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Sony releases the new Alpha 9 Mark II

Sony's new AF algorithms provide enhanced AF precision and performance to capture the most erratic subject motion

The Sony Alpha 9 II
The Sony Alpha 9 II

Sony today announced the launch of Alpha 9 II (model ILCE-9M2), the latest addition to its acclaimed line-up of α (Alpha) full-frame interchangeable lens cameras, that has been created specifically to support working professionals in the fields of sports photography and photojournalism.

Building up on the impressive Alpha 9, the new Alpha 9 II maintains its ground breaking speed performance including blackout-free continuous shooting at up to 20 frames per second with Auto Focus and Auto Exposure tracking, and 60 times per second AF/AE calculations, while incorporating even more functionality driven directly from the voice of professionals. Updates include significantly 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 is the direct result of countless feedback sessions with agency, sports and news photographers that started right after the launch of the original Alpha 9. The voice of our customers is absolutely critical to Sony – we are always listening,” said Murat Gebeceli, Head of Digital Imaging, Sony Middle East & Africa.

“We’ve added connectivity and network capabilities that drastically improve the professional workflow, while also making subtle adjustments 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 the super-telephoto 600mm and 400mm G Master™ series lenses – this new camera is a tool unlike any other for professionals either in the field or on the field.” Gebeceli added.

Raising the bar

The Alpha 9 II includes an in-built 1000BASE-T Ethernet terminal, enabling gigabit communication for high-speed and stable data transfer operations. Additionally, it supports File Transfer over SSL or TLS encryption (FTPS) for increased data security, and improves PC remote (tether) shooting performance, 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) band, in addition to the 2.4 GHz provided in the Alpha 9. IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac standards are all supported.

Designed to improve the speed of news agencies’ workflow, 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.

Speed and auto focus performance king

The new Alpha 9 II shares the same acclaimed 35mm full-frame stacked 24.2 MP Exmor RS CMOS image sensor with integral memory as the original Alpha 9, giving it the same unmatched speed performance and outstanding image quality. The new model can shoot continuously and completely silently at 20 fps for up to 361 JPEG images or 239 compressed RAW images, with no viewfinder blackout, allowing the photographer to follow the subject and action with no interruption to the EVF during picture taking. For times when mechanical shutter is preferred or required, the new Alpha 9 II has been improved to shoot at up to 10 fps, about 2x the speed of the Alpha 9.  

The camera is designed to function whilst continuously calculating Auto Focus and Auto Exposure at up to 60 times per second, thanks to the newly optimised AF algorithms that provide notably enhanced AF precision and performance, ensuring even the most erratic subject motion, often experienced in sports, is captured with high precision. Making it useful for sporting events, the camera now offers an anti-flicker shooting mode that automatically detects and adjusts for the presence of fluorescent or artificial lighting to maximise image quality. 

The advanced focusing system in the new Alpha 9 II is comprised of 693 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that covers approximately 93% of the image area, as well as 425 contrast AF points. This Fast Hybrid Auto Focus system achieves extremely fast and accurate performance, ensuring all fast-moving subjects are accurately captured. Additional notable focusing capabilities include Real-time Eye AF with right eye / left eye selection, Real-time Eye AF for animals – augmented with a new algorithm, Real-Time Eye AF for movie, Real-time Tracking, selectable focus frame colour, Touch Pad focus point control while using the viewfinder, and more. AF can continuously track even when continuous shooting is greater than F16, providing further accuracy for shots that require slower shutter speeds.  

Availability

The Alpha 9 II will be available for pre-order in the UAE from 23rd October 2019 until 10th November at a retail price of AED 18,999. Customers pre-ordering the Alpha 9 II will receive a VG-C4EM Vertical Grip. The Alpha 9 II will be available across all retail stores in the UAE at the end of November 2019.

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