Sony A9 for wedding photography

Hi my name’s Neil and welcome to a video
which a few people have asked me to make now and that is how have I found the
transition from Nikon DSLR cameras to Sony mirrorless when it comes to wedding
photography. So about three months ago I purchased my Sony A9 mirrorless camera,
which was the first mirrorless camera I’ve ever bought and in that time I
photographed around 10 weddings. So I feel as if I’m in quite a good position now to
give you my thoughts on the camera; what I’ve liked and what I’ve struggled with,
and to give you a really rounded view of how I have found that transition. This isn’t
going to be a technical review as such I’m not going to go into lots of detail
about the camera settings and the menus, which are vast, it’s going to be a talk
through about my real-world experience of how I have found using the camera as a
wedding photographer. I found there to be three huge advantages, and they are huge
advantages, to using the a9 but there have also been things which I’ve struggled
with as well a bit so that’s what I’m going to be talking you through in this
video: the three biggest upsides and the three downsides to the transition to
Sony cameras. One thing to note is that this video has lots of images in it I
would start off with a slideshow and then I use lots of images to illustrate
certain points about the camera but the main thing to note is there every image
which you see in this video has been taken on the a9 in the three months
since I’ve owned the camera even the camera which I’m using to film this
video is the a9 so I hope that that will give you a really good idea about the
image quality of the camera the other thing just to know is that I film this
video over two days the first day it was raining so if halfway through you notice
up my hair seems bit wet wetter than it does now that’s the reason why anyway I
hope you enjoyed the video let’s crack on you you you you you so good place to start for me a little
bit of background I’ve been photographing weddings now since 2006 so
that’s 12 years and since my very first wedding I’ve only ever owned Nick on
DSLR I started with the Nikon d70 went to the Nikon d300 from there and then
the Nikon d700 and now the d800 and now the d810 which is where I want to so
I’ve only ever used Nick on and I’ve never had any issue with them whatsoever
I’ve always really loved using Nick on cameras and never had any problems with
them so I wasn’t exactly looking to change as such I was just curious more
so than anything else about what these mirrorless cameras were all about and
why so many people seem to be enjoying using them but what happened was I
photographed a wedding with a good friend of mine David Stubbs who had
moved to Sony I think around a year previous to to me shooting this wedding
with him and I’ve mentioned him a few times that I was interested in playing
with with the Sony camera he had a Sony a9 which is one I know I was interested
in so shooting this wedding together he he gave me the camera for a few minutes
just to have a play with it and honestly within I would say within two or three
minutes and holding the camera to use it for the first time I knew I was going to
change it would say it was that much of a difference one particular thing which
happened within that time frame when I was just when I was using that camera is
I went outside so this was a big wedding we were photographing with with probably
about 200 guests and all the guests were in the marquee and I just haven’t just a
walk outside and saw this really lovely scene where an elderly couple were
dancing on their own in the grounds of the venue and I thought oh that looks
really nice I went closer I thought I’ve only really got one shot to get this
because as soon as I hear the click of the shutter they’re going to be camera
where and as soon as we calm camera where then my cover is a photographer
alone like now that would have been the case
but because I was using the a9 which was completely silent I was able to take a
shot and then another I don’t know and because I was silent I could be
completely inconspicuous and they had no idea of taking those photographs and at
that point I realized I have to go this way
with my photography because it became obvious to me that just that one thing
alone if I was shooting with the sound of my shutter going off that would have
blown my cover as I say and they probably would have been camera where
instantly and I would have not be able to to get that scene and capture that
that moment for them so it was a very quick realization that this has to be
the way that I go because I’m actually if I stay on dslr’s already within a
couple of minutes I realized that I was probably going to be at a disadvantage
so that was the moment I really thought yeah I need to really look into moving
it was literally that quick unless he’s one of things I’m going to
stress a bit in this video the a lot of things I want to talk about there are
three huge advantages which I found from going from my Nick on the 8/10 to the
Sony 89 camera and these three advantages you only really realize how
big they are when you’ve tried them yourself it’s very difficult to
sometimes get across just how powerful these changes can be and how much they
have changed my photography so so that’s a little bit of background to me and why
I made the move so I’m going to talk you through now the three biggest
differences are the three biggest advantages if you like that I found
since using my Sony a 9 compared to my Nikon d810 DSLRs and how they’ve
impacted my photography so the first thing I would talk about and probably
what I found to be the biggest single advantage of using my sony online camera
for wedding photography is the ability to shoot silently that has been massive
for me I am for the knife that at the wedding day a documentary wedding
photographer I don’t want to impact on the wedding day at all I want that day
to run as if it would do if I wasn’t even there now to do that I really rely
on people to not be camera aware as soon as they become aware of me being there
then and they are camera where then I feel as though my cover is blown and the
images don’t really have the same impact as if the bridegroom were completely
oblivious to me so my whole way of working is based around trying to be or
not true Civ trying to document the day as I say as if I wasn’t even there it’s
very very important to me that my pictures have authenticity and that
they’re real and that the people within the frame and not camera where that’s
