As an update, the Sony A9 starts shipping starting tomorrow, order now and get your brand new a9 soon! If you haven’t yet, check out Toby’s review of the sportier A9 everyone has come to love. At 20fps and speedy autofocus, it pushes the envelope for what’s possible.
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As you can see in the Sony a9’s speedy video above we recently had the 143rd Kentucky Derby on May 6th and veteran journalist Nick Didlick came toting a rolling case filled with Sony a9 mirrorless cameras using G Master lenses. With Six Sony a9s making the trip to Churchill downs it became a baptism by fire for the new 20fps mirrorless camera. After strong storms through the past week the A9’s would be shooting in rough, wet, conditions with little light from strong clouds making shooting at speed a challenge.
Shooting solo, the plan coming to the race was four cameras set as remotes with a mid-range zoom and the other a longer telephoto. For walkaround gear, Didlick focused on the new 100-400mm G Master with a 2x converter for head on shots. A 24-70mm G Master worked as an all purpose lens on the second a9 to complement the telephoto, and he carried a 70-200 f/2.8 G Master lens as well. Overall he covered his bases nicely for somewhat wider shots to the closest portraits of the horse and jockies.
Logistically with the small size of the a9 and lenses, it’s actually a relatively small and lightweight setup considering the competition for Didlick. Six Cameras and eight lenses plus accessories fit into one case making it a cakewalk to cart around Churchill Downs. Even out on the track, Didlick was carrying three a9s with their remote setups while others struggled with two DSLRs. The a9’s set to fire as a remote lasted six to eight hours on one battery making no need to hurry to check on them through the day as well.
This Kentucky Derby was the Sony α9’s first major foray into big-time sports photojournalism. With Didlick’s guidance, the camera lived up to its potential. You can check out some of the day’s photos below.
Photos by Nick Didlick/VisualMediaProducer.com
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