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Sony A9 at the races

by | Jun 29, 2017 | Blog, Camera Reviews

Sony Canada regularly hosts Meetup events, sometimes for very small groups. I was lucky enough to be accepted for a meetup at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto to try out the burst speed and fast focussing of the new Sony A9 camera.

I thought this might be a good opportunity to do a quick preview in addition to testing the burst and autofocus speed, so I brought some production gear along.

The event was hosted by Yadu Fereaud, Sony’s Regional Sales Supervisor. He brought several A9 bodies and lenses, and the participants had to share during the event. Yadu provided some guidance for settings and explained some of the new features and how best to use them. When he explained how the A9 had changed his portrait photography, I asked him to repeat that on camera to include in this video.

For as capable a photographer as I think I am, different types of events require a specific understanding to reach a basic level of capability and a lot of experience to become expert. There’s a lot to learn and practice to become an expert race photographer.

Behind the scenes
I’d read the A9 manual and written a script outline, so that I had an idea of what this video might include. I recorded my on-camera segments before the races started.

We shot with the Sony A9 using the SEL70300G lens. I used a SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS II card for maximum burst performance.

For those who consider using picture profiles with SLog, this video provides a good example. My on-camera scenes were shot with my Sony A6300 with the SEL1670Z. For my scenes, I’m in bright sun, and I used picture profile 1, customized to Cine2 gamma, Cinema color mode, saturation -2, detail level -4.

By the time I recorded the scene with Yadu, the sun had moved and we were in the shade – exposing properly for him would have blown out the background. I changed to SLog2 gamma (but left the other settings), and exposed so that the sky was under 100%.

Using Color Finale Pro in Final Cut 10.3.4, I manually adjusted the shot as you see it in the video. I thought that provided a good example of when SLog2 would be effective.

While I’m happy with the individual scenes, they do each have a different tone. I’m not sure if it’s possible to have configured the recordings differently, or made the color adjustment differently to make them more similar.

Screen grabs  using the Atomos Shogun. I use a Manfrotto tripod. Parrot teleprompter with Simple Teleprompter on ZTE Axon 7 mini. On camera audio with Rodelink Filmmaker wireless kit, voice-over with the Rode NT USB. Edited on a 5K iMac.

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For your guidance
The products reviewed are on loan, and returned after the review unless otherwise mentioned.

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