that’s massive to me I never liked any shot where people are looking into the
camera because that takes away the feeling in my opinion of that shot being
unobtrusive and natural now another facet of the way that I shoot weddings
in a documentary ways I like to be physically close to people the closer I
am the better the images I feel become I feel as though the images that I take
when I physically closer have a much more natural feel and you feel as a
viewer as though you’re part of our image so because I like to be close I
have to really concentrate on being unobtrusive in the way that I manage
myself to be able to become invisible when I physically close now the biggest
advantage that I found to say with a Sony a9 camera compared to my Nick on
DSLR with this is that when I’m silent we obviously become even easier for me
to become invisible because even if I’m trying my absolute best to be
unobtrusive the wrong I press a shutter and it makes a sound even on the quiet
shutter mode it still is is quite a loud sound relative to silence and I become
very very aware of that now one thing I should just mention at the
moment is that I only actually own one Sony body at the moment which is Ani
which are filming this video on so at the moment when it comes to weddings I’m
shooting with two cameras my Sony camera on this side and my Nick on camera on
this side so I’m still using the two systems but what becomes really apparent
when I am using those two systems is just the difference in in how louder
should have become when you’re useless Tooting silently when you have shot with
a completely silent shutter and a completely silent camera going back to
using a camera with a shutter and mechanical shutter seems deafening da9
enables me to shoot silently without any banding issues and that’s a that’s a
huge advantage it’s the reason why the a9 is more
expensive I think that’s the biggest reason as far as to my knowledge that
you don’t suffer any banding issues regardless of the lighting conditions so
I think with the a7 3 you can shoot silently but if you’re indoors in
artificial light you get funding across across the frame which basically means
that it can’t be used in many situations which for a wave otago for is is makes
it in my opinion makes that silent mode almost redundant because if you’re in a
church with with with fluorescent lighting artificial lighting you’re not
going to be able to shoot silently without getting the banding issue unless
you shoot a very slow shutter speeds and and I don’t want to compromise I don’t
see the point in compromising when I have a few hundred pounds more
I can shoot silently and not have to worry about the banding issue so
shooting silently has been huge I can’t stress enough how much better it is to
shoot completely silently when you’re trying to photograph weddings in a
documentary fashion it is literally game-changing and I could never go back
now to wanting to shoot purely dslr’s it they feel just antiquated and loud
and clunky and and the difference as I said before until you try this until you
shoot silently you can’t really comprehend the difference I wouldn’t
have thought that the difference would be as great as I have found it in
particular on a wedding day it is any moments with which are quite emotional
and obviously with it in a wedding day you know that that’s what windows are
all about capturing the emotion but there are certain times with it with a
DSLR where that shutter seems it credibly loud say for example during
speeches there can be hugely emotional moments during speeches where especially
someone is maybe talking about one of their relatives or a family member who
isn’t with us anymore then you know these are really impactful
moments that you that I feel it’s important to capture but you don’t want
to impede on that moment either the last thing I ever want to do is photographer
is kill a moment and become obtrusive it should never be about me but when these
moments calm you and you’re you’re aware of the silence pressing that shutter and
hearing that click becomes really loud now if you’re shooting silently you
don’t have to worry about that at all and that’s been that’s one more chef I
found has been really freeing and I’ve loved the experience of not having to
worry about that anymore and I feel I can capture emotion much better for that
and another example of that a very very key one on a wedding day is shooting in
a church where sometimes we’re asked not to take pictures at all or if we can
then to be as unobtrusive as possible so again shooting silently is such an
advantage because it enables me to feel that I could get a little bit closer I
can take more pictures because I don’t have to be as mindful of the shutter it
is allowing me to take photographs which I would not have been able to take
because of restrictions that would have been put on me by the church it’s been
huge the photograph you see on the screen now I feel as though I probably
won’t have enabled Lee would have been further away for these moments but
because I can shoot silently I can get closer and hardly anyone is aware of me
even being there so yeah shooting slightly has been game-changing and and
that’s been a huge huge thing for me and I’ve loved the experience of shooting
silently so number one definitely in terms of advantages shooting silently
it’s been massive okay so the second thing which I found to be a huge
advantage of moving to Sony has been the use of the EVF which is the electronic
viewfinder so with the DSLR when we look through the viewfinder what we’re
looking at is a real-world interpretation of the light coming in
through that through the lens hitting a mirror and that’s what’s in work we’re
taking him with our eye so there was no electronics between what the camera is
bringing in and what we’re seeing with our own eye so when we change our camera
settings nothing changes within our actual the
actual viewfinder now that’s completely different with the mirrorless camera
because what we’re looking at there is an electronic turf interpretation of
what the camera is seeing in real world terms what that means is that when we
change our camera settings the what we’re seeing through the viewfinder
through the EVF changes in real time as well and that is a massive advantage so
for example if we look through the viewfinder and we change our shutter
speed say we allow we shoot at a slower shutter speed
what we see through the viewfinder is going to change live as we change the
