The Sony Alpha 9 was a critical success. Since launching in 2017, the camera won Camera Grand Prix in 2018 and continued to become a must-have among professionals. Sony has now released a successor in the form of the Sony Alpha 9 II, and it sounds wonderful on paper. 

Sony South Africa hosted a cool launch event today commemorating the legacy of the Alpha 9 II and its local launch. While we sadly could not make it, we still managed to secure the juicy details about the long-awaited camera. 

At first glance, the Alpha 9 II looks almost exactly like its two-year-old counterpart. It effectively builds upon the legacy started with the Alpha 9 and improves upon it. It maintains the same “ground-breaking” speed performance of the previous model, including its impressive blackout-free continuous 20 frame-per-second shooting. The camera also features the same incredible autofocus and auto-exposure speeds and tracking, with 60 times per second calculations. 

Sony says the Alpha 9 II also incorporates more functionality driven directly from the voice of professionals. This includes significantly enhanced connectivity and file delivery, continuous shooting at up to 10 frames per second, complete with a mechanical shutter, evolved autofocus, and new algorithms. Sony says they listened to users this time around, stating how the Alpha 9 II is a direct result of countless feedback sessions with industry professionals. Talks led to adjustments to design, interface and processing power that complete the user experience. 

Furthermore, the Sony Alpha 9 II includes a built-in 1000BASE-T Ethernet terminal, enabling gigabit communication for high-speed and stable data transfer operations. It also supports File Transfer over SSL or TLS encryption (FTPS) for increased data security and improves PC remote shooting performance. It also features improvements on stable 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz provided in the Alpha 9. The camera even has a new voice memo function! 

In terms of editing, the Sony Alpha 9 II allows field photographers to transfer voice tags with the images to their mobile device for added note-taking. The camera also boasts Transfer & Tagging add-ons, Imaging Edge app support, and new formatting and IPTC metadata support for JPEG images transferred this way. 

Beyond editing and transferring, the Alpha 9 II also shares the acclaimed 35mm full-frame stacked 24.2 MP Exmor RS CMOS image sensor as the original. It also features unmatched speed performance and outstanding image quality. The new model, however, can shoot continuously and completely silently at 20 frames per second for up to 361 JPEG images or 239 RAW images. It can do this all while the viewfinder does not blackout, allowing the user to keep the subject in focus. 

Sony’s Alpha 9 II also has 693 focal-plane phase-detection points, which cover approximately 93% of the image area and 425 contrast autofocus points. The Fast Hybrid Auto Focus system achieves extremely fast and accurate performance, ensuring all fast-moving subjects are accurately captured. Beyond this, however, the unit still retains notable focusing capabilities that everyone knows and loves: Real-time Eye AF for humans and animals; Real-time Eye AF for movies; Real-time tracking, selectable focus frame colour, and touchpad focus point control while using the viewfinder. 

Apart from the main points, the Sony Alpha 9 II also comes with upgraded BIONZ X image processing engine; upgraded dust and moisture resistance; new imaging processing algorithms; 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation; improved grip configuration; and USB-Type C!

Sony South Africa says thex Alpha 9 II will be available across leading electronic stores from December 2019 with a recommended retail price of R83 995. 

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From Superman to Ironman; Bill Rizer to Sam Fisher and everything in-between, Edward loves it all. He is a Bachelor of Arts student and English Major specialising in Language and Literature. He is an avid writer and casual social networker with a flare for all things tech related.