Sony Alpha a9 II Review (2020)

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Sony Alpha a9 II is the best camera for its ultimate power, performance, and image quality. The second generation of Sony α9 II was developed in advance speed, refined body design, and even quicker performance these are the best impressive feature-set from its predecessor Sony α9. The updated firmware makes the camera to perform to its fullest with the help of the advanced high-level BIONZ X processor. The new design also enhanced with complete dust and moisture resistance. The 10 fps burst with a mechanical shutter with anti-flicker shooting helps the user for versatile action shooting. However, the autofocus system delivers an enormous amount of reliability for the fast action, wildlife, and sports type of photography.  

Sony Alpha a9 II Specifications

The all-new Sony Alpha a9 II has come up with improved weather sealing. The immediate change is the profiled hand grip. Along with that, a lock button is placed in the center of the exposure compensation dial. To prevent accidental changes during the shoot. Apart from that, a raft of updates apps has been installed to extend the capabilities further.

Body Design

The new body design with developed grip, buttons, and smooth control makes easy and comfortable handling. The Magnesium alloy chassis helps with rigidity, durability, and stability while remaining lightweight. The lens mount has also been improved to better support heavy lenses, and the grip rigidity has been developed for more comfortable hand-holding. The new design also enhanced with complete dust and moisture resistance. Also, a new vertical grip was introduced which can hold two Z-type batteries that allow us to shoot for more time without missing any scenes.

Sony Alpha a9 II 360 degree View

  • Body type – SLR-style mirrorless
  • Camera Format – Full-Frame
  • Body material – Magnesium alloy
  • Weight of the body only – Approx. 678 g
  • Dimensions – Width 128.9 mm x Height 96.4 mm x Diagonal 77.5 mm
  • Operating Environment – 32 – 104 degrees F / 0 – 40 degrees C
  • Lens Mount – E Mount
  • Shutter Type – Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane type
  • Slower shutter speed – 30 sec
  • Fastest shutter speed – 1/8000 sec for Mechanical Shutter and 1/32000 sec for Electronic Shutter
  • Shutter life – 5,00,000 Shots
  • Mirror Lock-Up – No
  • Memory Card Slots – 2 SD Card
  • Battery description – NP-FZ100, Rechargeable.
  • Battery Life – Approx. 500 shots (Viewfinder)/approx. 690 shots (LCD monitor) (CIPA standard) for stills, Approx. 110 min (Viewfinder)/Approx. 120 min (LCD monitor) (CIPA standard) for Video
  • Charging AC adapter – BC-QZ1 charging AC adapter

Sensor and Processor

The Sony Alpha α9 II is made of a 35mm stacked 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor for impressively fast overall readout speed. The advanced latest-generation BIONZ X processor combines with the sensor to give a high-sensitivity performance, gives a high dynamic range with 14-bit and 16-bit image processing. This helps for making low light image capturing even at -3 EV. Advancing the fast recording capabilities helps quick AF/AE metering system that functions at 60 times per second to continuously assess the scene to lock and track moving subjects.

  • Sensor type – CMOS
  • Actual Pixels – 24.2 megapixels
  • Effective Pixels – 28.3 megapixels
  • Sensor size – Full frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm)
  • Max resolution – 6000 x 4000
  • Other resolutions – 3:2 – 35 mm full-frame L: 6000 x 4000 (24M), M: 3936 x 2624 (10M), S: 3008 x 2000 (6.0M), APS-C L: 3936 x 2624 (10M), M: 3008 x 2000 (6.0M), S: 1968 x 1312 (2.6M), 4:3 – 35 mm full-frame L: 5328 x 4000 (21M), M: 3488 x 2624 (9.2M), S: 2656 x 2000 (5.3M) APS-C L: 3488 x 2624 (9.2M), M: 2656 x 2000 (5.3M), S: 1744 x 1312 (2.3M), 16:9 – 35 mm full-frame L: 6000 x 3376 (20M), M: 3936 x 2216 (8.7M), S: 3008 x 1688 (5.1M), APS-C L: 3936 x 2216 (8.7M), M: 3008 x 1688 (5.1M), S: 1968 x 1112 (2.2M), 1:1 – 35 mm full-frame L: 4000 x 4000 (16M), M: 2624 x 2624 (6.9 M), S: 2000 x 2000 (4.0 M), APS-C L: 2624 x 2624 (6.9 M), M: 2000 x 2000 (4.0 M), S: 1312 x 1312 (1.7M)
  • Processor – BIONZ X
  • Bit Depth – 14bit RAW
  • Camera Stabilization – 5-axis image sensor shift
  • Aspect Ratio – 3:2
  • Colour space – sRGB, Adobe RGB
  • Colour filter array – Primary colour filter
  • Continuous shooting speed – AUTO/Electronic Shutter: Continuous shooting: Hi: max. 20fps, Mid: max. 10fps, Lo: max. 5fps, Mechanical Shutter: Continuous shooting: Hi: max. 10fps, Mid: max. 8fps, Lo: max. 3fps