shutter speed what that means is that when we shoot in live actually in
challenging mic conditions that we can make the changes and because we’re
seeing live what we’re taking there isn’t the same need to chimp
well there’s any need to chimp and by Jim why I mean he’s taking a pitch this
is how I used to work taking a picture look at the back of the camera changer
exposure to sue take another picture yep nearly there now and that little
process have taken two or three little test shots if you like inevitably slows
you down as a photographer now there’s no need to do that with levia because
you’re seeing the changes live and that goes for aperture as well so if we
change our aperture the depth of field is changing literally as we’re looking
through the viewfinder and again until you cried this you can’t really
comprehend just how big an advantage that is it enables you as a photographer
to shoot faster and to know that what you’re taking is correct exposure wise
so there’s no need to keep a look at the back of the camera now at all and that
enables you to work faster and more importantly to be really reactive so if
you should see anything and you think it’s in a different lighting condition
you instantly can see that and you can instantly change your settings to suit
so you can get to the point the way you want to be exposure eyes almost
immediately and I found that to be a massive massive advantage there is
literally no need now to keep a look at the back of my camera even when
reviewing images on a DSLR I wanted to review my image I would have to do look
down at the back of the camera screen again these are things that I didn’t
realize with such as an issue but now I can I don’t even need to move my eye
away from the viewfinder because if I just press review on the back of the
camera I see what I just taken in the viewfinder so I don’t have to take my
eye away and look the more that I can keep my eye up to the viewfinder the
better I can be anticipating and capturing moments and I feel as though
that’s been a massive massive advantage as I say I’m currently shooting weddings
with two cameras the the Sony and the Nikon and the difference between shoot
on the Sony and that the experience of using easier compared to using my Nick
on and having to chimp look at the back of the screen take another shot look at
the back of the screw you just realized just what a difference
that is and how antiquated the DSLR system feels documentary wedding
photography it’s all about being reactive to moments and even the process
I’ve just taken a picture looking at the screen take another picture look at and
then shooting again gives you the potential of missing out on moments that
are so fleeting so fragile and once the moment is gone it’s gone
so the EVF again has been a massive massive advantage and again something
that I couldn’t now go back to not using so again the Vantage number two the EVF
okay before I go on to the third point I just need to apologize for the state of
my hair I always like went outside film nice I just feel like it’s a bit easier
for me I like to stand up I’m not very good at making a talking when I’m sat
down and I need to move but I’ve come out and the heaven she was just just too
opened so I look a bit the mess or apologies for that but hopefully that
won’t affect the content in any way so now I’m going to move on to the third
point which I found to be a huge huge advantage of the Sony cameras and that
has been the autofocus the autofocus on the a9 and I’m sure other other
mirrorless cameras well the odds focus I can always talk about on the a9 has been
ridiculously good like it is freakish to me how reliable and how good the
autofocus is and it’s been absolutely game-changing for me so again it’s only
in real world practice that I have realised how with my Nikon cameras I was
probably overshooting in order to ensure that I was getting focused correct so
for example I would if I was taking a portrait of a couple I would tend to
take three or four shots of that same scene just changing my focus each time
just to ensure that I had shots in focus I would have to just make sure by just
over shooting a little bit with the Sony cameras even though I’ve only been using
the a9 as a safe about 10 weddings about three months I have absolute faith that
if I would say one shot it will be banging focus and that is such a good
feeling when you’re a wedding photographer and you know that focus is
beyond him for and I can absolutely trust it to nail
the focus every time and it’s an amazing amazing feeling the other thing is what
I used to with my DSLR I would what’s called focus and recompose so I would
use a central the middle focus point I had locked my focus and and then I had
moved the camera sites to compose the scene because I found it but the focus
is much better that way it was also because I didn’t really feel as I could
trust the outer focus point on my on my d810 if I did I think that the
reliability between focus like drops the further away I went from the center
focus point now back he’s just completely turned on its head with the
a9 because I can use any focus point and it’s going to be sharp and not just any
if I use the furthest corner folk focus point on the a9 even if I’m shooting at
say 1.8 or 1.4 my 35 mil lens the focus is not the sharp
he’s tap sharp freakishly sharp and that is it when I first started taking test
shot something that can’t be right I take another one
Wow it is insane how good it is and I say I didn’t really even think I had
that much of an issue with focus with my DSLR it’s just the fact that this is so
much better that it makes the DSLR just feel like an unreliable clunky old
machine it really is that big a difference and again like I didn’t
really anticipate this to be the case but the difference has been huge and
just building on from the autofocus one of the main reasons I wanted to to move
to Sony especially and the a9 was because if I are so focused now if
you’re not aware of what this is it is game-changing and what it basically does
is there is a button that you could wear you can customize the boss and tire you
want with the Sony camera or there is a button which I have dedicated to what’s
called I also focus and what that means if I press that button the focus will
lock onto the eye of the subject that I am shooting the closest side of the
camera and if I keep my finger on that button it keeps the focus locked on to
the eye regardless of where they move and how far away are near to the camera
they and that again is absolutely
