Sony Unveils the Alpha 9
Sony Electronics will make available via pre-orders beginning Friday for delivery next month its new Alpha 9 full-frame mirrorless digital camera (model ILCE-9; $4,500), geared at the professional imaging market.
At its heart is what Sony said is the world’s first 35mm full-frame stacked CMOS sensor, yielding 24.2-megapixel resolution. It also carries a host of new features that Sony Electronics President and COO Mike Fasulo said at the worldwide launch “validate two unwavering Sony commitments: innovation, and that we’re listening to our customers.” Due out in July at $2,500 will be the companion G Master FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS Super Telephoto Zoom Lens.
Among the most notable attributes on the Model 9: 20fps (frames per second) continuous shooting with autofocus at 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second; a completely silent, vibration-free shutter with speeds up to 1/32,000 of a second; 693 autofocus points covering over 90 percent of the frame; and black-out free performance that tracks action with an uninterrupted view. It also is the first Sony camera with an Ethernet port for file transferral, and has dual SD card slots and a double-capacity battery system. The camera also features a multi-selector joystick on the back, allowing shooters to easily shift focus point within the frame by pressing the multi-selector in any direction up, down, left or right. A video camera as well, the Model 9 offers 4K (3840x2160p) video recording across the full width of the full-frame image sensor.
Neal Manowitz, Sony Electronics’ vice president of digital imaging, said that the camera is half the size and weight of other cameras in its class. “The pursuit of speed in photography has been held back by the limitations of the last century,” he said, stating that the Alpha 9 overcomes these limitations. “This is the birth of the true digital age.”
Concurrent with the camera/lens release, Sony said it will be expanding its service and support capabilities in North America, with a 24/7 call center and walk-in service locations in both New York City and Los Angeles, and is expanding this support to Canada.
At the introduction, a panel of professional photographers expounded upon favorite features of the Model 9, touting various benefits like the “continuum of viewing” possible because of the blackout-free feature, and the silent shutter, which keeps the camera unobtrusive at sensitive events such as a memorial service or (in the case of wildlife photography) during underwater photography of sharks. (For times when the “click” feedback of a shutter is a benefit, there is an optional setting.)
Said one panelist, noting the plethora of features on the 9 and its companion lens, “this camera is one-stop shopping.”