DXO: Sony a9 Sensor Review: Game changer?

It looks like DPReview’s hit piece on the a9 has now been disproved by a second testing site DXO and it validates Photonstophotos results, which further proves what a great resource they are for early in-depth measurements. The Sony a9 is a very unique camera in my experience and there really is nothing like it at the moment. It’s not for everyone, but buyers should feel secure in their investment if they get a camera that doesn’t overheat. I hope we get a clear resolution to the quality control issues. I will continue to harp on them until I am no longer seeing new reports of defective cameras on the market. Hopefully, the photographers with bad cameras turn them in soon and frequently until they get good cameras. In the mean time, you can enjoy DXO’s conclusion below and read the full review here.

No stranger to pushing the boundaries of digital camera design, Sony has delivered a powerhouse of a camera in the a9, which far outstrips the performance capabilities of most mirrorless cameras to date.

The a9’s key specifications, including the 20fps burst shooting with full AF/AE tracking, no EVF blackout, near-complete autofocus frame coverage, and silent operation, are going to be seriously attractive to any and all professional action photographers.

To help facilitate the super-fast performance, the a9 has taken a step back from the monster resolution of the A7R II, but its 24.4Mp chip should suffice for most, and overall its image quality is outstanding.

The Sony a9’s sensor ranks as one of the best we’ve tested at base ISO, with consistently good scores for dynamic range and color depth, and exceptional results for noise. At those crucial mid to high ISO sensitivities for action photographers, image quality is also excellent and on par with flagship Nikon and Canon sports DSLRs.

For the very best image quality, the A7R II offers better results for color, as well as almost twice the sensor resolution, but it isn’t a sports camera and can’t compete for performance against the a9, so they’re intended for different markets.

With a big body-only price tag of $4,500, the Sony a9 is squarely in the pro category, going head-to-head with the top-end Canon and Nikon DSLRs. With many pros already heavily invested in lenses and accessories for those systems, it’s going to be a tricky (not to mention expensive) to switch, but the Sony a9 has both the performance capabilities and image quality that make it a seriously tempting proposition.

Canon and Nikon should be very worried about the Sony a9 easily dominating both the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and Nikon D5. Sony’s glass selection is only getting better and their support for AF Canon and more glass is getting better too. Even my TechART PRO works very well with the Sony a9, nothing quite like AF-C Leica M glass on a modern body.

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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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