game-changing it’s insane if you’re shooting a bride walking down the aisle
then obviously that is a hugely important part of the day and you cannot
afford to mess that up you have to nail your focus when the
bride’s walking down the aisle and my concentration would be all on the focus
of getting the bride in focus now with the Sony with the a9 as soon as I see
the bride walking down the aisle I can lock the eye I can lock the focus onto
her I keep my finger on that focus button on the I focus button and it’s
locked on them so she’s walking toward me I know that she’s in focus
continuously so what that means is I don’t have to worry anymore about the
focus to anywhere near the same degree because the camera is doing the work for
me what that then allows me to do is
concentrate more on that get to my composition right and that in itself has
really improved the images I’m taking and that’s just one example of something
that we come across on every single wedding day I also focus is just
revolution too because soon as you lock your focus onto the eye you then can
start to you can then your concentration then looks at the composition more you
don’t realize just how big a difference that is until you’ve experienced it and
so you’ve tried it the autofocus and I also focus in particular has been
insanely good and I’ve loved using the Sony cameras further III nice I mean I
can have complete 100% trust that the focus is going to be nailed because
there have been times in the past where I took a shot and I’ve been really
really that I really like that shot really can’t wait to look at that I feel
as I caught a moment well and you realize that your focus he’s not quite
bang on when you look at it on the computer and that’s really demoralizing
and and he’s really sort of like frustrating it’s not been the case with
the Sony at all and it’s been it’s been amazing having that trust in the camera
so so yeah autofocus again massive massive advantage okay so there are
three main things the biggest things that I found to be advantageous in my
move to Sony so the silent shooting the EVF and the autofocus they’ve been the
three huge huge advantages I’ve found but there are smaller advantages as well
that maybe aren’t quite as big a deal but you know adding
to the experience of shooting which I’ve found to be you know good things I’m not
gonna advise dwell on them very much but one of those has been the flippy screen
so the Sony a9 has a screen which comes out at the back which you can tilt now
that means that rather than having to as I were doing the past lie on the floor
in certain situations if I wanted like to be to be getting maybe a reflection
and a put a light be lying on the floor so I’m getting wet dirty don’t have to
do that anymore I can just tilt the screen and put the camera as close to
the floor as I want and I can shoot that way so again a big big advantage and
also during the ceremony as you’re gonna see with a couple of pictures on the
screen now I’ve been able to lift the camera high up above my head tilt the
screen and shoot down onto the scene and it allowed me to shoot compositions
which I wouldn’t have been able to take I could have tried to talk but it would
have been very risky to take with it with the DSLR so again not not a huge
deal for me the flippy screen but it’s it’s something that I’ve I’ve I’ve
really enjoyed using and it’s definitely worth noting and the other thing it’s
just the size of the camera mirrorless camera is better the a9 compared to my
d810 he’s a physically smaller and lighter camera now that’s not anything
that I was particularly bothered about the way it was never so much of a big
issue for me well you know given the choice it’s nicer to have a lighter
camera and a small camera on you than a bigger camera so that’s been a nice
thing one thing just to note though the weight difference that I found in the
bodies and the size difference has been negated a little bit by by the actual
lenses so with my Nikon DSLRs I was mainly shooting with a 35 mil 1.8 lens
and an 85 mil 1.8 lens the reason I used those lenses was that they were very
small and very light now the landings that I’m using with the
a9 the 35 in the 85 are both heavier and physically a bit bigger so the size
difference that I’ve gained in the actual camera body I’m almost losing
with the lenses I could change my lens into conference tape I say something a
huge issue for me but yeah so that’s just worth pointing the although the
body size is smaller the lenses themselves I found of my lenses I bought
for for the sony has been a little bit bigger so that’s sort of even itself out
a little bit so moving to Sony hasn’t been perfect there have been downsides
and I’m going to talk about those now I found there to be three downsizing
circular and the first one is using off-camera flash no I love using
off-camera flash not just for bride and groom portraits but I also use it
throughout other parts of the wedding day as well such as speeches and
reception lighting so it’s important to me that I do use off-camera flash and I
use a camera which enables me to do that now
to be fair I haven’t used the a9 very much when it comes to off-camera flash
as yet of the weddings which I’ve photographed it’s only been the last
three or four where I’ve really tried to use off-camera flash and again to be
fair it works the great thing about the a9 in particular is that I can use my
existing triggers my photic Strato triggers and they work seamlessly so I
can use the same speed like the same receivers as I have been using for the
past two or three years with my Nick on cameras with the a9 and it just worked
and that’s been brilliant the downside really is that the camera just doesn’t
feel as though it’s intuitively made for off-camera flash and an illustration of
that is that to use off-camera flash with the a9 I have to go into the menu
system and make two changes one is I have to turn off the electronic shutter
and use the mechanical shutter and that means I can’t use pilot shooting anymore
with off-camera flash and the other if I have to turn off the the live setting of
the EVF I have to turn off the live display as otherwise when I’m using
off-camera flash and underexposed in or the ambient the screen would just be
must be dark and I wouldn’t I wouldn’t see what I was shooting so I haven’t got
a issue with that as such it’s more that I just have to go into the menu system
and make those two changes that can be sped up by using the custom button but
