The day the Sony a9 was announced


Today should be a day of mourning for all Nikon users and fans. Until yesterday nobody could challenge the speed of high-end DSLR cameras, but today I think Sony did just that - their new a9 camera improved many of the disadvantages of previous a7 models. It looks like the a9 will finally be a serious competitor to pro DSLR cameras like the D5, at least on paper - we still have to see how the a9 will perform in real life (Sony specs always look very nice on paper, but not as good in real life).

I am not saying that the a9 is a better or a worse solution compared to Nikon DSLR cameras, all I am saying is that now Nikon will lose even more sales after the a9 starts shipping. I know, Sony is still missing many lenses and a pro support network, but Nikon can simply no longer ignore mirrorless.

In addition to Canon, which for some unknown reason to me is still doing very well, Nikon is now also challenged by Sony in the high-end/pro segment. I still want to believe (and I do believe) that Nikon has something serious to compete with, otherwise by the time the D6 is ready to get out, there may no longer be a need for it.

It is still not too late for Nikon to wake up... but it will be soon.

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  • Yitzchal

    Competition is a good thing and should ultimately benefit the customer. I shoot a variety of systems, Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Sony, Leica, etc. and attempt to leverage each system to its best capability. The camera is not as important as the lens, and the lens is not as important as the light, and the light is not as important as the eye, and the eye is not as important as the mind that expresses the heart….

  • RAK

    Im just starting out photography , currently i use a d5200 and a d7100 (i also started to shoot video and since Nikon has a age old tradition of having bad in camera video, i shifted to a panasonic g7 and a bunch of FD lenses which i got off for free , after using the adapted lenses and no chimping (and a range of good wifi options i am really tempted by Sony’s mirrorless offerings now as they seem to provide a one stop shop for video (7s range) and now this .all i can say is that millennial shooters who grow up around technology and the world of video will look for these features when buying their cameras , and in that department Sony and even canon are doing well . Nikon seems to make their cameras appeal more to the “photography only” crowd and this will cost them unless they change .

  • DirtyHarryC

    Sony Service takes 3 Month to repair the camera? Nikon need around a week and you get a cam for the week. Thats pro Service. And 5300 Euro its not cheap for a DSLR.

    • Sonyshooter

      Would you do us a favor?
      Watch the sony announcement in hole, look for the pro support part! 😉
      Wish you a pleasent day.

  • Ande Notos

    Well that’s interesting for many people but…

    I have no clue what I’d use this camera for. What I find annoying about Nikon is that their lenses are really expensive and not good enough for the price. I’d sure like it if they started making some mirrorless cameras, just because sometimes I find the size annoying.

    Anyways, I don’t care much about this whole fuss, but if Nikon doesn’t start innovating, or start making lenses that make sense at prices that make sense, or else staying Nikon will stop making sense. And I don’t care much about Sony. If Canon starts making better bodies, it will be a much better option.

  • The Rebrand Nation
    • Markus

      And the Canon has ton of ergonomic advantages especially with pro lenses, not to mention the much better batterylife.

      • Mato34

        Yeah, it amazes me how many people do not consider that since this is a “professional” camera. From the Sony press release: “Sony’s New α9 Camera Revolutionizes the Professional Imaging Market”

        Still they mainly talk about burst performance (that it looks amazing) and how small it is…

    • You must have the battery grip on the A9 in order for this to be a fair comparison.

      • 24×36

        Plus equal focal length and f-stop lenses. Which will quickly show what an ergonomic folly it is to have a thin body with a big honking lens attached to it.

  • stormwatch

    This means a game changing in any possible way. Canon only lives in the camera world by it’s huge marketing machine, without it they’re only a third league players, while Nikon, what to say, the Company is due to absolute incompetence in a big sh…, in some two years there will be Sony and Sony.

    • 24×36

      Hopefully Peter will preserve this page so we can remind you of this stupid prediction and deposit the appropriate heaps of derision upon you for it. ;-D

      • the page will be preserved for sure 🙂

      • stormwatch

        Hopefully you will have balls not to delete your mumbo jumbo when it happens. 🙂

        • 24×36

          In two years there will be Canon, Nikon, and…the rest, just like now.

