Sony today announced its most advanced digital camera ever, the new Alpha A9 (ILCE-9). The mirrorless camera uses the world’s first full-frame stacked CMOS sensor offering 24.2 MP resolution and featuring integral memory. According to Sony, the sensor enables data speed processing up to 20 times faster than previous full-frame mirrorless Alpha cameras.
One of the main highlights of the Alpha A9 is its impressive 20fps burst shooting without the ‘blackout’ that we usually see on conventional DSLRs. This is made possible due to a 60fps live-view refresh rate. The ultra-fast shooting speed is complemented by an improved autofocus system with 693-point phase-detection AF and 93% coverage. To ensure superior image quality at all settings, the A9 offers a wide ISO range of 100 – 51,200. This is further expandable to 50 – 204,800, which is quite impressive given the sensor size and maximum resolution. The Alpha A9 also boasts the highest resolution viewfinder on a Sony Alpha camera yet. It features a new high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder with approximately 3,686k dots for near true-to-life detail reproduction.
Along with a new sensor, the A9 also packs a more powerful BIONZ X processor under the hood, coupled with a new front-end LSI. It allows the camera to deliver higher detail across a wide ISO range, achieving “lifelike texture reproduction”. Uncompressed 14-bit RAW format is supported as well.
Professionals will appreciate the camera’s vibration-free and fully electronic anti-distortion shutter which does not produce any mechanical or shutter noise whatsoever. Sony is using the new NP-FZ100 battery inside the Alpha A9, claimed to deliver up to 480 still frames on a single charge. There are two media card slots on offer, with support for new high-speed UHS-II SD cards. For FTP file transfer, the A9 includes an Ethernet port, allowing users to upload photos to an FTP server directly from the camera.
Moving on to video, the A9 is capable of shooting 4K (3840 x 2160p) video with Full-pixel readout at 6K resolution, resulting in extremely high quality 4K footage. If you wish to shoot in 1080p, the A9 can record Full HD at up 120fps with 100 Mbps bit rate. You get 5-axis in-body stabilization offering a 5.0-stop shutter speed advantage.
Sony will begin selling the A9 in the US starting next month for approximately $4,500 (SGD 6285). That’s quite a bit lower than its main rivals – Nikon D5 and Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. In Europe, the camera is expected to be available in stores by June. No word yet regarding Singapore availability.