The second generation of speed, the Sony Alpha a9 II takes the impressive feature-set of its predecessor and adds enhanced connectivity, a refined body design, and even quicker performance. Utilizing the proven 24.2MP full-frame Exmor RS BSI stacked CMOS sensor and an updated BIONZ X processor, the a9 II sports especially quick and responsive capabilities. Up to 20 fps shooting is possible with a silent electronic shutter or up to 10 fps with a mechanical shutter is supported, along with a wide sensitivity range that reaches up to an expanded ISO 204800. The sensor’s design also incorporates a 693-point phase-detection autofocus system, which offers intelligent subject tracking and Real-time Eye AF to ensure critical focus on moving subjects. The BIONZ X also performs up to 60 AF/AE functions per second to go along with the 20 fps shooting for reliable results in quickly changing situations. In addition to stills, UHD 4K video recording is supported at up to 30 fps and Quick and Slow Motion recording is also available. Additionally, 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE sensor-shift image stabilization is available, too, which minimizes the appearance of camera shake by up to 5.5 stops.
Benefitting the imaging capabilities, the a9 II receives a dramatic update in its physical design, featuring a more ergonomic body shape, refined weather sealing, and improved connectivity. A 3.69m-dot OLED EVF provides a bright, clear eye-level viewing means and affords blackout-free viewing to support photographing at high continuous speeds. The rear 3.0″ 1.44m-dot tilting LCD has a touchscreen design, too, for intuitive control over shooting settings and playback. Dual UHS-II SD memory card slots permit flexible file storage and the a9 II has been fitted with an improved 1000BASE-T Ethernet port for faster wired LAN sharing and remote camera operation. 5.0 GHz wireless sharing and Bluetooth are integrated, as well, for wireless sharing and remote camera control. Additionally, Voice Memos enables you to record up to 60-second sound clips with each photo, which can then be automatically converted to text, using the Transfer & Tagging app add-on, and then embedded into files’ metadata.
24.2MP Exmor RS BSI Stacked CMOS Sensor and BIONZ X Image Processor
The BIONZ X processor also works in conjunction with a high-speed front-end LSI to realize faster processing times along with a wide dynamic range with smooth tonal rendering. Benefitting the fast recording capabilities is an equally quick AF/AE metering system that functions at 60 times per second to continuously evaluate the scene in order to lock onto and track moving subjects. Automatic anti-flicker shooting also recognizes and times the shutter action to minimize the flicker effect for more consistent results on still images. Additionally, due to the use of an electronic shutter, totally blackout-free monitoring is possible with the electronic viewfinder for more accurate compositions of moving subjects.
Fast Hybrid AF System
The apt focus system also lends itself to a variety of focusing functions for refined accuracy, including Lock-on AF, which maintains focus on moving subjects throughout the use of a configurable frame that is set over the desired moving subject, and Expand Flexible Spot, which employs neighboring focus points to retain focus on moving subjects even if the originally selected point loses focus. The focus frame color is selectable, between white and red, and AF tracking is possible with apertures narrower than f/16 with select lenses when working in Focus Priority mode. Additionally, Eye AF can be used to base focus on recognized human subjects’ eyes for portraits and is available in both AF-S and AF-C modes, for both stills and video. Eye AF can be used when photographing animal subjects, too, with any focusing mode when shooting stills. Autofocus can also be used in conjunction with the Focus Magnifier function for critical focus when homing in on minute subject details. The rear touchscreen can also be used for Touch Focus control, and a Touchpad Focus Control mode lets you use the rear screen intuitively while keeping your eye to the viewfinder. Additionally, when working in AF-C mode, the focus point can be moved while the shutter button is half-pressed, making it easier to quickly shift focus without losing sight of the action.