          • stormwatch

            Yes, in the museum.

  • peter w

    Why bother?
    How long ago was the D3, it was awaited for how long? Same with Canon 1Dx. D3 still is a perfect camera. Photos of Canon 5D are still great.
    Sony makes some camera’s that are great in a concert hall or for macro photography: Silent and little camera vibration.

    Lets hope Nikon doesn’t let us down on making great and even better camera’s. I think that is what they intend to do.

  • Politics_Nerd

    How hot is it going to get?

    How long is the battery going to last?

    Will it shut off while filming in >75deg ambient temps?

  • jonebize

    The real opportunity for Nikon in the FF mirrorless market is to make something that is actually beautiful. I’m sorry, but those Sony’s are ugly. Make a jewel, and it’ll sell.

    • I would love to see a Df type of retro camera design from Nikon as mirrorless body. For example i like how FUJI is designing their bodies. It has a bit of Leica approach. Or make it like the modern mirrorless Hassleblad or FUJI GFX.

      • jonebize

        Definitely. It wouldn’t necessarily need to be a rip-off of anything previously done either. I just want to see something that is beautiful, or has some class. Older Nikons (FM in black, FM2, and the S/SP) had sharper edges that I think looked better than the newer generations. The finish also felt more robust and distinguished. The newer Leica’s are a pretty good template for something without the hard edges.

        Fuji’s (and Leica’s) designs are the best at the moment, but you could definitely do better. The Fuji’s have a decent form, but the buttons and finish don’t scream high end. Nikon should do one style that is distinguished but humble — something like a modern Gregory Peck (from To Kill a Mockingbird) would use. And they should do another style that women would like — something literally like a jewel

        • A digital FM3a is a dream of mine. I’d even take one Leica style with no LCD/no AF. To me the size of the FE/FM series is perfect (which is why I got the A7RII in the first place as they’re about the same size). Until then I’ll just keep using the FE2 with Tri-X and Portra.

          • jonebize

            That Nikon is dope. There is a reason that in every one of these threads, people clamor for a “Digital XXX”. No, we’re not nostalgic. I’m 26, for God’s sake. But those cameras were fucking beautiful, and a treat to look at and look through. I also like that each model has a slightly different look to it.

          • jonebize

            It would be interesting if they ditched the LCD and AF and just made a huuuuge, gorgeous viewfinder.

        • PhilK

          The MAIN interest I have in “retro” designs is simply because the control surfaces are superior for photographers trying to take pictures without fiddling compared to most modern digital cameras’ “menu hell”.

          Neither did I ever consider the FE/FE2 series (which the DF2 was trying to ape) either a particularly beautiful camera, or particularly nice from an ergonomic standpoint.

          If they want to do a ‘retro’ design based on one of their own historical models, then I’d say let’s base it on an F2/F3/F4, or perhaps an SP.

          I just want to have some nice big dials dedicated to things like exposure compensation, shutter/aperture and perhaps ISO/mode.

      • me too

      • Df Df DF!!!

  • Pablo And-Jennifer Gabetta

    People always talk about jumping ships.
    I wonder if that will be true with this camera.
    I’m all about megapixels, so I wouldn’t do it.
    But if this Sony was a 50+mp 6+fps with excellent iso and good af-c… then it would be another story.

    • EvilTed

      That will be the A9 r.
      Just wait a few weeks and expect to pay $5500 🙂

    • like @evilted:disqus said start saving now cuz this time next year well have a R or S version…if this fix the issues tony pointed out and bring us a few more basic lens man the A9r might be a serious nail in nikon coffin ….just imagine if sony comes out with a a9r before nikon even hints at a new camera…#GameOver

      • Pablo And-Jennifer Gabetta

        If Sony killed Sega, Bluray killed hd-DVD, Will Sony kill Nikon and make Canon their B$&tch? Like Sony-Microsoft?

