Sony Alpha Rumors is in possession of an odd “leaked” photo of the anticipated new A9 variant coming out next Tuesday. Its skepticism is such that it included “Fake leak?…” in its headline. If the image is real (less than likely), it would suggest it will have the back of an A7s III, including its tilty/flippy screen, and the top of an A9, including its forest of dials.

Details from the “leaker’s” message to SAR indicate that the camera’s sensor will handle 8k video, but indicated the fastest stills shutter rates prevent full resolution. It does say that it will offer 20 FPS with 14-bit data. Currently, the A9 II offers only 12-bit data at that frame rate.

The message also indicated that it will sport a CFexpress Type A card slot, along with a UHS-II SD card slot. As CFexpress Type A has exactly half the theoretical throughput as the Type B version seen in other cameras, such as the Canon R5, this makes 8k video tricky. Most CFexpress Type B cards on offer are not rated as fast enough to handle the Canon’s 8k video. To allow that on the Sony A9 III on a card with half the throughput, Sony would likely have to have a very clever codec to squish video files into a manageable size. Sony does have a reputation for being more clever – certainly than Canon – at codec development and use. It is also currently the only manufacturer of Type A cards.

Strongly suggesting a faked photo are the following factors:

  • It combines two known product images on a white background, making it a likely design for a lazy photoshopper.
  • The blur is introduced deliberately in post, rather than via the way it was shot. Real leaks often come blurred due to the nature of how they’re taken: often with surreptitious, quick shots from cell phones. If this picture is shrunk to its natural size, where the pixelation goes away, it is still blurry.
  • The shot uses at least two artificial light sources (probably a third to blow out the background). Such a setup requires time and attention, and is not the sort of thing one would expect with a quick-and-dirty sneak pic. If it were a product shot that was stolen, one wouldn’t expect it to be blurred deliberately afterward.