Sony a9 wildlife photography settings

Sony a9 Wildlife Photography

The all-new Sony a9 can certainly be deemed as one of the best cameras ever made by Sony. No matter if you are a beginner or pro, you are surely going to be stunned by its ‘silent shutter’ feature. Well, besides that, the camera also boasts a 24.2MP full-frame back-illuminated stacked CMOS sensor along with a burst shooting of 20 fps.

Now, when it comes to using this beast for wildlife photography, you certainly have to play a bit with its camera settings. Seems like a daunting task? Need not to worry as here we bring you the best settings for Sony a9 wildlife photography, to make the whole process, a bit easier.

Step 1.

Shooting in RAW mode

Sony a9 wildlife photography - raw mode
Sony a9 wildlife photography – raw mode

Shooting in RAW mode is always recommended when you are trying your hands at Sony a9 wildlife photography. Shooting in the wild always comes with a list of issues like low lighting conditions and this is where pushing the exposure up is a great idea.

Sony a9 offers you the flexibility of choosing between Compressed and Uncompressed RAW. So, if you are shooting in continuous mode, it is highly advisable to use the ‘Compressed ‘option, as the RAW files are generally smaller in size and allow the camera to clear up the buffer in a faster manner. Additionally, the burst would also last for long at full speed.

Now, as you are shooting in RAW mode, you also need not worry about the creative style settings (color profiles) that are applicable to JPGs only.

Step 2.

Activate the APS-C mode

Sony a9 wildlife photography - APS - C mode
Sony a9 wildlife photography – APS – C mode

APS-C capture mode in the Sony a9 allows you to capture some breathtaking images of your subject, even from a distance. So, no matter if you are capturing some stunning shots of that running Hyena or a Flying Eagle, you can always stay assured of getting the best shot.

The APS-C mode uses the most central portion of the sensor to capture the images and this is where it offers a similar impact of a 1.5x crop. Still, stay aware of the fact that cropping the sensor would lessen the resolution and this is where you must play wisely with the APS-C mode.

Step 3.

Use SteadyShot

Sony a9 wildlife photography - steadyshot
Sony a9 wildlife photography – steadyshot

SteadyShot or Image stabilization can play a vital role while you are trying to capture the perfect image with Sony a9 wildlife photography. As you are shooting with long focal lengths, even a slight movement of your hand or arms can disturb the image. Moreover, it also helps you to avoid motion blur and get that desired image when the subject is static.

Also, while keeping the SteadyShot as active, the stabilization can be previewed in the EVF after half-pressing the shutter button. Now that is something that can help you big time while framing your subject using a long focal length.

Step 4.

Adjusting the shutter speed

Sony a9 wildlife photography - shutter speed
Sony a9 wildlife photography – shutter speed

The general rule followed by experts says that the value of shutter speed must be reciprocal to the focal length you are using for Sony a9 wildlife photography. For example, if you are bringing a 600mm lens in use, you should keep the shutter speed at 1/600 or above.

Now, the rule is certainly helpful at times but it still doesn’t take the movement of the subject or overall impact of the image stabilization into consideration. Hence, it is always recommended to keep the shutter speed at 1/500 in case the subject is not moving or their movement is quite slow.

Moreover, if the subject is moving quite faster, it is always advisable to keep the shutter speed above 1/1000s.

Step 4.

Use an effective lens

Wildlife photography is all about combating adverse weather and surroundings and you got to have an effective lens that serves rightly to the purpose. Hence, going with Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS or FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS is highly recommended.

Not only they boast a weather-resistant design, but they also got handy switches on the sides to let you easily control the image focus and stabilization modes. Besides that, the lenses also come with two focus hold buttons.

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