Sony today introduced a new flagship camera in its full-frame mirrorless range, the a9. “The most technologically advanced, innovative digital camera that Sony has ever created,” the a9 offers some very impressive performance features for all outdoor photographers and will be particularly advantageous for wildlife photography.
The a9 features an all-new 24.2-megapixel stacked CMOS sensor, which Sony notes, “enables data speed processing at up to 20x faster than previous Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras.” Combined with a new 693-point focal plane phase detection AF system — which covers approximately 93 percent of the frame and is capable of making 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second — the a9 is able to shoot at a remarkable 20 fps continuously for up to 241 RAW or 362 JPG images in a single burst. The camera is also capable of shutter speeds up to 1/32,000 sec. The speed and AF precision of the a9 will make this camera especially well-suited for the unique challenges of wildlife and sports.
Also beneficial for wildlife photography is the camera’s silent shooting. The a9’s “completely silent anti-distortion shutter with absolutely no mechanical mirror or shutter noise” will allow photographers to work without disturbing subjects that can be easily frightened by the typically noisy operation of high-speed mechanical shutters and mirrors in DSLRs. The camera’s Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder boasts the highest resolution yet in a Sony camera at 3,686k, is twice as bright as the viewfinder in the a7R II, and there’s no blackout during capture.
Other noteworthy features of the a9 are its standard ISO range of 100-51200, which is expandable to 50–204800, and built-in 5-Axis image stabilization that provides up to 5 stops of compensation for camera movement when shooting handheld.
With the a9, Sony is clearly solidifying its position in the professional camera space, and other refinements in the a9 reinforce that. The camera features dual SD card slots, one of which is UHS-II compatible, and an Ethernet port for working pros who need to deliver images quickly via FTP to a remote server. Sony is also introducing a new “Z” battery with the a9 that doubles the capacity of the batteries found in the current a7-series cameras.
In addition, Sony continues to expand its G Master line of premium high-resolution optics designed for professional use. The newest lens in the series, introduced with the a9 is the FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS Super Telephoto Zoom, addressing the need for a longer telephoto perspective in the G Master range, which until now maxed out with the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS. The lens has built-in optical image stabilization and is compatible with Sony’s 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, allowing for telephoto perspectives of up to 800mm with full-frame Sony cameras like the a9, and up to 1200mm equivalent with Sony’s APS-C sensor cameras. The G Master lens range now includes five lenses — two primes and three zooms — covering focal lengths from 24mm at the wide end with the FE 24-70 mm F2.8 GM to 400mm with the lens introduced today.
The Sony a9 will be available in May for around $4,500. The Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS lens will follow in July, and will be priced around $2,500. Additional details about both the a9 and FE 100-400mm are in the press releases below.
Sony’s New α9 Camera Revolutionizes the Professional Imaging Market
Groundbreaking Full-frame Mirrorless Camera Delivers Unmatched Speed, Versatility and Usability
- World’s First1full-frame stacked CMOS sensor, 24.2 MP2 resolution
- Blackout-Free Continuous Shooting3at up to 20fps4 for up to 241 RAW5/ 362 JPEG6 images
- Silent7, Vibration-free shooting at speeds up to 1/32,000 sec8
- 693 point focal plane phase detection AF points with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second
- Extensive professional features including Ethernet port for file transfer, Dual SD card slots and extended battery life
- 5-Axis in-body image stabilization with a 5.0 step9 shutter speed advantage
NEW YORK, Apr. 19, 2017 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced their new revolutionary digital camera, the α9(model ILCE-9).
The most technologically advanced, innovative digital camera that Sony has ever created, the new α9offers a level of imaging performance that is simply unmatched by any camera ever created – mirrorless, SLR or otherwise.
The new camera offers many impressive capabilities that are simply not possible with a modern digital SLR camera including high-speed, blackout-free continuous shooting3 at up to 20fps4, 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second 10, a maximum shutter speed of up to 1/32,000 second8 and much more. These are made possible thanks to its 35mm full-frame stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS sensor – the world’s first of its kind – which enables data speed processing at up to 20x faster than previous Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras11. This unique sensor is paired with a brand new, upgraded BIONZ X processing engine and front end LSI that maximizes overall performance.