        • Remember Beta Max, Minidisc? These are Sony products that dis not work out so well.

          • Pablo And-Jennifer Gabetta

            I completely agree.
            Competition is good for all of us, we end up with better products.
            I just hope that Nikon comes through with something amazing to replace the D810.
            When the D800 came out, my jaw dropped.
            When the D810 came out I was like blah…
            With A9 it almost looks like they draft her the A8 and went for the next model.
            It be awesome if Nikon skips the D850 and goes next next gen D860! Yea… just dreaming.

  • Frank O’brien

    Nikon has been always deaf to the customer request. also, The old story about Nikon lens quality started to fall a part from the G series lens came out. One worst than another first of all 58mm. You can easilly get sharp result even with other brand lens and a bit of PP so this matter is no longer followed by intelligent people. Nikon should develop two branches one only DSLR (REDUCING THE SERIES of nowadays because it is ridicolous have D3xxx plus D5xxx plus d7xxx plus d500, as well as D6xx. D7xx, D8xx and D5) and another MIRRORLESS, and with mirrorless I mean serious, reliable and competitive camera not always those silly attempts that get inevitably a failure. I could be amazing if the F mount could fit there but honestly I guess imposble for physical aspect of the min distance between rear element and sensor.

    Canon has woke up, solowly but it did. I am sure Nikon Will pull out a Mirrorless that will be a shame compare with his DSLR. And also, NIKON ALWAYS MISSES THE MOMENT! The moment of curiosity and interest in these Mirrorless is decreasing. If they wait more to lunch a SERIOUS Mirrorless camera they won’t get any sale. Nikon should use the ergonomy of their body combined with a mirroless camera. The size of mirrorless is relative and I think if they do what sony did on Alpha 99 it could be amazing a pro body (or a DLSR body) with mirrolass features. We all know that the size of mirrolress with a sper tele or even a prime lens is more or less equal to a normal DSLR so i do not think people will care no more about size now.
    I doubt Nikon has so much money to invest in this stuff and create an entire new mirroless line in short term. Nikon is slowly sinking. Sad but true.

  • Durability wise, i am pretty sure the Nikon will survive better, one of the major reasons why DSLRs are still used by full-time working pros…

    • 24×36

      If by “innovative” you mean “essentially a brick while the buffer clears.” Yeah, that’s innovative, all right! LMAO!

  • MonkeySpanner

    Well, judging from the number of comments here – whether or not you think the A9 is really a DSLR killer – one thing we know for sure is that the A9 announcement is a big deal.

    • yes, and the majority agrees that Nikon can/must do better

      • nwcs

        I think many people are lost in the trees to see the forest. No, the A9 won’t conquer Nikon and Canon. But it does signal that mirrorless cameras are rapidly encroaching on the old guard and will steal mindshare. It’s not about the sales today but the sales tomorrow that matter. And it’s not about Sony but about the inevitability of mirrorless becoming the dominant player (vs mirrored) at some point in the future — even with an overall smaller market.

        • Eddy Kamera

          Yes. I’m a firm believer in “mirrorless is the future” belief. And mirrorless ≠ Sony. It is now, but it could be Nikon tomorrow, if they act fast.

    • mariusvr

      Yes a sony announcement is likely to be the top article for the month at nikonrumurs (which says a lot).

  • gsxr92@hotmail.com

    I would be glad if the after sale service in fr would be able to make my d600 usable,
    I swear nikon is taking Time for new releases on purpose to give us finished and trusty products, without need for a recall like on the d600, d750, d800, d810.
    I want to believe.

    • jarmatic

      What was wrong with the D810 to get it recalled?

      • gsxr92@hotmail.com

        An issue with long exposures in 1.2 crop mode, i don’t remember the article but an official recall here in fr.

  • Mark Lazenby

    The days of the flapping instant return mirror are finally over…..

    • 24×36

      No, they’re not. And won’t be in the foreseeable future.

  • Robbie Green

    The light on the model in that video isn’t what I’d consider low light.

