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The Alpha 9 Experience: A New Dimension of Photographic Speed

By Sam Coran

Sony Middle East gave me the privilege to test out the Alpha 9 in the field. Here are some features of this camera that I love: 

High-Speed Continuous Shooting at 20fps

This is the fastest camera in the market. Its uncompromised image quality and speed makes it a monster when it comes to sports photography, or any other situation where you need to freeze action.

Wakeboarder Alpha 9 _01

Alpha 9 | FE 100-400mm F4-5.6 GM OSS | 100mm | 1/2000 sec | f/7.1 | ISO 400

In-body Image Stabilization

I was on a speedboat while shooting these wakeboarding photos. Just imagine how much camera shake there usually is when you shoot with the 100-400 lens. That’s why I love the in body image stabilization feature of this camera. It works wonders.

A7RIV rear

Alpha 9 | FE 100-400mm F4-5.6 GM OSS | 100mm | 1/2000 sec | f/7.1 | ISO 400

4D Autofocus

The subject is in focus, no matter where he is in the frame, because of the 4D autofocus. There is a remarkable number of phase-detection AF points in this camera. The phase-detection points on the surface of an image sensor — all 693 AF points — cover approximately 93% of the image area. Its high-precision performance assures that your focus is on the subject.

Here are 79 images put together.

Another feature to note is the 4D FOCUS: Steadfast Tracking

Reliable Subject Tracking In Motion

The uninterrupted AF and optimized AF algorithm dramatically enhance the AF accuracy and tracking. Even during shutter release, the constantly activated AF still lets you continue tracking the subject’s random motions, which makes it easier to freeze action shots.

Reliable Subject Tracking In Motion

Alpha 9 | FE 100-400mm F4-5.6 GM OSS | 100mm | 1/2000 sec | f/7.1 | ISO 400

Reliable Subject Tracking In Motion

Alpha 9 | FE 100-400mm F4-5.6 GM OSS | 100mm | 1/2000 sec | f/7.1 | ISO 400

A big issue in AF tracking for other cameras is that it tends to focus on the subject closest to it, which becomes a problem when there’s an object moving towards the camera. This was not the case with the Alpha 9! Its focus locks on the subject and it will be sharp in your images.  

Reliable Subject Tracking In Motion

Alpha 9 | FE 100-400mm F4-5.6 GM OSS | 100mm | 1/2000 sec | f/7.1 | ISO 400

Even with backlit subjects, the Alpha 9 can easily detect your subject and nail the focus.

Reliable Subject Tracking In Motion

Alpha 9 | FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS | 16mm | 1/1250 sec | f/5 | ISO 400

Low Light Capability

I also wanted to play with the camera in low light, so I did a quick test.

My setup was as follows -

I placed two Profoto B1s on the sides of my set with the modeling lights on, in order to capture texture and shape. NB - placing the light in front of the subjects will give you a flat image, lacking contrast and shape.

When shooting with the Alpha 9, a fast memory card is also essential.

The camera was set to electronic shutter with FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM @38mm 1/800s ISO 1600 for all the shots below. 

Low Light Capability

Boxer

Boxer

The magic happens when you put all the 329 JPEG files together to create the clip below. 

The Alpha 9 is a fabulous camera to shoot with and a welcome addition to the Sony lineup for event, wedding, action and documentary shooters alike!

This article was originally published on Sony Middle East

Sam's Gear

Alpha 9

Alpha 9

ILCE-9

FE 100-400mm G Master super-telephoto zoom lens

FE 100-400mm G Master

SEL100400GM

Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS

Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS

SEL1635Z

FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM

FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM

SEL2470GM