I had a wonderful opportunity to use the Sony a9 in the London Aquatics Centre to really test the camera in action scenarios. It is one heck of a machine.
The Sony a9 is the most expensive Sony Alpha camera now and goes up against the well established Canon EOS 1D X II and Nikon D5 - cameras that have monopolised the market for professional sports, wildlife and wedding photographers.
Considering the a9 is Sony’s first attempt at a camera designed for pro action photography, it is a firm success. Using this speed demon for sports is pretty much cheating - it’ll get you those money shots quickly enough.
In full flow, the 20fps with no live view black out, phase detection AF that covers virtually the whole frame and a generally reliable Lock-On tracking AF are quite simply addictive.
To back up this class-leading performance, Sony also has one of the best lens lineups for sports and wildlife photography.
The a9’s form factor is too small for the sort of use it’ll get and the button layout is a bit cramped. Yet, buying an additional battery grip for use with longer lenses and removing it for use with short lenses really is the best of both worlds.
Image quality wise the a9 delivers exactly what I'd hope for - it’s a camera that is able to make great images in both sunlight and in low light, though it really excels when the conditions are tough.
Merited on performance alone, the Nikon D5 and Canon EOS 1D X II have a fight on their hands. The Sony a9 is here in all its electronic technological glory and is the camera on the very top of my wishlist.