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New flagship for Sony

Sony has released the A9 II, building on the success of the A9, and offering better performance and faster workflow.

The Sony A9 was a big hit among action shooters for its rapid and precise AF and blackout-free continuous shooting, and the A9 II offers a host of improvements on this in terms of feature and physical design, promising to speed up the workflow of professional news and sport photographers. So, although the A9 II has the same full-frame imaging sensor as its predecessor, it offers better performance in many key areas.

There’s a faster BIONZ X image processor for a start, which improves AF speed and accuracy. The hybrid AF system uses 693 phase detect and 425 contrast detect AF points, covering 93% of the image area, and extra focusing features include face and eye (animal as well as human) detection. A new algorithm gives real-time eye AF for movie shooting.

The A9 II can shoot silently up to 20fps with AE/AF tracking, without the distraction of blackout and up to 239 compressed Raw shots. New algorithms also enhance subject tracking and the fastest continuous shooting rate with the mechanical shutter is now up to 10fps.

A redesigned shutter mechanism helps suppress movement and avoid image blur, while the shutter is said to withstand more than 500,000 cycles.

For a faster workflow, the camera body has an Ethernet terminal, tethered shooting speed is improved as is wireless functionality. A new voice memo feature allows spoken information to be attached to images as a voice memo and this can be replayed when images are viewed. Additionally, voice tags with images can be transferred to an app on a mobile device and these memos can be converted to text and added to JPEGs in the form of IPTC metadata.

Sony A9 II specs

  • 24.2-megapixel resolution
  • 693 phase detect AF points
  • 20fps silent shooting with AE/AF tracking
  • 10fps with mechanical shutter
  • Improved button design
  • Two SD UHS-II card slots
  • Less noise at medium and high ISOs
  • Upgraded dust- and moisture-resistant build
  • In-body image stabilisation offers 5.5EV benefit
  • Voice memo function
  • Built-in Ethernet terminal

The Sony A9 II body costs £4799 and stocks are due in November.

For more information, please visit the Sony website.

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