This industry-leading speed and innovative silent shooting7 is combined with a focusing system that features an incredible 693 phase detection AF points. Covering approximately 93% of the frame, the focusing system ensures that even the fasting moving subjects are reliably captured and tracked across the frame.
The new α9 also features a vibration free, fully electronic, completely silent anti-distortion shutter7with absolutely no mechanical mirror or shutter noise, making it an extremely powerful photographic tool for any shooting situation that demands quiet operation. To ensure maximum usability and reliability, the camera features a new Z battery with approximately 2.2x the capacity of W batteries, as well as dual SD media card slots, including one that supports UHS-II cards. An Ethernet port (wired LAN terminal) is available as well, and there is a wide variety of new settings, controls and customizability options that are essential for working pros.
“This camera breaks through all barriers and limitations of today’s professional digital cameras, with an overall feature set that simply cannot be matched considering the restrictions of mechanical SLR cameras” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “But what excites us most about the α9 – more than its extensive product specs – is that it allows professionals to see, follow and capture the action in ways that were never before possible, unlocking an endless amount of new creative potential.”
A New Standard of Speed and Focusing Accuracy
Critical to the record-breaking speed of the new α9 is the combination of the new stacked 24.2 MP2Exmor RS image sensor, new BIONZ X processor and front end LSI.
The immense processing power from these new components allows for faster AF/AE calculation while also reducing EVF display latency. The processor and front end LSI are also responsible for the larger continuous shooting buffer, enabling photographers to shoot at a blazing 20 fps4 with continuous AF/AE tracking for up to 362 JPEG6 or 241 RAW5 images.
The camera’s innovative AF system tracks complex, erratic motion with higher accuracy than ever before, with the ability to calculate AF/AE at up to 60 times per second10, regardless of shutter release and frame capture. Further, when the shutter is released while shooting stills, the electronic viewfinder functions with absolutely no blackout, giving the user a seamless live view of their subject at all times 12. This feature truly combines all of the benefits of an electronic viewfinder with the immediacy and “in the moment” advantages that not even the finest optical viewfinders can match, and is available in all still image modes including high speed 20 fps4 continuous shooting.
With 693 focal plane phase detection AF points covering approximately 93% of the frame, the camera ensures improved precision and unfailing focus in scenes where focus might otherwise be difficult to achieve. The Fast Hybrid AF system – pairing the speed and excellent tracking performance of phase detection AF with the precision of contrast AF – achieves approximately 25% faster performance when compared with α7R II, ensuring all fast-moving subjects are captured.
Professional Capabilities in a Compact Body
Sony’s new full-frame camera is equipped with a variety of enhanced capabilities that give it a true professional operational style.
The α9 features an all-new, high-resolution, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder with approximately 3,686k dots for extremely accurate, true-to-life detail reproduction. The new Tru-Finder, which is the highest resolution viewfinder ever for a Sony α camera, incorporates an optical design that includes a double-sided aspherical element, helping it to achieve 0.78x magnification and a level of corner to corner sharpness that is simply outstanding. The EVF also utilizes a ZEISS® T* Coating to greatly reduce reflections, and has a fluorine coating on the outer lens that repels dirt.
This all adds up to a luminance that is 2x higher than the XGA OLED Tru-Finder from the α7R II, creating a viewfinder image with a brightness level that is nearly identical to the actual scene being framed, ensuring the most natural shooting experience. The frame rate of the Tru-Finder is even customizable, with options to set it for 60 fps or 120 fps13 to best match the action.
The α9 is equipped with an innovative 5-axis image stabilization system that provides a shutter speed advantage of 5.0 steps 9, ensuring the full resolving power of the new sensor can be realized, even in challenging lighting. Also, with a simple half press of the shutter button, the effect of the image stabilization can be monitored in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen, allowing framing and focus to be accurately checked and continually monitored.
