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Sony A9, 20 FPS w/AF, 24mp FF, no blackout, 3.6M pixel EVF $4500
Patrick Murphy-Racey, Photographer
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 2:39 PM on 05.01.17
->> Since the start of the year, Sony has moved ahead of Nikon as the #2 producer of full-frame camera bodies even as Nikon laid off 1,000 employees. The Sigma MC-11 adapter is just a firmware update away from allowing the A9's AF tracking with 10 fps with Canon EF glass. I will be shooting football this season with a couple A9's and a Canon 500 or 600mm f/4L.
The A9 has a 30ms shutter lag time with no mirror slap vibration issues (not a misprint). Sony had a massive earthquake upset their entire camera business last year and yet they posted the largest profit since 1998.

You can dismiss me as crazy if you want but might it not finally be a good time to have a look at what Sony is doing?

The DSLR is dead. Denial is not just a river in Egypt...

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Gabe Souza, Photographer
Portland | ME | USA | Posted: 6:18 PM on 05.01.17
->> Mine is on order...
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Steve Puppe, Photographer
Olathe | KS | USA | Posted: 11:49 AM on 05.02.17
->> The system isn't quite there enough to make me switch but I'm glad they're pushing the technology. Hopefully Canon and Nikon respond with some innovation.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 12:00 PM on 05.02.17
->> Isn't there some way to label these Sony postings from Patrick as ads?

(And BTW, the DSLR is not dead)
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Dylan Wilson, Photographer, Assistant
Savannah | GA | USA | Posted: 8:44 AM on 05.03.17
->> I've loved the A7RII and the Metabones adapter for my Canon lenses. The high ISOs are amazing. I usually shoot on manual and auto ISO and just let the camera drive. Images up to 10000 are definitely usable (especially on social media). I've even shot sports with the camera using the 1.5x crop feature and feel that while the continuous AF isn't great, it's good enough for my occasional use.

My only other issue is the amount of time that it takes to process images onto an SD card - when shooting full res, chimping is nearly impossible.

Also, Patrick you may know the answer to this question, is there a way to turn the EVF off when shooting on strobes? I've only done this a few times, and if I'm shooting several stops under, it's difficult to compose because the frame thru the viewfinder is nearly all black.
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Gavin Werbeloff, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 5:27 PM on 05.04.17
->> Not passing any substantive judgement on the A9, A7 or any other Sony cameras, but Sony really cherry picked the data. They sold more cameras over a 2 month period of time. This isn't a defense of Nikon, they clearly have their work cut out for them.
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Chris Peterson, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbia Falls | MT | USA | Posted: 2:32 AM on 05.05.17
->> Gotta admit, it looks like a cool camera Racey. But Nikon AF on the road map?
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 6:13 PM on 05.05.17
->> Dylan

Shooting with studio strobes.

Go to the tab with the cogwheel

Look for the option
Live View Display and change it to OFF

It should no longer emulate the final result and work like an optical viewfinder
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 12:13 PM on 05.08.17
->> The Sony a9 Is a Sports Camera Without Sports Lenses
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Rick Yeatts, Photographer
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 9:57 PM on 05.15.17
->> Patrick is 100% percent right. Just like when Robert Seal said years ago professional sports photography is dead. Canon and Nikon are struggling with the same old technology and not investing that much into research & development Sony is blazing a path.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 10:19 PM on 05.15.17
->> I think this is the most balanced view and talks about some of the short comings of the Sony a9
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Sean King, Photographer
Aurora | IL | USA | Posted: 3:13 AM on 06.05.17
->> After shooting nine assignments with the Sony A9...


1. 20 frames a second
2. Blazing fast autofocus with Sigma-MC11 adapter and my Canon L glass
3. Battery life is good. I got about 8000 frames on a full charge.
4. Hit rate is extremely high. Better than on my 1Dx or 7Dmark II.


1. Culling thru all of the photos (20 frames a second)
2. No way of seeing the photo names or numbers on the camera
3. No way of solidly marking your photos for review on PM.
4. No failover from one card to another when one card is full.


1. Overheating indicator went on when I was shooting in 90F weather using the slower of the two card slots. (I shot a whole soccer game with the indicator on and no problems with performance).

Conclusion after using the A9 for a week. I had to learn how to adjust my workflow since I was not able to mark photos or even write down photo names to look for once I started editing. I adjusted by looking at the time I shot the photo and using that as a marking point.

Great camera that I wish would allow me to

1. Mark files
2. See file names in camera
3. update the firmware to address the overheating indicator bug
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Sean King, Photographer
Aurora | IL | USA | Posted: 3:28 AM on 06.05.17
->> Also, some things I missed in my original post.

1. No moving parts (electronic shutter rocks)
2. No Blackout when shooting
3. shutter can go all the way up to 1/32000 a second.
4. You can set the camera to have a Completely silent shutter. NO SOUND PERIOD.
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Patrick Murphy-Racey, Photographer
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 1:14 PM on 06.24.17
->> To be honest, I can get depressed when I post on SS these days... People love to hate me because I've chosen to use different gear than the norm. Yeah, I'm sponsored by Sony. And many of my friends are called Explorers and Ambassadors but I don't see the same kind of posts about them.

