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Introduction to the Sony a9 – the DSLR Killer

June 01, 2017

John and Matt sit down for a first look at the brand new Sony a9 Mirrorless DSLR Killer!

We also have the exciting 100-400mm G Master Lens to show.

Place your orders fast as this is bound to be one popular camera as soon as it hits the street in Australia.

 

Transcript :

John Warkentin here from Michael’s Camera.

Matt (Clewlow), my in-house Sony expert is joining me today, and we’ve got a very exciting camera on the table in front of us.

Take it away, Matt!

What is it?

The Sony A9

(Matt) It is, believe it or not, the DSLR killer: Sony’s a9.

So, for many years Sony have been, obviously, big in the mirrorless market; and they’ve made no secret that they will be pushing further and further into this market; because it’s the way cameras are going, and this is known as the sports DSLR Killer.

20 fps & 693 Focus Points

So, this guy can shoot 20 frames per second. It has a huge, huge, autofocus system - 693 points - your average

DSLRs, as we know, are generally 50 to 100 points, that gives it 93% coverage of its frame for focusing.

So, this thing is an incredible sport tracking machine.

The way it achieves that: they actually have an electronic shutter system; which we are going to have a little play with because everyone’s just desperate to see it fired up and going.

 

(John)

Yeah, so let’s just cut to the chase.

Shoot a burst with (___).

 

(Matt)

Crack it up!

So, I’m going to go from off, because one thing I did notice, just playing with it - this is the first time I’ve actually touched the camera, and pretty much the first time anyone in Australia is going to be seeing them -  is the startup time! If you turn it on, it’s ready to go. I’ve just turned it on, it’s ready to go.

 

(John)

Oh, that’s substantially faster than what we’re used to.

Quick Start-up Time

(Matt)

It actually really is, it’s incredible startup time, but we’ll just give it a little fire off now.

You should be able to [presses shutter button on camera] [rapid shutter clicks] hear.

Completely Silent

(John)

So, it’s a very sort of silent sound there; but that’s not really a sound, that’s an electronic sound to just let us know that the camera is working.

(Matt)

It is!

So, we had our little play around and found where to switch that off, and I can understand Sony’s reasoning behind putting that in; because as soon as we switched that off, it’s actually kind of disconcerting. It’s completely silent.

 (John)

It makes no noise at all.

(Matt)

Unbelievable for things like being on set, shooting on set, getting stills from a film set, golf, sports, and that kind of thing.

(John)

Anything where the camera is just going to be obtrusive and you see this all the time in the news now. There are news conferences going on all over the world; most of the professional photographers who are working those jobs are using full-frame sports-style digital SLRs, and they sound like a machine gun going off.

So, now, we’ve got this thing in silent mode here.

(Matt)

So, I’ve just switched it. So, we’re actually now in complete silent mode. (I’ll just work around) [moves to show screen of camera to viewer]

Focus Tracking

(John)

So, yeah, he’ll just aim it at me. So, you should be able to see it tracking my face in the viewfinder here.

 (Matt)

Don’t know if we can make that out. You got that?

[shows screen on camera to viewer]

 (John)

Now I’m looking right at it.

 (Matt)

So, now we’re tracking.

 (John)

Okay. If I move around a little bit, it should sort of follow me.

 (Matt)

Now I’m shooting. So, that is actually firing off 20 frames a second.

 (John)

And it’s making no noise at all.

So, if I want to pick up –

(Matt)

Still shooting.

 (John)

  • one of the competitor’s cameras and take a shot. [picks up other camera and fires off a rapid burst of shots with loud shutter clicks]

So, you see how loud this is. I’ll get it right to my microphone. And that’s the sound that nobody wants happening when they’re about to give their wedding vows, or they’re lining up a long drive when they’re golfing, or you’re trying to shoot stage photography in a quiet environment like the ballet.

Yet, everybody wants the performance of these big digital SLRs, but nobody wants the side effects.

So, now Sony’s got a camera that is able to give us class-leading 24-megapixel pictures, great dynamic range, full-frame sensor. What? How many different focus points? 699 or something?

(Matt)

It’s 693, 24 MB sensor. It’s a new sensor, a stacked back- illuminated sensor.

(John)

So, great high-ISO performance that we’re all used to with Sony products.

This is only capable of 14 frames per second, and this can do 20! And, it does it was no noise whatsoever!

So, think about using this on a movie set.

There are just so many amazing ramifications.

Of course, the burst step is incredible!

 (Matt)

It’s ridiculous! Just also, so everyone was aware, that’s actually set to RAW and JPEG. So, we were just running off frames, RAW and JPEG just then.

There are a lot of little things as well. I mean that’s an a7R II body; that’s the current sort of flagship body.

This doesn’t replace it; it really is a sort of, separate line of product.

(John)

Let’s see if we can (compare the size) here.

(Matt)

But there are a lot of little design things that…

The size, overall, is pretty much the same.

