Sony launches mirrorless camera for sports photographers

The new Sony α9 has a shooting speed of up to 20 frames per second with 693 autofocusing points, making it ideal for sports photographers.
The new Sony α9 has a shooting speed of up to 20 frames per second with 693 autofocusing points, making it ideal for sports photographers. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN
The new Sony α9 has a shooting speed of up to 20 frames per second with 693 autofocusing points, making it ideal for sports photographers.
The new Sony α9 has a shooting speed of up to 20 frames per second with 693 autofocusing points, making it ideal for sports photographers. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN
A action shot taken using the new Sony α9 during a media hands-on session. It has a shooting speed of up to 20 frames per second with 693 autofocusing points, making it ideal for sports photographers.
A action shot taken using the new Sony α9 during a media hands-on session. It has a shooting speed of up to 20 frames per second with 693 autofocusing points, making it ideal for sports photographers. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

SINGAPORE - Sony has launched its new mirrorless camera, the α9, targeted at sports photographers who need fast shooting speeds.

It has a shooting speed of 20 frames per second (fps) in full autofocusing (AF) and auto-exposure (AE) mode. In contrast, many sports DSLR cameras can only achieve up to 12fps or 16fps.

The α9 is able to do so, thanks to its full-frame stacked CMOS image sensor. This 24.2-megapixel image sensor uses integral memory and high-speed processing circuit close to the light-sensing pixel area for a faster readout speed.

With the help of its Bionz X image processor, the faster readout speed also allows up to 60 AF/AE calculations per second for faster and more accurate tracking of fast moving subjects.

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Furthermore, the α9 has a whopping number of phase-detection AF points - 693 - that cover almost 93 per cent of the image area.

The camera's non-mechanical electronic shutter eliminates blackout as well as very low viewfinder lag associated with a typical SLR mirror set-up.

During the α9's launch event at the ArtScience Museum, the media was given a brief hands-on with the camera.

The α9's AF was really fast and accurate at the same time, going by this writer's short time with the camera. Shooting speed was also incredibly fast.

The Sony α9's body alone goes for $6,299. The camera can be bundled with the FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM lens worth $3,998 and bought for $10,198. But at the Consumer Electronics Exhibition (CEE) at Suntec Singapore, and other authorised dealers, this camera and lens bundle can be bought for $9,898 from Saturday until June 18.