The A9 is simply awesome. It's lightweight, faster than anything from Canon or Nikon, and the lenses are coming. On the video side, mirrorless offers so many solutions for all the problems of attempting to do production with a DSLR... it's not even funny.

Time will tell if my statement about the DSLR being dead is true or not, but for sure you won't likely see me using a DSLR ever again. Take a look at what's happening in Malaysia and throughout Southeast Asia, in China, and Germany. In all of these countries, mirrorless is outselling DSLRs and not just in the full-frame segment.

As for sports photography, mirrorless with the A9 is just better. 30 ms lag time on the shutter allows instant success for balls off of bats and club heads, gives any shooter a huge advantage for golf for the obvious reasons, and 20fps doesn't suck. Larger files, more dynamic range, and more images to select from are all part of the experience of shooting with the A9. That you can use Canon EF glass on the A9 with a $250 adapter makes it an unbelievable value. (This is not perfect yet but improving all the time yet ther is still no viable solution for Nikon glass).

As the A9 is shipped to more and more people each day, and as the three new lenses are due to begin shipping in the next week, and in 30 days, respectively, it will be easier for some of you to give Sony a try.

Sony Pro Services is still in its infancy but growing really fast, especially with the help of Bill Pekala and all his wisdom and advice.

You can knock Sony all you want but at least give them credit for showing up out of nowhere and challenging the big two in a way no one has ever done.

The A9 is the best of all worlds, allowing a size similar to Leica M, faster speeds than the best Canon can offer, and in making some of the sharpest lenses in contemporary times (G-Master).

Call me crazy if you want, but I'm loving using this new gear. You can all do what you want, obviously, but it might be in your best interest to take a closer look, especially going forward and as the lines between stills and video blur more and more each day. And, if you disagree with everything I've said, then I will just enjoy your Facebook photos where you shoot pix of the back LCD of your camera with your iPhone... you guys slay me;)
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Tim Gangloff, Photographer
Knoxville | Tn | USA | Posted: 8:48 PM on 06.25.17
->> Hey Patrick. Sony is certainly turning up the heat, and we all benefit from that, but for a sports shooter, I just don't think they are there yet. When they release the 400 2.8 or even a 300 2.8 and other super telephoto lenses, then you/they may get my further attention. I like a silent shutter. I like 20fps, I like wifi, but I also like a 300 2.8, a 400 2.8 and maybe a 200-400 one day.

And in sports where speed is critical, the fastest cfast cards are still twice as fast as the fastest sd cards. So, I'm able to download my smaller files 2 times faster. ;-)

Seriously, I like what Sony is doing, but I just am not ready to use 2 systems and I don't think Sony is ready for professional sports yet - at least not for those shooting one system. I can see using an a9 with a 70-200 and silent shutter for golf, but I don't see the a9 performing at th highest levels with a long lens.

I do look forward to seeing you on the sideline and seeing how the A9 is working for you.

From the article cited below:

"Second, Sony A-mount lenses adapted with the LA-EA3 adapter do shoot at an impressive 10 fps with autofocus, something we confirmed with the 50/1.4 (as long as you've updated the firmware of the adapter).* With the Metabones and Sigma adapters though, as with all Sony FE bodies, only the L drive mode offers continuous focus. And it's actually only 2.5 fps, not the 5 fps Watson mentions (technically L is 3 fps, but it slows to 2-3 fps with continuous focus).

With that out of the way, Watson's video is a great resource for seeing how well (or not) the a9 performs when attached to the long, fast Canon primes sports shooters love. And while single-shot focus with central points is speedy and almost 100% accurate with long adapted lenses, the lack of true subject tracking (Lock-on AF modes) or continuous focus at speeds higher than ~2.5 fps (or in video) will probably be a deal breaker for many fast-action photographers.

Once you've lost the impressive high speed shooting advantages Sony baked into the a9, you might as well be shooting with any other camera. Moral of the story: stick to Sony glass and hope they keep churning out new lenses at break-neck pace."
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Corey Perrine, Photographer
Philadelphia | PA | USA | Posted: 12:52 AM on 06.26.17
->> It's gonna be real interesting when the A9 II comes out and you have sports lenses and dual XQD slots. For now basically you have to shoot anything over ISO 640. It has my attention but not my dollars – for now...
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 8:15 PM on 06.26.17
->> "I'm sponsored by Sony"
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Patrick Murphy-Racey, Photographer
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 10:12 PM on 11.10.17
->> FE400mm f/2.8G-Master coming in Summer, 2018
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Simon Wheeler, Photographer, Photo Editor
Ithaca | NY | USA | Posted: 9:37 PM on 11.11.17
->> Re the 400 2.8, I'm looking into how much I can get for a kidney. Just kidding. I have a friend and his A9's are awesome, but I don't see switching. Too much Canon muscle memory to unlearn.
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Michael Granse, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 1:13 AM on 11.13.17
->> I was a Minolta user (and ENJOYED the puzzled looks from other shooters) before they released their first DSLR snd I switched to Canon when it became apparent that Minolta was not going to compete with Nikon and Canon in the pro DSLR market. The flash metering system in my Minolta system was better in 2002 than my Canon gear is now in 2017 and my lenses all the way up to 300mm f2.8 were great, though they lacked silent motors and did not focus as quickly as my Canon lenses. I really hated to have to sell everything and start over. Not long after this, Minolta merged with Konica and then Konica-Minolta was purchased by Sony.

