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Need Advice - A1 or A9ii


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I absolutely love photography and the Sony cameras and lenses. I'm semi-retired now and spend as much time as possible photographing wildlife.

I currently have an A9, A7RIV, and A6600 and many Sony lenses. I'm thinking of upgrading to the A9ii or A1.

The only thing I don't like about the A9 is that sometimes my thumb hits the exposure compensation dial and I get a severely underexposed photo. The A9ii has a lock on it so that won't happen. I keep thinking I will check it before shooting. But, I hike in the woods and constantly pull the camera with the 100-400 lens in and out of the holster case. Often very quickly and don't check the exposure compensation dial. Consequently the A9ii will be better. But, do I go all the way to an A1? This is a hobby and I'm not rich. I could sell my A6600 and lenses and A7RIV and A9 and come close to the cost of the A1.

I'm a perfectionist and often go too far. I have sever bird prints 12 x 18 that were made with the A6600 APS-C camera. You can see all the details of the feathers in the printed photo. Why do I want more than that?

What are you thoughts? Be kind...

John

 

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I would think that the A7RIV would be all  perfectionist would want.  None of the other cameras comes close to its pixel level.  Getting an A9II or A1 would be a step down in that regard -- although they might have features that are more important for you.

Do you have a problem with your A7RIV?  If not, maybe sell the A9 and A6600 (or keep one as a backup), and buy some better glass for your A7RIV.

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I'm inclined to agree with XKAES. Why go for a lower resolution camera, when you've got the A7Riv?

Do you feel you need 30 fps rather than 10? I've seen some of your photos - they are excellent already.

If I had money to spend - I'd be looking at the new 75-200 GM lens - the fast 2.8 aperture could be useful in those dark woods (but then I'm not as experienced wildlife photographer as you)

Oh... I've just seen your last post about the benefits of the A9.

Rumour has it that Sony are releasing the A7Rv and A9iii this year.

Edited by thebeardedgroundsman
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3 minutes ago, thebeardedgroundsman said:

I'm inclined to agree with XKAES. Why go for a lower resolution camera, when you've got the A7Riv?

Do you feel you need 30 fps rather than 10? I've seen some of your photos - they are excellent already.

If I had money to spend - I'd be looking at the new 75-200 GM lens - the fast 2.8 aperture could be useful in those dark woods (but then I'm not as experienced wildlife photographer as you)

Oh... I've just seen your last post about the benefits of the A9.

Rumour has it that Sony are releasing the A7Rv and A9iii this year.

Interesting. The A9iii probably will have a higher resolution sensor. I won't rush into anything.

John

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I understand that you like birding and you are frequently taking your camera kit in and out of your holster, accidentally turning the exposure compensation dial to your chagrin.  If you are going to be shooting at a moment's notice a lot, why would you be carrying the camera in a bag/holster at all?  Get yourself a camera harness like the Cotton Carrier which can keep the camera hanging in front of your chest and ready to shoot.  I also like the fact that it has a secondary safety strap that can be attached to the camera to keep the camera from falling to the ground if you somehow not insert the camera into the Cotton Carrier properly.  Something the Peak Design Clips lack.

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I have the A9II, the A7R4 and the A7M4 and I also do Wildlife. All these 3 bodies can do different things for you in wildlife. A lot is depending on the glass you are using and the wildlife you are trying to catch. For example A7R4 can give you stunning results, but most probably not with a 200-600. Attached to the 400GM its a dream combo...

Indeed there is the universal answer to all your needs - its clearly the A1, because it combines all of the strengths in one single body. And it seems to work flawlessly with all the glass for wildlife. So this is the simple, but most expensive solution.

If you want a small upgrade, I would recommend to test the A7M4. Although its limited in fps, the AF system is very close to the one of the A1. You need to use the mechanical shutter, because of rolling shutter for BIF, but this is not a real issue.

Buying the A9II is somewhere in between but in terms of usage (rolling shutter, AF, drive speed etc.) its much closer to the A1 than the A7M4. Except that you that you are more limited in terms of cropping. But if you are satisfied with 12x18 prints from a A6600, then there is no reason to join the megapixel race with the A1.

