Since the release of the α9, Sony’s groundbreaking full-frame mirrorless camera, numerous reviews have poured in from all sides of the internet. We’ve compiled some of the top reviews that cover everything you need to know about the most technologically advanced, innovative pro digital camera available today.
DxOMark's review of the Sony α9 gives the camera an overall score of 92, outpacing the rival pro DSLRs from Canon (1DX II) and Nikon (D5), which both have overall 88s from the DxOMark testing regimen. They wrote, "The Sony α9’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."
Full review at DxOMark.com.
Imaging Resource reviews all of the specifications of the α9 and puts it through several field tests. Upon testing the camera on some action, they came away saying, “The Sony α9 offers a lot to be excited about, but the number one jaw-dropper at its reveal was the autofocus it showed: it was phenomenal. In demonstrations, the α9 looked to outclass just about any other camera on the market, and was at the very least the best autofocus system anyone had ever put into a mirrorless camera.”
Full review at ImagingResource.com.
David Stubbs, professional wedding photographer, labels the α9 the “camera of a wedding photographer’s dreams. Between the auto-focus, silent shutter and speed, Stubbs is convinced it’s the best wedding photography camera on the market today. His review said, “As a wedding photographer using a Sony α9 with a silent shutter, there are so many benefits. On Saturday, the bride’s dad saw her for the first time at the bottom of the stairs in her wedding dress. With no one else except me. A big embrace, a squeeze and some tears from dad and daughter. They know I am there, but to have them lost in a moment, and not to distract the moment with a silent shutter was invaluable.”
Full review at PetaPixel.com.
Max Yuryev and Paul Nelson
Popular YouTube reviewer Max Yuryev enlisted the help of sports photographer friend, Paul Nelson in testing the Sony α9 side by side with the Nikon D5. They test the autofocus capabilities outdoors, head inside to test it inside a Mixed Martial Arts gym and finish by testing outside in low light.
Their conclusion upon a full day of testing? “We really believe it lives up to its hype and more."
Check out the entire side-by-side test:
Max Yuryev's YouTube Channel
In the New Atlas review, Loz Blain examines the continuous autofocus performance and ease of use of the camera. “In all, this remains the best camera I've ever laid my hands on. The α9's bombastic burst speed is a thrilling diversion that never fails to impress, but let's not let bells and whistles distract us from how well this thing does the basics.”
He concludes with what he thinks is most significant about the α9, “To me, this camera is significant in that it takes on the DSLRs at their own game, and equals or beats them at every turn. Mirrorless is no longer a compromise, it's a pure advantage. I can't see myself ever putting money down on a DSLR again. Bravo, Sony, you have built a magnificent machine and pushed the state of the art forward.”
Full review at NewAtlas.com.
Tony and Chelsea Northup
In this video review, Tony and Chelsea Northup take the α9 to the skating rink and indoor track to test it against the α7R II, Canon 1DX II, Nikon D5 and D500. In exploring if the hype surrounding the α9 was real, they couldn’t believe the silent shooting of the camera. “Imagine a future where pros shoot with silent shutters. No cameras clicking over press conference audio, no wedding photographers disturbing quiet ceremonies. The α9 makes this possible. And our testing showed none of the traditional penalties of an electronic shutter.”
See all that they had to say in the video:
Tony and Chelsea Northup’s YouTube Channel
In Gizmodo’s review of the α9, Brent Rose describes using the camera in situations ranging from fast action to long-exposure night shots. “Let me try to explain what it’s like to shoot with this camera. Not to get hyperbolic here, but it almost feels like you can’t miss. An example: I was walking by a creek with the camera dangling off my neck, powered off. I saw a golden retriever emerge from the water and start to shake itself off. It has already started shaking before I’d hit the power button to turn the camera back on, and yet I was still able to fire off a burst of 14 shots, and in each one every hair on the dog’s nose (and every water droplet flying off of it) was crystal clear. Using the α9 almost feels like cheating."
Full review at Gizmodo.com.
PCMag evaluated the α9’s still and 4K video capabilities complete with image samples. Their review said, "The α9 stands alone in its class in the mirrorless world—nothing else has as big of a sensor or shoots so quickly. If you're invested in the system and have been patiently waiting for a camera like this, your patience has been rewarded. The α9 is a reminder that mirrorless cameras have come a long way, and in some ways have moved beyond what even the highest-grade SLRs can accomplish."
Full review at PCMag.com.
Dan Watson, contributor to the Huffington Post, goes over the stunning specifications for the α9. “Sony has been at the front of autofocus innovation for mirrorless cameras. With every new release, the speed, accuracy, and tracking capabilities seems to jump ahead of every other camera and the α9 is no exception. With a mind boggling 693 Phase Detection AF points covering 93% of the frame, the α9 sets a new record for tracking objects immediately after they enter the frame until the moment they leave with stunning precision. Eye tracking has also achieved a new level of accuracy and would detect and maintain focus on the eye even when my subject’s head was partially turned away.”
Full review at HuffingtonPost.com.
With the opportunity to test the camera on some action, Shutterbug took a look at the long list of its innovative features. Reviewing the handling, ergonomics, speed and image quality of the α9, Shutterbug says, “The new Sony Alpha α9 is clearly a great choice for sports/action photographers. But it’s also a highly capable, lightweight performer for shooting landscapes, street scenes, portraits, wildlife and anything else one might encounter.”
Full review at Shutterbug.com.
Jefferson Graham takes the α9 out to capture some different types of action. "I brought the camera along to a bike race, where cyclists were barreling around the corner. With my finger down on the 20-frames-a-second shutter, I was able to get the right shot many times at less than a split second without having to worry about missing anything." He comments on how sharp the images were and had similar results when shooting a volleyball tournament.
Graham also writes that his best time with the camera was when he brought it to Venice Beach on a busy Saturday afternoon capturing candid shots of street performers and vendors. "The goal was that I would be so fast, nobody would see me shooting them, and that’s exactly what happened."
Full review at USAToday.com.