Sony a9 II improves on stills capabilities

Sony a9II 3

The new Sony a9 II brings some enhancements to the original pro-level camera. With its blackout-free continuous shooting at up to 20 frames per second with Auto Focus and Auto Exposure tracking at 60 calculations per second the a9 II is built for sports and photojournalism where speed is crucial. 

Important changes have come to the design and connectivity options, both of which have been upgraded to fit the special demands of professionals in fast-moving situations. The overall build is similar to that of the just-announced a7R IV, including superior weather sealing.

The new Alpha 9 II uses the same 35mm full-frame stacked 24.2 MP Exmor RS CMOS image sensor with integral memory as the original Alpha 9, giving it the same speed performance and image quality. 

“The Alpha 9 II is the direct result of our work with agency, sports and news photographers since the launch of the original Alpha 9. We have added connectivity and network capabilities that drastically improve the professional workflow, while also making enhancements to design, interface and processing power that complete the user experience. Complemented by our extremely versatile E-mount system – with 55 native lenses introduced at this point including super-telephoto 600mm and 400mm G Master™ series lenses – this new camera is a tool unlike any other for professionals, whether in the field or on the field.” 

Neal Manowitz, deputy president for Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics

Sony 19 II Refined Build and Operability

  • 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 to meet the needs of professionals in even the most challenging outdoor conditions; stronger sealing provided at all body seams as well as the battery compartment cover and media slot
  • Latest developed 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 stabilization 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, allowing higher overall capacity and faster read/write speeds
  • 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

The new a9 II is squarely aimed at Profesional photography but what about video capability? From the look at the specifications, no real improvements are listed. Video enthusiast is waiting for the more video-centric a7s III to be released you have to wonder if it’s going to happen this year if at all.

Pricing and Availability

The new Alpha 9 II will be available in November 2019 priced at approximately $4,500 US and $6,000 CA. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.

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