Video: Sony a9 falls short with Canon 300mm and 400mm lenses attached
Sports shooters considering Sony's speedy a9 have one major hurdle to overcome: glass. There's a dearth of long, fast primes available to Sony FE shooters, and it seems like using off-brand glass while you wait for Sony to catch up just isn't a great option.
In this video, photographer Dan Watson of Learning Cameras tried both the Sigma MC-11 and Metabones Mark IV lens adapters to test how well the a9 worked when attached to the Canon EF 300mm F2.8L IS USM and Canon EF 400mm F2.8L IS USM (both version 1**)
Watson mainly wanted to test the focusing capabilities, and unfortunately, the results were somewhat disappointing.
Before you dive into the video, it's worth pointing a few things out. Our own Rishi Sanyal has tested the focus capability of the a9 with adapted lens, and points out a couple of caveats to Watson's otherwise solid points:
First, the performance of far off-center AF points depends on the lens. While Watson is correct in pointing out that they don't perform well with long lenses (despite working astonishingly fast with Sony's own 100-400 F4.5-5.6), they do work well with shorter focal lengths (we've had success with a Sigma 85/1.4, Canon 35/1.4, 24-70/2.8, etc.). With these wider lenses, 'Wide' area mode will continue tracking subjects to the extremes of the frame.
Second, Sony A-mount lenses adapted with the LA-EA3 adapter do shoot at an impressive 10 fps with autofocus, something we confirmed with the 50/1.4 (as long as you've updated the firmware of the adapter).* With the Metabones and Sigma adapters though, as with all Sony FE bodies, only the L drive mode offers continuous focus. And it's actually only 2.5 fps, not the 5 fps Watson mentions (technically L is 3 fps, but it slows to 2-3 fps with continuous focus).
With that out of the way, Watson's video is a great resource for seeing how well (or not) the a9 performs when attached to the long, fast Canon primes sports shooters love. And while single-shot focus with central points is speedy and almost 100% accurate with long adapted lenses, the lack of true subject tracking (Lock-on AF modes) or continuous focus at speeds higher than ~2.5 fps (or in video) will probably be a deal breaker for many fast-action photographers.
Once you've lost the impressive high speed shooting advantages Sony baked into the a9, you might as well be shooting with any other camera. Moral of the story: stick to Sony glass and hope they keep churning out new lenses at break-neck pace.
You can watch the full demo for yourself up top. And if you're considering jumping ship from Canon to Sony, keep this information in mind – like all previous Sony bodies, you'll only have access to the a9's slowest continuous drive mode when you're adapting your own glass.
* We've not yet confirmed the performance of off-center points with long A-mount glass.
** Correction: The first version of this article claimed the lenses used were the 300mm F2.8L II and 400mm F2.8L II. They are, in fact, Version 1 of both these lenses. The text has been corrected to reflect this.
Shares of quantum dot (QD) specialists Nanoco dropped after reports Apple has decided to stop the development of QD image sensors because the technology was too expensive for mass production.
The second-generation portable motion control system adds USB-C, improved connectivity and more.
The patent details an Apple Watch band with integrated cameras so you could capture photos with a flick of the wrist.
At MWC Shanghai the Chinese manufacturer has revealed a device with the feature and provided more information about the technology.
The Loupedeck+ console can now be used alongside Adobe Camera Raw for Photoshop, adding yet another program to its list of supported apps.
Joshua Gross has meticulously rebuilt an old Polaroid SX-70 and turned it into a digital camera with the help of a Raspberry Pi computer, a fisheye lens, a little bit of wiring and a sizable chunk of programming.
The Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS STM Macro is a lightweight, versatile lens for Canon's new EOS R system. Promising good close focus capabilities and built-in stabilization, is this the perfect lens for EOS R and RP shooters? Find out in our full review.
Metabones has updated the firmware of select Speed Booster and Smart Adapter units to bring frame rates up to 10 fps to Sony a7 III camera systems.
A month after the the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) sent out an alert stating that drones manufactured in China presented a security risk, DJI has told a Senate subcommittee that the China-based company doesn't collect flight logs and images to send back to the Chinese government.
Fujifilm has issued an advisory after it discovered counterfeit rolls of film bearing the ‘Fujifilm’ brand have been discovered.
A known Samsung leaker claims Samsung engineers informed him the upcoming Note 10 smartphone will feature a ‘three-stage variable aperture.’
The Strobe attaches to any drone, weighs only ten grams and has power for more than two hours of strobe action.
Phase One's new Creative Control Package update for the IQ4 Infinity Platform brings a new Raw capture mode the averages together multiple frames to yield a higher-quality image.
Bye Bye Camera detects and removes all humans from your pictures but is not meant to be a photo tool.
Polish artist Michal Karcz shared a post explaining that 500px requested he no longer post his content on the platform, as his images are photo manipulations, not photography.
Leica's new M-E (Typ 240) replaces the M-E (Typ 220). It comes with updated features and a smaller price, making it a little less painful on the wallet to hop on the Leica bandwagon.
The Wingo Pro is essentially a polycarbonate wing on a 2-meter string that allows you to control the camera's flight and keeps the subject right at the center.
Samsung's Isocell Bright GW1 sensor has been designed to rival the 48MP Quad-Bayer offerings from Sony.
Archivist Dr. Johnathan Burgess has teamed up with fellow archivist Jason Scott to publish nearly 2,400 images captured by an unknown individual at Ground Zero following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centers in New York City.
Alien Skin Exposure X4 4.5 improves performance, adds the ability to preview images on memory cards before import, assigns metadata while shooting tethered, adds LUT support and editable light effects, and more.
Looking for a new lens for your camera? Our lens buying guides have recommendations for all kinds of situations, so if you have a Canon/Nikon DSLR or Fujifilm/Sony mirrorless camera, have a look.
It's an official rule for drivers at the Combine Demolition Derby in the tiny town of Lind, Washington, to be aggressive or be disqualified. Not a single driver exhibited any such lack of aggression during a day of flying dirt, flying beer cans, twisted metal and screaming cheers.
Dale Sharpe, an Australian storm-chaser, landscape photographer and Nikon Ambassador has passed away after a tragic roadside accident while in the United States.
Summer is here, which means it's time for Chris and Jordan's roundup of new waterproof cameras for 2019: the Olympus Tough TG-6, the Ricoh WG-6, and the Panasonic TS7. Find out which one is right for your next vacation.
The latest version of Hasselblad's CFV digital back and the new super-slim 907X camera body make a beautiful combination – take a closer look.
Cinema5D is black with part two of its documentary series that shares an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the work Fujifilm has put into developing, engineering and launching its 100-megapixel GFX 100 mirrorless camera system.
The company says it looking into providing ‘new imaging experiences’ with technologies such as artificial intelligence.
The new models are designed to hold DSLRs or larger cameras and long tele lenses.
According to a report from German business newspaper Handelsblatt, Leica is cutting up to 100 jobs from its headquarters and adding up to 40 ’digital experts’ as part of a restructuring plan to help push its smartphone and computational photography technology forward.