Sony Officially Announces the Sports and Photojournalist Focused A9 II

The Sony A9 II should delight sports photographers and those working in the field.

It seems like we have been talking about the Sony A9 II for a while now, but Sony has only just officially announced their new flagship camera. The original Sony A9 took the sports photography and photojournalism worlds by storm when it was released in 2017. Sony is hoping the A9 II will have the same kind of impact the original had. Join us after the break to find out more about the specs, and the pricing of the new Sony A9 II.

The Sony A9 II has been perhaps one of the worst kept secrets for a while, so it’s no surprise that the official announcement has finally hit the net. Many photographers were hoping for a beefier body with a built-in grip and an upgrade to the sensor. Unfortunately, that has not happened, but there are significant advances in other areas.

The Sony A9 II looks virtually identical to the original A9, so those familiar with that body should feel right at home with the new model. There is a slight change on the top of the camera with an extra dial being placed between the mode selector and the exposure compensation dial; otherwise, the A9 II looks the same.

Inside, you’re going to find the same sensor used in the original A9. That’s slightly disappointing, but the 24.2 Megapixel Exmor RS sensor was no slouch. The sensor will be paired with a new upgraded BIONZ X image processor. The BIONZ X processor works in conjunction with front-end LSI to enhance speed in both AF and AE detection, image processing, face detection, and accuracy. As we’ve come to expect from Sony’s high-end bodies, there is also 5-axis in-body image stabilization and a re-designed shutter rated for 500,000 actuations.

The autofocus system is made up of 693 focal-plane phase-detection AF points, which cover approximately 93% of the sensor, as well as 425 contrast autofocus points. As with most other Sony cameras, you’ll find Real-time Eye AF, Real-time Eye AF for animals, and Real-Time Eye AF when you record video. The autofocus system can continuously track subjects even if continuous shooting is greater than f16. The Sony A9 II can shoot continuously at 20 fps for up to 361 JPEG images or 239 RAW images, which is impressive. If you need to use the mechanical shutter, the A9 II can shoot up to 10 fps – roughly twice as fast as the original A9. The Dual Card slots are both compatible with UHS-II cards as well.

 

Sony A9 II front

Sony has also upgraded several other features that made the original A9 stand out from the crowd. The built-in Ethernet port is capable of Gigabit speeds, and Wi-Fi performance has been improved by adding a 5GHz band along with the 2.4GHz band found in the A9. If you like to tether your camera to a PC or Mac, you’ll be pleased to know tethering performance has also been improved.

Sony A9 II side

The Alpha 9 II also features a new voice memo function. Photojournalists in the field can now attach voice files to their images that can be replayed when the image is viewed. The voice recordings can be sent with the photo to an editor, which can give them essential information for editing purposes. You can also use a new speech-to-text feature, which will turn your voice into words with the use of a new Imaging Edge application. The text can be added to JPEG images in the form of IPTC metadata.

Sony A9 II weather sealing

The Sony A9 II also features an upgraded dust and moisture resistant design. This should enable photographers to use the camera in challenging outdoor conditions and inclement weather. The new beefier weather sealing can be found at all body seams, as well as in the battery compartment and media slots. The new Alpha 9 II will be available this November, and will be priced at approximately $4,500 US and $6,000 CA. For more information, head to the official Sony website.