If it's not broken, don't fix it: the old adage says, and the Sony Alpha A9 was practically perfect when it was launched in April 2017. But age finally catches up with all things and Sony Snapper Fans have been silently asking for an updated version of the company's professional-level full-frame mirrorless sports camera.

Today, the Japanese electronic giant has unexpectedly delivered one, announcing the Sony Alpha A9 II without any fanfare and (somewhat surprising in 2019) little in the way of leaks prior to launch.

At first glance, the Sony Alpha A9 II seems to be very similar to its predecessor, as it shares the 24.9MP stacked CMOS sensor of the A9 under the hood, the same 693 (AF) auto focus points that can cover 93 % of framing and the same ISO range of 100-51,200 that can be expanded to 50-204,800.

Also as the oldest shooter, the A9 II can capture up to 20 fps during continuous shooting without obscuring the viewfinder – important for those who bite their nails and drop their jaw. Clinking moments and share the same 60 AF and Automatic exposure calculations per second of calculation speed.

It also carries the excellent electronic viewfinder of 3,686K points (with an update frequency of 120 fps) and an inclination of 3.0 inches and 1.44 million points. rear angle touch screen.

Sony has implemented some adjustments to make the A9 II a faster and smarter snapper than its predecessor, which helps it reach 2019 standards and further consolidate the A9's reputation as the sports shooter. [19659002]

Sony Alpha A9 II: new features

It's fair to say that the updates Sony has made are incremental, but those small changes could show a change in the game. For starters, Sony says the new camera has a stronger and more durable body, adopting the new button layout and a deeper grip of the Alpha A7R IV.

That means there are two sliding covers over the battery cover and card slots to avoid the worst weather, and the exposure compensation dial in the upper right corner of the camera shoulder now has a button Lock to prevent accidental changes. There is also a redesigned lens lock button on the A9 II, along with a better padding for greater shock absorption around the lens mount.

Another minor modification that could be very useful is a low vibration shutter design that can increase image sharpness, with image stabilization in the 5-axis body (IBIS) updated to provide 5.5 stops of stability, so the results of portable image capture should definitely improve (although there is no reason to complain about the A9).

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(Image credit: Sony)

Unlike the original A9, the second generation model now has a USB-C port (which can even be used for power the camera while it is in use) and two slots for UHS-II SD cards. While the A9 II uses the same battery as its predecessor, Sony says it offers better battery life with approximately 50 additional shots according to CIPA tests. If you think it is a too small update, there is an optional new vertical grip for the A9 II that can hold two additional batteries.

However, the most significant improvement is one aimed at professional photographers who have quick response times for a large number of image files. The A9 II now has a Gigabit Ethernet port that carries data transfer rates from 100Mbps to 1Gbps. It also adds a 5 GHz wireless functionality to the 2.4 GHz option already available on the A9, and the transfer through the USB-C port is an improvement over the previous model. The A9 II can also be combined with Sony's Imaging Edge mobile application to transfer still images and videos over Wi-Fi, even when the camera is turned off.

Sony has also improved the camera's remote shooting capabilities, by adding remote formatting of memory cards through the Remote Camera Tool 2.1 software. Users can also add voice notes to the files in case it is necessary to transmit instructions to other team members working on a project.

Another important addition here is the new Bionz X processor and artificial intelligence technology that was introduced in the Alpha A6400. Improves the speed and accuracy of the A9 II's autofocus, even for the detection of faces, eyes and animals.

And although it offers the 20 fps burst speed of the A9, the new camera is capable of shooting 10 fps with a mechanical shutter (instead of 5fps of the A9) which, according to Sony, has the same life expectancy of 500,000 drives than the A9.

Minor updates that are priced

The original A9 was not cheap: at launch it was $ 4,500 / £ 4,500 / AU $ 6,999 for the body only. However, the professional press and sports photographers have very specific needs that the A9 offered, and many clearly discovered that it was worth the cost.

According to Sony, the second-generation A9 has about 43 different improvements that make it an even better shooter than the original and, despite that, the A9 II retains the same launch price in the US. UU. than the previous model.

The Sony Alpha A9 II will go on sale in October 2019 in the US. UU. and the United Kingdom with the same considerable price of $ 4,500 in the United States, but a little more than £ 4,800 in the United Kingdom. In Australia, the A9 II will begin shipping a little later, in November, with the final price yet to be confirmed.

We are still not sure if Sony will reduce the price of the original A9, now that the Mark II option has been announced, if that happens, it will make the A9 one of the best prosumer cameras available in the market.

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