Testing the Sony a9 on the Wiggle #6amseries run
I've a good bit of experience running with cameras. I've lost a few along the way - in fact there's one buried in the dunes of the Sahara somewhere after the Marathon des Sables.
Wiggle launched their #6amseries with an early shakeout along the Thames recently and I was briefed to run with the group & capture imagery for release that day. I'm a Nikon man 80% of the time, but this provided the perfect opportunity to test out the groundbreaking Sony a9 system, which I like to think they developed for me alone. 20fps, mirrorless, lightning fast focus and lightweight.
When it comes to shooting moving things whilst also moving relatively quickly, you need to be uber comfortable with your camera. Carrying a DSLR & two lenses (wide and telephoto) isn't an option. Your choice of lens needs to reflect (or will dictate) what you're shooting without hindering pace. You need to be able to get ahead of the subject, frame and shoot. No faffing, reviewing or re-shooting, just complete trust that you've got the shot(s) and move on.
I pre-set focus zone to wide, continuous on high burst with Auto ISO (the light was changeable) and Shutter priority at 1/800s to guarantee frozen movement and tore through a 64Gb in 20 mins. I hadn't realised it wouldn't switch straight to 2nd memory card when full so had to select that after missing a few important shots, but lesson learned.
One of the USP's with the a9 is the ability to crop in on RAW shots afterward without sacrificing quality, meaning if you have to shoot wider than preferred you're ok. The RAW files are peachy, the focus only let me down on a few shots as the system for manually selecting the area within the focus zone isn't as intuitive as the Nikon (fiddly dial).
Paired with the 24-70 f2.8 I didn't feel slowed whilst running and had it in my hand the entire time despite wearing a Salomon race vest to pack it away if needed.
I'd fully switch to the Sony system if I had £10k+ spare, but for now Direct Digital provide the goods with immaculate service.
Thanks to Wiggle & Brandnation for bringing me along.