still the fact is I have to go into a menu system and change two settings in
order to use off-camera flash so it’s just a little bit Fafi and it’s just not
a seamless process if you want to go from shooting natural light to
off-camera flash so not a huge huge problem but something there is a bit of
a shame so that’s been the most obvious disadvantage which I’ve found and the
second disadvantage is more of an obvious one I suppose and that’s just
the cost moving from one system to another is always going to be expensive
but the Sony a nine in particular is not a cheap camera it’s quite an expensive
camera and for me I always want to use two cameras at the same time
buying two bodies alone to a nine bodies alone it’s extremely expensive we’re
into the thousands and that’s before you even think about buying new lenses at
the moment I own three Tony lenses I’m going to be adding a fourth and then
that will be it for lenses but the whole cost of moving is pretty eye watering
having said that I think it’s paddle upon a relative small price to pay for
the advantages but it’s something that you really need to consider when it
comes to moving systems you really to balance out whether the advantages of
using mirrorless cameras are going to outweigh the cost for you and that will
be different for everyone or depends on how you use your camera and the style of
tog review which you do and it’s not a cheap process at all so it’s something
to really consider before you do rate the move
now the third downside is something which I found a particularly struggle at
the beginning when I first brought the camera and that’s using the actual files
in post-processing so I’ve been used to using Nick on RAW files now since since
I first started which is say twelve years I’ve really got to grips with what
I can do with those files how I can use them and I’ve developed presets which
were particularly well I feel with my Nikon RAW files now when you move camera
systems obviously the RAW files that you’re getting out of that camera are
going to be different they’re going to have a different color profile and it’s
going to take you a little bit of time to adapt to how those files handle so
for example the preset which I’ve used now which I’ve developed from our Nikon
files don’t work with the Sony files which is which is to be expected a color
profile is very different with the Sony camera so it’s taken me a while to
develop a preset which I feel works well for my style with it with the Sony
cameras so that’s been one thing which is just developing the new preset but as
well I also feel as though the Sony nine files don’t have as much dynamic range
as my Nick on RAW files did I styled at ography was to shoot Sally underexposed
knowing that I could bring back lots of shadow detail now when I first started
using the a9 that’s how again how I was shooting I was shooting purposely
underexposed assuming that I could bring about the same amount of detail from the
shadows and I found that not the case so with the Sony files if I do
try and bring back the shadow details I find that that can result in quite noisy
and grainy images than I was used to so to compensate for that I have to now get
my exposures better in camera which is fine and it’s fret that’s that’s easy to
do with with the a9 due to the EVs that I mentioned earlier but it’s something
that again has taken a little bit of time to get used to and it is a shame
that I can’t bring back as much detail for the shadows as I would ideally like
to and that I’ve been used to so that’s been something that I’ve been it has
been a struggle I say I’m getting more used to it now
but I think it’s worth noting as being a downside especially if you are coming
from Nick on as I was because I think Nick on cameras are exceptional when it
comes to shooting in low-light and in particular bringing back shadow detail I
don’t think this the sony 9 has the same dynamic range in its RAW files as my
Nick on the 8/10 L did so that has been a bit of a shame so overall there the
three disadvantage which has found news off camera flash although say there are
workarounds cost eye watering and the dynamic range of the files and just
getting used to the files they’ve been the three things which have really sort
of been being a downside to me none of them a deal breakers but they’re
certainly worth noting I feel so in conclusion would I recommend the Sony a
night to other wedding photographers without a doubt it has been absolutely
amazing I’ve loved the experience of using mirrorless and in particular the
advantage of da9 have just been amazing for me when it comes to shooting
documentary wedding photography in natural light then the a9 I think is
almost perfect it’s been absolutely incredible and I feel as though I’ve
improved as a photographer for using the a9 and that in itself has made it
worthwhile for me I say there are downsides and they are a shame
but once you get over the cost of moving which I say is it takes me a while and
I’m still getting over that but once you get over that cost and once you get used
to using the files and just working around the off-camera flash issues then
there is nothing really to worry about when it comes to the move and the upside
in my opinion far far outweigh the downside so if you’re
on the fence about it I would massively encourage you to at least trying maybe
just borrow an a9 higher one or on a 73 it’s a silent shoot isn’t as big an
issue for you as it is for me and just have a play around because I feel as
though if you’ve been used to using dslr’s
I would be extremely surprised if you didn’t love the camera almost instantly
I do feel as though this is the way that camera technology is going and within
within 2 or 3 years virtually everyone will have moved to mirrorless or if they
haven’t and there they will certainly be be about to to me now using the DSLR
just feels old-fashioned they do feel clunky just slow big heavy you know all
the things that you don’t really want to associate with cameras really the a9 it
just feels like a younger fresher cooler lighter camera and it feels like the
future so there we go I hope you’ve enjoyed
this video and found it useful if you have any questions at all and I’m sure
that there are lots of questions that people may have about about a topic like
this then please do put them in the comment section and I’ll do my best to
answer them I love receiving comments and I try to reply to every single one
so I hope you’ve enjoyed this video thank you very very much for watching
and I will see you next time

