A1 or Z9

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sid_19911991

Active member
That is an incredible shot. Seeing how much the background is blown out with the 200-600 he was incredibly close (unless that is done in post) which makes it that much harder to get. I am guessing that image has been run through Topaz but the end result is solid for sure.

I think the light was perfect & that the bird was not more than 30-40 feet way. He probably had it in on lock focus while it was on the branch & then tracked it when it took off. That's my best guess.
 

EricBowles

Well-known member
Changing systems now does not seem to be a very good decision right now regardless of which system is being used. We're in the early stages of major technological updates with just a few months separating any of the top three brands. Each has advantages for specific photos - and none have enough of an advantage to switch systems. You don't switch systems for one shot or one lens - it's a system. Six months or a year from now the landscape will change - and then change again. If you can't get the shot with one of the top cameras, it's not the camera or lens.

The other thing you'll likely see is the evolution of new technology into more camera bodies. You saw that with the D5/D500/D850 on the Nikon side. You'll see the same thing with the Z9. Nikon has not dropped the shutter in flagship bodies only - it's a major shift that will move downstream. Fast readout and dual pixel sensors are also a major evolutionary change that won't be limited to flagship bodies.

There are some reasons for thinking about a body with an integrated grip if you want ultimate performance. Nikon's flagship bodies have always had a larger and more powerful battery driving performance with more power. Put the same technology in a smaller body with a smaller battery and you have to make compromises in frame rate, focus speed, and processor performance. The D500 is slower to focus, has a slower frame rate, and has other limitations compared to a D5 - but 85-90% of the performance for 30% of the cost and 40% lighter weight is a good tradeoff for many. The Z9 uses the integrated grip as a heat sink to allow faster frame rate and more data throughput without overheating or other compromises from the top short term performance.

AI focus is in its infancy. Nikon has been using scene recognition and face detect for a number of years. I would not expect to see any slowdown in innovation, and performance of all camera companies will continue to improve. But I'm not sure algorithm differences are going mean sustained differentiation. Probably a better way to think about focus modes is to consider what you'll do when AI only finds the target 80% of the time, or finds the wrong target. I recently had a shoot where I turned off Eye AF because it was only accurate 95% of the time and I could not risk the 5% miss being at a critical time.
 

dtibbals

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Quoting from the article "smaller, lighter, better "
This is why I bought A1
I noticed that as well. Also that they have noticed Sony is moving faster with new tech and new releases. When I considered changing systems this was also important to me. The native big glass I could have today vs seeing on a road map also mattered a lot to me.
 

Venkatesh VT

Love nature & nature loves you back
Supporting Member
I noticed that as well. Also that they have noticed Sony is moving faster with new tech and new releases. When I considered changing systems this was also important to me. The native big glass I could have today vs seeing on a road map also mattered a lot to me.
Apart from this is the third party lens devlopement market enabled/supported by Sony
 

Whiskeyman

Well-known member
Thanks so much. It's as I thought...time to wait it out and see what the Z9 delivers. I must admit that using an adapter is a concern, and may be the deciding factor. Cheers.
As far as the Z9 is concerned, using the FTZ/FTZII adapter is very low on my list of exploration points and questions I have about its performance. I'm not saying you're wrong, but there are still a lot of unknowns about the Z9. Since I've pre-ordered one, I'm hoping that the answers found when users start exercising the Z9 are "happy" ones.
 

John Navitsky

Well-known member
Changing systems now does not seem to be a very good decision right now regardless of which system is being used.
I suspect these changes were a long time in the coming. If you look back and assume this process started a year ago, or better yet, two years ago, needing to make a decision on gear for your outfit looks pretty different.
 

EricBowles

Well-known member
I suspect these changes were a long time in the coming. If you look back and assume this process started a year ago, or better yet, two years ago, needing to make a decision on gear for your outfit looks pretty different.
Yes - but the landscape right now is quite different. Both Nikon and Canon have top cameras announced and for those who placed orders, delivery is expected shortly. The A1 is certainly a good camera, but it has weak spots compared to the latest from Nikon and Canon. It may still have pluses - but that too remains an open question and there are also minuses. The 200-600 is a very good lens - but not a 500PF - and both are mid-level quality compared to the top telephoto lenses. Each of these companies has a multi-year plan of what they will release and when. The specific features of a model probably have a 1-2 year lead time or more for anything innovative.

