Hi guys and welcome to the Lab 😉 The NEW Sony A9 and FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens arrived yesterday and I had a chance to play around with them for a bit last night!!
I wanted to share a few first impression thoughts and some sample photos I took around the house for those chomping at the bit and interested in some real world perspective results.
First Few Thoughts on The A9
For starters, one thing I was particularly impressed with was the user manual! I know, but it’s a real manual and is not only thick, but super detailed and thoroughly organized. I went thru it quick and was very impressed to say the least. Thank you Sony for listening to the complaints and finally addressing the concerns of your loyal users. A hands on manual is very valuable, and the digital versions just don’t cut it.
The Sony A9 camera itself is only slightly larger and heavier than the A7r II. I can’t notice a weight difference at all based on my hand holding use so far.
Focus speed seams really fast when using the FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens, but not much different than the A7r II from what I can tell. Touchscreen is great so far and I like using the touch to focus feature!
The new camera body design is quite nice! I particularly like the new buttons, locking dials, and refined ergonomics.
See the top view of the Sony A9 vs the Sony A7r II below for comparison.
Weather sealing wise, the doors on the sides for the various ports are the plastic style, not rubber. Therefore it’s not the super rugged water resistant style doors found the the DSLR style A99 II, and A77 II. They are the same as the A7r II in that regard for reference.
Here is the port side of the A9, A7r II, and A99 II for comparison:
And here is the A99 II Port side doors for reference.
The new dual memory card door design on the Sony A9 is really nice and a very welcomed improvement over the single slide lock style door found on the A7r II as seen below:
From the back, the new thumb joystick is awesome for moving around the focus point quickly, and the locking drive mode/ focus type dials are very convenient. The focus type dial lock was a little awkward at first, but using the thump and pointer finger ironed that out. Also note in the image below, how the thumb dial is larger and bumped outward a bit compared to the A7r II. A more refined and better ergonomically oriented design in my opinion. The video record button is also in a better spot on the A9. You can see it next to the viewfinder as apposed to the outside right edge of the thumb grip on the A7r II.
The touchscreen on the back looks pretty darn good, but not as good as the new viewfinder when comparing in use.
One nit-pick I have with the new Sony A9 is the battery door lock. I just don’t understand why Sony does not make the door lock automatically when closing? You still need to slide the little lever over to lock the door, and this continues to baffle me. It’s seams like such an easy thing fix, but they refuse to do this on the mirrorless cameras for some reason. Room for improvement here if you ask me…
In the Box
Included in the box is a lot of goodies as well. You get both the real deal wall style battery charger (BC-QZ1) and the USB style in camera charger unit as well. The new NP-FZ100 battery is also quite large, and should really help extend life. It also comes with a cable support that mounts to the side of the camera for extended use like tethering and/or HDMI display hook ups. The A9 also comes with a standard camera shoulder strap.
Sony A9 Vs A7r II
|Sony A9 Key Features: ||Sony A7r II Key Features: |
A Few Sony A9 Real World Sample Photos
Here are few snapshot style sample photos I took with the Sony A9 and FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens last evening…
These images were shot using raw quality and then imported to Lightroom CC. I then added a medium contrast curve adjustment on all the raw files. Other than that they are straight off the camera. The Sony A9 was set to Aperture Priority Mode (A), Auto ISO, Auto White Balance, and Average Metering. Focus mode used was flexible spot large, which is awesome using the new thumb knob navigation joystick, and I used center focus for kids. I also had Face Detection turned ON (Menu 1, screen 13), which made shooting the kids extremely easy.
Flowers on the deck in evening overcast lighting.
Click Photos for Higher Res version!
A depth of field fall off style shot to show off the full frame sensor format separation with such a lens. F/2.8 @ 70mm
The humming bird feeder I have yet to fill…
Some deck transportation
Say hi to my best four legged friend Bones Jones!
And my boy Jase who will be three years old August 12th.
And my girl Layla who is about to turn seven on July 31st.
A quick Sony A9 High ISO Test
So here is ISO 204800
and here is ISO 51200 for comparison
I am really enjoying using the Sony A9 so far, especially with the FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens. What a combo and a solid usable range on the full frame format. However, Sony still needs a FE 24-105 f/4 OSS Lens added to the line-up. I enjoy that extra reach when using my Canon gear occasionally.
The build quality and feel of the camera is awesome so far and basically the same as the A7r II, other than the newer buttons and enhanced other ergonomics mentioned above.
Battery life is noticeable better for sure and was a needed improvement to the Sony full frame mirrorless camera line since it’s inception. Well done Sony, but please fix the battery door so it locks when closing automatically.
High ISO is pretty good overall, but not like the A7s II.
I just wanted to mention again how good the user manual is, and how nice it is to have in the hands…
That is about it for now, but much more to come with the Sony A9, and please put your request in if you want me to test anything or show you anything in particular! I’m working on some 120fps sample video now, so stay tuned for that if your interested in seeing what kind of slow-motion footage you can get…
Please have a great day, and sorry for the website being down yesterday. I was trying to post this article yesterday, and about mid-day the website just hung up, so I could not publish this article. Not sure what happened, but it appears to be all fixed today…
Sony A9 for $4498 @ BHPhoto
Sony A7r II for $2998 (currently $2698 on sale) @ BHPhoto
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens for $2198 @ BHPhoto