Sony A9 from the perspective of long time Canon sports shooter

Started Sep 19, 2017 | Discussions thread
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Martinka Regular Member • Posts: 323
Sony A9 from the perspective of long time Canon sports shooter

I will post it here to...

So I had the opportunity to try Sony A9 for two weeks. As a Canon 1D X owner it was an interesting experience. I wrote an article about it, but unfortunately it's in czech only. But you can use Google Translator.

Or just read brief summary bellow.


Ergonomy. In general small buttons with bad tactile feeling, too soft shutter. Bad positon of some controls (AF-ON, front roller).

Eyepiece. Too hard edges, noticeable especialy in portrait orientation.

Lens release button placement.

Shutter response. Seems to be slower than expected, slower than Canon 1D X.

Memory card operations. Basically everything is slow - browsing through photos, deleting photos, viewing 1:1. No way to find out number of the image. Locking images uncomfortable only via menu - not possible to assign directly to some button.

"Rubber" response of some controls. For example when changing ISO.

Slow power-on. Very slow compared to every DSLR.

Cannot enter menu or delete photos whil recording images from buffer to the card. You have to wait when it finishes.

Menu. Complicated structure and doesn't remember last position in every tab.

Viewfinder vs screen. Cannot set up specific behavior - for example shooting only via viewfinder and reviewing images only via screen (DSLR-like behavior :))

FPS settings. Cannot set custom fps.

Camera is getting warm. Noticeable, althoug not uncomfortable.

SD card. Inappropriate for proffesional camera.

Naked image sensor. I'm worried about the dust.


Image quality. Expected on par or better than Canon 1D X which I'm satisfied with, so no need to further examinate for me.

Depth of field in the viewfinder. It's interesting to see resulting DOF in viewfinder during shooting (opposite to DSLR with focusing screens optimized to f2.8).

Battery life. After 6 hours and 2000 images of shooting, pimping and deleting 17 % battery left. Much better than expected. Batteries are small, light but very expensive though.

Viewfinder. Bigger than 1D X, no problem with EVF at all.

20 fps.Light-fasting speed. Very memory consuming

Quiet shutter. Electronic shutter is 100 % silent, awesome for golf for example.

Swiveling screen. Finally in such a camera.

Customization. You can set up buttons in pretty much every way, everything can be customized.

SD cards. Dual slot and good memory card door.

Focusing with native lenses

I had opportunity to test with Sony FE 85/1.8 only and AF-C worked flawlessly. I'd say even better than Canon 1D X. Even eye-af seemed to be very reliable, however there is one big flaw - you cannot select face by yourself. Very corner AF points worked great.

Focusing with Canon lenses and Sigma MC-11 adapter

I have pleny of Canon lenses which I love (for example Canon 200/1.8L). All of them worked fined with adapter, focusing speed was as fast as on Canon. Adapter has no weather sealing.

AF-S was 100 %, something we are not used to with DSLRs Focus accuracy is decreasing a lot with AF point moving to the edges, at the very edges camera couldn't focus at all.

Only basic focus modes available with adapter (no Eye-AF ).

AF-C was basicaly not working at all, focus got stucked around the first frame. Worked well on subjects with very little movement, but I wasn't able to get in focus recreational skater approaching the camera. Interestingly you can see in the viewfinder that camera can easily follow subject with shutter half-pressed, but focusing somehow stops when you press shutter fully.

1/1000 s , f1.8, ISO 6400

Canon EOS-1D X Sony a9
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