My point is simply that at a flagship level, it's not the gear that keeps you from getting the shot. And below a flagship level, it's cost or a compromise you willingly make as you give up features and quality for other benefits.
 

dtibbals

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Yes - but the landscape right now is quite different. Both Nikon and Canon have top cameras announced and for those who placed orders, delivery is expected shortly. The A1 is certainly a good camera, but it has weak spots compared to the latest from Nikon and Canon. It may still have pluses - but that too remains an open question and there are also minuses. The 200-600 is a very good lens - but not a 500PF - and both are mid-level quality compared to the top telephoto lenses. Each of these companies has a multi-year plan of what they will release and when. The specific features of a model probably have a 1-2 year lead time or more for anything innovative.

My point is simply that at a flagship level, it's not the gear that keeps you from getting the shot. And below a flagship level, it's cost or a compromise you willingly make as you give up features and quality for other benefits.
I am curious what weak spots do you see for the a1?
 

John Woodworth

Active member
Supporting Member
Then there's the upcoming Canon R1 which I hear little about. Given the powerful R3, and their disclaimers that "it is not our flagship", I'm sure the R1 will be a tour de force.
 

dtibbals

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Then there's the upcoming Canon R1 which I hear little about. Given the powerful R3, and their disclaimers that "it is not our flagship", I'm sure the R1 will be a tour de force.
I agree! Seeing what Canon has done with the R3, R5 I can only imagine what an R1 will bring to the table.
 

bsinc1962

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I'm sure the decisions these news organizations made were based purely on financial reasons and not some secret sauce that Sony offers. They're upgrading and Sony probably cut them a deal. No more no less. It's pretty doubtful that bird eye af was high on their wish list.
 

EricBowles

Well-known member
I am curious what weak spots do you see for the a1?
No major issues - just differences that may matter for some people.

  • The A1 reduces EVF resolution and reduces EVF refresh with high speed photography in continuous mode.
  • The EVF is not as bright as the Z9 - relevant for bright outdoor conditions
  • The buffer is large, but buffer clearing is slow; this has an especially large impact in backup mode writing to two cards.
  • CFExpress Type A is a little slower and harder to find than Type B used by Canon and Nikon.
  • Limited RAW file options create a very large amount of data with high frame rates. Nikon's High Efficiency RAW is a viable option.
  • Requires additional grip and battery for extended shooting.
  • Potential for overheating / limited weather sealing with 8k for extended periods prevents 8k 60p (it does have 4k 60p).
  • Limited output options for ProRes RAW video (requires Atmos while Z9 does not require an external recorder).
  • AF subject identification somewhat limited to eyes but not other subjects (aircraft and vehicles).
  • AF struggles with Face/Eye AF for backlit subjects (a problem area for most cameras and an area that will improve).
  • Lacks AF Eye Control found in Canon R3.
  • Lack of full size HDMI output found on Z9.
  • Fastest shutter speed slower than 1/32,000 sec of Z9.
  • Slowest shutter speed setting less than 900 seconds (15 minutes) for Z9.
  • Shorter battery life / lower voltage to power lenses and accessories at highest speed
  • Significantly higher cost (about $1700+) - especially when considering a grip and additional batteries.
You can pick any flagship camera and come up with a list of potential shortcomings, and even then some of those issues may only occur under certain circumstances. It's not a fault of the A1 - just later cameras play a game of leapfrog by adding new features and capabilities. I don't think any of these items would justify switching systems for most people - but there are shortcomings that may require workarounds or limit capabilities.
 

Hut2

Well-known member
Supporting Member
No major issues - just differences that may matter for some people.

  • The A1 reduces EVF resolution and reduces EVF refresh with high speed photography in continuous mode.
  • The EVF is not as bright as the Z9 - relevant for bright outdoor conditions
  • The buffer is large, but buffer clearing is slow; this has an especially large impact in backup mode writing to two cards.
  • CFExpress Type A is a little slower and harder to find than Type B used by Canon and Nikon.
  • Limited RAW file options create a very large amount of data with high frame rates. Nikon's High Efficiency RAW is a viable option.
  • Requires additional grip and battery for extended shooting.
  • Potential for overheating / limited weather sealing with 8k for extended periods prevents 8k 60p (it does have 4k 60p).
  • Limited output options for ProRes RAW video (requires Atmos while Z9 does not require an external recorder).
  • AF subject identification somewhat limited to eyes but not other subjects (aircraft and vehicles).
  • AF struggles with Face/Eye AF for backlit subjects (a problem area for most cameras and an area that will improve).
  • Lacks AF Eye Control found in Canon R3.
  • Lack of full size HDMI output found on Z9.
  • Fastest shutter speed slower than 1/32,000 sec of Z9.
  • Slowest shutter speed setting less than 900 seconds (15 minutes) for Z9.
  • Shorter battery life / lower voltage to power lenses and accessories at highest speed
  • Significantly higher cost (about $1700+) - especially when considering a grip and additional batteries.
You can pick any flagship camera and come up with a list of potential shortcomings, and even then some of those issues may only occur under certain circumstances. It's not a fault of the A1 - just later cameras play a game of leapfrog by adding new features and capabilities. I don't think any of these items would justify switching systems for most people - but there are shortcomings that may require workarounds or limit capabilities.
Basically no weak spots compared to what is actually available now. And coming up on one year since released.
Great lenses that will work on the next gen without adapters

