Sony Introduces a9 II Full Frame Camera

Sony Introduces a9 II Full Frame Camera

Today Sony announced an enhanced a9 camera for professional sports photographers and photojournalists. The a9 II shows heavy improvements from the predecessor with enhanced file delivery and ‘evolved AF performance’.

  • Sony a9 II features 24.2 MP, 20 fps, and 4K video capability

  • The camera will be available in November 2019 and is currently listed at $4,498 USD by most retailers

  • Pre-order available on October 3, 2019 from Adorama, B&H, Wex Photo, and others

Key Features and Improvements

The new Alpha 9 maintains speed performance with some serious enhancements to continuous shooting. The a9 II offers blackout-free continuous shooting at up to 20 frames per second with Auto Focus and Auto Exposure tracking at 60 calculations per second.

The camera is able to function while continuously calculating Auto Focus and Auto Exposure at up to 60 times per second, with newly optimized AF algorithms that provide notably enhanced AF precision and performance, ensuring that even the most erratic subject motion that is associated with sports are captured with high precision. Also 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 maximize image quality.

Sony highlighted the updates to file transfer heavily for this camera, because time makes all the difference for news photography. High-speed wired data transfer and file transfer over SSL or TLS encryption (FTPS) is supported.

The speed of the camera’s built-in wireless LAN functionality has also been increased, adding a stable and fast 5 GHz band, in addition to the 2.4 GHz provided in the Alpha 9.

Another cool feature for journalists, the Alpha 9 II has 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.


sony a9 II back

“The voice of our customers is absolutely critical to Sony – we are always listening,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president for Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. “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.”

sony a9 ii promo image

Photo: Adorama

Upgraded Hardware Features

Improvements to the build, chips, processing engines, and design.

  • 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

Sample Images

sony a9 II sample image soccer

Photo: Sony Photo Gallery

sony a9 ii sample image ping pong

Photo: Sony Photo Gallery

sony a9 ii sample image jump

Photo: Sony Photo Gallery

Pricing and Availability

According to Sony’s press release: “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.”

Pre-order available in October 2019 from Adorama, B&H, Wex Photo, and other major retailers.

Read next: Sony’s a7R IV 61MP Mirrorless Camera Arrives

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