New Sony flagship camera, A9, launched at P239,999 in PH

MANILA, Philippines – Sony launched its new flagship full-frame mirrorless camera, the A9, for P239,999 or roughly $4,790 (body only) in the Philippine market. The camera was launched on Tuesday, June 20, at the Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. 

In the US, the A9 (body only) was launched at $4,500 last May.

The A9 follows the A7 series, and sidesteps the A7RII and the A7SII as the most powerful and most expensive in Sony's full-frame mirrorless lineup.

First unveiled back in April, the A9 features a 24.2-megapixel 35mm sensor, a new Bionz X processor, an autofocus (AF) system with 693 phase detection points with 93% frame coverage, and built-in 5 axis image stabilization. The amount of phase detection points and level of frame coverage helps photographers find focus wherever the subject may be within the frame. 

The A9 also features rapid continuous shooting at 20 frames-per-second (fps) and more importantly, it's blackout-free. Most cameras, even professional DSLRs, "black out" for a fraction of a second with every frame taken during continuous shooting mode. Sony touts the A9's ability to shoot photos continuously without that blacking-out effect caused by the shutter mechanism of a camera – and looks as if you're merely taking a video. 

The A9's shutter speed maxes out at 1/32000, great for freezing high-speed action. 

By comparison, the Sony A7RII – formerly one of the most expensive in Sony's mirrorless line launched at P154,999 along with the A7SII at P164,999 – has 399 phase detection points and a continuous shooting speed of 5 fps. The Sony A7RII has the megapixel advantage with its 42MP sensor. Both have 5-axis image stabilization.

The A9 shoots 4K videos (3,840 X 2,160 pixels), and 1080p with slow-motion capture at 120fps. The A9 also has two SD card slots, the first time the feature appears in a full-frame Sony mirrorless – and a feature that many pros have been looking for. Another pro-feature: an Ethernet port (wired LAN terminal) that allows for fast transfer of still images to a specified FTP server, great for those that require urgent transferring or publication of images.

The A9 continues Sony's aim to lure more users who prefer DSLR cameras. The body of mirrorless cameras are smaller than DSLRs. The A9 maintains this size advantage, while adding a number of new features that should appeal to a certain sector of pro photographers – some of which just might be lured away from their long-established DSLR sytems. –

Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.