72 Replies to “Sony A9 for wedding photography”

  1. I am an old Nikonian too. Really struggling with LR to get right skin colors. The latest update was a massive change in color profiles but still can't reproduce the ethereal flesh of my Nikon d4s. C1 seems to solve this but then I need to make new presents and workflow.
    What do you suggest/use?

  2. Great review…..just a question about shooting flash with the A9….why do you need to change settings in camera… Sony A6300 changes the exposure in camera as soon as a speedlite is connected….it makes the EVF brighter but its a false reading…..turn your speedlite off, get your settings how you want and then connect to your flash.

  3. Hi Neil, great insight into the transition from Nikon ( Where I'm currently ) to the Sony system and because I have followed your work for quite a number of years now I feel very confident in your findings and yes the investment is a little eye-watering. It has confirmed what I have been wanting to do for a while introducing the Sony system alongside my Nikon to ease my transition, Great Video as always. Thank you. 🙂

  4. I am a nikon guy since D40. And always looking forward for mirrorless anytime soon to replace the DSLR. Btw you had a good point especially when we shoot with nikon we tend to shoot almost a stop under exposed. But just to share with you since you are still not buying the second sony camera. Why don't you try Sony A7r3 for your second camera.. It have better dynamic range than either sony A9 or d810 from the review and live testing.. =P

    I shall wait for your new video on A9 vs A7R3. haha

  5. Great insight Neil, i have thought about the switch but only being an amateur cannot justify the cost, certainly not of the A9 …. Did you not consider the new Nikon Z6 & Z7 ?

  6. LOVE this video! I bought the Sony A73 6 months ago, to try to see if I would like to move from Nikon and WOW, game changer! I bought 4 lenses since, the 24-70mm 2.8 G master, the 70-200mm 2.8 G master, the 85MM 1.8.. A 90mm Macro and I just bought my second A73 body today to complete the change over from Nikon. I unfortunately had to buy ALL new OCF triggers and flashes/system thou, ouch! Bring on 2019 wedding season.

  7. I really agree with you great video. I have 3 mirorless cameras from sony, a6500, a7r2 and a73 and i can confirm that it's actualy the best camera that i have use coming from canon dslrs. I'm not a fan boy so if a other brand make better cameras i will go to this brand. What i can confirm it's that i also move to sony for the eye AF, live view, and evf. I wait a moment because the af was not as good as dlsr on the first series of a7. But now it's crazy how sony fill the gap! I see a real difference between the a7rii and the a7iii, and when i don't neal to crop or to have a lot mp i shot only with my a7iii specialy for wedding. I don't try the A9 but it seems also amazing for fast AF. I think one thing that sony have to make added to the one you already note it's that they have to make the camera waterproof and dustproof…It will be a good add for many type of photographer!

