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What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
The single biggest unknown is the capability of the A9 AF system to handle continuous focusing .

As an SL owner it is a terrific camera and very well implemented ..except for AF . The SL is very fast and is always ready to shoot ,is built like a tank ,has a excellent EVF and a well thought out user interface (its not really intuitive but with a little effort it can be customized to near perfection ).

The SL existing lenses are excellent but all big heavy Pro quailty ...the smaller fit to purpose F2 primes are yet to come .

The largest draw back on the SL is it just will not adequately maintain focus ..when used in CF mode . I have used it extensively for auto racing ,polo and surfing . Two aspects (1) can it acquire the focus point in mixed lighting and (2) can it maintain that focus point thru a full series of captures . Using the SL ....forget it ..it doesn t . So how does a camera squarely aimed at action photography be so far behind .

The reference standard for AF continuous tracking is the Nikon D5 ...it is beyond my expectations and better than the D4 and D4s . The D5 will track with a F1.4 lens wide open the width of a tennis court . It will handle a polo pony coming straight at you thru the goal with a 400/2.8AF and never lose focus . No EVF camera has even approached that standard .

Will be very interested to see what a Professional Sports Photographer says about the new A9 .....:banghead:

Yes 20 FPS and no black out are impressive improvements for the A9 ..but the proof will be the AF tracking .
 

ErikKaffehr

Well-known member
Much more logical to see the A9 as a continuation of the A7II...

Best regards
Erik

The A9 just reminds me of one thing: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
It really is Sony's SL, isn't it? Slightly cheaper, probably less solidly built, a bit more complicated interface, but otherwise similar.
I bet Sony management said "why didn't we make this?" in Q3-2015, and it took until Q2-2017 to have something ready.

To me, the rationale for the SL is the same as ever. The A9 really isn't much cheaper, and it only improves performance for stuff I don't need (11 fps is plenty, I rarely use more than 1fps).
 

Bernard

Member
Much more logical to see the A9 as a continuation of the A7II...
The relationship between the A7II and the A9 reminds me of the relationship between the 1Ds and 5D, before they diverged with the 1Dx. The sensor size and resolution are similar, but everything else is different.
The A7 and A9 both come from the same company, but the A9 isn't a replacement for the less expensive A7II (which remains available). The A9 is Sony's entry in the pro stills market, which is not something they've attempted before with mirrorless. They've had a few attempts over the years on the SLR side (and as Minolta before that). It will be interesting to see how they fare now that they are not competing directly with Nikon and Canon.
 

ErikKaffehr

Well-known member
Hi,

The body is the same between A7II and A9, they made it a bit more sturdy, added drive/AF selector on the left hand, added a joystick and relabeled two buttons plus put a large battery inside.

The major news is the sensor that more relates to the A6500, stacked design with a front side LSI.

If they compete with Canon or Nikon is hard to say. It depends if they can deliver on viewfinder lag and AF functionality. If the A9 will deliver a higher success rate than Nikon or Canon than it will gain market share.

Best regards
Erik

The relationship between the A7II and the A9 reminds me of the relationship between the 1Ds and 5D, before they diverged with the 1Dx. The sensor size and resolution are similar, but everything else is different.
The A7 and A9 both come from the same company, but the A9 isn't a replacement for the less expensive A7II (which remains available). The A9 is Sony's entry in the pro stills market, which is not something they've attempted before with mirrorless. They've had a few attempts over the years on the SLR side (and as Minolta before that). It will be interesting to see how they fare now that they are not competing directly with Nikon and Canon.
 

ptomsu

Workshop Member
Assuming the A9 delivers WRT AF speed, AF-C and AF tracking as well as having a better than optical viewfinder because with no blackout - the key question will be if Sony can roll out 3 or 4 high speed primes typically required by professional sports shooters. If they manage to do so and also for a adequate price, they are poised to win IMHO.

If they take to long for these primes then the A9 remains still a remarkable camera and a real milestone in photographic history.