*It's really funny to me that you choose the A1 EVF as your top weaknesses. 'nuff said
 
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Hut2

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I'm sure the decisions these news organizations made were based purely on financial reasons and not some secret sauce that Sony offers. They're upgrading and Sony probably cut them a deal. No more no less. It's pretty doubtful that bird eye af was high on their wish list.
yeah that’s one imaginary possibility or they watched @Steve review of the A1 and said sign me up! 😇
 

Venkatesh VT

Love nature & nature loves you back
Supporting Member
I'm sure the decisions these news organizations made were based purely on financial reasons and not some secret sauce that Sony offers. They're upgrading and Sony probably cut them a deal. No more no less. It's pretty doubtful that bird eye af was high on their wish list.
Yeah.The same way Nikon gave a big deal by pricing its Z9 much cheaper than its rivals. :p
 

dtibbals

Well-known member
Supporting Member
No major issues - just differences that may matter for some people.

  • The A1 reduces EVF resolution and reduces EVF refresh with high speed photography in continuous mode.
  • The EVF is not as bright as the Z9 - relevant for bright outdoor conditions
  • The buffer is large, but buffer clearing is slow; this has an especially large impact in backup mode writing to two cards.
  • CFExpress Type A is a little slower and harder to find than Type B used by Canon and Nikon.
  • Limited RAW file options create a very large amount of data with high frame rates. Nikon's High Efficiency RAW is a viable option.
  • Requires additional grip and battery for extended shooting.
  • Potential for overheating / limited weather sealing with 8k for extended periods prevents 8k 60p (it does have 4k 60p).
  • Limited output options for ProRes RAW video (requires Atmos while Z9 does not require an external recorder).
  • AF subject identification somewhat limited to eyes but not other subjects (aircraft and vehicles).
  • AF struggles with Face/Eye AF for backlit subjects (a problem area for most cameras and an area that will improve).
  • Lacks AF Eye Control found in Canon R3.
  • Lack of full size HDMI output found on Z9.
  • Fastest shutter speed slower than 1/32,000 sec of Z9.
  • Slowest shutter speed setting less than 900 seconds (15 minutes) for Z9.
  • Shorter battery life / lower voltage to power lenses and accessories at highest speed
  • Significantly higher cost (about $1700+) - especially when considering a grip and additional batteries.
You can pick any flagship camera and come up with a list of potential shortcomings, and even then some of those issues may only occur under certain circumstances. It's not a fault of the A1 - just later cameras play a game of leapfrog by adding new features and capabilities. I don't think any of these items would justify switching systems for most people - but there are shortcomings that may require workarounds or limit capabilities.
Interesting perspective. I can say that owning two a1’s I haven’t found any of the above an issue but maybe it’s how I use my cameras.
 
No major issues - just differences that may matter for some people.

  • The A1 reduces EVF resolution and reduces EVF refresh with high speed photography in continuous mode.
  • The EVF is not as bright as the Z9 - relevant for bright outdoor conditions
  • The buffer is large, but buffer clearing is slow; this has an especially large impact in backup mode writing to two cards.
  • CFExpress Type A is a little slower and harder to find than Type B used by Canon and Nikon.
  • Limited RAW file options create a very large amount of data with high frame rates. Nikon's High Efficiency RAW is a viable option.
  • Requires additional grip and battery for extended shooting.
  • Potential for overheating / limited weather sealing with 8k for extended periods prevents 8k 60p (it does have 4k 60p).
  • Limited output options for ProRes RAW video (requires Atmos while Z9 does not require an external recorder).
  • AF subject identification somewhat limited to eyes but not other subjects (aircraft and vehicles).
  • AF struggles with Face/Eye AF for backlit subjects (a problem area for most cameras and an area that will improve).
  • Lacks AF Eye Control found in Canon R3.
  • Lack of full size HDMI output found on Z9.
  • Fastest shutter speed slower than 1/32,000 sec of Z9.
  • Slowest shutter speed setting less than 900 seconds (15 minutes) for Z9.
  • Shorter battery life / lower voltage to power lenses and accessories at highest speed
  • Significantly higher cost (about $1700+) - especially when considering a grip and additional batteries.
You can pick any flagship camera and come up with a list of potential shortcomings, and even then some of those issues may only occur under certain circumstances. It's not a fault of the A1 - just later cameras play a game of leapfrog by adding new features and capabilities. I don't think any of these items would justify switching systems for most people - but there are shortcomings that may require workarounds or limit capabilities.

