With latest mirrorless model.

The 2017 Sony Alpha Awards marked the launch of Sony’s most technologically advanced camera to date – the Sony a9 full-frame mirrorless E-mount camera, now available for an RRP of $6,999. Sony senior product specialist for digital imaging, Sean Ellwood, described the a9 as “a first in its class”.

“For a long time we have had digital cameras but this is the first time we have had a fully electronic camera. We have been improving and honing these mechanisms, including the mirror, the shutter and over time, we have made huge advances in black out time, motion prediction for auto focus, and our view finder has become bigger, brighter, wider and more accurate.

“With the a9, we are able to step past the limitations and not worry about black out at all and it’s the combination of the completely new CMOS sensor – the first full frame sensor of its kind and the new, updated processor,” he said.

The headline feature of the a9 is the ability to capture 20fps (full-resolution, 20 megapixels).

Sony senior product specialist for digital imaging, Sean Ellwood

“It can do that without any blackout of the viewfinder and this is key for a camera that is focused on fast, action photography – being able to see what’s happening in front of the camera is central to framing the shot and capturing the moment,” Ellwood said. “On top of that, the camera is able to sample auto focus and auto exposure from that same image sensor that captures the picture 60 times per second. With the a9, we are able to have reliable, continuous auto focus.”

“4D focus is something we have talked about in our previous models and requires a combination of speed, accuracy and coverage. The a9 is unique in full frame cameras, in having 93% frame coverage. Not only can you have complete confidence in the focus, but also it will focus all the way out to the edges. It gives users freedom in the way they frame their shots, decisions made about how to capture an image that you can’t get with a camera where the focus points are all locked into the centre of the frame.

“The shutter is completely electronic which means nothing moves inside the camera when you take a picture. It is not just a silent shutter, there is no physical shutter there and that opens a whole range of possibilities to photographers.

“Some other features include the addition of the AF button, a joystick that allows you to always manually control the auto focus point, a new viewfinder that is higher resolution and refreshes faster, an improved dual media card slot for peace of mind, magnesium-alloy body, and more than double the battery life of its predecessors, which addresses a major concern of professional photographers.”

Addressing attendees of the evening, Sony head of digital imaging, Vivek Handoo (pictured below) said, “If you look at the total camera industry, it is no hidden fact that smartphones are making a dent in the imaging industry. However, it is important to understand that there are people who want to capture images in the best possible way and that is where Sony and our product comes in.

“The industry is on a slight decline but we as a brand have been growing by introducing new products and new technologies. The a9 brings great sensitivity, great resolution and great speed”.