Street photography is similar to wildlife photography. Instead of capturing wild animals in their natural state in the savanna you are capturing humans in their natural state in urban environments. Sony cameras are ideal for street photography, and the α9 brings some tremendous advantages for street photography. Beyond extraordinary autofocus systems, the Sony α9 from Beachcamera.com offers fast burst shooting with silent shutter. This allows you to capture great micro-expressions since you can’t tell your subject to pose and smile. Now Sony α9 gains powerful new autofocus capabilities and more through Firmware Version 5.0 update.
Shooting with a small camera and shooting from the hip are ways to become much more discreet when shooting street photography. The best things about the α9 for street photography are the fact that you can use a discreet silent shutter, that you have AF coverage over most of the frame, and it’s easy to shoot at hip level. You’re relying on truly automatic autofocus to hopefully grab the right subject, often aided by a good face detect system. Sony touts real time tracking AF with the Sony α9 firmware 5.0 upgrade for Windows or Mac. While you could previously track a person’s face/eye with an eye-AF button press, it required you to hold down the button while also pressing the shutter button. In a frame with multiple faces, it wasn’t always easy to designate which person should be the focus. Real time tracking allows for very solid tracking of any subject, and if you initiate focus on a person, whether on their face or anyplace on their body, the camera will intelligently recognize that your subject is a person and will attempt to track their face and eye.
Additionally, street photography brings its own technical challenges. You’re shooting in dynamic environments, you may be moving, and your subject may be moving. Firmware version 5.0 for the Sony α9 adds Sony’s newly-developed, AI-driven Real-time Tracking mode for precise and robust subject tracking. Real-time Tracking uses Sony’s latest AF algorithm—which includes Artificial Intelligence-based object recognition—to detect and follow subjects with unprecedented accuracy. Real-time Tracking AF works in conjunction with Real-time Eye AF, also added with Firmware version 5.0. The latest iteration of Sony’s best-in-class Eye AF technology, Real-time Eye AF also uses AI-based object recognition, resulting in an unprecedented level of speed and performance for locking on and holding focus on a subject’s eyes. Additionally, with Real-time Eye AF, users can now activate eye detection via a half-press of the shutter release, and can enjoy focus tracking accuracy even if a subject’s eyes are temporarily obscured during shooting.
Sony is also announcing the release of Imaging Edge mobile application, the successor to the PlayMemories Mobile application. This enables remote control of the camera using a smartphone, and automatic transfer of images to the smartphone while recording. For professional photographers, Sony is also releasing a new mobile application ‘Transfer & Tagging add-on’ that supports instant delivery workflow by allowing users to transfer content to their mobile devices via the camera’s FTP background transfer functionality. It also enables voice input for text captioning to streamline overall workflow between photographers and other team members. Compatibility with ‘Transfer & Tagging add-on’ is exclusive to Sony’s α9 camera from Beachcamera.com. With the release of the newest firmware version 5.0, Sony’s α9 camera has capabilities and features that make the camera really stand out for street photography.