The Sony α9 featuring full-frame stacked CMOS sensor (ILCE-9) Has a Fatal Flaw

Sony has introduced its new α9 camera featuring a full-frame stacked CMOS sensor. I have been waiting for them to release this as I am prepared to make the leap from Canon to Sony, but because of one fatal flaw, I cannot.

First, some background.

I only got into photography a year or so ago as a hobby. Having spent so much time cooking, my wife insisted I get into photography or we were all going to be seriously fat. Now I take pictures of our food. But I have also branched out into astrophotography and landscapes. I like to take pictures of the family, etc.

At the same time, I have two Sony 4K video cameras, including an FS7ii, which we use here at The Resurgent for both live streaming my radio show (overkill for that camera) and for interviews around the country. I have an FS5 in studio in Atlanta we also use.

I want to move from my Canon EOS 70D to a Sony camera because my expensive lenses are already Sony E-mount full frame lenses that will work on the video cameras and the other Sony cameras. I want the a9 over the a7 series because of shutter speed, etc. I want a Sony camera to add a third camera, occasionally, to interviews, etc. shooting at 4K. While I could use the a7sii, I want something with increased pixels for photography, though I do not need as many pixels as the a7rii.

That leads me to the a9. It is expensive, but it offers everything I want except for one thing that makes it a deal breaker.

For reasons beyond any and all comprehension, the Sony a9 lacks any picture profiles. In particular, it lacks s-Log for video shooting. Shooting in s-Log allows a videographer to color correct across footage and cameras to match the look, raise highlights, etc.

With my FS5 and FS7, I can shoot the same situation with two different cameras both in s-Log and be guaranteed that the footage looks the same. That is really important. I will not be able to guarantee that with the a9 so I cannot buy this camera.

That is so frustrating. This camera has literally every single thing I want. But the lack of s-Log makes it a deal breaker because I cannot justify the price point unless I can also use it as a third camera in filming. And I cannot use it as a third camera in filming without s-Log.

Perhaps there’ll be a firmware update later. But without Sony assuring people of that, it’s an unfortunate deal breaker.

The most maddening part of it all is that, looking at the tech specs of the camera, there is no reason not to have s-Log.

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Erick Erickson

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