One of the main selling points for the newly announced Sony A9 is its superior autofocus. The autofocus has 693 point wide-area phase-detection points and according to Sony, it can do up to 20fps with AF/AE tracking. Sounds impressive right?
If you were wondering what’s a 20 FPS auto-focusing beast is good for, watch this movie from Gary Fong. It shows a pole vaulter going the entire distance of the course while the camera keeps tack-sharp focus. Not only that, it does so being “fully opened” with a 70-200mm f2.8 GM lens.
Another thing you can see from the video is the Blackout-free feature. Note how the Liveview screen has not shutter blackouts (or shutter blinks).
Of course, if you want to repeat the experiment, you’ll have to shell out about $7,000 ($4,498 for the A9, plus $2,598 for the 70-200). Then again if your agency wants Olympic photos uploaded via FTP seconds after they are shot, this is probably not going to empty their budgets.
[Sony a9 20fps Autofocus Speed Demonstration | Gary Fong]