The event on November 8 and 9 has been teased by Sony Japan, which has called it a “special event” where we’ll be able to “experience the latest mirrorless α [Alpha] and lenses”. That’s about it on details so far, but informed speculation from the reliable Sony Alpha Rumors has potentially filled in the gaps.
The site says there’s now a “90% chance” that the Sony A9 III will be announced at the event. That’s a big deal for sports photographers and anyone who wants a glimpse of the future of high-speed photography, as it’s previously been tipped by Sony Alpha Rumors to be the “world’s fastest full-frame camera”
The current A9 II is Sony’s flagship sports camera and its successor is expected to deliver a new 44MP full-frame stacked sensor that offers a burst-shooting speed of 26fps. That’s rapid for a full-frame camera and could make it a highly coveted tool for sports snappers at next year’s Paris 2024 Olympics.
Some slightly more wild speculation suggests that the event teaser is hinting at a new autofocus feature for the A9 III, with the 3D dotted map pointing towards depth-tracking AF. While mentions of Lidar autofocus feel like a slight stretch, Sony is likely to give the A9 III its best autofocus-tracking system yet – so we’re looking forward to seeing exactly what that is.
The event is also likely to see the launch of a premium sports lens to go alongside the A9 III. We saw leaked images of a Sony 300mm f/2.8 GM back in August, so this will almost certainly arrive on November 8 as well, complete with a hefty price tag.
What about the Sony A1 II?
While the Sony A9 III is an exciting camera given the series’ history of trailblazing tech, some fans might be disappointed that there’s still no news on the launch of a Sony A1 II.
The original Sony A1 was an incredible all-rounder for well-heeled photographers and videographers when it arrived in January 2021. But it’s been controversially left behind by more recent cameras that have lower price tags, leaving some to question whether it’s worth investing in such a high-end camera for the long-term.
Well, it seems that Sony has been listening and may be showing the A1 series some love at its November Alpha event in the form of a big firmware update. We don’t yet know exactly which features are coming to the A1 (and potentially other cameras like the A7S III), but it will likely be brought up to parity with newer models like the Sony ZV-E1 in some areas like autofocus and menus.
That would be a wise move from Sony, considering the Sony A1 II is seemingly unlikely to launch until well into 2024 and the current A1 has been undercut by some of the best Sony cameras we’ve seen this year, including the Sony A7R V.
Sony hasn’t yet revealed the timings for its event on November 8 and 9, but we’ll bring you those as soon as they’re announced. If you’re in New York, you can also head down to the free Creative Space event that’s scheduled for the same dates –while there’s no guarantee that an A9 III will be there, it’ll be one of the best places to grill Sony’s experts about the camera if it does indeed launch.