New A9 user saying hello - also shoot Olympus

Started Jul 8, 2017 | Discussions thread
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John Mason
John Mason Veteran Member • Posts: 5,775
New A9 user saying hello - also shoot Olympus

Just picked up the Sony A9 to complement the Olympus EM1-mkii. (or likely it'll end up being the other way round) I used to be dual Canon FF and Olympus shooter for many years but the ibis for use with fast primes made it so I quit reaching for the Canon gear and ultimately sold it all off. The Olympus lenses also were great corner to corner wide open which was not always the case even with the L range Canon lenses. Focus consistency with fast primes was also better on the Olympus.

I've had my eye on the Sony A7 series for some time.

I remember the 1st A7 and was shocked at how much 'shock' the shutter created when fired. Now, thus far, I've only used the electronic shutter on the new A9 and the mechanical shutter when used is nicely damped. Sony has made impressive progress over the years improving their cameras.

And the GM series is starting to address their inconsistent (imo) lens line. I hope they redo with a Mark+ version some of their weaker Sony / Zeiss co-branded offerings.

But, I made the mistake of playing with the A9 at the local store here in Indy and a couple of the lenses while picking up my wife's repaired Pen F.  I read about the real time eye focus in continuous shooting mode, and decided to rationalize the 2 systems by downsizing the Olympus kit a bit and building up an A9 kit. I never cared for the machinist style and handling of the former A7 series, but this A9 seems to have created a truly classic camera.

Going on the block are the Olympus 25mm 1.2, Olympus 75 1.8, Panasonic 42.5 1.2 , since those were all used for 3d dof effect. I wasn't using the Olympus 75 anymore after I got the 42.5 anyway. The Sony 24-70 f2.8 GM with real time eye tracking will be a more productive practical lens than the above for when I need to do that type of shooting. A prime or two or three may be in the future on the Sony (perhaps the 18mm Batis f2.8 for Milky way shots), but already the initial shots with the 24-79 at 2.8 get me a nearly equivalent 3d separation effect as I was getting with the fast primes above without being limited to the single focal length.

Keeping the Olympus 12-100 for hiking when I want to go light, the Olympus 12-40 for when I want to shoot indoors and be more unobtrusive, the 300mm f4 for birding, and the 60 macro for my wife to use with her Pen F and my occasional use.

Not sure yet what I'm going to do with the 7-14 f2.8 as I picked up the 12-24 f4 G lens on the Sony side (might have one of the 1st in the USA) and it's wider and impressively sharp. But need to do more testing as the 7-14 f2.8 is one of my favorite and most used Olympus lenses.

Initial impressions are: I'm amazed at how crazy far I can pull shadows up on the Sony and along with that how high I can go with ISO and still get totally usable shots. For most shooting I don't expect to see much practical difference in outputs between the two systems. It's on the margins where I want to be able to use very clean very high ISO's, the rather magical eye AF continuous focus, Astro-photography with less limitations, or get a very good 3d DOF separation while shooting with a zoom,

Both cameras have very effective in body IS. I was just shooting tonight some indoor shots at 1/8sec hand held and they are totally sharp, just like I'd expect from the EM1-mkII.

I'm assuming Sony will be adding a hi rez, less sporting, version since their a7rii is getting a bit long in the tooth. So that might be in the future.

Anyone else around shooting both now? I'd be interested in your thoughts and experiences.

Used the manual focus and joystick and in body IS to make this shot just goofing around this evening (thanks for posing better half!) Lifted the shadows 7 units with Capture One, the WB with the late evening light coming in from the right mixed with the candle from the left was handled very well by the camera.

This camera is going to be FUN!

Any other dual system shooters out there, I'd be interested in your impressions as I'm just jumping on the learning curve for the A9.
Hmmmm - I was just thinking I should go back to that shot and see if I can bring the highlights down to show the 3 candles instead of them being washed out.  The increased dynamic range is something I'm looking forward to also.

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John Mason - Battle Ground, IN

 John Mason's gear list:John Mason's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Sony a9 Sony Alpha a7R III Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 +9 more
Olympus PEN-F Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm F1.7 Sony a9 Sony Alpha a7
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