    And throw an IR AF assist equipped speedlight on either a Nikon or Canon and repeat the test – the DSLRs will absolutely smoke the Sony in speed and accuracy.

    The Sony A7Rii on the other hand will NEVER do better than what you see in this video – half struggling to focus on a stationary model, because it is 100% incapable of utilizing IR AF assist lights/patterns.

    With IR AF assist, a Canon, Nikon or even a Sony A mount can focus very quickly and accurately in a room that is pitch black.

  • mas921

    Does anyone go drifting here? When you have a passenger they nearly sh!t themselves in fear, while you feel “why on earth is he/she screaming for?” The difference is that you’re in control, you already set the car in momentum, and anticipating the next move, while the passenger is “reactive to helplessness from being not in control of anything and overwhelmed by it”!

    Panicking now for the a9 is basically the “passenger effect” described above.

    CHILL! no need to prepare for a Sony inflicted apocalypse! Don’t you think Nikon knew about the A9 ages ago? Aside of multi million market research studies; indicating growing mirrorless trend, sony and Nikon are good ol’ partners.

    Plus, don’t you think all those genius japanese PhD’s at Nikon know they need to make the jump to mirrorless? Why do you think Nikon uses RIKEN and other Japanese supercomputers for? Why do you think the DL was killed off for?

    We all will know about Nikons offering when it’s out, not a minute before (sans the rumors of course), in the mean time, I mean RIGHT NOW, Full frame Nikon mirrorless are being designed.

    Sony has Zero dslr baggage to drag it from mirrorless offerings; relative to Nikon and canon. so they iterated fast, annually basically. That doesn’t mean either Nikon or canon can’t capitalize on their wide spread market shares and current “glass” base.

    That “no.2 thing” is juvenile at best; Bones for them fanboys. They cherry picked the month …LMAO!! quite “extraordinary” ain’t it?

    I don’t care about either companies really; got shares in neither. I shoot with a “nikon” d500 because the “sony” sensor rendered a great package for the price. but ultimately had an urge to emphasise what i saw with my own eyes in Japan.

    • MonkeySpanner

      I think you are giving Nikon a lot of mirrorless cred that they maybe don’t yet deserve

      • We said the same thing in the final days of the D2Xs, right before the D3 was announced. “Don’t count your chicken before it hatches” they said. “How could Nikon possibly compete with Canon’s well-established full-frame lineup?” they wondered. Well, the D3 (and D700) arrived and made a laughing stock out of all three Canon FF (and 1.3x) bodies for almost a decade. Heck, even the 5D 3 never matched the D3 for dynamic range and high ISO. LOL.

        So, don’t put it past Nikon to come roaring onto the mirrorless stage with something that sets a bar so high that neither Canon nor Sony can fully match it for quite a few generations. They’ve done it before, they can do it again.

        • Robert Garfinkle

          historically Nikon has done exactly that – I agree. They will probably shake up the market once again.

  • xrb

    There is hope. Nikon release a D760 4K camera with full articulating screen and incorporate phase detect AF with live view! I know it’s geared for video but Nikon can stay relevant by doing that. Sony, Canon and even Panasonic does not have that as they don’t want to compete with their higher video camera lineups. Nikon no high end video in its lineup to compete against , the pieces and tech are already there D5600 has touch screen full articulating screen, D5/D500/D7500 can now shoot 4K video. Imagine all those million subscribers following youtubers that would readily jump on this camera, 4K full frame full articulating screen video/photo camera (live view has to be topnotch though)

    • Harsh Patel

      I would grab that kind of D760 as soon as it hits the market even if every other things stay as they are in D750. My priority is in Portraits,some good DR & lowlight & video & everything other than video is good enough for me in D750,video is good but there is a huge scope of improvement. Still hoping for the best move by Nikon:)

  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We need to stop being Canon fanboys about this, pull our heads out of the sand, and stop denying that Sony is firing shots across the bow around here.

    Sure, a D5 and D500 are still amazing cameras, and maybe even still superior or at least preferable for an experienced, entrenched, habitual sports shooter.

