Sony a9 wildlife photography settings

The all-new Sony a9 can surely be counted as one of Sony’s best cameras ever made. You are certainly going to be stunned by its ‘silent shutter’ feature, no matter whether you are a novice or pro. Ok, in addition, the camera also has a full-frame back-illuminated 24.2MP stacked CMOS sensor along with a 20 fps burst recording.

Now, when it comes to using this beast for photographs of wildlife, you probably have to play with its camera settings for a while. Will it feel like a difficult task? Don’t worry, we’ll show you the best settings for Sony a9 wildlife photography here, to make the whole process a little simpler.

Step 1.Shooting in RAW mode

Sony a9 wildlife photography - raw mode

Wildlife photography by Sony a9, raw mode
When you try your hands on the Sony a9 wildlife photography, shooting in RAW mode is always recommended. Shooting in the wild still comes with a list of challenges, such as poor lighting levels, and this is a smart idea to drive the brightness up.

The versatility of selecting between Compressed and Uncompressed RAW is provided by Sony a9. Therefore, if you shoot in continuous mode, it is strongly recommended to choose the ‘Compressed’ option, as the RAW files are normally smaller in size and allow the camera to clear the buffer faster. Furthermore, the blast will also last at maximum pace for a long time.

Now that you shoot in RAW format, you also don’t need to think about innovative design settings (color profiles) that only apply to JPGs.

Step 2.Activate the APS-C mode

Sony a9 wildlife photography - APS - C mode

APS-C mode Sony a9 wildlife photography
The Sony a9 APS-C capture mode helps you to capture some stunning images, even from a distance, of your subject. So, no matter if you take those awesome shots of the running Hyena or a Soaring Eagle, you will still be sure to get the best picture.

The APS-C mode uses the most critical part of the sensor to collect the images, and this is where a 1.5x crop has a similar effect. Even, bear in mind that cropping the sensor will minimize the resolution, and this is where you have to deal with the APS-C mode wisely.

Step 3.Use SteadyShot

Sony a9 wildlife photography - steadyshot

Steadyshot Sony a9 Nature Photography
When you are trying to catch the right picture with Sony a9 wildlife photography, SteadyShot or image stabilization will play a crucial role. When you shoot with long focal lengths, the shot can be interrupted by even a small motion of your hand or arms. In addition, when the subject is static, it also allows you to prevent motion blur and get the desired shot.

In addition, the stabilization can be previewed in the EVF after half-pressing the shutter button while retaining the SteadyShot as working. Now that’s something that can help you a lot by using a long focal length to frame your subject.

Step 4.Adjusting the shutter speed

Sony a9 wildlife photography - shutter speed

Wildlife photography from Sony a9, shutter speed
The general rule followed by experts says that for Sony a9 wildlife shooting, the importance of shutter speed must be reciprocal to the focal length you are using. For eg, if you have a 600mm lens, you can keep the speed of the shutter at or above 1/600.

Now, the law is definitely beneficial at times, but it also does not take into account the rotation of the subject or the total effect of the stabilization of the image. Therefore, if the subject is not moving or its action is very slow, it is often advised to maintain the shutter speed at 1/500.

In addition, it is often advisable to maintain the shutter speed above 1/1000s if the subject is going any faster.


Wildlife photography is all about fighting adverse weather and the climate, and you have to have a powerful lens that fits the task correctly. It is also strongly recommended to go with the Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS or FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS.

They not only have a weather-resistant build, but they have handy switches on the sides to allow you to quickly adjust the focus and stabilization modes of the shot. In addition to that, two focus keep buttons also come with the lenses.

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