  • The A1 reduces EVF resolution and reduces EVF refresh with high speed photography in continuous mode.
  • The EVF in the A1 is physically larger .64” vs the standard .5” (Z9) and has greater magnification. It also never drops below the native resolution of the Z9 even in its highest refresh rate of 240hz. Which no matter how you slice it, is faster than the Z9.
  • The EVF is not as bright as the Z9 - relevant for bright outdoor conditions
  • How bright do you need it? I’ve never had an issue with EVF brightness in bright daylight, A1 or otherwise. Brightness can be an issue with the rear LCD in bright outdoor conditions, but that’s true of every camera/smartphone. EVF however…no.
  • The buffer is large, but buffer clearing is slow; this has an especially large impact in backup mode writing to two cards.
  • Buffer clearing isn’t slow and unlike previous Sony’s it doesn’t lock you out of anything while clearing. I agree though that the A1 has a larger buffer and the Z9 is faster to clear. Just different ways of ultimately doing the same thing.
  • CFExpress Type A is a little slower and harder to find than Type B used by Canon and Nikon.
  • Type A is actually easier to find because they’re too expensive to buy. Good thing UHS II is an option and plenty fast, even for 50 MP @ 30 FPS RAW. It’s also the easiest to find and typically don’t have to buy/deal with a separate card reader. If it only shot normal JPEG quality @ 30 FPS like the Z9, UHS I speeds would work just fine.
  • Limited RAW file options create a very large amount of data with high frame rates. Nikon's High Efficiency RAW is a viable option.
  • The A1 has 3 RAW options, uncompressed, lossless compressed and compressed. Z9 has 3 RAW options as well, lossless compressed, high efficiency* and high efficiency. HE* and HE has not been proven a viable option yet, but I have no doubts it won’t be, just as Sony’s compressed option is perfectly fine.
  • Requires additional grip and battery for extended shooting.
  • Required, no. Plenty of event and wedding photographers get thousands of images with a single change and don’t use a grip. Press photographers shoot more with Sony now than just about any other brand and most aren’t using a grip. Matter of fact, that’s actually a selling point.
  • Potential for overheating / limited weather sealing with 8k for extended periods prevents 8k 60p (it does have 4k 60p).
  • A1 can shot over an hour of 8k 30p. Imagine how long it could shoot if it had a mansion for a body. Weather sealing isn’t an issue. Just ask Steve how many failures he’s had due to weather sealing or “ruggedness” with his A1, A9 II and A7R IV (pretty sure his A7R IV is sold). Then ask him if any of his Z cameras have locked up…
  • Limited output options for ProRes RAW video (requires Atmos while Z9 does not require an external recorder).
  • First fact
  • AF subject identification somewhat limited to eyes but not other subjects (aircraft and vehicles).
  • Somewhat limited to eyes? If you mean only limited to eyes, then yes. However, any of the cameras other tracking modes will track vehicles, planes and trains without issue. Eyes are difficult because they are small and small in the frame. If you can’t track a car then you probably couldn’t track a barn. In other words, those are technologies without real world use/benefit. I’d love to be proven wrong, but I wouldn’t call that a strength just yet.
  • AF struggles with Face/Eye AF for backlit subjects (a problem area for most cameras and an area that will improve).
  • I’ve never had this issue with any mirrorless camera. I did however have AF accuracy issues with all my DSLRs backlit or otherwise and that never improved, but you were expected to improve it yourself with AF fine tuning.
  • Lacks AF Eye Control found in Canon R3.
  • Second true statement and applies to both the A1 and Z9.
  • Lack of full size HDMI output found on Z9.
  • A1 and Z9 both feature a full size HDMI A port. Additionally for the A1, if recording externally via the full-size HDMI A port, 16-bit raw output is also possible.
  • Fastest shutter speed slower than 1/32,000 sec of Z9.
  • The original A9 was shooting 1/32,000 of a second, 20 FPS RAW with a live feed and no blackout since May of 2017. A1 does the same and more. As far as fastest shutter speed, the Canon R3 outdoes them all with 1/64,000 of a second. What did the D5 do in May of 2017. What does the Z9 do in Dec of 2021? You didn’t need any of those cutting edge features 4 and a half+ years ago, but it’s great to have them now…
  • Slowest shutter speed setting less than 900 seconds (15 minutes) for Z9.
  • Third true statement.
  • Shorter battery life / lower voltage to power lenses and accessories at highest speed
  • A1 gets more shots per amp than the Z9 does. Shooting with a grip on the A1 nets you a longer battery life than the Z9. Also, Sony’s linear AF lenses are as quick and silent as they come (more than Nikon’s stepper motors). The original 70-200 GM racked focus faster than the current Nikon 70-200 S lens. The new 70-200 GM II is 30% faster than that.
  • Significantly higher cost (about $1700+) - especially when considering a grip and additional batteries.
  • Grip isn’t required, neither are additional batteries or CFExpress Type A cards. UHS II SD cards are plenty fast and again, typically doesn’t require you to buy additional card readers. $1700+ is grossly overstated.