And for many, including me, they tick already almost all the boxes, especially with the new 100-400. This lens together with the Zeiss 16-35 and the G-master 24-70 plus a few fast primes is all I ever will need. Hard to resist for the moment ....
 
V

Vivek

Guest
Leica M and R lenses can be mounted on an A9 via a Techpro adapter and made to auto focus! There are no other platforms that allow that.
 

iiiNelson

Well-known member
Just my opinion but the rationale for the SL remains a digital mirrorless body to utilize R, M, and SL lenses. I don't really see the SL as a pro line camera to compete with the 1Dx or the D5 for the simple reason that there are only a handful of native lenses and there's only a contrast detect AF system.

I dont want to dive dive too deep into the A9 in this thread but I agree that it's an expansion on the A7 bodies more than a total different philosophy outside an emphasis on speed for photojournalist/sport photographers. The updates are welcomed butmany of them are nice to have versus needed for me.

While one could argue about the "pro" ability of Sony FE cameras, the reality is that many pros use them to great success for paying work. Just the same as everyone shooting a Leica isn't a dentist or collector, people should really be mindful and careful of the labels and name calling. The Sony bodies are very capable for 98% of all types of usage and offer pretty much every feature (and then some) that leading cameras in their class offer. I'm a former Leica owner and I liked using my M9/M9-P but I moved onto Sony for the added versatility and flexibility which was a huge advantage for me.
 

Shashin

Well-known member
This a pro camera body:



Exactly what functionality is required to make something "professional"? And I know a few people that would drool more for this hunk of metal than either an SL or a9.
 

Bernard

Member
I think that for 35mm (and only 35mm), "pro" generally means faster, sturdier, greater autonomy, and manufacturer support. Lots of professionals do not use (nominally-)pro 35mm cameras, and even more amateurs do, so it's an intent rather than a description. Traditionally, the PROfession was photojournalism, which is past its glory days.

It's a lot easier to define "pro" for video these days: 10-bit, 4:2:2, an editable codec, low compression and, more and more, an ACES workflow.
 

Shashin

Well-known member
Traditionally, the first "professional" photography was portraiture. Photojournalism was a later profession in term of photography. The vast majority of photography can fall under instagram, wedding, and commercial. I am sure some people will love the a9 just as some love another camera.
 

iiiNelson

Well-known member
Traditionally, the first "professional" photography was portraiture. Photojournalism was a later profession in term of photography. The vast majority of photography can fall under instagram, wedding, and commercial. I am sure some people will love the a9 just as some love another camera.
Exactly.

By both definitions the M does and has always fallen under the "pro" umbrella but that doesn't mean it's the best camera to shoot sports nor is it officially weather sealed. Pro simply means that there are people using it to make money (to which many cameras can check this box) and that it fits under a certain umbrella of build quality/service expectation to which one can say that all Full Frame, Medium Format, and a few cropped sensored Phase One, Hasselblad, Olympus, Fuji, Sony, Canon, and Nikon cameras generally fall within that umbrella judging from their pro service programs.

I dont know that Leica has a service program for anything other than S cameras but some still consider the M and SL as pro cameras even without some of the "pro features."
 

fotografz

Well-known member
Traditionally, the first "professional" photography was portraiture. Photojournalism was a later profession in term of photography. The vast majority of photography can fall under instagram, wedding, and commercial. I am sure some people will love the a9 just as some love another camera.
True I guess if you consider Brady's 1860s American Civil War documentation images as "Later" :rolleyes: First portraits weren't professional ... War journalism is nearly as old as "professional" portraiture.
 

fotografz

Well-known member
Exactly.

By both definitions the M does and has always fallen under the "pro" umbrella but that doesn't mean it's the best camera to shoot sports nor is it officially weather sealed. Pro simply means that there are people using it to make money (to which many cameras can check this box) and that it fits under a certain umbrella of build quality/service expectation to which one can say that all Full Frame, Medium Format, and a few cropped sensored Phase One, Hasselblad, Olympus, Fuji, Sony, Canon, and Nikon cameras generally fall within that umbrella judging from their pro service programs.

