DPReview: Sony a9 Takes Home The GOLD and More Thoughts on The a9

The Sony a9 took home a gold award just like the GFX, even though DPReview had a critical opinion piece about the camera that stirred up a lot of controversies, which was also similar to the GFX. DPReview is developing a bit of a pattern here. There is also no mention of the overheating issues, which some have experienced.

Pros Cons
  • Newly designed 24MP sensor offers incredible speed
  • 20fps silent burst shooting with 60 AE/AF calculations per second
  • 693 AF points, will focus down to -3EV with an F2 lens
  • No blackout when shooting with electronic shutter
  • Drastically improved battery life
  • High-res electronic viewfinder with 120fps refresh rate
  • Increased direct controls, better feedback on most buttons and dials
  • E-shutter offers 1/150s shutter rate, only 1 EV behind 1/300s mechanical
  • Banding in artificial lighting barely an issue over DSLRs, since e-shutter is only 1 EV behind mech shutters
  • Dual SD card slots
  • Ethernet, flash sync ports
  • Rolling shutter well-controlled
  • Oversampled 4K footage
  • Full HD at 120fps
  • Improved menus (including a My Menu), customizability
  • Improved overall responsiveness
  • USB charging
  • Base ISO dynamic range lags existing Sony full frame cameras
  • Battery grip all-but-required for comfortable use with larger lenses
  • Lock-On subject tracking still less dependable than Nikon 3D Tracking
  • Only one SD slot is UHS-II
  • Default color response improved, but still behind competition
  • Shooting uncompressed Raw drops burst speed to 12fps
  • No lossless compressed Raw option
  • Auto white balance can struggle under artificial lighting
  • Won’t sync with flashes in e-shutter; max frame rate with flash is 5 fps
  • Poor solution for AF assist in dim light
  • No picture profiles or S-Log in video
  • Center Lock-On AF in video is archaic, unreliable and cumbersome
  • Cannot enter menus while buffer is clearing
  • AF-ON and AEL buttons need more travel
  • Memory Recall modes, while improved, are still not comprehensive
  • USB 2.0 for file transfer

The Sony a9 isn’t a camera for everyone, but I am disappointed that DPReview didn’t address the potential quality control issue that led to the overheating controversy. They let someone write a big opinion piece about nothing and then completely ignore an issue that will affect potential purchasers. Poor quality control is something that everyone should be aware of and blog/sites that are simply trying to sell cameras over trying to provide consumers with valuable purchasing information should be called out.

The Sony a9 is a great camera, but you might have to exchange your camera a few times during the 30 day exchange period in order to find a properly functioning camera. Hopefully, quality control will get better as time goes on, but Sony really needs to get on top of this, because I am still coming across reports of people with “new” overheating cameras.

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Sony a9 Action Shooting Kit: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
Sony a9 Accessories Kit: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
Sony a9: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
Sony FE 100-400mm: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
a9 Battery Grip: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
a9 Battery NP-FZ100: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
GP-EX1 Grip: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
MQZ1 Battery Charger: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama


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  • sadly my wallet seems to keeps it shut since video slogs not included. I still kind of wonder why its rating so good when dpreview always complain about video specs. something is off here. and im not hating i use a sony a7r2 for video production, its just my dpreview always include a review into the video side and gives its pros and cons.

    • Well that should be added soon if everyone continues riding Sony about the issue.

  • SLR

    DPreview is owned by Amazon now. They have lost or rather sold their independence and so reviews that omit negative information are, sadly, to be expected. The site still has some value but I do not put much stock in their ratings and awards anymore.

    • Ya well… the a9 is a great camera and something we should all be excited about, but a lot of blogs are misreporting on the camera and ready to move on. When a camera is priced this high we should all have higher expectations… if they fix video and their quality control then the claims about Nikon/Canon being in trouble are very real.