I shot Nikon for over 9 years and largely enjoyed it, minus the lack of customization and that continues with the Z9 (function button layout on the front is terrible, no third control wheel, etc).

I know you are involved with Nikonians and have a general bias, but let’s keep the facts…facts and the BS snipping to a minimum.
 
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Venkatesh VT

Love nature & nature loves you back
Supporting Member
No major issues - just differences that may matter for some people.

  • The A1 reduces EVF resolution and reduces EVF refresh with high speed photography in continuous mode.
  • The EVF is not as bright as the Z9 - relevant for bright outdoor conditions
  • The buffer is large, but buffer clearing is slow; this has an especially large impact in backup mode writing to two cards.
  • CFExpress Type A is a little slower and harder to find than Type B used by Canon and Nikon.
  • Limited RAW file options create a very large amount of data with high frame rates. Nikon's High Efficiency RAW is a viable option.
  • Requires additional grip and battery for extended shooting.
  • Potential for overheating / limited weather sealing with 8k for extended periods prevents 8k 60p (it does have 4k 60p).
  • Limited output options for ProRes RAW video (requires Atmos while Z9 does not require an external recorder).
  • AF subject identification somewhat limited to eyes but not other subjects (aircraft and vehicles).
  • AF struggles with Face/Eye AF for backlit subjects (a problem area for most cameras and an area that will improve).
  • Lacks AF Eye Control found in Canon R3.
  • Lack of full size HDMI output found on Z9.
  • Fastest shutter speed slower than 1/32,000 sec of Z9.
  • Slowest shutter speed setting less than 900 seconds (15 minutes) for Z9.
  • Shorter battery life / lower voltage to power lenses and accessories at highest speed
  • Significantly higher cost (about $1700+) - especially when considering a grip and additional batteries.
You can pick any flagship camera and come up with a list of potential shortcomings, and even then some of those issues may only occur under certain circumstances. It's not a fault of the A1 - just later cameras play a game of leapfrog by adding new features and capabilities. I don't think any of these items would justify switching systems for most people - but there are shortcomings that may require workarounds or limit capabilities.
My take on some issues
-I found backlit images to be pretty good with A1
-Having more options for subject recognition may lead to software bloating & affect the frame rate.
- Lighter body means less fatigue for lightly built persons( like me) & enables better handholding specially while shoiting from boats,kayaks & vehicles ( I had even shot from a moving vehicle traveling at 40 to 50 kms & got good shots )
 

thelordofthelight

Well-known member
Sony EVFs have always had this problem. I preferred the less spec'd EVF on the Z6/Z7 vs the Sony A9/A7R4 that I owned. There are several forum posts where people who use multiple systems seem to prefer the less spec'd EVFs from Nikon and Canon compared to Sony EVF.

Basically no weak spots compared to what is actually available now. And coming up on one year since released.
Great lenses that will work on the next gen without adapters

*It's really funny to me that you choose the A1 EVF as your top weaknesses. 'nuff said
 

Snapshot2020

Well-known member
Supporting Member
My take on some issues
-I found backlit images to be pretty good with A1
-Having more options for subject recognition may lead to software bloating & affect the frame rate.
- Lighter body means less fatigue for lightly built persons( like me) & enables better handholding specially while shoiting from boats,kayaks & vehicles ( I had even shot from a moving vehicle traveling at 40 to 50 kms & got good shots )
Seriously, is that the best you can come up with…. Software Bloating… wow, where Do you come up with this BS….please explain further.
 
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