    However all it takes is one new generation of early-adopter photographers, and all that will change. The “early adopter” phenomenon proved extremely, extremely lucrative for Apple, for one. Both Nikon and Canon need to stop calling Sony’s bluff on this one, and start playing like they mean it.

    I say this as a die-hard OVF lover whose cold dead hands you’ll have to pry a DSLR from someday, by the way, not some koolaid-drinking mirrorless fanboy. I’d rather have a D500 or D5 than an A9, I’d rather have a D810 than an A7RII. But from a mainstream market share standpoint, it only makes sense to at least release 1-2 mirrorless models that put Sony back in their place. The factory overhead / MFG costs of mirrorless, plus the sales volume, would more than make up for any lost sales of existing DSLR models IMO.

  • MonkeySpanner

    Nikon needs to get serious about video and quick. They are falling way behind. The days are gone when you can sell a $5k image device that has worse video than your cell phone. Yes, Nikon makes great stills camera – but the market has shifted to stills/video production devices.

  • EvilTed

    The A9 apparently drops down to 12 FPS when shooting uncompressed RAW.
    Don’t sell that D5 quite yet!

    I guess with all their marvelous tech they haven’t had the time to figure out how to compress a RAW file or to make a high speed camera that doesn’t lock up the menu and UI when writing to the buffer.

    Perhaps they should ask Nikon how 🙂

    • DieMusik

      The lack of lossless compression on sunny cameras is a big draw back.

      • EvilTed

        Well it certainly is in a “sports” camera.

        One would have thought that from a pure engineering perspective, having lossless compressed files would have doubled their current bandwidth, allowing them to shoot at the highest quality @ 20 FPS.

  • Mato34

    Why the panic??? We have reasons to be happy having invested in Nikon’s gear!!

    Tony Northrup: “Checking results, Sony a9’s focusing equals 1DX, D5 & D500 (the best in the world)”

    The cheaper (half priced!) D500 equals AF performance of the flagship A9!!! 🙂

  • Darrell Wood

    So stupid. There are no Sony lenses more than 200 and the support is terrible. No threat until they sort that….

    • They announced a lens that goes to 400mm when they announced this new camera. They also already had a 70-300 and 24-240.

  • Umano Teodori

    I work in fashion photography as a digital assistant based in italy but I travel all accross europe, we do editorials, lookbook/catalog, campaigns, social stuff and none want to use an electronic viewfinder, it’s not about how fast reliable or precise the evf is but it’s all about how “fake” it feels.

    To make us using the evf the need to do something like 3dlut for video, so ph can see the custom curves and color adjustments made in capture one. The Evf now lacks of atmosphere and “magic” it’s not all about composition and focus, feelings and “contact” with the subject means a lot and this cannot be achieved with a digital viewfinder, but seeing the exact atmosphere it can be a trade-off worth considering.

    But to many phs the a9 for sure is a good news

    • jonebize

      YESSS, man. I felt the magic was there even stronger in film SLR’s. But the EVF’s, especially Sony’s EVF’s, take that magic for me. It changes how I shoot, honestly.

      • Umano Teodori

        I did not try the last one ofc, but we tried leica one… same stuff fake feeling. The 6×7 or 6×6 or even better large format viewfinders are astounding while they have some challenging downside.

        I am not saying that the evf is bad I am just saying that with ppl if u need to catch an exact feeling or attitude you have in mind, optical viewfinders are still better, at least to me and to all the photographers i work with.
        But really it depends on photographer’s style

        If I were working in sports/news/events photography I wouldn’t esitate a second to use an evf same thing with commercials where the technical stuff is more important than feeling or, where the evf is the best option, in low light situations.

