Sony a9 Hands-On Review And Problems With Dynamic Range – So It Isn’t The Perfect Camera After All?

by Keith AlvendiaLeave a Comment

So what's up with the Sony a9? What are people saying about it? Is it the killer DSLR for sports that everyone's been hoping for? (Ok not everyone, but many LOL).

We've got a hands-on report from our good friend Hugh Brownstone as well as a troubling report from DPreview about the unfortunate results in their testing of Dynamic Range with ISOs below 640.

So what are your thoughts? Are you jumping on the Sony a9 bandwagon?

Sony a9 Hands-On: Best Sony Ever Demands Best from YOU

Via Youtube Description:

Well, it didn't turn me into a Pulitzer prize-winning sports photographer in the one day I had it (along with a trio of G-Master lenses including the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6). It WILL fill the buffer if you spray and pray for all 200 frames, so be forewarned and use that speed wisely. Otherwise, the a9 is an exceptional tool for exceptional photographers.

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DPReview testing of the Sony A9

In this article, the folks at DPReview are finding that there were compromises made when Sony went for the WOW factor of 20fps. I first heard about this on the PetaPixel Podcast and found the article.

“It's immediately obvious the a9 is not ISO-invariant (what is ‘ISO-invariance'?). This means the camera is adding a fair amount of read noise that results in noisy shadows, limiting dynamic range at base ISO. That's why, for the same focal plane exposure, performing analog amplification by increasing ISO in-camera gets you a cleaner image than performing that amplification (or brightening) in post-processing.

It's not the typical performance we've come to expect from Sony sensors and we suspect the higher readout speed is leading to greater noise. In other words, it appears this sensor was likely optimized for speed at the expense of low ISO dynamic range.”

So all that to say that it doesn't become a horrible camera, but it does give you some food for thought and also keeps us in the hunt for the ultimate camera! (Could that be the Light L16?)

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

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