The α9 also offers an Ethernet port (wired LAN terminal), allowing convenient transfer of still image files to a specified FTP server at high-speed, making it an ideal choice for studio photography, high-profile news and sporting events and more. There is a sync terminal as well, enabling external flash units and cables to be connected directly for convenient flash sync.
New Features for Fast Operation
Sony’s new α9 has several new and updated focus functions that support faster, easier focusing in a variety of situations. The camera features a multi-selector joystick on the back of the camera, allowing shooters to easily shift focus point within the frame by pressing the multi-selector in any direction up, down, left or right when shooting in Zone, Flexible Spot or Expanded Flexible Spot focus area modes. The new model also offers touch focusing on the rear LCD screen for easily selecting of and shifting focus towards a desired focus point or subject.
New for Sony E-mount cameras, the α9 includes the addition of separate drive mode and focus mode dials, plus a new “AF ON” button that can be pressed to activate autofocus directly when shooting still images or movies.
Additional new capabilities include the “AF Area Registration”, which allows frequently used focus area to be memorized and recalled via custom button assignments. There is also the ability to assign specific settings (exposure, shutter speed, drive mode, etc) to a custom button to be instantly recalled when needed. The camera can memorize and automatically recall the last focus point used in a vertical or horizontal orientation as well, instantly switching back to it when that specific orientation is used again.
For enhanced customization, a “My Menu” feature is available, allowing up to 30 menu items to be registered in a custom menu for instant recall when needed.
Double Battery Life, Double Memory
The innovative α9 camera features an all-new Sony battery (model NP-FZ100) with 2.2x the capacity of previous Sony full-frame models, allowing for much longer shooting performance.
Also, based on extensive customer feedback, the new camera offers two separate media card slots, including one for UHS-II media. The same data can simultaneously be recorded to both cards, or the user can choose to separate RAW / JPEG or still images / movies. Movies can also simultaneously be recorded to two cards for backup and more efficient data management.
High Sensitivity and Wide Dynamic Range
The unique design of the α9 image sensor represents the pinnacle of Sony device technology. The 24.2 MP 2 full-frame stacked CMOS sensor is back-illuminated, allowing to capture maximum light and produce outstanding, true-to-life image quality. The sensor also enables the diverse ISO range of 100 – 51200, expandable to 50 – 20480014, ensuring optimum image quality with minimum noise at all settings.
The enhanced BIONZ X processor plays a large part in image quality as well, as it helps to minimize noise in the higher sensitivity range while also reducing the need to limit ISO sensitivity in situations where the highest quality image is required.
The new α9 also supports uncompressed 14-bit RAW, ensuring users can get the most out of the wide dynamic range of the sensor.
4K Video Capture
The new α9 is very capable as a video camera as well, as it offers 4K (3840x2160p) video recording across the full width of the full-frame image sensor 15, 16. When shooting in this format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information, oversampling it to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. Recording is also available in the popular Super 35mm size.
Additionally, the camera can record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, which allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD resolution with AF tracking 17.
Sony has released a variety of new accessories to compliment the new α9 camera, including:
–NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Battery – high-capacity battery with approximately 2.2x the capacity of the NP-FW50 W-series battery. It also supports InfoLITHIUM® technology, making it possible to view the remaining battery power as both a percentage display and five step icon on the camera’s LCD screen.
–VG-C3EM Vertical Grip – provides same operation, handling and design as theα9 camera, doubles battery life and allows USB battery-charging via the camera body.
–NPA-MQZ1K Multi-Battery Adaptor Kit – External multi-battery adaptor kit capable of functioning as an external power supply for four Z series batteries and as a quick charger. Kit comes with two packs of NP-FZ100 rechargeable batteries.
–GP-X1EM Grip Extension – Grip extender with same look, feel and design as α9 body. Enables more solid hold on camera.
–FDA-EP18 Eyepiece Cup –eye piece cup with locking mechanism
–BC-QZ1 Battery Charger –quick-charging battery charger. Charges one new Z series battery in approximately 2.5 hours.
