Sony a9 vs Nikon D5 at the Pure FC MMA Matches Oshkosh, Wisconsin

I was asked to test a Sony a9 for use in Action Sports awhile back by the good people at the Helix Camera in Itasca,Illinois. So last week when shooting the Pure Fighting Championship matches in Oshkosh, Wisconsin it was time to fire that bad boy up. I tried my to capture some images with the Sony a9 paired with a 2.8/24-70 mixed with images captured with the Nikon D5 2.8 /24-70mm.

First up ….Few Sony pic’s;

Above Sony ARW files straight out of camera (Obliviously when converted to jpg there’s some processing taking place from the orginal Raw ARD files) .

ISO F-lenght f/ Shutter W-Balance

8000 54mm 3.2 1/1250 3300

Not sure what focusing menu I was using at this particular time as I was somewhat swicthing throught various focusing options during the night. At the end of the night I was using;

——Lock-on AF: Flexible Spot L ——

Below Nikon Nef files straight out of camera (Obliviously when converted to jpg there’s some processing taking place from the orginal Raw Nef files) Click on image to view in a lightbox.

ISO F-lenght f/ Shutter W-Balance

6400 35mm 3.5 1/1250 3800

These were somewhat early in the evening , as the night progress and with different skin tones there was some 1/3 stop tweaking in most setting. There was probably a 3/4 to 1 stop drop-off from center of cage to against the cage.

Some first impressions ;

  • The Nikon menu’s after all these years are second nature so I spend a few hours to get a feel for navigating around the Sony a9 and its pretty easy from what I have seen. There’s so many focusing options (which is a good thing) that it will take a few gigs to wrap my mind around selecting best focusing option. But I’m really pleased on the tact sharp images captured shooting through the cage;

  • Love the button placement on the a9;

  • I have never been a “spray and play “ shooter in the past but during the test, shooting burst’s was amazing. Something about the silent shutter and no blackout makes those bursts pretty much fun. I belive there’s going some great boxing and MMA gif’s in my future;

  • Sony a9 $4k Nikon D5 $6K I have been by spoiled by battery life on the D5 and was pleasantly surprized by the battery life on the a9;

  • For the Action Sports shooting I was doing the Sony a9 lives up the hype , it delivered what I needed and more;

  • Only negative that comes to mine is with D5’s I ‘m able to tag files that are ones to be posted by “locking” them. This way they easy to retreive before leaving event, Sony need’s that feature for Action Sports photogs. A work around will be using the 2019 Camranger that will be released. I take to Dave at Camranger and the next release of Camranger will support the a9.

During the next couple of weeks , I have a amature boxing event schuduled on 11/16 , Pro boxing Weigh-In 11/20 -Fight night 11/21-MMA Weigh-in 11/23 MMA Fight night 11/24. This will give the opportunity to be more familar with a9 and take more detailed notes on using the camera for Action Sports.

Support Chi-town Boxing and MMA ………..Tomba