I dont know that Leica has a service program for anything other than S cameras but some still consider the M and SL as pro cameras even without some of the "pro features."
A vast majority of professional photographers use something other than a Leica. By "vast", I mean almost all of them. In my 45+ years as an art director only one pro I hired used a Leica R film camera (along with a Contax 645 as the primary system). In all the weddings I shot with other pros for 20+ years, or pros shooting other weddings at a multiple wedding venue, I was the only one using a Leica M or R ever (and not exclusively because a Canon, or Nikon, and now Sony was the primary kit).

The S was positioned as a pro camera but the reliability and service record argues other-wise. Very few Pros can afford the time required to baby the S system and send stuff off for spa vacations in Germany for endless months.

Which brings me to "where does Leica go from here" ... fix the service issues and validate pros with a program so they can get stuff fixed fast without knowing someone or knowing the secret hand-shake or secret password.

- Marc
 

Bernard

Member
Traditionally, the first "professional" photography was portraiture. Photojournalism was a later profession in term of photography.
That's why I limited the scope of my statement to 35 mm. cameras.

The first photographic profession was travel, but portraiture eclipsed travel as soon as plates became sensitive enough.
 

Paratom

Well-known member
I am still quite happy with my SL and strongly prefer its handling over the A7II and A/s I once owned.
The 24-90 alone is a strong reason for the SL.
Also much better size camera as soon as you want to use pro-lenses.
I would however appreciate if Leica works on their C-AF speed and on both S-AF and C-AF for the 50/1.4.
Maybe phase-AF in the SLII?
 
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Vivek

Guest
Traditionally, the first "professional" photography was portraiture. Photojournalism was a later profession in term of photography. The vast majority of photography can fall under instagram, wedding, and commercial. I am sure some people will love the a9 just as some love another camera.
"traditon killer", a Barnack box, revolutionized photography. The good old creative days for a certain company.

The fire/drive has passed on and is with Sony now.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Two things I'm sure of:

- The A9 will be gone in nine months for whatever the next gizmo might be that Sony wants to market.
- My SL will be here five years from now, a top notch camera continuing to make excellent photographs.

Good luck.

G
 

fotografz

Well-known member
Two things I'm sure of:

- The A9 will be gone in nine months for whatever the next gizmo might be that Sony wants to market.
- My SL will be here five years from now, a top notch camera continuing to make excellent photographs.

Good luck.

G
Do you mean like the Leica DMR?:rolleyes:

Just because a company brings out a new model doesn't mean the current one suddenly stops making excellent photographs.

I'm not a staunch Sony supporter, but I do have to admit that my A7R-II has proven to be a top notch, very reliable camera with an unprecedented array of lenses available for it ... and I do not see some new Sony model changing that.

Spending heaps of money on digital bodies from anyone seems to be a questionable practice anymore. Frankly, I'm not all that interested in spending $4,500 for this one ...

- Marc
 

iiiNelson

Well-known member
Do you mean like the Leica DMR?:rolleyes:

Just because a company brings out a new model doesn't mean the current one suddenly stops making excellent photographs.

I'm not a staunch Sony supporter, but I do have to admit that my A7R-II has proven to be a top notch, very reliable camera with an unprecedented array of lenses available for it ... and I do not see some new Sony model changing that.

Spending heaps of money on digital bodies from anyone seems to be a questionable practice anymore. Frankly, I'm not all that interested in spending $4,500 for this one ...

- Marc
Yeah and there's not many brands that haven't dropped a line of cameras from existence be it Canon FD, Leica R, Olympus/Leica/Panasonic 4/3, etc.

It's been 18-24+ months since the generation 2 FE bodies were released so it looks like the Full Frame release schedule is slowing down with a combination of system maturation and force majeure.
 
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