Sony has a brand-new flagship camera, and it’s looking to take the top position as the go-to shooter for professional photographers in every walk of life.
Right before Sony unveiled the latest in its Alpha series, the Alpha 9 (stylized α9), at an event in New York City, company president Mike Fasulo told the assembled crowd of journalists and photo fans that Sony is committed to two ideals: innovation and proving its willingness to listen to customers.
Judging from the audience’s reaction and testimonials from a panel of professional photographers once the camera was revealed, the Alpha 9 could be well on the way to fulfilling those goals, along with its aim to allow photographers to “unleash the creative potential” of every shoot.
The Alpha 9 is a full-frame mirrorless digital camera with imaging performance that Sony says is unmatched by anything else on the market (although we’re sure its competitors will be quick to offer up alternatives to refute that claim).
The camera is capable of high-speed, blackout-free continuous shooting at 20fps with a maximum shutter speed of up to 1/32,000 second, so it’s built for capturing those easy-to-miss moments within lightning-quick movement for sports and wildlife photographers.
That super-fast focus is thanks to the Alpha 9’s brand new 35mm full-frame stacked 24.2MP CMOS sensor, which Sony is calling the first of its kind. The sensor is capable of data processing at speeds up to 20 times faster then any other mirrorless cameras in the Sony line.
The Alpha 9 can be stealthy, too. The camera has a vibration-free silent shutter, so taking shots in the wild or other tenuous scenarios won’t be an issue. After the unveiling, Sony gave the crowd some hands on time with the new cameras, and the only audible shutter sounds came from the non-Alpha rigs in the room.
Don’t worry though, photo purists: for portrait photographers and old-school diehards, there is an optional shutter sound for feedback purposes if you want to keep clicking away during your shoots.
The Alpha 9’s on-camera image review was a highpoint for Sony’s panel of professionals that dished on their hands-on experience with the camera. Digital photographers often get caught up reviewing their shots on the camera’s display, a process known as chimping, which can waste time and opportunities for even better pictures. Now, with the Alpha 9’s blackout-free shooting and seamless image review, the panel said there’s much less wasted time — and missed shots.
Preorders for the Alpha 9 starts April 21 for $4,500. It will ship and be available in stores starting next month.