Sony just announced its most impressive camera to date, the a9. If you've been thinking about making the switch from Canon or Nikon to Sony, this camera may make that decision easier.
This camera was created with professional sports and wildlife photographers in mind. Instead of competing with the 42-megapixel a7R II, which most people consider a "studio camera," the a9 will be geared towards photographers who need speed. The sensor falls right in-between the a7R II and the a7S II at 24.2 megapixels, but in almost every other way, the camera is a big improvement.
The first exciting feature is that this camera offers blackout-free shooting, meaning that you will be able to see your subject in the viewfinder 100 percent of the time as you snap up to 20 frames per second. Standard DSLR cameras are incapable of doing this because the mirror, used to see through the lens, needs to flip up to take the picture, blocking your view as the camera exposes. The a9 will work like a video camera, snapping pictures instantly without any break in the feed. If you need silent shooting, the camera can shoot without any sound while using an electronic shutter.
The autofocus is probably the most impressive aspect of this camera. The a9 has 693 phase-detect AF points that cover 93 percent of the entire frame. No more having to focus and recompose, because basically, you'll be able to focus on any point in your frame.
The viewfinder is now the sharpest ever created and it can play back live footage at 120 fps so that it feels like a standard optical viewfinder.
One of the biggest problems with Sony cameras is the battery life, but the a9's new battery now has 2.2 times the capacity of Sony's other full-frame cameras.
This camera also comes with an Ethernet port, which may allow the camera to be controlled over a network and of course the camera also has 4K video and 5-axis stabilization along with dual SD card slots.
If you're a sports photographer or you are shooting moving subjects like kids or weddings for a living, the a9 may end up being the most impressive camera on the market. Of course, for all of these incredible features, you will pay dearly. The a9 will be released on May 25th for $4,500. Of course, if we can all have a little patience, all of these amazing features will eventually trickle down to Sony's other cameras over the next few years.