different cards. Data can be copied between cards while in the camera, for convenient back-up. Sony SF-G series UHS-II SD cards are ideal for situations where maximum transfer speed is required, allowing up to 362 JPEG images or 241 compressed RAW images to be captured in a continuous burst.
Z battery with approximately 2.2x the capacity of W batteries
The high-capacity NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Battery has approximately 2.2x the capacity of the NP-FW50 W-series battery and can capture approximately 480 still frames (when using the EVF) on a single charge. But that’s just with the body alone. The optional VG-C3EM vertical grip houses two batteries that let you shoot up to 950 images (when using the EVF) in continuous mode. And when you need serious stamina for long sessions there’s the NPA-MQZ1K Multi Battery Adaptor Kit that can hold up to four batteries. The NP-FZ100 also supports InfoLITHIUM technology, which makes it possible to view the remaining battery power as both a percentage display and five step icon on the camera’s LCD screen.
Robust magnesium alloy body with dust and moisture resistant design
The α9 body construction features a lightweight, high-rigidity magnesium alloy for the internal frame as well as the top, front, and rear covers. The grip area has also been reinforced with an integrated magnesium alloy grip and front cover. Although about the same size and weight as the α7 series, the α9 body is packed with unprecedented functionality and performance. The number of screws securing the lens mount has been increased to six in order to maximize rigidity and durability even when using heavy telephoto lenses. Sealing is provided throughout the body to minimize dust and moisture ingress, allowing it to function reliably in challenging environments. All major buttons and dials are provided with seals, while media jack cover and enclosure edges feature tongue-and-groove joints for double protection. Maximum dust and moisture resistance is maintained at lens, vertical grip, and flash unit joints too, providing excellent system reliability.
Full-frame 4K video with full-pixel readout and no pixel binning
The α9 is very capable as a video camera as well, as it offers 4K (3840x2160p) video recording across the full width of the full-frame image sensor. When shooting in this format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information, oversampling it to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. Recording is also available in the popular Super35 size. Additionally, the camera can record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, which allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD resolution with AF tracking.
Simple connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi/NFC.
Thanks to built-in Wi-Fi, you can easily connect to a compatible iOS or Android smartphone or tablet with the free PlayMemories Mobile App. From there you can control your camera, preview and frame using your mobile device and trigger the camera shutter or movie button. Then instantly transfer a photo or MP4 movie to your device. NFC (Near Field Communication) provides “one-touch connection” convenience to Android smartphones and tablets with NFC. Simply touch devices to connect. Setting up your mobile device is as simple as downloading a free PlayMemories Mobile app.
My Menu, customizable interface and buttons, plus back focus button
Make it your own with easy button customization. A new My Menu feature allows up to 30 menu items to be registered for instant recall when needed. The registered items can be arranged in any convenient order, and unused items can be erased as required. The primary menus have also been reorganized for smoother search and operation. In addition, You can assign any of 72 functions to any of 11 customizable buttons as you like. This makes operation more intuitive, quick and easy, and is extra-convenient for accessing such functions as starting and stopping of movie recording and switching between viewfinder and monitor.
3-inch 1,440K-dot tiltable LCD screen with touch AF
The tiltable 3-inch (1,440k dots) Xtra Fine LCD Display makes it easy to photograph over crowds, or objects close to the ground or maybe you just want to get a different perspective. The screen can tilt up approx. 107° and down approx. 41° and features a convenient touch AF function for fast intuitive focus. The large display delivers brilliant-quality still images and movies thanks to WhiteMagic technology that nearly doubles the brightness of the display through a unique RGBW pixel structure for easier checking of the focus and image details.
Touch AF function
Focusing doesn’t get any more intuitive than this. With Touch Focus you can simply touch the LCD screen to specify the desired focus point. Even subjects near the edges of the frame can be instantly selected without having to reframe or manually shift the focus point. Double-tap any point on the monitor for a magnified view of that area when focusing manually. Touch AF allows smooth focus point changes when shooting movies too.
AF-ON button (back focus button)
The α9 has several new and updated focus functions that support faster, easier focusing in a variety of situations including the AF-ON button (back focus button) which activates autofocus when pressed while shooting stills or movies.
The camera features a multi-selector joystick on the back of the camera, allowing shooters to easily shift focus within the frame by pressing the multi-selector in any direction up, down, left or right when shooting in Zone, Flexible Spot or Expanded Flexible Spo focus area modes.
Anti-dust system and coating
To keep your photos blemish-free, a special anti-static coating on the surface of the optical filter suppresses the attachment of both dry and moist dust particles when changing lenses. An anti-dust mechanism also vibrates at high speed when you select Cleaning Mode, to remove any particles adhering to the filter.
Meticulously crafted controls
Controls are refined for intuitive operation and immediate adjustment even while looking through the viewfinder. The α9 features front and rear dials for easier, more efficient handling and turning. A mode dial locking mechanism prevents inadvertent changes of shooting mode at all times and a stacked independently operable dials allow fast selection of drive and focus modes. Quickly select the single or continuous drive mode, or the single AF or continuous AF focus mode, for example, without having to scroll through menus. Both dials are lockable, preventing unwanted mode changes during use.
Flash Sync terminal
There is a sync terminal enabling external flash units and cables to be connected directly for convenient flash sync.
Resolution: 24 Megapixels
Sensor Resolution: 24.2 Megapixels
Sensor: 35.6mm x 23.8mm CMOS
Video Resolution: 4K
Continuous Shooting Speed: 20 FPS Continuous SHooting
Auto Focus Points: 693 Point AF
Lens Mount: Sony E
Shutter Speed: 30sec. to 1/32,000sec.
ISO Sensitivity: ISO 100-51,200
Screen Size: 3.0"
Recording Media: SD/SDHC/SDXC
Frame Rate: 30p
Bitrate: 100mb/s Maximum Bitrate
Power Source: NP-FZ100 Li-ion Battery
Dimensions: 126.9mm x 95.6mm x 63.0mm