The Sony a9 Is So Fast That You Can Make a Movie From Still Image Bursts

The Sony a9 is a pretty exciting camera, as it's the first mirrorless camera to take square aim at the two highest-level DSLRs, the Canon 1D X Mark II and the Nikon D5. It's made waves for many features, not the least of which is its insane continuous shooting rate of 20 fps. This video highlights just how fast that is using a clever method.

Sony gave Amar Ramesh the new a9 for a few days to test out. In deciding how to show off its blistering continuous burst speed, he came up with a novel idea: he would shoot a "video" that was actually stills pulled from bursts and aligned before being combined in Final Cut Pro. 12,000 shots later, he had the video you see above. You can also see a behind the scenes video below:

While no one would actually shoot a video in this way, it does show off the camera's prowess in a way that should make sports and wedding photographers drool at the possibilities. For those looking for faster and faster frame rates in a professional body to increase their chances of getting a shot at the perfect moment, it clearly doesn't get better than the a9.

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24 Comments

At 20 shots per second it is close to the 24p standard.

How did you figure that out? :)

Sometimes I got those moments of pure genius. But it is to say if we get any faster cameras, we can record not 4, not 8 but 24k silent movies. Probably not very long ones because that will eat up memory like crazy.

Elan Govan's picture

By this standard, my current DSLR bodies are all obsolete....well done Sony for raising the bar.

Spy Black's picture

Yes, all current DSLRs are absolutely DSLRs...

And future d-slrs will also be d-slrs.

You've made some very bold claims here considering the Olympus OM-D EM-1 mk II is 3x faster at 60 fps RAW if you can live with S-AF and 20mp.

I just wonder how good s-af will work at 60 fps on a moving subject. I don't know the answer but it seems to me it will be very hard to get decent focus.

Yes, but the subject didn't really move forward or backward. It was a simple scene.

shabirali patel's picture

amazing.. the future of photography is SONY...... Canon and Nikon are playing with the emotions of the photographer. they do not have a big heart to give technology easily . both are miser ...SONY FLOODS WITH ALL THE GREAT THINGS OF TECH WHICH THE PHOTOGRAPHER NEEDS IN TODAY'S TIME... NIKON CAME OUT WITH THE 850 NOW ..THAT'S LATE .... SONY IS THE WAY TO GO.. FOR NOW N FUTURE PHOTOGRAPHY AND CINEMA AND VIDEO .. GREAT DONE SONY..........

Anonymous's picture

So...you like Sony, then? :-)

Spy Black's picture

All hail the great Sony! Hail! HAIL! Oh shit, A9 overheated again...

Marius Pettersen's picture

Professionals need reliability. Canon and Nikon will not add something before it's thoroughly tested. (Combined with internal politics, like Canon and 4K). I do applaud Sony for being an innovator, but I'll stick to my Canons for now, they've never failed me.

Mr Hogwallop's picture

Things break. I had Canons, usually a mechanical break like blown shutters or winding, Nikons broke too, usually electronic. RZ67 never broke. Gitzo are great until they break.
I have Sonys now and for 2.5 years...no break. Yet. Something will someday.
Most of the sluggish release of gear from Canikon is marketing not testing, after all the Beta testers are the people who pre-order new stuff LoL

My a6300 shutter broke down. It is fixed. It took Sony long enough though, a month. I think they have their production line on Mars or Pluto.

Scott Harris's picture

Dude, calm down.

Its cool that it shoots this fast, but I don't know that its worth the ALLCAPS tirade. ;)

"While no one would actually shoot a video in this way" --> not entirely true. Shooting a fight/action scene at a slightly lower frame rate such as 20 fps makes the scene snappier when played back at 24 fps.

This is actually a great way to make it more dynamic. That way you could shoot 6k by taking pictures and resampling them for a 4k movie and even reframe on-the-go in post for crazy electronic dolly/zoom moves to add even more movement. Could be a very interesting thing to do actually !

Well there are people who would shoot a film in this way. So not really a novel idea. I have been shooting in this style for many years. In fact I shot a film on the Sony Alpha 900 24m in raw mode a few years back. Putting together more than 6000 frames for a film shot at 5 frames a second, which was nominated at the laJolla Fashion Film Festival 2014.
N I'm pretty sure SONY knows that since I have been a SONY artisan. Quite surprised at the lack of research.
N i'm very sure many more photographers out there doing this.
Link below
www.vickramsinghbawa.com/FILMS/4/caption

Anonymous's picture

Really? You got an award for that? Hmm. I guess I'm more of a Wallace and Gromit kind of guy.

Nominated! Please

Nominated! Says my comment kind sir. N try shooting a stop motion film @ 5 frames/ sec. Lot of fun.

Anonymous's picture

Sorry. I missed that. I wasn't commenting on the process, which I'm sure is very tedious, a lot of work and no fun at all. My comment reflected my more provincial taste in art. :-)

David Vaughn's picture

For some reason the footage, because it's slightly sped up compared to normal movement, sort of straddles the line of the uncanny valley. Like, I know it's a real person but the speed is just unnatural enough to seem "off."

Still impressive though.

paulo Sousa's picture

well olympus can do it at 60 fps in silent shutter!!! you can do slow mo with that :P