Sony a9 Set-Up (General for Sports and News)
Last Update July 8, 2017 – With a9 firmware 1.01
Looking for my quick set-up for your a9 read my quick set-up blog linked here.
When moving to Sony Cameras from another brand, the learning curve can be steep. This page is intended for first-time users of the Sony a9 to get you set up and shooting quickly. As you dig into the menu system, you will find that the a9’s buttons can be can be set-up to your shooting styles needs.
If a menu item is not mentioned, it is because it is not an essential one to the basic configuration I use. For those wanting more detail, you can get the Sony a9 manual in pdf form from Sony linked here.
Buttons and Dials
Exposure Mode Dial
Custom Function Buttons
Remember all these features can be viewed through the Electronic View Finder (EVF). The EVF has 3,686,000 dot resolution with ZEISS T* Coating so reviewing images is preferable and setting of menus is not only easier in all lighting conditions it preferable over the rear LCD which has a 1,440,000 dot resolution screen.
Drive Mode Dial
Note: 20fps can be attained when:
Focus Mode: AF-C
Continuous Shooting: Hi
Shutter type: Auto or Electronic Shutter
Shutter speed: 1/125 – 1/32000
Aperture value: f/11 or smaller
Image Size: Large
Quality: JPEG – Fine and/or Compressed RAW File
The Lens Used: For a list of 20 fps capable lenses, please see the link here.
The Sony a9 Manual Notes:
The number of shots available for continuous shooting can be affected by some factors, including the subject, camera settings (image size and ISO sensitivity, high ISO noise reduction, use of lens compensation (distortion compensation), and the recording media used.
Focus Mode Dial
Note: In Manual Focus the image will magnify in the viewfinder to assist with precision focusing. A great feature when trying to set-up remote cameras.
Multi Selector (#1 Below) – “Joy Stick” – Move Focus Area (Default Setting)
Control Wheel (#2 Below) – Eye Focus Center (Default Setting)
Memory Card Slots
The a9 has two memory card slots:
The a9 comes with the new Menu system. It will look familiar to other Sony cameras but has added features.
Camera Settings 1 (Red Camera Icon1)
Tab 1/13 Quality/Image Size1
Tab 2/13 Quality/Image Size2
Tab 3/13 Shoot Mode/Drive
Tab 4/13 AF1
What AF settings do I use? Since Photojournalism and Sports photography is usually of people not in a static position, I will use AF-C and Lock-on AF Flexible Spot and set that to either Small, Medium or Large area depending on my subject. Once focus has been acquired, I can track a face or an eye.
Tab 5/13 AF2
Tab 6/13 AF3
Tab 7/13 Exposure1
Tab 8/13 Exposure Mode2
Tab 9/13 Flash
Tab 10/13 Color/WB/Img. Processing
Tab 11/13 Focus Assist
Tab 12/13 Focus Assist2
Tab 13/13 Face Detection/Shoot Assist
Camera Settings 2 ( Purple Camera Icon2)
Tab 1/9 Movie1
Tab 2/9 Movie2
Tab 3/9 Movie 3
Tab 4/9 Shutter/Steady Shot
See the note on Electronic Shutter above in how to set the a9 to shoot 20fps.
Tab 5/9 Zoom
Tab 6/9 Display/Auto Review1
Tab 7/9 Display/Auto Review2
Tab 8/9 Custom Operation1
Custom Key (Shoot) Page 2
Custom Key (Shoot) Page 3
Custom Key (PB)
Tab 9/9 Custom Operation2
Settings Menu (Green Globe Icon)
I plan on doing a separate section on the a9’s abilities to share images wired and wirelessly.
Tab 1/3 Network1
Tab 3/3 Network3
Settings Menu 4 (Blue Playback Icon)
Tab 1/3 Playback1
Tab 2 Playback2
Tab 3 Playback3
Settings Menu 5 (Brown Toolbox Icon)
Tab 1/7 Setup1
Tab 2/7 Setup2
Tab 3/7 Setup3
Tab 4/7 Setup4
Tab 5/7 Setup5
Tab 6/7 Setup6
Tab 7/7 Setup7
Settings Menu 6 (Gray Star Icon)
Focus Settings – Look through the viewfinder and Point the cursor at the desired object to start the focus tracking. You can change the Focus Area using the control wheel setting to start tracking using the left/right sides of the control wheel. You can also move the tracking start area to the desired point by designating the area as a zone, flexible spot or expand flexible spot.