Sony's new a9 II is a camera that the average consumer will probably neither need nor buy, targeted at a small segment of the professional photographer user base.
Possibly Sony's highest-end camera, the new A9 Mark II model builds on the legacy of the original Alpha 9, maintaining speed performance including blackout-free continuous shooting at up to 20 frames per second with Auto Focus and Auto Exposure tracking, 60 times per second AF/AE calculations while incorporating even more functionality for professionals. Updates include enhanced connectivity and file delivery, continuous shooting at up to 10 fps with mechanical shutter, evolved AF performance with newly optimised algorithms, a re-designed build to enhance durability and operability and more.
The Alpha 9 II includes an in-built 1000BASE-T Ethernet terminal, enabling gigabit communication for high-speed, stable data transfer operations. Additionally, File Transfer over SSL or TLS encryption (FTPS) is supported for increased data security and PC remote (tether) shooting performance is improved, with decreased release time lag and reduced live view screen delay when using the ‘Remote Camera Tool’ desktop application. The speed of the camera’s built-in wireless LAN functionality has also been increased, adding a stable and fast 5 GHz (IEEE 802.11ac)[v] band, in addition to the 2.4 GHz provided in the Alpha 9. IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac standards are all supported.
The Alpha 9 II features a new Voice Memo function that allows spoken information to be attached to images in the form of voice memos that can be replayed when the images are reviewed. The voice data can also be included with images sent to an editor, giving them important information needed for effective editing. Alternatively, a field photographer can also use the ‘Transfer & Tagging add-on’ “Imaging Edge” application to transfer voice tags with the images to their mobile device and have the voice memos automatically converted to text and added to the JPEG images in the form of IPTC metadata. All of this can be done automatically or manually, selectable by the photographer.
By combining wireless voice / image transfer and automatic voice to text conversion with the ability to auto transfer images with attached voice memos via FTP, it is possible to shoot and transfer the results to an FTP server without ever having to operate a smartphone. FTP settings within the app can also be sent to a camera via Bluetooth.
The A9 II will ship in November for around $4,500 (body only). It will also ship in Europe in October 2019, priced at approximately €5,400.
- Upgraded BIONZ X image processing engine gains maximum benefit from the sensor’s fast readout speed. Processor works with front-end LSI to enhance speed in AF/AE detection, image processing, face detection and accuracy, and more
- Upgraded dust and moisture resistant design. Stronger sealing provided at all body seams as well as the battery compartment cover and media slot
- Latest image-processing algorithm reduces noise in the medium-to-high sensitivity range while improving subjective resolution and image quality
- 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation system that provides a shutter speed advantage of 5.5 steps
- Improved grip configuration for even greater comfort and sure hold. Compatible with Sony VG-C4EM Vertical Grip
- Improved button design and feel. Increased diameter and feedback of the ‘AF-ON’ button; a refined multi-selector joystick design; an exposure compensation dial lock button and a redesigned shape and new position for the rear dial
- Redesigned shutter mechanism to suppress even the slightest movement that can cause image blur. Tested for durability in excess of 500,000 shutter cycles
- USB Type-C connector that supports fast USB 3.2 Gen 1 data transfer
- Dual media slots that are both compatible with UHS-I and UHS-II SD cards,
- Digital audio interface has been added to the camera’s Multi Interface Shoe (MI Shoe) enabling the new ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or XLR-K3M
- XLR Adaptor Kit to be connected directly to the MI Shoe for cleaner, clearer audio recordings