So up to you to chose.

Edited by G-FOTO.de
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2 hours ago, thebeardedgroundsman said:

I've not come across the A7M range - I can't find it on the Sony website - what does it do and where can you get it?

That's just Plain Jane A7, A7II, A7III and A7IV - the first 3 at 24 megapickles and the latest with 33 megapickles.

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17 hours ago, G-FOTO.de said:

I have the A9II, the A7R4 and the A7M4 and I also do Wildlife. All these 3 bodies can do different things for you in wildlife. A lot is depending on the glass you are using and the wildlife you are trying to catch. For example A7R4 can give you stunning results, but most probably not with a 200-600. Attached to the 400GM its a dream combo...

Indeed there is the universal answer to all your needs - its clearly the A1, because it combines all of the strengths in one single body. And it seems to work flawlessly with all the glass for wildlife. So this is the simple, but most expensive solution.

If you want a small upgrade, I would recommend to test the A7M4. Although its limited in fps, the AF system is very close to the one of the A1. You need to use the mechanical shutter, because of rolling shutter for BIF, but this is not a real issue.

Buying the A9II is somewhere in between but in terms of usage (rolling shutter, AF, drive speed etc.) its much closer to the A1 than the A7M4. Except that you that you are more limited in terms of cropping. But if you are satisfied with 12x18 prints from a A6600, then there is no reason to join the megapixel race with the A1.

So up to you to chose.

I'm going to try the A7RIV again. The last time I used it was with the 100-400 and 1.4x teleconverter. It was too much focal length to handhold and shoot flying birds. 

John

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And with a tele-converter, auto-focusing will be slower -- sometimes much slower -- assuming it auto-focuses at all.  This may be due to the lower light lever -- maybe not.  Apparently a lot depends on the lens and the tele-converter, too.

Edited by XKAES
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I own A9 and A1, and owned A7Riv.

It depends on what your subject is.

For wildlife, and using 100-400, 200-600 or others like them, the A1 has basically only one advantage - the 50MP for me.

I also hike a lot, but keep the camera/lens combo on a leash, with the hood on for protection. This way, I can minimize my movements and slow down when discovering a subject, so there is better chance to get the shots (on e-shutter, and silenced).

As for the movie capabilities, there is a documented problem with focusing, that is not there with the A9, which is, the camera ignores the focus button when shooting a clip.

The focus is not more "sticky" than my A9, and is lost even when shooting continuously - for instance a flying bird that comes in from a sky background (start shooting - locked-on), and then comes in over a mountain shoulder and veers left/right and you lose the focus almost immediately (it happened to me using the 200-600, and using the recently bought 400mm prime).

Overall, I have grown quit disappointed with the A1, and nowadays would probably go for the A9ii, just to keep the costs low, and also, it already has the two UHS-II cards, which is also an improvement over the A9, which I use mostly for photographing wildflower and butterflies (using 70-200 lens).

I reccommend using a side grip (2 battery slide) for both to prevent running out of battery mid-day. Murphy's law states that this will happen in the least opportune moment - and it does.

I hope this helps.

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6 hours ago, SimpleUser said:

I own A9 and A1, and owned A7Riv.

It depends on what your subject is.

For wildlife, and using 100-400, 200-600 or others like them, the A1 has basically only one advantage - the 50MP for me.

I also hike a lot, but keep the camera/lens combo on a leash, with the hood on for protection. This way, I can minimize my movements and slow down when discovering a subject, so there is better chance to get the shots (on e-shutter, and silenced).

As for the movie capabilities, there is a documented problem with focusing, that is not there with the A9, which is, the camera ignores the focus button when shooting a clip.

The focus is not more "sticky" than my A9, and is lost even when shooting continuously - for instance a flying bird that comes in from a sky background (start shooting - locked-on), and then comes in over a mountain shoulder and veers left/right and you lose the focus almost immediately (it happened to me using the 200-600, and using the recently bought 400mm prime).