Image

The advanced technology of the sensor with perfect TRILUMINOUS color profile and the processor allows the user to boost the ISO and it reduces the noise to some great extent. This camera is equipped with lots of effects that can be used to make creative pictures. The sensors back-illuminated design makes the sensor to produce clear and detailed images with more sharpness.

  • Image ratio – 3:2
  • ISO Auto – 100-51200
  • Minimum ISO – 50
  • Maximum ISO – 204800
  • White Balance presets – 10
  • White Balance Bracketing – Provided
  • Image stabilization – Sensor-shift 5-Axis
  • File format – RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format), RAW & JPEG, JPEG with (Extra fine, Fine, Standard)
  • Picture Styles – Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn Leaves, Black & White, Sepia, Style Box (1-6), (Contrast (-3 to +3 steps), Saturation (-3 to +3 steps), Sharpness (-5 to +5 steps))
  • Picture Effect – 8 types: Posterisation (Colour), Posterisation (B/W), Pop Colour, Retro Photo, Partial Colour (R/G/B/Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera (Normal/Cool/Warm/Green/Magenta), Soft High-key, Rich-tone Monochrome

Optics & Focus

The fast hybrid AF system enables high-density tracking AF technology with 693 AF points of Phase detection and 425 AF points of contrast detection. The updated AF technology provides a facility for a critical focus on erratically or unpredictable moving subjects. The advanced Eye Tracking functions enables to track humans and animal eye in real-time speed. The AF can be used in conjunction with the focus magnifier function for a critical focus on minute subject detail. The AF tracking can be used with apertures narrower than f/16 with selected lenses when working in Focus Priority mode. The wide variety of focusing functions provides refined accuracy even on the moving subjects.

  • Focus Mode – AF-S (Single-shot AF), AF-C (Continuous AF), DMF (Direct Manual Focus), Manual Focus
  • Number of focus points – 35 mm full-frame: 693 points (phase-detection AF), APS-C mode with FF lens: 299 points (phase-detection AF), with APS-C lens: 221 points (phase-detection AF) / 425 points (contrast-detection AF)
  • Lens mount – E Mount
  • Focal length multiplier – 1×

Auto Focus

  • Autofocus system – Fast Hybrid AF (phase-detection AF/contrast-detection AF)
  • Autofocus Sensitivity – -3 to +20 EV
  • Focus Area – Wide (693 points (phase-detection AF), 425 points (contrast-detection AF))/Zone/Centre/Flexible Spot (S/M/L)/Expanded Flexible Spot/Tracking (Wide/Zone/Centre/Flexible Spot (S/M/L)/Expanded Flexible Spot)

Screen and Viewfinder

  • Screen Type –TFT Adjustable Up by approx. 107 degrees, Down by approx. 41 degrees
  • The Screen size – 7.5 cm
  • Screen dots – 14,40,000 dots
  • Touch screen – Provided
  • Live view – Provided
  • Viewfinder type – 1.3 cm (0.5 type) electronic viewfinder (colour), Quad-VGA OLED
  • The Viewfinder coverage – 100%
  • Viewfinder Eye Point – 21 mm
  • Viewfinder Magnification – Approx. 0.78x
  • Diopter Adjustment – -4 to +3 m-1

Photography Features

The Sony Alpha a9 II is built with the sensor-shift of 5-axis image stabilization equal to 5.5 steps which help to take a perfect shot in any conditions. The sensor and the processor performance make the photographer make great quality pictures with high resolution. The electronic viewfinder provides accurate color and crisp details. Additional to this EVF there is a tilting touch LCD screen is provided for the live view with a touch facility. The tilting screen enables to tilt up and down which is so useful for high and low angle shots. The high performing continuous drive of 20 fps electronic shutter delivers zero blackout images which enable us to capture every action without missing it.

