Patrick Murphy-Racey’s Lengthy Sony a9II Review

Patrick probably has the most Sony a9II experience out there shooting multiple events across over 2,000 miles. The video is very long and focuses on 18 reasons why you should buy an a9II along with 6 pain points. If you don’t have an hr to setaside and watch below are excerpts from his video:

18 reasons why you should buy Sony a9II

  1. Improved AF performance
    • Same sensor, but it’s more mature and robust now
    • Flexible spot medium tracking on the a9 jumps between modes rapidly
    • The camera juggles distance, contrast, face detection, eye AF, color, and pattern when doing real-time tracking
    • The Sony a9II almost always keeps all of these factors in the air without an issue
    • Faster acquisition than the original a9
    • More icing on the cake
  2. Improved Image Quality and Color
    • No issue with various lighting types including LED
    • Great high ISO
    • Great with Strobes
    • Image quality overall is better even if it is only coming from processing
    • The engineers have had 3 years to improve image quality
    • Image quality improvements show the most when shooting high ISO because the color remains accurate
    • Very little you have to do to correct color regardless of how bad light is
    • 2-Stops better IQ than the a9 in Patrick’s opinion
    • Image processing is just cleaner
  3. Anti-Flicker
    • Was shocked that the a9 didn’t have anti-flicker, but now Sony is adding it to a lot of cameras and the a9 needed it badly
    • You must go into the menu’s to turn this feature on
    • The C3 button has to be used to use the mechanical shutter because anti-flicker won’t work with the electronic shutter
    • Flicker is a big issue when shooting in gyms like high school gyms with lower end lighting
  4. Red AF Frame
    • a9 got this via a firmware update, but he’s so happy to have it that he is mentioning it here
  5. Voice Memo
    • Great to be in camera because it can help you organize
    • It will playback if you hit the button twice so be careful if you’re somewhere that has to be quite
    • When you have the camera connected to FTP voice memo’s can be converted to text for the image
  6. Dust and Moisture Sealing
    • Gen4 cameras are much better sealed than in the past so the a9II and a7RIV
    • Every door has a seal
    • He has never had a camera go down from water from the rain because he uses rain covers
  7. 10 FPS mechanical shutter
    • The a9 dropping to 5fps mechanical was disappointing and the a9II has corrected the issue
    • Mechanical and Electronic shutters can be used for sports now.
    • Can shoot basketball with strobes
    • New shutter is very quiet too
    • Can work quietly with the mechanical shutter
    • Only camera Sony has that syncs at 1/200th of a second with a pocket wizard, but still wants 1/250th
  8. Big buttons and better grip
    • AF on button is almost as big as a D5 now so you can find it with gloves on
    • The Joystick is now flat and won’t break off
    • Feels great with the grip
  9. Faster wifi
    • Original only has 2.4ghz and it was slow, but the new 5ghz is very fast and you barely see the bar
    • Very impressive
  10. Two UHS-II card slots
    • No longer have a UHS-I card holding it back so now the camera isn’t held back
    • The top slot is slot 1 and the bottom 2 so the opposite of the original
  11. USB Fast Charging
    • You can now quick charge with USB-C, which is much faster than the old USB charging
    • Can probably deal with fewer batteries now
    • Canon/Nikon cant fast charge
  12. Real-time Eye AF in Video
    • Revolutionary and useful
    • Helps keep costs down
  13. The ability to custom name video files
    • Now you can name your files differently than your other Sony cameras so you can be more organized
    • Less time wasted
  14. Digital Audio
    • The new shotgun mic is great
    • The new XLR mic is great too
  15. Exposure dial toggle lock
    • Keeps you from changing exposure comp without noticing
    • Press once to move freely and once again to lock
    • Can safely shoot aperture priority
  16. New Function Button Options
    • Less work to move between shooting stills and video
  17. Battery efficiency improved
    • No complaints about the original a9, but now it’s even better, but he hasn’t noticed, because most of the time one battery is enough.
  18. Just not finished yet
    • Sony will add more features with time
    • The camera came out now to service Olympics photographers now
    • More features will likely come before the Olympics

6 Pain Points

  1. High EyepointEVF
    • Not great for people that need to wear glasses
    • Should be more like Nikon F3P
    • Can’t see the entire viewfinder with glasses
    • Should zoom EVF in and out to correct
    • Non-issue if you do not wear glasses
  2. Still no 1/250th sync
    • Should be able to sync any flash you want at 1/250
    • Must have for sports photographers
    • 50% of sports are using a strobe (basketball and hockey)
    • This makes Sony a9 the best camera for only half of the sports
  3. Small/Medium RAW files
    • Should be able to shoot medium RAW and large JPG
  4. Automatic Sensor Protection When Changing Lenses
    • The shutter should close and remain closed when changing lenses to protect the sensor from dust
  5. Seamless Interface With Apple
    • Sony needs to find a better way to interface with iOS and OSX
    • iPhone/Mac users are very unlikely to use anything else regardless of your features
    • He has to keep an old computer around to update his lenses and camera bodies, which is crazy
    • Imaging Edge isn’t all that great
  6. 1966 Strap Lugs
    • Digital cameras have horrible strap lugs and they should have developed something new over the old style
    • They make a lot of noise and they drive Patrick Nuts

The Sony a9II is a great tool that makes your life easier, but some might benefit more from the cheaper used a9 prices that will come from the introduction of the Sony a9II.

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Sony a9II: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
Sony a9: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama

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