Models in Motion. A Sony A9 Camera Review by Caesar Lima

Models in Motion. A Sony A9 Camera Review
by Caesar Lima – His website is HERE. 
I was very honored when Sony asked me to test the new A9. They sent me a body and a 85mm f1.4 lens for 2 weeks, and said “have fun with it”. On the first day I shot the kids jumping in the pool and playing beach soccer. Bursting 20 fps it was like shooting a movie, at max shutter speed 1/32000 sec you can freeze any movement. I then started to plan how I could take advantage of the speed and auto-focus system of this camera in my field of photography.
There was a lot of talk about how good the A9 is for shooting sports, so I had an idea of doing a fashion shoot and adding movement. I was very impressed especially when it came to speed and autofocus tracking. I made a “studio” set up using available light. I wanted to catch the models jumping and cat walking. I invited well-known wardrobe stylist Jessica Boal, and she brought lots of dresses. Amazing stuff! I picked 2 great models from Two Management. Sloan Smith and Daisy Davies.  Sloan has a dancing background and Daisy does fashion shows, and catwalks extremely well.
Always shooting wide open @ f1.4 I was able to capture 12+ images on each jump. Each milliseconds a part, where I then could choose the best looking shot. When you’re shooting action the frame rate is important but also the autofocus speed and accuracy, because it uses an electronic shutter the A9’s 20 fps outpaces its dSLR competitors. The auto tracking focus is outstanding\ when I shot Daisy running aside of the pool I kept walking backwards and falling her and the auto tracking kept her face in focus on all the shots.
In my opinion, I find the camera a little too small. Maybe because I started my career shooting mostly in studio using bigger cameras (my first camera was a Pentax 6×7). Sometimes it felt like a toy. So I ordered the Sony GPX1EM Grip Extension, which really helped. The only problem is that you end up shooting a lot more. I was planning of shooting 7 image samples for this review, I ended up with 7,000 in half a day. So editing down could be very time consuming.
I like the two card slots and the new battery lasts about 3,500 + shots. I had only one battery and I was able to shoot 7,000 images in one day (quick charging on make up/wardrobe breaks only)
Amazing electronic finder, bright and sharp makes you forget that you’re using a mirrorless camera. I had no issues with overheating but I noticed some grain in shots higher than 400 ISO. The image quality and contrast is amazing, I didn’t test with flash because the sync speed is only 1/250, which could be higher.
The Sony A9 is a pure technology marvel but it’s still missing a shutter speed and a ISO dial.
super bright EVF
auto track focus
20fps speed
too small (in my opinion) needs a grip
noise on high ISO
missing a shutter speed and a ISO dial
I really enjoyed this camera and I probably will be purchasing one. Just waiting for a native 300mm f2.8 lens to go with it.
Some behind the scenes shots:
Photography by Caesar Lima @caephoto

Camera: Sony A9  + 85mm f1.4 GM + 35mmm f1.4 Zeiss
models: Daisy Davies @daisy.davies + Sloan S. @sloanschmitz
From @twomanagementwomen 
make up by Monica Alvarez @killthemic
wardrobe stylist: Jessica Boal @jessicaboal 
Gold Dress by Olena Dats
White accordion Blouse by Masaki Matsuka
Black shirts by Single


  1. I’ll never understand people who say “too small, needs a grip”. If so, then for heaven’s sake add that grip and you’re good. This leaves the rest of us with the possibility to still enjoy the smaller form factor. (Oh and btw, I like the pictures, too.)

  2. What strikes me: I find the behind the scenes shots SO MUCH BETTER! Finaly some real facial expressions! The third last one is absolutely wonderful. It really makes me fantasie about the complexity of her thoughts/feelings. Those pictures are alive!

    • Agree, love the last photo. I guess it’s just because I really don’t like wardrobe & make up based models…

  3. Good set of photos. But the location… It reminds me so much final scenes of “Neon demon” movie, and you shot it with two models… Spooky. 🙂

  4. Beautiful model.
    I don’t understand the part about the dials. I see a dial in front and a dial in back. I don’t have an A9, but I assumed you could use those dials to set ISO and shutter speed?

    • In the A7 you can customize the “Ring” to act as ISO dial. This way you can control aperture, shutter speed and ISO with your thumb. This in conjunction with the EVF makes it amazingly easy to set the correct exposures straight away. I would be surprised if that wouldn’t work on the A9.

  5. Nice to finally see some shots with the A9 and Sony’s best glass. Gorgeous image quality…

  6. missing a shutter speed and ISO dial?! Ok, ISO you have to setup and if you don’t like using the back dial that can be a problem but there is, and always has been, a shutter speed dial on Sony’s A7x series and now A9 cameras.

    • He means a physical dial. There are no physical ISO or Shutter speed dials on the A9.

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