Spec Warfare: Sony A9 vs Nikon D5 vs Canon 1D X Mark II
Sony A9

Damn. The rumors were true, and now we get a look at Sony’s latest flagship to take on the likes of Nikon and Canon. It’s a professional mirrorless camera with gaudy specs.

A quick note, the rumors are this is the start of the A9 series, so those wanting the absurd megapixel count, just hang on. The first A9 will feature stacked 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, 693 autofocus points, dual SD card slots (welcome to the party Sony), five-axis image stabilization and an ethernet port because why not? The actual reason is wireless transfer is terribly slow, and a direct ethernet hookup will aid studio photography and video newsgathering.

And a certain company decided it was a great idea to leave the SD slot off its latest laptop…

A9 vs Nikon D5 vs Canon 1D X Mark II

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Sony A9 Specs

FPS. Who doesn’t want to hold the shutter and snap away? Sony has stepped up their game, and the A9 promises blackout-free continuous shooting at 20 frames per second up to 241 consecutive RAWs or 362 JPEGs. Sports and wildlife photographers rejoice and prepare to buy the more expensive SD cards (UHS-II). The cheap ones you have lying around won’t cut it to see those numbers.

Another feature to the 20fps is Sony promising that can be done in silent mode. No more machine gun shutter noises? Hell yes.

Sony a9 announced

Autofocus. 693 point focal plane phase detection AF points with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second. A joystick lets you select your subject, and the 693 points cover 93% of the frame.

A9 Viewfinder. A major selling point of a mirrorless camera is the electronic viewfinder. Sony is pushing the narrative it’s the sharpest yet with the Quad-VGA Tru-Finder featuring 3,686K dots:

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 60fps or 120fps to best match the action.

ISO. No absurd numbers here. The range is 100-51200 expandable to 50-204800. It’s respectable and what matters with ISO is how much of it is usable. Not what you can set it to.

Battery Life. Sony is listening. The new A9 promises 2.2x the battery life over previous full-frame cameras. That’s still under Canon and Nikon, but the knock against mirrorless has always been battery life – the adage of two is one, one is none is more like three batteries is one in a mirrorless camera.

It’s not out of the realm to expect this will be further improved upon as Sony launches the A9s and A9r. Come on; we know it’s happening.

Menu system. If you love the a6500 menu, you’ll feel at home here. The ‘My Menu’ feature is available and offers 30 menu items for customization to fit your workflow.

Video. 4K was always a given. Now we will watch for any overheating issues.

Price and Release Date

The body starts at $4500. Not bad and considerably cheaper than flagships from other companies. Can we get a price cut on the A7 series? We can hope at least. Availability is slated for May, and pre-orders begin at the usual suspects on Friday (Amazon, B&H).

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