Overall, I have grown quit disappointed with the A1, and nowadays would probably go for the A9ii, just to keep the costs low, and also, it already has the two UHS-II cards, which is also an improvement over the A9, which I use mostly for photographing wildflower and butterflies (using 70-200 lens).

I reccommend using a side grip (2 battery slide) for both to prevent running out of battery mid-day. Murphy's law states that this will happen in the least opportune moment - and it does.

I hope this helps.

I'm more inclined to get the A9ii than the A1. Tell me more about why you are disappointed with the A1.

John

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If your only complaint with the a9 is the dial moving unexpectedly a small tab of plastic electrical tape between the dial and the frame can prevent it from moving and is easily removed and reapplied when needed. This is what I do on my rx100iii. Could save you a lot of money.

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If you head over to Pentax Forums and look at the BIF photos, they are consistently great as well.  Vast majority of the images were taken with Pentax cameras which the pundits in reviews websites have been harping on about the mediocrity their Auto Focus system as compared to other major brands, well basically forever.  If a camera brand whose AF is allegedly as inferior as Pentax is, can still deliver stunning birds in flight photographs, then it's clear that it's the techniques of the photographers and not the technology in the cameras that determines the result.

Truthfully, I am flabbergasted at the OP's reason for wanting to upgrade his already state of the art cameras to the latest bleeding edge cameras.  Pulling the camera out of his holster sometimes changes the setting of the exposure compensation dial.  I mean, it's only one lousy dial!  The OP only needs to glance at the top of the camera each time he pulls the camera out of the holster and  check the exposure compensation dial to see if the dial has been knocked out of position or not, and correct it if it has.  It will take less than 5 seconds to fix and it should be a part of every photographer's routine to check the camera is in good working order before commencing with his or her shoot.

Sorry OP if I seem unkind but I think your reason for upgrading is just that - because you can.

 

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1 hour ago, tadwil said:

Sorry OP if I seem unkind but I think your reason for upgrading is just that - because you can.

If you've been following this forum for as long as I have, it's not hard to diagnose DrJohns well-developed case of GAS.

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You are not asking for advice, you are asking for affirmation of the choice you have made.  You say the images made with A6600 are already more than good enough for your needs but you are trying sell it too, along with the two full frame cameras that have been sold. Once A6600 leaves your hands, you will be without a camera for which I am sure you have a replacement in mind or already have been procured.

Here is my advice whether it too late or not...  Hang on to your A6600 for now and hold off on acquiring an A9II.  According to the rumours, A9III is slated for release in late 4th quarter of this year.  If the A9III is as great an upgrade as A9II was over the A9, sure enough your GAS will start kicking you in the butt to get the A9III.  If the A9III turns out to be an incremental upgrade over the A9II, you can still get an A9II then and probably at a discounted price as well.

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Rumor has it that the A9iii this year is only a rumor. Who knows?

It may sound crazy, but the A9 was my favorite camera. I liked it better than the A7RIV. When I went out into the field, I would check the exposure compensation dial. But, somehow my thumb would still get in the way and spin the dial. I would come home after a full day of hiking with severely underexposures photos. Taking photos of flying birds is often a feat of acrobatics. To me, the lock on the exposure compensation dial is enough of a reason to upgrade. The other upgraded features of the A9ii are not important to me.

John

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4 hours ago, DrJohn said:

I learned a good lesson. Don't ask for advice on this forum.

John

Asking for advise anywhere -- especially on the WEB -- can be tricky.  The first obstacle is getting your request crystal clear to strangers.  And when it comes to GEAR, it can be especially dicey.  Everyone has their own approach.  Mine is always use what you have -- it's a LOT cheaper and probably just as good.  Soooo, much of what I say/advise is immediately dismissed.  That's OK with me.  Water off a duck's back. 

So it goes both way -- asking for advise or giving advise.  Be prepared for the unexpected responses.  "Take what you like, and leave the rest".

Edited by XKAES
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4 hours ago, DrJohn said:

I learned a good lesson. Don't ask for advice on this forum.

It's easier to avoid nonproductive comments made by clinical pinheads.

(Hey, this one may qualify on that count.)

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