α9 Focus Setting Guide

When shooting typical moving subjects using the α9 (ILCE-9), the following settings are recommended by default.

Recommended default settings

Focus Mode AF-C Focus mode dial
Focus Area * Flexible Spot: M [ ] 4 / 13 (AF1)
Priority Set in AF-C Balanced Emphasis [ ] 4 / 13 (AF1)
AF Track Sens * 3 (Standard) [ ] 5 / 13 (AF2)
Swt. V/H AF Area AF Point Only [ ] 4 / 13 (AF1)

* Recommended settings differ depending on the subject. Refer to the chart at the bottom.

Focus Mode: AF-C

When set to the AF-C (Continuous AF) mode, the camera continues to focus while the shutter button is pressed and held halfway down.

Focus Area: Flexible Spot M

When set to the Flexible Spot  , the camera allows you to move the focusing frame to the desired point on the screen and focus on a small subject in a narrow area. The size of the focusing frame can be selected. The medium size M is recommended for general use. Refer to the chart at the bottom for the setting for each subject.

  • Other settings

 Wide: Automatically focuses on a subject across the entire screen.

 Zone: After the user selects a focus zone on the monitor, the camera will automatically select the focus points.

 Center: Focuses automatically on the subject in the center of the image.

 Expand Flexible Spot: If the camera cannot focus on a single selected point, it flexibly uses focus points around the spot as a secondary priority area for focusing.

Priority Set in AF-C: Balanced Emphasis

Regarding whether to release the shutter even if the subject is not in focus, shoots with a balanced emphasis on both focusing and shutter release.

AF Track Sens: 3 (Standard)

When set to 5 (Responsive), the camera focuses responsively on subjects at different distances.

When set to 1 (Locked on), the camera keeps the focus on a specific subject even when other objects pass in front of the subject.

Standard 3 is recommended for general use. Refer to the chart at the bottom for the setting for each subject.

Difference between [1 (Locked on)] when using AF tracking sensitivity and [Lock-on AF]

[1 (Locked on)] is one of the settings in AF Track Sens (AF tracking sensitivity). In this setting, the camera keeps the focus on a specific subject when other objects pass in front of the subject.

On the other hand, the [Lock-on AF] and [Center Lock-on AF] functions on this camera allow the camera to shift the focusing frame in accordance with the subject's movement.

Although these names are similar, their functions are different. Please be sure to distinguish between them.

Swt. V/H AF Area: AF Point only

Switches the position of the focusing frame according to the orientation of the camera (horizontal/vertical). The [Focus Area] is fixed.

  • Other settings

Off: Does not switch the [Focus Area] or the position of the focusing frame based on the orientation of the camera (horizontal/vertical).

AF Point + AF Area: Switches both the [Focus Area] and the position of the focusing frame based on the orientation of the camera (horizontal/vertical).

Recommended autofocus settings chart for each subject

Ball games

Subject Focus Mode Focus Area Priority Set in AF-C AF Track Sens Swt. V/H AF Area
1st recommendation 2nd recommendation
Soccer, Football, Futsal AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 4 AF Point Only
Basketball AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Rugby AF-C Expand Flexible Spot Flexible Spot M Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
American football AF-C Expand Flexible Spot Flexible Spot M Balanced Emphasis 2 AF Point Only
Handball AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 4 AF Point Only
Tennis AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Volleyball AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only

Athletics / Track and field

Subject Focus Mode Focus Area Priority Set in AF-C AF Track Sens Swt. V/H AF Area
1st recommendation 2nd recommendation
Sprints (100 m~), Hurdles AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Javelin, Shot put AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Long jump, Triple jump AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
High jump, Pole vault AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Marathon AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only

Winter sports

Subject Focus Mode Focus Area Priority Set in AF-C AF Track Sens Swt. V/H AF Area
1st recommendation 2nd recommendation
Alpine skiing (near a gate, jump) AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Mogul AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Snowboarding (Halfpipe, Slalom) AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Ski jumping (front, side) AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Biathlon AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Short-track speed skating AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Speed skating AF-C Flexible Spot M Zone Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Figure skating (Singles, Pairs) AF-C Flexible Spot M Zone Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Ice hockey AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 4 AF Point Only
Curling AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 2 AF Point Only
Bobsleigh AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only

Motor sports

Subject Focus Mode Focus Area Priority Set in AF-C AF Track Sens Swt. V/H AF Area
1st recommendation 2nd recommendation
Car racing, Karting AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Motorcycling (on-road) AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Motocross AF-C Flexible Spot M Wide Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only

Other sports

Subject Focus Mode Focus Area Priority Set in AF-C AF Track Sens Swt. V/H AF Area
1st recommendation 2nd recommendation
Swimming AF-C Expand Flexible Spot Flexible Spot M Balanced Emphasis 1 (Locked on) to 2 AF Point Only
Cycle race AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Archery AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Canoeing AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 2 AF Point Only
Judo, Kendo AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Horseracing AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Equestrian events AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 2 AF Point Only
Speedboat racing AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Sepak takraw AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only

Non-sport categories

Subject Focus Mode Focus Area Priority Set in AF-C AF Track Sens Swt. V/H AF Area
1st recommendation 2nd recommendation
Trains and other railed vehicles AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Airplanes, Air shows AF-C Flexible Spot M Zone Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Wild birds AF-C Flexible Spot M Expand Flexible Spot Balanced Emphasis 3
(Standard)
AF Point Only
Wild animals AF-C Expand Flexible Spot Flexible Spot M Balanced Emphasis 2 AF Point Only