  8. I shoot with two D810's too and i just love this video of yours. Your top 3 points are my EXACT points for wanting to move. How are you finding the editing of the sony files and the Nikon files together? And how are you finding the 24mp of the Sony compared to the 36mp of the Nikon? Do you wish the A9 had more megapixels?

  9. sony A9 has lover DR than A7 III or nikon 810/850 due to the specific super fast sensor. A7 III files are on different level than A9 in terms of DR.

  10. Thanks for sharing your experience with a9 Neil. Enjoyed it much.

    One thing while talking to Dynamic-range: Nikon D810 is a 36.3 MP camera where Sony a9 is only 24.2 MP camera, therefore, dynamic range in a9 would be lower, no?

  11. If you shoot in low light I recommend manual focus. It is really easy on a sony body because you have focus peaking & focus magnification assist.

  12. I recently sold my Nikon D600 and bought a Sony a7iii. I have a lot more dynamic range with the Sony raw files. Now I shoot landscapes 3 stops under exposed to get a great (real) sky and pull the shadows up 3 stops in post.

  13. G'day Neil, I have to say right off the bat, your review was fantastic. Not very many reviews keep me here until the end but i really enjoyed your honesty and more so I felt you were genuine in your aproach and had no intention at all to make Nikon look inferior. Welcome to the Sony family mate. I started way back when the a100 came out (yes it was a crappy camera) Still have it. Now I just got the a7iii – an upgrade from my a7s which I just love for astro work. Thanks for the entertaining video.

  14. The Sony are neck and neck with Nikons with the Dynamic range. It's just that the A9 isn't one of the top performers, and you'll also lose more dynamic range if you shoot high+ which automatically switches to compressed. The way I shoot with the A9 is just get the normal exposure since Sony's are the best performing when it comes to high ISO, and the A9 is also one of the best. Now if you really want that DR goodness of your Nikon, then that's when you go with the A7Riii or A7iii.


  16. Neil,
    I find Your exhaustive sharing to be kind and of exeptional quality. Thank You so much.
    I photographe since long with A7R II and III. Banding in silent shooting can here be a real issue (but I'm not prepared to lose half of resolution and pay more "for that" with an A9 mark I ).
    My question please: Wide open do the bokehs get softer (improove) when you switch to mechanical shutter (non-silent, including first shutter not electronic) ? Thank You !

  17. Great, clear info for people thinking to change over from DSLR to Mirrorless. Did the same myself Neil. Was a pro Nikon shooter for over 30 years and after buying the A6000 when it first came out i was smitten! Finally spent the big money on the A7Riii and four Sony G master lenses. Had to be done, no regrets..Thanks, a good watch!!

  18. Neil:

    Thank you for the video. I too am a former Nikon wedding shooter and just made the switch 3 weeks ago. It was very costly trading in my D850, D5 and all of my lenses to invest in the Sony system. The image quality is incredible and there are many advantages over DSLR. Your video helped reassure me that I made the correct decision to switch to the A9 for wedding photography.

  19. Great video. I was wondering what your clients and guests think about the silent shooting, I guess it's something new for them? They like the discretion and they feel the resulting images are more natural?

  20. Great video. Had a look at your website it looks amazing. What platform do you use as I use Wix and struggling with the seo features. Seen s few photographers with similar sites to yours. Head a few people say to use divi. Any advice would be amazing thankyou

  21. Good Day Neil! I hace Just saw your Last post in the magmod community and i could not resist to check your YouTube chanel. So far i subscribed and love it. Can i ask, which AF modes do you use for every part of a wedding? I also moved from nikon a couple of months ago and im still struggling a bit with that. Thanks! Cheers

  22. On the issue of having to switch settings for using flash, Couldn't you use one of the three memory settings on the knob to set it up for flash use? Then it would just be a matter of turning the knob. I don't have the a9 (yet) but I am for now, looking at the a7III and doing quite a bit of research. OCF is a big part of my style so this is something I'm really interested in.


  24. Great video Neil ! Just the video I needed to see to make the decision between getting a D850 or the Sony A9.. the Sony is the better wedding camera. Silent shooting and eye AF are the killer features plus the file size is more sensible and no SQD cards ! Thank you

  25. Great video Neil, I to was a Nikon shooter for 20 years and changed to Sony a few weeks ago I agree with all you said. Your work is truly amazing well done and wish you continued success.