–PCK–LG1 Screen Protect Glass Sheet – hard, shatterproof glass screen protector with anti-stain coating to prevent fingerprints. Compatible with touch operation and tilting LCD screen
Pricing and Availability
The Sony α9 Full-frame Interchangeable Lens Camera will ship this May for about $4,500 US and $6,000 CA. It will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.
A variety of exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new Α90 camera and other Sony α products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, a site built to educate and inspire all fans and customers of the Sony α brand.
Sony Expands Flagship G Master™ Lens Series with New 100-400mm Super Telephoto E-Mount Zoom
New FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS Super Telephoto Zoom Lens Features Outstanding Sharpness, Fast AF, Compact Design and more
NEW YORK, Apr. 19, 2017 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced their furthest reaching E-mount lens, the FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS Super Telephoto Zoom (model SEL100400GM).
The new full-frame lens maintains the high standard of resolution that is shared among all of Sony’s flagship line of G Master™ series, while also offering incredibly fast, precise AF capabilities, a lightweight, portable design and a variety of professional functions and customizability. It’s an exceptionally powerful photographic tool for a variety of enthusiast and professional shooters, in particular those that are commonly shooting sports or wildlife.
Uncompromised G Master Design and Performance
A super telephoto zoom that meets the intense build requirements of Sony’s acclaimed G Master series lens lineup, the new FE 100-400mm GM model produces outstanding corner-to-corner sharpness throughout the lens’ zoom and focus ranges and beautiful rendered ‘bokeh’ or background defocus, ensuring the finest details are brought out in every subject and scene.
The complex design features 22 lens elements configured in 16 different groups, including one Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and two ED glass elements, all of which are working together to minimize chromatic aberration and ensure the ultimate resolution is captured. The lens also has Sony’s original Nano AR coating, which is particularly useful for shooting sports scenes or wildlife, as it reduces unwanted reflections.
Precise, Quick AF Performance
In order to keep up with fast-moving action, the new FE 100-400mm GM super telephoto zoom lens features a combination of double linear motor and a Direct Drive SSM actuator, which also ensures precise, quiet operation.
The double motor system allows rapid focus lens drive acceleration to capture the sudden motion that is common with sports and wildlife photography, while high precision positioning control and a newly optimized AF algorithm ensure the subject is quickly found and focused on. This ensures that the maximum AF performance of a camera like the new α9 is realized.
Lightweight Design, Extensive Customizability
In order to satisfy the extensive demands of customers craving lighter, smaller and more portable super telephoto lenses, the new FE 100-400mm GM weighs in at a mere 49.3 ounces (1,395 grams), making it among the lightest in its class and an ideal fit for Sony’s wide range of compactly designed cameras.
Functionally, the lens has a zoom torque adjustment ring – a first for Sony α – allowing the user to adjust the level of torque in the ring to zoom faster or slower depending on their shooting style. There is also a focus hold button that can also be assigned to variety of functions including focus mode selection, AF area selection or the popular Eye AF lock feature.
The telephoto zoom lens is dust and moisture resistant as well1, and has fluorine coating on the front lens that makes it easier to remove dust or grease. There is also a removable tripod mount.
Professional Operation and Reliability
The new FE 100-400mm GM Super Telephoto Zoom lens features built-in optical image stabilization, ensuring that sharp images can be captured during handheld shooting. It also offers a minimum focusing range of just 3.22 feet (0.98 meters), which maximizes its versatility in the field, and a 9 bladed circular aperture design that produces soft, beautiful bokeh.
The FE 100-400mm GM is compatible with both the 1.4x (model SEL14TC) and 2.0x (model SEL20TC) teleconverters, allowing photographers and videographers to shoot at up to 800mm on full-frame cameras and approx.1200mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) on APS-C cameras.
Pricing and Availability
The new FE 100-400mm GM Super Telephoto Zoom Lens ship this July for about $2,500 US and $3,399 CA.
A variety of exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new lenses and other Sony α products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com , Sony’s community site built to educate, inspire and showcase all fans and customers of the Sony α brand.
- (US) – FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS (model SEL100400GM)
- (CA) – FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS (model SEL100400GM)