  • Exposure modes – AUTO (I Auto), Programmed AE (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter-speed priority (S), Manual (M), Movie (Programmed AE (P)/Aperture priority (A)/Shutter-speed priority (S)/Manual (M)), Slow & Quick Motion (Programmed AE (P)/Aperture priority (A)/Shutter-speed priority (S)/Manual (M))Drive modes – Single Shooting, Continuous shooting (Hi/Mid/Lo selectable), Self-timer, Self-timer (Cont.), Bracket: Single, Bracket: Cont., White Balance bracket, DRO bracket
  • Continuous drive – 20 fps
  • Silent Shooting – Yes (Electronic Shutter)
  • Metering modes – Multi-segment, Centre-weighted, Spot, Spot Standard/Large, Entire Screen Avg., Highlight
  • Exposure compensation – ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
  • Metering Range – –3 to +20 EV
  • Built-in flash – Not provided
  • External flash connection– Hot Shoe, PC Terminal
  • Flash Maximum sync speed – 1/250 s
  • Flash Compensation – ±3 EV (1/3 or 1/2 EV Steps)
  • External Flash Connection – Sony α System Flash compatible with Multi Interface Shoe, attach the shoe adaptor for flash compatibility with the Auto-lock accessory shoe
  • Dedicated Flash system – P-TTL
  • Flash Modes – Flash off, Auto-flash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Red-eye reduction (on/off selectable), Wireless, Hi-speed sync.

Video or Movie Features

The Sony α9 II is now capable of making an internal recording of 4K movies at 30 fps based on the 35mm area with effective 6K resolution. The entire sensor width is being utilized to deliver 4K recording with improved image quality when working at mid and high sensitivity. The 24p or 30p of 4x and 5x slow-motion with 120 fps produces a visual treat extreme detail and clarity. In addition to the high-resolution internal recording, and uncompressed HDMI output can be enabled by using an optional external recorder for clean 4K recording with 4:2:2 sampling.

  • Video resolutions – 5.5K RAW (60p), 4K DCI (60p), 4K UHD (60p), Full-HD (120p)
  • Video Compression – XAVC S: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, AVCHD: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
  • Moreover, Video Encoding – NTSC/PAL
  • Videography Format – XAVC S, AVCHD format Ver. 2.0
  • Frame Rate – NTSC – XAVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160 (30p, 100M), 3840 x 2160 (24p, 100M), 3840 x 2160 (30p, 60M), 3840 x 2160 (24p, 60M), XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080 (120p, 100M), 1920 x 1080 (120p, 60M), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50M), 1920 x 1080 (30p, 50M), 1920 x 1080 (24p, 50M), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 25M), 1920 x 1080 (30p, 16M), AVCHD:1920 x 1080 (60i, 24M, FX), 1920 x 1080 (60i, 17M, FH), PAL – XAVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160 (25p, 100M), 3840 x 2160 (25p, 60M), AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (50i, 24 M, FX), 1920 x 1080 (50i, 17 M, FH)
  • Slow Motion – NTSC mode: 1fps, 2fps, 4fps, 8fps, 15fps, 30fps, 60fps, 120fps, PAL mode: 1fps, 2fps, 3fps, 6fps, 12fps, 25fps, 50fps, 100fps,
  • Audio Recording – Built-In Microphone (Stereo)
  • Audio File Format – XAVC S: LPCM 2ch, AVCHD: Dolby Digital (AC-3) 2ch, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator
  • The Audio Output – Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5 mm diameter)

Other Special Features of Sony α9 II

Some people get irritated or get annoyed by the shutter sound on some occasions where silence should be maintained. Well, when the alpha α9 II delivers 20 fps shooting with the electronic shutter it can be made to silent shooting whenever required. It is one of the important features for a photographer where he needs to take photographs in some of the situations without any disturbance or get noticed. The integrated Ethernet port has been upgraded to deliver quick wired LAN sharing and remote operation. The Imaging Edge Remote for desktop now supports the α9 II for PC Remote shooting by the WiFi connection or tethered by the wired USB Type-C port. An updated data transfer control now makes it possible to transfer files from an SD card over WiFi using the Imaging Edge Mobile app even when the camera is powered off.