        What a photographer see through a viewfinder’s affects the way he/she sees the picture, if you are feeling good with it it’s the best choice for you, but you’re the 1st one I heard saying that except an old famous fashion photographer ( vogue italia stuff) which loves his olympus 4/3 and its wide angle lens because they are so lightweight and quality is good enough for A3 magazines print. But he shoot most of the time in landscape double page, everytime with strobes even outdoor at sunrise and his shootings won’t last more than 5-6 ours and 30 shot max every look so 2-3 spare batteries are more than enough

        What you said makes me curious i’ll try the a9 asap 🙂

  • ThomasH

    One of the photographers made on his web page a great remark about mirrorless: Imagine Henry Ford would advertise his car as Horseless Carriage, by telling what it does not have, and not what it does have. Why this “Mirrorless” exercise such an attraction and cause this Web-Hype, is a mystery to me. Of course we will move toward a solution with less moving parts or less components: Look how the HardDrive vanishes, SSD’s replace it and the Intel/Micron 3D Xpoint tech is on the horizon.

    The cameras will also make this evolution, but seriously: Why do I care “mirror or no mirror”? Only one issue comes to mind: A total silent shooting. And price. Somehow these mirrorless do not reflect the much lower number of components in their prices.

    Nikon’s issue is not merely the technology transition, they made for years an avalanche of bad decisions (DL, Nikon 1) and we see no improvements. Last flash of genius was the D3/D300 and than followed the stunning setback. My primary camera was a Canon for many years now, and I see no way back to Nikon. Of formerly 12 lenses I have still only 5. Piece by piece I am getting rid of equipment which I used and held dear since 1970/1980.

  • Scott M.

    No idea why so many need a mirrorless fx camera. Rather have a D5 for a bit more $. Who would put a 300 or 500mm lens on that tiny thing?

  • isfoto

    did anyone here go to the Sony A9 track and field test in NYC?

  • Carlo

    Too small for my big hands. Would like to see it in real life but would not mind having one in my backpack for landscape. Curious to see how Nikon is going to react

  • Din

    Don’t worry guys, Real pro are still using D3s here in Japan. Unless they will trade our equipment free with the there new equipment. Still getting use with sony system is another story.

  • tomskyphoto

    The proof will be in the pudding.

    All we ‘ve seen so far is some carefully groomed Sony PR material by their usual affiliates.

    Previous FE cameras have more frequently than not failed to deliver on the exaggerated fanboy hype. At least partially disgruntled A7R(II) owner speaking here – and happy not having prematurely sold my Nikon gear yet.

  • Erik Chan

    Hey Nikon, I have an idea:
    1. Buy the Samsung camera division, even if it’s expensive.
    2. Develop and sell APS-C and FF mirrorless with Samsung tech and with an F-mount adapter in the box.
    3. ???
    4. Profit

    • manattan

      Not too far off only they should release the Samsung mirrorless cameras with a native F-mount.

  • Albert

    Lenses? Pro support? It takes a lot more than a spec sheet you know…

  • andrea dolci

    About the future I would not forget that Sony has historically always been good in high end market but always failed in middle and low ones where its prices were too high.
    I’m not expert of camera market but I can’t imagine Sony as an overall market winner.

  • Yair

    To answer your question canon has done a super smart move by being the best AF in video.
    People today shoot both video and stills and Nikon left that market to others.
    I am not shooting video but I really hope Nikon will wake up soon.

  • Rod P

    Wow! This news passed me by, the A9 sounds impressive. I just swapped my Nikon gear for Sony A7RII just recently, and I do not regret that decision in any way, & with this announcement I’m even happier to have jumped ship.
    My take is that even if the top rung Nikon DSLR’s are better for some photographers, those of us who do more than just stills have ran out of patience with Nikon. I couldn’t care less about EVF or not, mirror or not, what I want is a camera that is able to sit comfortably in a mixed technology ecosystem. Nikon fails spectacularly at this!
    Having a smaller body is a definite plus when shooting video I think, it means you can easily and cheaply mount it on a drone or gimbal, buy a underwater housing etc etc. Try doing that with a Nikon D5 and the extra costs are eye watering.
    My A7RII is far from perfect, but it is far more adaptable as a tool then any of the current Nikon line up, and now this A9 release will only magnify the huge disparities between them. The only thing Nikon has going for it is a great lens system, something Sony desperately needs to address.

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