5DIV to A9 initial observations

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noggin2k1
noggin2k1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,205
5DIV to A9 initial observations
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As someone who in the last day has done the big "DSLR to mirrorless" move, I thought I'd share a few of my (rather pointless) observations that don't really get mentioned in any of the online reviews (the one's that I've seen anyway).

If you're shooting GM zooms, you need the battery grip. The first observation is probably as simple as that. I purchased the A9 along with the 24-70 2.8 & 70-200 2.8, and it's just far, far too front heavy without the grip. Once it's added, the camera feels very well balanced.

If you want to shoot single handedly, you'll also want the grip. Bit of a difficult one to describe here - coming from mid/large sized DSLR's, I could always 'get away' with shooting one handedly (not that I would actively do it, just sometimes you don't have a choice). Without the battery grip, I personally can't fully wrap my hand around the grip, meaning single handedly, it's always a bit of a juggling act and the camera doesn't feel safe. The battery grip does 2 things here - firstly, the depth of grip in portrait is excellent, and you can get a good firm hold of the camera. Secondly, when in landscape, the grip adds an indentation for the little finger, which is excellent for stabilising the camera. The extra length it adds to the camera also sits flush in your palm, giving you further stability.

The EVF isn't the miracle some describe it as. I'll start by saying it's properly excellent, and I'll struggle to back to an OVF now, but some of the comments go a little too far for my opinion. Realistically, I'm always well within a stop of under/over exposing, and some reviews would lead you to believe you'll always nail it out the block now, and never need to chimp. Reality is, the EVF will always get you within 1/3 - 2/3 of a stop to your desired exposure, but you will need to chimp to absolutely nail the exposure if you don't want to adjust it in post.

The quality of the accessories is wildly variable. Bit of a strange one this, bus still thought worth mentioning - I can only assume that the supplementary items you'll get from Sony are all made in different factories. The lens hoods and lens pouches all seem better quality than Canon, however the lens cap, battery charger, and interface cable mount all feel like they've gone to the lowest bidder - the plastics are pretty nasty. Not really important, but thought worth mentioning.

It's not a truly 'pro' level camera. This certainly isn't criticism, just a realistic observation. I'd put the cameras weather sealing as 'just behind my old 6D, very slightly', but certainly not at 5D level, and most definitely not at 1D level. For me, this is absolutely fine, but if you push your 5D or 1D to the limits of it's build quality - the camera won't last long at all.

Ergonomics & menus are better than expected (but...). It appears to be an area where Sony have made massive strides since I last spent a good amount of time with one of their cameras. Whilst there's a little re-educating to do on some of the buttons, they all feel like they're "there or there abouts" to where they should be. The menus aren't perfect, but they are easily usable, and should be fine once I've spent more time with them. The one 'but' comes with the buttons, and it's more of an observation more than a problem. Generally, all the scroll wheels and buttons have differing level of feedback. It's not a major deal, but when in full flow, you may just question if you've pressed the button, or how many scrolls of the wheel you've given it, because there's not a "standardised" level of feedback across them all.

It's still a maturing brand & platform. If I was to summarise all of the above, that's how I'd describe the A9/Sony ecosystem. You have to remember that Nikon & Canon have had absolute decades perfecting their products, to the point where they can no longer really mature them any further. I knew exactly what I was buying into with the A9, and I just think potential Canikon need to be absolutely clear that's it's not "Just like my DSLR but without a mirror and a bit smaller". There are some area's where Sony are still behind those two, but the pro's hugely outweigh those for me, and I couldn't be happier with the purchase.

Hope this slightly different insight proves useful to some.

 noggin2k1's gear list:noggin2k1's gear list
Fujifilm X100F Sony Alpha a7 II Sony a9 Sony FE 35mm F2.8 Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +4 more
Sony a9
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