A fun blazing fast camera.

Started Mar 26, 2020 | User reviews thread
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Lasse p Regular Member • Posts: 266
A fun blazing fast camera.
10

I purchased the A9II as a direct replacement of my Nikon system. So coming from Nikon I will make comparisons with that system, at it is what i am familiar with.

Ergonomics/Build quality

The ergonomics are good. Comparable to my previous Nikon DSLR. Its comfortable to hold even with large hands such as mine and it is even better with the battery grip. Unlike the Nikon i had (D850) the A9II does not feel like something you can throw under a bus and expect to survive. That said this feels like a sturdy well built camera.

Image quality

The image quality from this camera is really good and the tradeoff from my previous camera is not as big as i feared it would be before making the switch.

There is a clear resolution difference between my previous 45mp camera and this 24mp sensor, and the added AA filter on the A9II makes it less crisp at pixel levels than what i am used too. That said i have been pleasantly surprised, as the A9II can deliver some really stunning, detailed images. I only notice the resolution difference when cropping. My guesstimate is that the A9II images can be cropped about 40% while still retaining great details, where as my previous Nikon was able to retain the detail in an about 70% crop.

Colors straight out of camera are brilliant, i dont see any of these blemishes and discolorations talked about when the subject is Sony colors and i dont see any yellow tints. I do notice though, that the A9II is having a hard time with the auto-white balance, resulting in often overexposed images, that gives me some more work in post. Though a factor in this is certainly my unfamiliarity with the camera system.

Sony 135 1.8GM. Great colors, no issues.

Dynamic range is surprisingly good. While shooting at the lower iso values you can really crank those sliders in Lightroom without much penalty. At the higher iso values (1600+) I find that you can raise the shadows quite a bit, but you start getting penalized by shadow noise and discoloration. The camera is also good at recovering highlights, though not on par with the Nikon system i came from. Id say the D850 recovers highlights about 30% better.

Taken with the Sigma 24-70 2.8. Adjusted in Light-room to my satisfaction.

Autofocus

The autofocus is the main reason i bought this camera and i have not been disappointed. Setting It up is operationally a bit more complex than the Nikon i was used to. You have a million customization options. That said i watched one of Mark Smiths videos on the original A9 and adjusted my settings accordingly. So far the Autofocus has been nuts. That´s the best word to describe it. It grabs on flying birds in an instant and it keeps them locked into focus. Equally there is no issues with running kids, pets or any other type of moving subject.

The camera really amazed me on the first day of trying it out.

I was out the first day with the camera and my new 200-600 5.6-6.3 lens shooting a perched owl, the bird was too far away so it was not a brilliant image

The cropping capability of the A9II was a limiting factor here, but it got the shot. (Iso 2000)

Anyway the owl flew off and i was unable to find it. Since it was getting dark i walked up a hill to get a better view over the area. In the distance i saw a bird flying around a field. I wanted to identify it, so i got it in focus and to my amazement the A9II tracked it throughout all sorts of flying patterns, in and out of bushes and straight at me without any issues from an amazing distance in very bad lighting.

The A9II stuck to the owl like glue in a very dark scene from a great distance. (ISO 12800)

The only time i have seen this auto-focus struggle, was with a perched bird in a bush. Getting it to snap straight onto the bird and not a branch was a little Challenge, but not impossible. Though this is likely due to the way i have the auto-focus setup. However that is not to say it wont get the focus right, it does about 95% of the time.

Bird in branches, the only challenge i have seen to this autofocus sytem. But it is capable of getting the shot.

Being able to get the shot, every single time, in complete silence with 20 fps is simply an amazing feat. I dont always need 20 fps but the confidence that comes with the capability is brilliant. The system is still new to me, but i really do like what i have seen so far.

 Lasse p's gear list:Lasse p's gear list
Samsung Galaxy S10
Sony a9 II
24 megapixels • 3 screen • Full frame sensor
Announced: Oct 3, 2019
Lasse p's score
5.0
Average community score
5.0
bad for good for
Kids / pets
excellent
Action / sports
excellent
Landscapes / scenery
great
Portraits
great
Low light (without flash)
great
Flash photography (social)
great
Studio / still life
great
= community average
Nikon D850 Sony a9 Sony a9 II
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