First wedding with A9 yesterday - mostly great, but...

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AJ1000 Forum Member • Posts: 63
First wedding with A9 yesterday - mostly great, but...
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Having had many years as a Canon shooter (1Ds Mk II, 1Ds Mk III, 5D Mk III) I switched to Sony A7R2 nearly 2 years ago and stuck with it despite the focusing issues I encountered and having to change back button focus to increase the hit rate of successful images.

Yesterday was the first time out with the new A9 and it is so much better than the A7R2 in terms of speed of operation, focusing, and obviously battery life. The lower resolution is better for me as I don't think you need 42MB images for the vast majority of wedding photographs, and less time is taken to store, backup and process smaller images.

For the first time, I just let the face detection do its thing for most of the day and it nailed the focus just about every time. If anyone wants to see the highlights of the day they are available on Facebook: (my second shooter shoots Canon so not all of the images were taken on an A9)

https://www.facebook.com/AdamJeffersonPhotographic/media_set?set=a.10155396172057902&type=3&pnref=story

However there were 2 or 3 occasions where I had to turn the A9 off and back on again as it locked up while displaying an image and attempts to coax it back into shoot mode didn't work. It may be a heat issue as the temperature was 30C (86F) and I was in the sun most of the day, even if the guests in the group shoots were posed in the shade.

I was in single shot mode, with flash and Auto Review set on to 2 seconds, just to ensure I could check the results in the challenging light conditions.

The only issue I had with focus was with this snatch shot in a mirror as the couple were kissing on the stairs behind me. I tried changing to different focus modes but I could not get the camera to focus on the couple in the mirror, it kept on focusing on the frame of the mirror instead.

Any suggestions as to the best focus mode I should have tried - perhaps Manual would have worked better with hindsight! Centre focus certainly didn't do the job.

Another issue with the camera I experienced on a separate shoot this morning when after doing a burst of 20-30 images in continuous high speed mode, the camera began writing images to the cards extremely slowly, roughly one image every 10 seconds or so.

I make some small talk with the couple for a few minutes while the images finished writing, then changed the card in Slot 1 for a new card and after that all was well.

I'm running A9 firmware 1.01 with 2 UHS-I SD cards rated at 95MB/s each, saving RAW and small JPEG to both cards. (We use small JPEG just for the highlights slideshow/video/Facebook and selecting the final images to edit - everything else is done using the Raw files)

When checking images on the suspect SD card later on the A9 refused to display some images just showing a grey screen with error message on the LCD screen. This perhaps implies a card corruption, which could affect the throughput of data to the card but I might have hoped for a more useful error message at this point rather than simply taking an age to save the images.

The problem doesn't seem to be with the camera as I shot some really long bursts of the kids in the paddling pool this afternoon and the writing to the cards was back to full speed.

Any thoughts on focusing in the mirror or any other suggestions welcomed,

Adam

Sony a9
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