Sony Artisan Brian Smith took to his blog today to rave about the forthcoming Sony α9 mirrorless camera that was announced this morning at a press event in New York City. The fully-loaded features of the new halo camera of Sony's elite professional grade mirrorless series are all Smith could talk about. "...continuous shooting at up to 20 FPS with NO BLACKOUT with AF/AE tracking up to 60 measurements per sec ...and Silent Shooting for vibration-free shooting up to 1/32,000sec! WHEW!!!"
Smith goes on to describe Sony's newest mirrorless camera having the world's first full-frame stacked CMOS sensor with integral memory and points out that the α9 design and features are clearly throwing down the gauntlet before Nikon's D5 and Canon's EOS-1D Mark II. However, within Sony's Alpha Universe, Smith points out that "[the] Sony α9 is NOT a replacement for Sony α7 series cameras - rather it's designed to exceed the specs of [competitor] DSLRs."
Continuing to marvel at the stacked CMOS sensor, Smith explains "Because data is not streamed to the edges of the frame - but straight through - the camera is able to calculate exposure, AF/AE and capture functions in parallel 20x faster than was previously possible."
Next Smith shifts his focus to the speed and sound of shooting with the α9. "For the first time ever in a full-frame camera, Sony's α9 allows you to shoot up to a blazing 20 frames per second." The other feature generating a tremendous amount of buzz is the silence of shooting with the α9. While Smith notes that silent shooting is a feature not unique to the α9 but shared with several other Sony Alpha cameras, he points out that it's the first time it's been present "on a true flagship camera."
"Silent Shooting Mode is ideal for shooting situations like movie sets, courtrooms, or funerals where shutter noise is either prohibited or frowned upon. Silent shooting allows sports photographers to shoot in 100% silence at times an audible shutter would not be allowed - such as the back swing of a golf putt or tennis serve."
Another winning feature and evidence that the α9's design was informed by photographer feedback are the dual SD card slots which Smith celebrates a much appreciated addition. "You asked for it, and Sony's a9 now sports dual SD card slots that allow for redundant backup."
The α9 is also the first flagship camera to have the much loved Sony tilt-screen LCD. Smith says,"...I LOVE this...EVF/Monitor Switching is DISABLED when the α9 LCD monitor is tilted upwards making it much easier to shoot from the hip with the LCD tilted upwards."
Smith also notes the substantial autofocus upgrades that come with the α9; 4D AF 25% faster and Eye AF 30% faster than previous Sony models.
Another significant upgrades include the new menu debuting on the α9, and the faster autofocus (4D AF 25% faster and Eye AF 30% faster than previous Sony models).
The Sony Artisan's conclusion regarding the new camera at the top of Sony's industry-leading mirrorless line: "[The] Sony α9 is aimed at the needs of photojournalists or sports photographers who can benefit from silent shooting at 20 frames-per-second with the fastest focusing camera on the planet. It should also appeal to wildlife photographers for its ability to track fast-moving subjects with no viewfinder blackout using an EVF that refreshes fasten than the human eye."
Read Brian Smith's full overview of the Sony α9 on his blog at briansmith.com.