(John)

Ok, I’ll hold this one like this. [grips camera by lens and holds the screen side up to viewer]

(Matt)

But there are a lot of little things. You’ve got locks on the on the drive dial, locks on the mode dial, you’ve got a re-positioning of the movie start/stop button to a much more, sort of, comfortable position; whereas, we’ve got it on the side here of the a7R II.

Very, very, capable video system as well; 4k video, obviously.

All the good stuff of all the a7 lineup, like 5 axes in-body stabiliser.

So, it has all the bells and whistles; and then a lot more.

(John)

And, as you can see, the overall package size is dramatically smaller than the competing full-frame digital SLR.

[holds up competitor camera to compare)

I mean, this is just a huge difference in size, thickness, and just every way you put it.

(Matt)

So, it’s yeah, it’s ridiculous; and, at the moment we are demoing with the optional grip, the battery grip there.

So, realistically, I mean it’s much smaller. You can (___).

(John)

Oh, it’s like a third the volume, or something, yes.

And, of course, the grip is not removable on the competing digital SLRs, the big sports cameras.

Battery Life

Now, battery life’s an important thing to bring up here, Matt.

Everybody is always worried about battery life on the a7 series because they are a very small battery; so, the grip is a popular feature, and, of course, people want to make sure they’ve got quite a number of extra cells handy.

There’s a new battery for this.

 (Matt)

There is! Which I don’t know a great deal about, but improved performance essentially is what you’re looking for, and that’s what they’re giving you.

So, they really have, they did listen to the market.

(John)

I think it’s pretty close to double the capacity in real world shooting.

So, and then we’ve got the grip; you’ve got two of them in there.

So, hopefully, all the battery woes of the past are going to be solved with this new battery.

There’s also an interesting charger that’s going to gain charge or something. I saw that announced.

So, that would be interesting for people who run a lot of batteries.

New Sony Lenses Announced 

(Matt)

I guess we touched the lenses as well.

(John)

Yes, let’s talk about the lenses here.

Now, we’ve got the brand-new, supposed to be shipping around the July timeframe; this is the G-Master 100-400. And, it’s a beautiful lens. I would say just, I don’t have a competing Canon lens or Nikon lens beside me here, but physically it seems to be a little bit smaller, and definitely weight-wise.

This is not a heavy lens. It’s going to be a very easy lens to work with.

Very well paired with Onaga on the a7 here, but certainly with the a9.

I don’t think the average user is going to notice much of a difference in size between these two cameras.

You’re going, if you’re an a7 user, you’re going to be right at home with an a9; and, of course, there are lots of very, very, happy a7 users who are going to be interested in this new a9.

Now, the lens that we’ve got featured on the a9 right now is the G-Master 70-200, 2.8; and worthy of mention is there’s a new G Master 16-35, 2.8.

So, that means the Holy Trinity of 2.8 lenses is now available in the Sony G Master line.

So, that is the 16-35 2.8, the 24-70 2.8, and, of course, the 70-200 2.8 that we’ve got featured here.

And, then you add in the 100-400, and you’ve got yourself a really good kit. Take it all out 400.

(Matt)

Yes. There’s not much left. And, obviously, some of the beautiful Primes that they already have in the range. The 85 1.4 G Master. They have a really, really, substantial kit now.

(John)

Yeah, so we think you’re going to be very excited to see the brand-new Sony a9, here at Michael’s Camera.

We are expecting at the Australian launch is going to be on June the 1st.

Very shortly thereafter we should have cameras for sale in store, and then, within a month or so, we expect to see the 100-400 show up; and then probably, maybe a little bit later than that, we’ll be seeing these other G Master lenses, or sorry, the G-Master 16-35.

And it’s not a G Master, but there’s the new 12-24 that’s been announced as well.

(Matt)

Yes!

(John)

So, that’s the ultra-wide.

So, we’ll probably see those towards later July, maybe August, timeframe.

I think as we get closer to those dates there will be some firmed up times for that.

So, just keep following us and we’ll keep you posted.

 (Matt)

[picks up camera]

Still shooting.

 (John)

Yeah, still shooting?! It makes just no noise! That is really incredible.

So, yeah, you can understand why people want to have a little acoustic feedback so that you can turn on the simulated shutter sound.

 (Matt)

Phenomenal viewfinder improvement too.

 (John)

Oh, yeah, let me just take a look at that. I’d be happy just to take a look through.

There we go.

That’s incredible!

Oh, this tracking is amazing!

I’m in love! I want to buy one.

[laughter]

 So, there you go!

We hope you enjoyed our little introduction to the rare - lucky to get our hands on one courtesy of Sony Australia - a9.

And, we think you are going to be very excited about it, to see it in the flesh.

So, as soon as we’ve got ‘em, we’re going to let you know on all forms of social media, and you can come in and get some hands-on time at Michael’s Camera, with the brand new Sony a9.

 See you next time!

Remember to keep liking our videos on YouTube, following us on Facebook, and keep those comments flowing for what you want to see.

Hopefully, as soon as we get our hands on a full store copy, we’re going to do a little bit of a shootout with it; and we’ll go do some sports.

So, take care, and we’ll see you next time!

[camera zooms in on Sony a9]