Reading the Tea Leaves – Reviewing the A9 Hands-On Reviews

I viewed the YouTube hands-on reviews by all the Sony guests at their demonstration.  I watched Max Yuryev, Patrick Murphy-Racey, Steve Huff, Jason Lanier, Tony & Chelsea Northrup and Gary at DPReview.  They seemed pretty positive.  But based on my previous experience of the difference between the first hands-on reviews and the performance of the camera in real life conditions I found them inconclusive on the most important point, auto-focus accuracy.

That’s why I was very encouraged when I viewed the video by David Schloss, the editor of Digital Photo Pro.  He’s written in the past ( ) about the inferiority of mirrorless autofocus compared to DSLR.

Then in this A9 review ( ) he mentions that even the A-6500 autofocus which is touted as excellent is still not as good as DSLR autofocus.  This sounds like someone speaking the straight dope.  And he says the AF on the A9 is flat out incredible.

By the video discussion Schloss is seeing the A9 autofocus on sports subjects like boxers, hockey players and pole vaulters in motion.  Most likely the lighting conditions were optimal.  To my mind this represents a legitimate test of the AF.  This may not guarantee that the A9 can compete with the D5 or the 1DX but it should satisfy my needs for medium level DSLR level autofocus. So, this says to me that Sony has probably reached a very important milestone.  They have leveraged advanced processing and sensor technology to match the simpler DSLR autofocus technology of the older camera makers.  Now they have to make this technology cheap enough to incorporate in the A7 cameras.

So, all this triangulating of reviews is just a game I play until the definitive information emerges in the next week or two.  Once Sony hands out the loner copies of the A9 we’ll start getting real results and informed opinions.  Until then I’ll comfort myself with the voodoo answers I’ve cobbled together here.  If you have a different analysis, feel free to leave a comment about it on this post.  After all I’m not actually Nostradamus or Sherlock Holmes.

Well, fellow Sony camera users, hang in there it can’t be long now.

A9 Bottom Line