I have now had the Sony A9 for a few days and did some focus tracking on the deck with a moving subject using the FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens. Not only did the A9 track the moving subject incredible well, it nailed all 27 shots in the sequence!! All of them are sharp and in the keeper category. Not all of the images are good captures obviously, but they are all in focus and sharp. I was extremely impressed with this result and wanted to share the images with you, so you can see for yourself.
Now, the child is my friend Jim’s kid William, and he was riding my son Jase’s powered toy trike. The toy only goes about 2-3 miles and hour, but he was coming directly towards me, and I was at f/2.8 and 70mm, which is the narrowest depth of field scenario. Meaning it’s a pretty hard test considering how close I was to the subject in my opinion. It’s not the same as a running dog, or speeding car, but still a really good real world focus tracking test in my opinion. I did not expect all the shots to be sharp, but they are!
Sony A9 – Focus Tracking Testing
I had the Sony A9 set to continuous auto focus mode (AF-C), and the drive mode was set to medium speed rapid fire (M). I also set the ISO to 400, to insure my shutter speed was fast enough as to not blur from the motion. Other than that it was Auto ISO and Average Metering. I used center weight focus, but the facial recognition seamed to prioritize the focus area. The little green focus dots came up and were lively as the focus was being tracked on the face of William.
Please Click On Photos for a Larger more Crisp Version
At the end of the day, this is what I’m looking for in a camera when it comes to focus tracking! A 100% hit rate in this environment is awesome, and what I would use the camera for in most cases when it comes to tracking a subject. Clearly there are harder tests on a camera, but this was very impressive to me. The Sony A6500 also performed really well when shooting cars on the highway from an overpass as they came towards me and went away from me, and I have no doubt the Sony A9 would be able to do the same thing with ease…
One thing to note, is the fact that I was using the awesome FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens, which has a really fast top quality focus motor built in (Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave AF Motor). That focus motor in combination with the cameras focusing system are part of the equation here. A lesser quality optic may not have resulted in such a stunning 100% hit rate in a test like this.