The Sony Alpha photographic awards event in Pyrmont last Friday, June 2, was also used by Sony Australia and New Zealand as a platform to launch the Sony a9, now available in Australia at an RRP of $6999.
A selection of winning Australian and New Zealand Sony Alpha images were exhibited and winners announced, while guests were also able to trial the Sony a9 – arguably the most advanced interchangeable lens 35mm digital camera so far released by any manufacturer. A live Parkour performance was held to provide action subjects in the custom-built ‘shooting gallery’.
Introducing the Sony a9, Sony Australia senior product specialist for digital imaging, Sean Ellwood nominated it as ‘the first fully electronic camera.’ He said the elimination of ‘black out’ – when an image disappears from the viewfinder due to the shutter mechanism – as a major breakthrough.
‘We have been improving and honing these mechanisms, including the mirror, the shutter and over time we have made huge advances in black out time, motion prediction for auto focus, and our viewfinder has become bigger, brighter, wider and more accurate.
‘With the a9, we are able to step past the limitations and not worry about black out at all…’
‘…This is key for a camera that is focused on fast, action photography – being able to see what’s happening in front of the camera is central to framing the shot and capturing the moment,’ said Sean.
‘On top of that, the camera is able to sample autofocus and auto exposure from that same image sensor that captures the picture 60 times per second. With the a9, we are able to have reliable, continuous auto focus.
‘The a9 is unique in full frame cameras, in having 93 percent frame coverage. Not only can you have complete confidence in the focus, but also it will focus all the way out to the edges. It gives users freedom in the way they frame their shots, decisions made about how to capture an image that you can’t get with a camera where the focus points are all locked into the centre of the frame.
‘The shutter is completely electronic, which means nothing moves inside the camera when you take a picture. It is not just a silent shutter, there is no physical shutter there and that opens a whole range of possibilities to photographers.
‘Some other features include the addition of the AF button, a joystick that allows you to always manually control the auto focus point, a new viewfinder that is higher resolution and refreshes faster, an improved dual media card slot for peace of mind, magnesium-alloy body, and more than double the battery life of its predecessors, which addresses a major concern of professional photographers,’ he added.
Sony Alpha Awards
In their second year the Sony Alpha Awards received over 1500 entries from professional and amateur photographers shooting with Sony cameras.
The overall Grand Prize winner, John Ford, received $3000 worth of Sony Alpha gear and the opportunity to embark on an overseas photography workshop with Sony Global Digital Imaging Ambassador, Craig Parry.
The category winners were:
● Abstract: Pat Kay from Rhodes, NSW
● Editorial: James Wilson from Camperdown, NSW
● Landscape: Andy Yee Qn from Panania, NSW
● Macro: Sam Rowley from Bowral NSW
● Nature: John Ford from Rotorua, New Zealand
● Portrait: Adam Kent from Stanhope Gardens, NSW
● Sport: Noel Brady from Kings Beach, Queensland
● Youth: Jack McKee from Newport, Queensland, who attends Grace Lutheran College,
Each winner across the eight categories was awarded with $2000 worth of Sony Alpha camera products.
The ‘Youth’ category winner Jack McKee from Grace Lutheran College in Rothwell, Queensland was also awarded $15,000 worth of Sony gear for his school.
‘At Sony we want to recognise the dedication of our photographers who create beautiful imagery with Sony cameras,’ said Vivek Handoo, head of Digital Imaging, Sony Australia and New Zealand.
‘Our finalists’ photography was outstanding and caught our guests’ attention from the moment they entered the room.
‘Having an audience of such passionate photographers was the perfect opportunity to showcase the newest addition to the Sony camera range – the Sony a9. We’re so proud of this camera and the amazing images taken by guests at the Alpha Awards are testament to its impressive capabilities.’