Sony announces professional A9 II system camera with Bionz X processor

Sony has announced the A9 II system camera. The camera retains the 24.2-megapixel sensor of its predecessor, but gets a new image processing processor. The camera will be released ‘around’ October for ‘about’ 5400 euros.

In terms of specifications, the Sony A9 II is not very different from other recent cameras from Sony. The A9 II includes the same 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor as the 2017 A9, which can still take ten photos per second. This is increased to 20fps when an electronic shutter is used, without the viewfinder going black during shooting. The A9 II also retains the same autofocus system with 693 phase-detection autofocus points.

What is new is the Bionz X processor and AI technology, techniques that are also in the a6400. This processor handles calculations for autofocus and auto-exposure tracking faster than the A9 and should ensure faster and more accurate face recognition. The processor must also reduce the amount of noise at high ISO settings.

The A9 II can record 4k videos internally with the full sensor, just like the A7 III. Like the A7 III, the A9 II only supports 8-bit colors. The S-Log2 and S-Log 3 profiles are missing from the A9 II, Engadget reports. The built-in electronic viewfinder has an OLED screen with 5.76 million pixels. The same viewfinder was in the original A9.

The A9 II has the same battery as its predecessor, but battery life has been improved compared to the previous model. Sony does not say how long the battery should last, but according to Engadget, the A9 II can take about 690 photos without the electronic viewfinder. When used, the number of pictures on a full battery is reduced to approximately 500.

The A9 II has two uhs-2 card slots, where the previous model had a uhs-2 slot and a uhs-1 slot. The camera has a USB 3.2 Gen 1 type-c port. Sony does not clarify whether you can charge the camera via USB. The A9 and A7III can both do this. The camera also has a gigabit Ethernet interface, support for ftp secure and 802.11ac connectivity over 5GHz and 2.4GHz.

The layout of the buttons on the A9 II have been revised. For example, the camera has a larger button to activate the autofocus and an improved joystick for selecting autofocus points. The Sony A9 II will be released in Europe in October. According to Sony, the suggested retail price is ‘about 5400 euros’.