  26. Great Review! Thank you very much. I also Switched to sony but i still have problems with the colours. Can i ask you,what did you do for this great kontrast Look with also real – non vsco- colours? My pictures

  27. Great review thanks. regarding the issue you mentioned when using flash triggers, you may already know now, but you can program a function button to "shot. result preview" and when activated will instantly show you the evf view to see your ambient when a trigger is fitted..

  28. I use it on my a7r2 programmed to the delete or focus hold. ( hope it’s on the a9)Makes life with flash so much easier. Hope it helps.

  29. Great video Neil on the Sony a9. I've owned the a9 since day one and it out performance the a7r3 and a73 when it comes to AF and much more. The Dynamic range is more than enough to get any job done. One thing that no one ever talks about is that the a9 is the only Sony camera that has no moving parts inside besides the main button to take photos. Yes, that means basically no maintenance. Believe me, I love the resolution on a7r3 but if you put the 90 macro on both cameras. You will not see that big of a difference straight out of camera unless you are a pixel peeper. A costumer will not see the difference at all. It's all about capturing that moment with gear that works.

  30. Hi Neil, I’ve been thinking about the sony a9 for a while. Came across your video. I think you might have me sold. 🙂 one question I have is your lens choice. I usually shoot weddings with a 35 1.4, 70-200 2.8 and a 24-70 2.8. What lens did you start out with. I know S make a GM 24-70 & 70-200 but I couldn’t find a GM 35. Would like to hear your thoughts. 🙂

  31. Thanks so much Neil for your great video about A9, I enjoyed it a lot!

    I love photography as a hobby and I would like to buy an A9 for my niece's wedding day. May I know do you have issues with flash as it is only 5 fps? I seldom take flash photos, but I think I need to use flash for indoor situations on the wedding day. Your advices will be highly appreciated. Thank you.

  32. I enjoyed the commentary – thanks. I'm not a professional but have taken about 15 weddings in the past few years (yep, lots of friends have benefited greatly!!). I've got an A9 on order mainly for other types of photography which I do but was interested to hear you went for the A9 for weddings (as opposed to the A7R iii or A7 iii which seem to be the more popular choice). I liked most of the photos you displayed in this video but what a humble guy you are – they are by no means your best! There are some shots on the website which are absolutely stellar. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    ps – you live near to my old stomping ground of Knutsford but now I live in Spain

  33. The A9 is very popular with the semi-pro enthusiast crowd. Yes, it has some great features and hope in next versions they find a way to improve the BANDING issue s that some images have. A better Menue system, please … (I tried one for a weekend) For me, I like more physical access controls like Nikon Canon and Fuji have and the slow writing to the card when shooting fast shots was unacceptable, not sure if it was the card or camera. Also, some speedlight shots were not working very low light ..but did not have enough time to try it out at the end. so my 1st try was a disappointment, might try again for a week and see if I warm up to it. Good review cheers 🙂

  34. A brilliant video and i am not into wedding photography lol,and those wedding shots look amazing.A video i really enjoyed watching,well done Neil – Thanks.

  35. Hi Neil. Very insightful video. Can I ask if all the images featured were taken using the a9? Thank you, James

  36. Another great video Neil, very informative. I'm currently waiting on a delivery of an A9 and A7iii and a couple of lenses to make my switch from Nikon (D800 +D750) and have been really worried about the whole OCF thing. It's nice to see that you have gone through this already and that you've made it work for you! I'm not looking forward to the transition tbh, but I cant wait to get comfortable with the new system!

  37. Amazing images as always Neil..your colors are so vibrant and rich…are you using a cloudy temperature setting to keep these consistent , or are you manually setting it depending on your conditions? Usually Sony is cooler in color renditions.Still easing into my Nikon to Sony transition…after so many years of using Nikon..and yess I believe I also did overshoot until I started using back button focus…a game changer for me used on Sony as well with the eye auto focus a win win! this weekend an intimate wedding also using Nikon and Sony…thanks for helping me out with this transition…a great and encouraging review…

  38. Interesting, needs to be a switch that your 100% comfortable with, some good points, I have only held off because of flash, I felt full size flash was quite bulky on a mirrorless, battery power you will need some extra batteries, and yes expensive switch, I guess you sell your old gear to make something back.

  39. We picked up the A9 after using Nikon for 20+ yrs. kept it for 2 months and sold in anticipation for the A9II. Glad we did as it’s even better. Can you share a preset or two that shows how you work with skin tones?

  40. Nearly 12months on from this review mate – Have any of their upgrades helped to solve the problems, like the dynamic range? Now the a9ii is out, I am having my head turned to the a9……again!!

  41. Great review. I'm a wedding photographer and was struggling to decide if I wanted to make the move from canon. You definitely sealed the deal for me.

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