  • Eye Tracking – Human/Animal Eye Tracking AF
  • Face Detection- Modes: Face Priority in AF (On/Off), Face Priority in Multi Metering (On/Off), Regist. Faces Priority (On/Off), Face registration, Max. number detectable: 8 faces
  • Time-lapse recording – Provided
  • PC Interface – Mass-storage, MTP, PC remote
  • Wireless – Built-in
  • Wi-Fi – 2.4 GHz band
  • Bluetooth – Version 4.1
  • Storage types – SLOT1: Slot for SD (UHS-I/II compliant) memory card, SLOT2: Slot for SD (UHS-I/II compliant) memory card
  • USB Connectivity – USB type C (USB3.1)
  • LAN Terminal – Yes (1000BASE-T)
  • HD Output – HDMI micro connector (Type-D), BRAVIA® Sync (Control for HDMI), Photo TV HD, 4K movie output/4K still image PB
  • Port Provided – Microphone, Headphone
  • Remote control – Yes (Wired, wireless, smartphone)
  • Self-timer – 2s, 5s, 10s, the 20s with delay shooting
  • Sync Terminal – Yes

 Best Lenses for Sony a9 II

In the field of digital photography, Sony always stands for sharpness, details, and image quality. This is possible only because of the good quality of lenses which are made especially for the high quality and exact color profile to make a reality. There is a wide variety of G lens, G Master, and also ZEISS lens series available for the F mounts for every occasion. For any kind of photography, there is various kind of lenses available which is capable of delivering crisp and clear image by using the performance of the camera. The build quality of lenses and the high-quality glasses makes the Sony to always stands unique for its image quality.    

List of Best Common Lenses for Sony α9 II

Best All-in-one Lens

FE 24–240 mm F 3.5 – 6.3 OSS

Most Common Standard Zoom Lenses

  • FE 24 – 70mm F 2.8 GM
  • FE 24 – 105mm F 4 G OSS

Best Standard Prime Lenses

  • FE 35 mm F1.8
  • FE 50 mm F2.8 Macro
  • Lens FE 85mm F1.8
  • FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS

Best Macro Lenses FE 50 mm F 2.8 Macro

  • FE 50 mm F2.8 Macro
  • FE 90 mm F2.8 Macro G OSS

Top Standard Zoom Lenses

  • FE 24-70 mm F2.8 GM
  • FE 24–105 mm F4 G OSS
  • Lens FE PZ 28–135 mm F4 G OSS

Best Wide-angle Prime Lenses

  • FE 20 mm F1.8 G
  • FE 24mm F1.4 GM
  • Lens FE 35 mm F1.8

List of Best Specialized Lenses for Sony α9 II

Best Indoor Sports Lenses

  • FE 70–200 mm F4 G OSS
  • FE 70-200 mm F2.8 GM OSS
  • Super telephoto Zoom 100-400mm G Master Lens

Top Outdoor Sports and Wildlife Lenses

  • Sony FE 200–600 mm F5.6–6.3 G OSS
  • FE 400 mm F2.8 GM OSS
  • Sony FE 600-mm F4 GM OSS
  • 1.4x and 2x Teleconverter Lens

Best Portrait Lenses

  • FE 50mm F1.8
  • FE 85 mm F1.4 GM
  • Lens FE 135mm F1.8 GM

Best Travel and Street Lenses

  • FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM
  • FE 24-70 mm F2.8 GM
  • Lens FE 24–105 mm F4 G OSS Lens
  • FE 50mm F1.8
  • Lens FE 85 mm F1.4 GM

Sony Alpha α9 II Rating

As per the specifications and features of Sony Alpha a9 II, this camera is a gem for the sports, wildlife, and adventure photographers who always needed a camera that can capture every action. Indeed, every photographer can use this camera for any kind like wedding photography, fashion photography, product photography, architecture photography, etc. Because of its improved technology and its performance surely it will be so helpful for both amateurs and professionals. Henceforth, professional photographers know how to utilize this camera’s performance to the core. Further, this rating is given to Sony α9 II as per the survey of Photo mentor PRO.