The A9 is the first full-frame camera to come with a stacked CMOS sensor with built-in memory, which is a long-winded way of saying: it’s fast.
Flick the drive dial in “H” mode and the camera will rattle off stills at up to 20fps – with autofocus and exposure settings continually adjusting as you do so. That’s significantly faster than the top Nikon and Canon rivals, and makes the A9 ideal for shooting tricky, zippy subjects like sport and wildlife.
Autofocus comes courtesy of a slick hybrid system, with no fewer than 693 AF points available (covering over 90 percent of the image area); it’s both accurate and fast for the most part (although I found it slow and prone to hunting in Slow & Quick video mode), as well as allowing for plenty of flexibility in how it’s set up.
The A9 also comes with a distortion-free electronic shutter (as well as a regular mechanical shutter) which means that when you shoot stills you can do so in near-silence. Again, ideal for shooting skittish subjects, or to use in situations where the slap of a shutter might annoy people – a play or sporting event, for instance.
There’s effective 5-axis image stabilisation too, which is fully in-body. That means it works with any Sony mount lens you attach, not just those with built-in IS. It’s particularly adept at smoothing out motion when shooting handheld video.
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