It’s not often we get our hands on a camera before it’s been released, so when Sony kindly offered us a pre-production A9 to play with, we jumped at the chance.
Vauxhall doesn’t exactly boast the best opportunities to put a high-speed camera through it’s paces, and we only had an hour to shoot test images, but armed with a 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 G Master, we headed to the local City Farm to see if we could tempt the Alpacas and Donkeys into performing for us.
Sony A9 + 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 G Master | 1ƒ/200s, ƒ/2.8, ISO 100
Having used the A7R Mk II before, the menu & controls were easy to work out, and we were soon shooting happily (although the animals were steadfastly refusing to deliver any high-speed gymnastics). After a few minutes, a local dog walker appeared and we were able to get some movement shots as the dog scampered around the field.
We’ve rendered the stills as a movie for illustrative purposes.
The A9’s focusing ability and speed are very impressive. With barely time to think, every time we swung the camera up to try and catch a subject, the focus areas on the (very sharp) EVF lit up immediately and tracked the subject flawlessly as it moved through the frame. The lack of viewfinder blackout meant that we could clearly see the AF points glued to the subject, and it felt like we were watching a scene through a video camera viewfinder.
The dog walker disappeared after a while so we headed onto Kennington Lane to try and catch some of the many cyclists that bomb up and down the road. Not wishing to offend any of them, we waited until they’d gone past before trying to peel off some frames. Again, the speed at which the camera’s AF locks on to the subject was incredible, and in a couple of 2 second bursts (in excess of 40 frames), every shot was focused on the subject.
We’ll be testing the A9 again very soon in a more controlled and sports-orientated environment, so watch this space.
If you’d like to get your hands on the A9, we’re holding a special Sony Open Day on June 2nd. Entrance is free of charge and Sony experts will be on hand to answer your questions and offer advice.