Sony Alpha 9 II review

Introduction

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Product photos by Dan Bracaglia

The Alpha 9 II is Sony’s latest high-end sports camera and is capable of silently shooting 24MP images at up to 20 frames per second with no blackout between frames. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the a9 II’s predecessor was similarly capable, but this new version brings some refinements and enhancements to make for a formidable, yet compact, option for professional sports and action photographers.

One of the most significant of updates is a new mechanical shutter mechanism that allows for 10 fps bursts: this is significant because if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t use the electronic shutter for risk of banding or other artifacts, the older model could only muster 5 fps which is a bit uninspiring on a camera meant to specialize in sports and action. Suddenly, this is a camera that will give you a solid burst rate in just about any setting, rather than being best suited for brightly lit outdoor venues.

Key specifications:

  • 24MP full-frame stacked CMOS sensor with 93% autofocus coverage across the frame
  • 20 fps continuous shooting with full AF (electronic shutter)
  • New mechanical shutter rated to 500k shots, allows for 10 fps shooting with full AF
  • 5.5-stop (CIPA rated) 5-axis image stabilization
  • Dual UHS-II SD card slots
  • 3.69M-dot OLED viewfinder (1280 x 960 pixels) with up to 120 fps update
  • 1.44M-dot rear touchscreen LCD
  • Oversampled full width UHD 4K/24p video (1.24x crop for 30p); no Log option
  • Gigabit ethernet, 5GHz Wi-Fi, 10 banks of FTP / camera settings
  • Support for voice memos
  • Battery CIPA rated to 690 shots
  • 678g (24oz)
Processed and cropped in Adobe Camera Raw.
ISO 25600 | 1/800 sec | F2.8 | Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM @ 152mm

With some additional ergonomic tweaks, the Alpha 9 II is an evolution of its predecessor’s revolutionary capabilities, but it remains impressively compact and speedy. And, of course, it comes with Sony’s industry-leading autofocus implementation. It’s available now at an MSRP of $4499 USD.


What’s new and how it compares

While the a9 II isn’t quite as revolutionary as its predecessor, it comes with some valuable updates.

Read more

Body, handling and controls

On the outside, the a9 II looks a lot like Sony’s a7R IV with an extra pair of dials on the top left. That’s a good thing.

Read more

Image quality

The a9 II produces lovely images across a variety of situations, with great noise performance and a fantastic JPEG engine.

Read more

Dynamic Range

The a9 II’s dynamic range is up there with the best in its class, but if DR is your main concern, it might not be your best choice.

Read more

Autofocus

The a9 II has, hands down, the best autofocus performance money can buy.

Read more

Video

With oversampled 4K video, the a9 II is great for casual run-and-gun video shooting, but it lacks some options that experienced users will miss.

Read more

Conclusion

It’s compact, it’s a great value, and its autofocus system will all-but-guarantee that you’ll just ‘get the shot.’ Read why we give the a9 II a gold award here.

Read more

Sample gallery

Check out how the a9 II performs right here. Where else will you find a sample gallery with everything from rugby to farm animals?

Read more

Introduction

Product photos by Dan Bracaglia

90%
Overall score

Jump to conclusion

The Alpha 9 II is Sony’s latest high-end sports camera and is capable of silently shooting 24MP images at up to 20 frames per second with no blackout between frames. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the a9 II’s predecessor was similarly capable, but this new version brings some refinements and enhancements to make for a formidable, yet compact, option for professional sports and action photographers.
One of the most significant of updates is a new mechanical shutter mechanism that allows for 10 fps bursts: this is significant because if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t use the electronic shutter for risk of banding or other artifacts, the older model could only muster 5 fps which is a bit uninspiring on a camera meant to specialize in sports and action. Suddenly, this is a camera that will give you a solid burst rate in just about any setting, rather than being best suited for brightly lit outdoor venues.
Key specifications:

24MP full-frame stacked CMOS sensor with 93% autofocus coverage across the frame
20 fps continuous shooting with full AF (electronic shutter)
New mechanical shutter rated to 500k shots, allows for 10 fps shooting with full AF
5.5-stop (CIPA rated) 5-axis image stabilization
Dual UHS-II SD card slots
3.69M-dot OLED viewfinder (1280 x 960 pixels) with up to 120 fps update
1.44M-dot rear touchscreen LCD
Oversampled full width UHD 4K/24p video (1.24x crop for 30p); no Log option
Gigabit ethernet, 5GHz Wi-Fi, 10 banks of FTP / camera settings
Support for voice memos
Battery CIPA rated to 690 shots
678g (24oz)

Processed and cropped in Adobe Camera Raw.ISO 25600 | 1/800 sec | F2.8 | Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM @ 152mm

With some additional ergonomic tweaks, the Alpha 9 II is an evolution of its predecessor’s revolutionary capabilities, but it remains impressively compact and speedy. And, of course, it comes with Sony’s industry-leading autofocus implementation. It’s available now at an MSRP of $4499 USD.

What’s new and how it compares

While the a9 II isn’t quite as revolutionary as its predecessor, it comes with some valuable updates.
Read more

Body, handling and controls

On the outside, the a9 II looks a lot like Sony’s a7R IV with an extra pair of dials on the top left. That’s a good thing.
Read more

Image quality

The a9 II produces lovely images across a variety of situations, with great noise performance and a fantastic JPEG engine.
Read more

Dynamic Range

The a9 II’s dynamic range is up there with the best in its class, but if DR is your main concern, it might not be your best choice.
Read more

Autofocus

The a9 II has, hands down, the best autofocus performance money can buy.
Read more

Video

With oversampled 4K video, the a9 II is great for casual run-and-gun video shooting, but it lacks some options that experienced users will miss.
Read more

Conclusion

It’s compact, it’s a great value, and its autofocus system will all-but-guarantee that you’ll just ‘get the shot.’ Read why we give the a9 II a gold award here.
Read more

Sample gallery

Check out how the a9 II performs right here. Where else will you find a sample gallery with everything from rugby to farm animals?
Read moreRead MoreArticles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

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