The Sony α9 claims data speed processing at up to 20x faster than previous Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras.


 Front view of the new Sony ?9 full-frame mirrorless camera with no lens fitted. (Source: Sony.)

Claimed as ‘the most technologically advanced, innovative digital camera that Sony has ever created’, the ?9 boasts the first full-frame stacked CMOS sensor, with 24.2-megapixel  resolution and upgraded BIONZ X processing engine and front-end LSI, which combine to enable data speed processing at up to 20x faster than previous Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras. Users can take advantage of blackout-free continuous shooting at up to 20 fps for up to 241 RAW files or 362 JPEG images. The ?9 supports a sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 51200, with expansion available to ISO 50 or ISO 204800. It also supports uncompressed 14-bit RAW capture as well as 4K (3840x2160p) video recording across the full width of the full-frame image sensor. It can also record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps.

The new camera has a focal plane phase detection AF system with 693 points covering approximately 93% of the frame and is capable of 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second. Five-axis in-body image stabilisation provides shake correction of up to five stops. The camera has a vibration free, fully electronic, completely silent anti-distortion shutter with a maximum shutter speed of 1/32,000 second. Silent shooting is also supported.

The ?9 also features a new, high-resolution, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder with approximately 3,686,000 dots and an optical design that includes a double-sided aspherical element that enables it to achieve 0.78x magnification and a high level of corner to corner sharpness. ZEISS T* Coating greatly reduces reflections, while a fluorine coating on the outer lens repels dirt.   The frame rate of the Tru-Finder is customisable, with options to set it for 60 fps or 120 fps to best match the action.


 The rear panel of the Sony ?9. (Source: Sony.)
 A new multi-selector joystick on the rear panel provides an easy way to shift focus within the frame when shooting in Zone, Flexible Spot or Expanded Flexible Spot focus area modes. Touch focusing on the rear LCD screen is also supported.  Additional new capabilities include the “AF Area Registration”, which allows frequently used focus areas to be memorised and recalled via custom button assignments. There is also the ability to assign specific settings (exposure, shutter speed, drive mode, etc.) to a custom button.  The camera can memorise and automatically recall the last focus point used in a vertical or horizontal orientation, instantly switching back to it when that specific orientation is used again. The “My Menu” feature allows up to 30 menu items to be registered in a custom menu.

New for Sony E-mount cameras, the ?9 includes the addition of separate drive mode and focus mode dials, plus a new “AF ON” button that can be pressed to activate autofocus directly when shooting still images or movies.  Another innovative feature is the new Sony battery (model NP-FZ100) which has 2.2x the capacity of previous Sony full-frame models. The ?9 also boasts dual SD media card slots, including one that supports UHS-II cards, along with an Ethernet port (wired LAN terminal).

Sony has also announced a range of new accessories to complement the ?9, including: the NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Battery, VG-C3EM Vertical Grip, NPA-MQZ1K Multi-Battery Adaptor Kit (which holds four Z series batteries and as a quick charger), GP-X1EM Grip Extension, FDA-EP18 Eyepiece Cup with locking mechanism, BC-QZ1 Battery Charger and PCK-LG1 Screen Protect Glass Sheet. The ?9 interchangeable lens camera is available in Australia from 2nd June, with local pricing to be confirmed.   The US price has been quoted at US$4500 for the body only.


 Sony’s new FE 100-400mm f/4.5″“5.6 GM OSS lens. (Source: Sony.)

The latest addition to Sony’s G Master lens series, the FE 100-400mm f/4.5″“5.6 GM OSS, is the company’s longest  E-mount lens to date. Designed primarily for full-frame cameras, it has a complex design with 22 lens elements configured in 16 different groups, including one Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and two ED glass elements. The lens also has Sony’s proprietary Nano AR coating. Autofocusing is driven by a double linear motor and a Direct Drive SSM actuator for precise, quiet operation. A newly optimised AF algorithm ensures fast focusing is realised.

Weighing just 1395 grams, the new lens is among the lightest in its class and an ideal fit for Sony’s ? series cameras. It is also dust and moisture resistant and has fluorine coating on the front element that makes it easy to keep clean. There is also a removable tripod mount. Features include built-in optical stabilisation and a minimum focusing range of just 0.98 metres, where a 9 bladed circular iris diaphragm produces attractive bokeh.

The FE 100-400mm GM is compatible with both the 1.4x (model SEL14TC) and 2.0x (model SEL20TC) teleconverters, allowing photographers and videographers to shoot at up to 800mm on full-frame cameras and approximately 1200mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) on APS-C cameras. Details of local pricing and availability have still to be released. For more information, visit

Sony has just released additional information about the new  ?9 camera and  FE 100-400mm f/4.5″“5.6 GM OSS (SEL100400GM) lens. The  ?9 camera will be available  from 2 June, 2017 at an  RRP of: $6,999. The  SEL100400GM lens has a ‘tentative’ release date ‘from July, 2017’ at an  RRP of$3,999.