As for the Sony camera's inability to tag an image, this seems like a relatively easy fix that could be addressed via software upgrade. If it is a lack of an extra button, perhaps they could remap the delete button to tag images instead of erasing them. I almost never delete images in camera as I effectively accomplish this by only keeping the ones that are tagged. If it were set up as a custom function, the user could choose to leave the button as delete or change it to tag.

I am not currently looking to switch camera systems but I love the idea that Minolta, or at least a more recent version of it, is back in The Game.
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Tim Gangloff, Photographer
Knoxville | Tn | USA | Posted: 8:50 PM on 12.12.17
->> My First Week With The A9:

While Sony does not have any serious long glass for the a9 yet and even the 70-200 2.8 GM by Sony gets mixed reviews ( says its good, but not as good as the Canon a lots more copy variation), the 24-70 2.8 GM is widely regarded as being very sharp. So, I decided to give the A9 a try with the 24-70 2.8 GM on the baseline at basketball games. I shot the 1dx2 with a 400 2.8 for downcourt action

My first night with the A9 was miserable. I didn't really know what I was doing and the amount of settings and customization of the A9 was not something I was familiar with and I screwed things up with my auto focus settings.

So, I went home with my tail between my legs and told a buddy, a Nikon shooter, the A9 was a mess. He suggested it was operator error. I could not argue with that, so went home and really dug into the settings, read a bunch of stuff on the net, and figured some things out.

Now a week later, I've shot 3 D1 college basketball games with it. Each time out, I get better and create more keepers. It's to the point now where I don't think I'd be doing any better with my 1dx2 and 24-70 2.8 II. I still miss shots, and some are my fault and some are the cameras, but I can say the same for the Canon combination.

The image quality and sharpness are just as good as the Canon gear and now I'm making as many keepers with the Sony. I imagine with a few more games, I'll get even better results.

I can do a more thorough review later, but as someone who gave Patrick a hard time in this thread, I wanted to say publicly that the A9 is a very serious competitor to Nikon and Canon.

Sure, it has some issues, including SD cards (slower than CFast card in my 1dx2), electronic view finder is a little laggy compared to a mirror and the speed of light, a sllightly too small grip that hurts ergonomics, the inability to mark or rate images in camera to name a few of the bigger issues facing a sports shooter.

However, a quick and accurate AF system, a few more megapixels than my 1dx2, 20fps with no blackout, charge the battery in camera via USB (think shooting on the road and I can plug it into my car cell phone charger!) wifi, NFC and Bluetooth, (yes I occasionally want to share images immediately and it's easy to do with the A9) and so many customization features it's almost silly.

I've not tried a metabones adapter yet, so have only shot the 24-70 2.8 GM on the A9 and definitely prefer to stay with native lenses, but may give it go to see if I can continue to use my Canon 70-200 2.8 IS II, which is magical and maybe even my 400 2.8 IS.

It took Canon a few years and varities to get the 70-200 right. If Sony can speed that process up and get a good 70-200 and 300 or 400 2.8 out quickly, Canon will need to step up their game.
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Aaron Babcock, Photo Editor, Photographer
Lincoln | NE | | Posted: 8:30 PM on 01.04.18
->> I switched from the Canon 1DX to the Sony A9 in August and couldn't be happier.

Was it an adjustment? Absolutely. I would typically shoot with a 400 2.8 and 1.4 converter, so switching to the 100-400 was a big adjustment in how I shot. However, I'll be grabbing the 400 2.8 as soon as it comes out this year.

The file quality is amazing. High ISO performance is stunning. Autofocus is unmatched.

I love that Sony Pro Support takes my feedback. The ability to tag photos is my No. 1 issue, but I am confident that will be fixed with a future software update.

Did I miss some frames because of my glass this year? Maybe. But I guarantee I made several frames I wouldn't have made with my Canon system. I couldn't be happier.

If you're interested, here are a couple of takes (not published galleries, so there are additional photos for archive purposes).

Nebraska at Penn State (night game)

Nebraska at Illinois (afternoon/night)

Nebraska at Oregon (day game) - 2nd game with gear
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Aaron Babcock, Photo Editor, Photographer
Lincoln | NE | | Posted: 8:32 PM on 01.04.18
->> One last thing - the 20 fps is amazing. Here's a 13-frame sequence from a juggling catch during the season:
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Garrett Hubbard, Photographer
Washington | D.C. | USA | Posted: 6:21 PM on 01.05.18
->> There are some similarities here to when Canon launched the 1D and Nikon the D3. Both game changers and it took the other brand about 5 years to leapfrog. Who's ahead in a few years?
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Thread Title: Sony A9, 20 FPS w/AF, 24mp FF, no blackout, 3.6M pixel EVF $4500
Thread Started By: Patrick Murphy-Racey
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