Test: Sony Alpha 9 II (professional DSLM)

Conclusion from 14. 01. 2020

The Sony Alpha 9 II consistently delivers great results in the test. Image quality, equipment, video and especially continuous shooting and auto focus are among the best on the market. The improvements such as larger buttons, faster connectivity and voice memos make sense, but only for a professional target group – this is also reflected in the high price.

From 5.598 00 €: Find the best price for Sony Alpha 9 II

The values ​​in the article refer to the time of the test of the product ( 14. 01. 2020 ) .

The ratings below show how it compares to the other products in the leaderboard.

test ratings (compared to all tested products in this category)

  • CHIP rating Very good (1.3)
  • price-assessment Acceptable
  • Price from . 5 598 00 €

Sony Alpha 9 II: Special camera for special people

Around 5. 400 Euros for the Sony Alpha 9 II are already an announcement. Is the investment worth it? If you ask yourself this question, you can answer it with no. In the test, features stand out that appeal to a special and professional target group. Sports, animal and agency photographers, sometimes with fractions of a second deciding on a good or very good picture. For hobby and all other photographers there are far cheaper alternatives like the A7 III . For the targeted target group, by the way: The previous model there are over 1. 00 0 Euro cheaper.

At first glance, even the technical data seem identical: 24 Megapixel small-format sensor, 20 Pictures per second, blackout-free viewfinder and UHD video are taken over by the Sony Alpha 9 II unchanged. Meanwhile, the Japanese have focused on 40 to implement suggestions for improvement that they have received in the past two years. So much in advance: These optimizations should only be appreciated by professional photographers. The Sony Alpha 9 II may not be a new camera. But one that hardly leaves anything to be desired.

Photo gallery: Sony Alpha 9 II incl. Practice photos

Sony Alpha 9 II: top sensor, rapid series image sequence

In order to achieve a serial picture speed tailored to sports photographers, the 35mm sensor has its own memory chip, which records the huge amount of data before it is processed further inside the camera. This is the only way that the rapid serial image speed and almost unlimited long series length is possible. And this opens up the very best opportunities for sports, agency and wildlife professionals to capture a fast-paced event in every detail on the memory chip. Provided you insert a UHS-II-supporting SD card into one of the two slots.

In the laboratory we measure a top speed of 19, 4 frames per second – this is somewhat slower than the manufacturer's specification, but still proves to be an outstanding and unrivaled value to date. That means, not without competition: the predecessor Alpha 9 already reached this magical brand two years ago. The Canon EOS 1D X Mark III is also said to provide this performance. Like the other two cameras, the Sony Alpha 9 II only achieves this pace using the electronic shutter. The mechanical is reduced to half the production speed.

Why owners should voluntarily restrict themselves at all? On the one hand, the electronic shutter has disadvantages in terms of dynamic range and artificial lights. On the other hand, the added anti-flicker detection works with halogen light only with the mechanical curtain.

Sony Alpha 9 II: The AF-on button has increased in size. This makes it easy to use even with gloves. Picture: Sony

Sony Alpha 9 II: Not always extremely fast

In addition to the thrilling series pace, the Sony Alpha 9 II convinces with a minimal release delay: just 0 , 2 seconds trigger delay, we measure both daylight and dim light in the laboratory – it couldn't be faster! The predecessor Alpha 9 is with 0, 25 seconds a little slower. DSLR rivals Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II are at a disadvantage: in regular DSLR recording mode, they also manage a respectable 0, 35 or 0.3 seconds. In live view, however, according to our measurements, especially with autofocus, they are significantly slower: 0.9 or 0, 54 seconds.

The Sony Alpha 9 II only fails in one speed discipline: the switch-on time is quite long at 1.1 seconds. In sports and wildlife photography, it is often important that the tool is ready for use at lightning speed. Nikon and Canon don't even need half the time. For this reason, the Sony Alpha 9 II has to be satisfied with the speed rating of 1.3 in our test table.

Sony Alpha 9 II: Gigabit network cable, X sync cable, headphones, microphone and USB 3.1 Type-C – there really is no shortage of connections. Picture: Sony

Photo gallery: Sony Alpha 9 II incl. Practice photos

Sony Alpha 9 II: special functions for professionals

The hybrid autofocus of the Sony Alpha 9 II is with 693 phase and 425 Contrast fields lushly covered and covered 93 percent of Image section. When focusing, the AF takes into account the brightness, contrast, pattern and spatial depth of the subject. Particularly exciting for animal and sports photographers: the camera uses artificial intelligence to recognize motion sequences and even follows very hectic motifs that are temporarily blocked by obstacles with amazingly precise precision. As usual with Sony, the use of face detection and eye AF enables precise and particularly comfortable focusing of people and animals.

Especially in the telephoto area and with the aperture open, this function proves to be a grateful help: With the Sony Alpha 9 II, the photographer can concentrate on helping the athlete in the To hold the image section while the camera takes precise focus on the face or the eye. In addition, the eye AF is now also in video mode with a maximum of UHD / 30 p for Available. In addition, sensitivity as well as speed can be regulated during AF tracking in order to avoid too restless sharpness shifts.

For a professional camera, the Sony Alpha 9 II looks rather small due to the mirrorless design. The housing made of magnesium alloy lies very securely and comfortably in the hand due to the prominent handle with a rough surface, whereby professional photographers should mostly use the additionally available battery handle. Due to the slightly larger handle curvature, something also needs the new VG-C4M for round 400 Euro. Sony has changed the dust and splash water protection for the better, which the manufacturer finds again better than the predecessor. The very good battery life for a DSLM of maximum 760 tripping and 170 UHD video minutes remains almost unchanged.

During the 5-axis image stabilization up to 5 , 5 light values ​​should make longer shutter speeds possible, the revised mechanical shutter now causes less vibrations. Both result in wonderfully sharp images up to the high ISO levels. The maximum edge sharpness is achieved with 1. 891 Line pairs not only a very high, but also a steady value. Between ISO min and 12. 800 sharpness and detail remain almost unchanged. Only image noise is shown in the 100 – Percentage view at ISO 12. 800 – an excellent performance! The other ISO levels up to 51. 200 regular and 204. 800 with Boost, on the other hand, appear lossy.

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