Field Review of the Sony a9 for Bird Photography

Published bird photographer and YouTuber Mark Smith loves his Nikon D850 and D500 cameras. So what does he think of the Sony a9 when it comes to capturing his flighty friends?

As a resident of Florida, Smith has a wide variety of birds to photograph year-round. This winter he has been busy testing out something a bit different than the Nikon DSLRs he is well trained with. In this video journal and first-impressions review, Smith is at work using the flagship Sony a9 camera and FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM lens. He addresses the common needs from any camera for photographing birds in flight as well as other unpredictable behavior, such as fast and accurate continuous autofocus, and solid resolving power to capture fine feather detail. Smith also goes on to credit the unique features that the Sony offers over his trusted Nikons.

Below is some additional video coverage on how Smith used the Sony a9 and 100-400mm combo for bird photography.

This spring and summer, Smith’s appreciation is likely only going to grow larger as Sony launches firmware versions 5.0 and 6.0 for the a9 camera. The 5.0 update launching in March will introduce the new Real-time Tracking mode with AI-based subject recognition. In the summer, firmware update 6.0 will be massive for wildlife photographers: Eye AF for animals will finally be a reality.

If you’re interested to see more of Smith’s incredible bird photography, check out his YouTube channel.

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