The new Alpha 9 II builds on the impressive legacy of the original Alpha 9 while incorporating even more functionality driven directly from the voice of professionals. Some of the updates include significantly enhanced connectivity and file delivery, continuous shooting at up to 10 fps with mechanical shutter, evolved AF performance with newly optimised algorithms, and a re-designed build to enhance durability, and operability.
Sony announced the Alpha 9 II (model ILCE-9M2) October 3rd 2019, due to be in stock November, priced approximately £4,800. It is the latest model from Sony’s Alpha 9 full-frame interchangeable lens cameras, and has been created to support working professionals filmmakers. There is a faster BIONZ-X image processor which improves AF speed and accuracy. The hybrid AF system uses 693 phase detect and 425 contrast detect AF points covering 93% of the image area and extra focusing features include face and eye (animal as well as human) detection. A new algorithm gives Real-Time Eye AF for movie shooting.
Raising the Bar for Built-in Connectivity in the Professional’s Workflow
The A9 II can shoot silently shoot up to 20fps with AE/AF tracking without the distraction of blackout and up to 239 compressed Raw shots. New algorithms also enhance subject tracking and the fastest continuous shooting rate with the mechanical shutter is now up to 10fps.
A redesigned shutter mechanism helps to suppress movement and avoid image blur and the shutter is said to withstand over 500,000 cycles.
For a faster workflow the camera body has an Ethernet terminal, tethered shooting speed is improved as has wireless functionality. A new Voice Memo feature allows spoken information to be attached to images as a voice memo and this can be replayed when images are viewed. Voice tags with the images can also be transferred to an app on a mobile device and these memos can be converted to text and added to JPEGs in the form of IPTC metadata.
FTP settings within the app can also be sent to a camera via Bluetooth, allowing for a faster workflow.
The Platinum Standard for Speed and Auto Focus Performance
The new Alpha 9 II shares the same acclaimed 35mm full-frame stacked 24.2 MP Exmor Rs CMOS image sensor with integral memory as the original Alpha 9, giving it the same unmatched speed performance and outstanding image quality. A filmmaker is able to follow the subject and action with no interruption to the EVF.
For times when mechanical shutter is preferred or required, the new Alpha 9 II has been improved to shoot at up to 10 fps, about 2x the speed of the Alpha 9.
The camera is able to function whilst continuously calculating Auto Focus and Auto Exposure at up to 60 times per second, with newly optimised AF algorithms that provide notably enhanced AF precision and performance, ensuring that even the most erratic subject motion, often experienced in sports, is captured with high precision. Also useful for sporting events, the camera now offers an anti-flicker shooting mode that automatically detects and adjusts for the presence of fluorescent or artificial lighting to maximise image quality.
Additional notable focusing capabilities include Real-time Eye AF with right eye / left eye selection, Real-time Eye AF for animals, augmented with a new algorithm, Real-Time Eye AF for movie, Real-time Tracking, selectable focus frame colour, Touch Pad focus point control while using the viewfinder.
Refined Build and Operability
The upgraded BIONZ X image processing engine gains maximum benefit from the sensor’s fast readout speed. A Processor works with front-end LSI to enhance speed in AF/AE detection, image processing, and face detection and accuracy. The design has upgraded dust and moisture resistance to meet the needs of professionals even in the most challenging outdoor conditions. A stronger sealing provided at all body joints, as well as the battery compartment cover, and media slot adds a layer of extra protection.
Latest image-processing algorithm reduces the noise in the medium-to-high sensitivity range, while improving subjective resolution and image quality. A 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation system provides a shutter speed advantage of 5.5 steps. Improved grip configuration has been made for even greater comfort and a sure hold. The A 9 II is compatible with Sony VG-C4EM Vertical Grip and has improved button design feel, with an increased diameter and feedback of the ‘AF-ON’ button; Other features include:
- A refined multi-selector joystick design; an exposure compensation dial lock button and a redesigned shape and new position for the rear dial
- Redesigned shutter mechanism to suppress even the slightest movement that can cause image blur. Tested for durability in excess of 500,000 shutter cycles[xx]
- USB Type-C™ connector that supports fast USB 3.2 Gen 1 data transfer
- Dual media slots that are both compatible with UHS-I and UHS-II SD cards, allowing higher overall capacity and faster read/write speeds
- Digital audio interface has been added to the camera’s Multi Interface Shoe™ (MI Shoe) enabling the new ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit to be connected directly to the MI Shoe for cleaner, clearer audio recordings.
Yann Salmon Legagneur, Director of Product Marketing, Digital Imaging, Sony Europe comments on the launch,
“The voice of our customers is absolutely critical to Sony – we are always listening. The Alpha 9 II is the direct result of countless feedback sessions with agency, sports and news photographers since the launch of the original Alpha 9. We’ve added connectivity and network capabilities that drastically improve the professional workflow, while also making subtle adjustments to design, interface and processing power that complete the user experience. Complemented by our extremely versatile E-mount system – with 55 native lenses introduced at this point, including the super-telephoto 600mm and 400mm G Master™ series lenses – this new camera is a tool unlike any other for professionals either in the field or on the field.”
For more information, visit: http://www.sony.net/