This camera can LITERALLY stop bullets in midair

Diego Gonzalez Souto shows a Sony A9 III stopping bullets in midair
(Image credit: Diego Gonzalez Souto)

There’s fast, and then there’s fast, and then there’s Sony A9 III fast – which is literally faster than a bullet firing out of a gun. 

I've been using this incredible new camera this week, and there are a ridiculous amount of cool things to say about it (you can hear me say them in my Sony A9 III review). However, the coolest thing is something that pro photographer Diego Gonzalez Souto showed me: the camera can stop bullets in midair, just like Neo in the Matrix.

You hear a spec like 1/80,000 sec shutter speed and it just doesn’t mean anything. It's so incomprehensible that it simply has no context. Even 120fps burst shooting loses all sense when most people have never shot about 20. Now, however, we have context that our brains can understand.

Souto was showing off some of the shots he's taken of athletes and sportspeople using the A9 III, and two of them jumped right out to me – photographs of marksmen firing bullets, captured in super slow-motion.

(Image credit: Diego Gonzalez Souto)

I've been to press events where other manufacturers have let us use their best professional cameras to photograph subjects like archers firing arrows, but can these other cameras literally stop a bullet – with the full-frame, frame-by-frame discharge of gases, the pellet disintegrating, and the buckshot dispersing? 

It's this sort of thing that the ridiculous shutter speed and global readout of the Sony A9 III make possible. Is it something that anyone is going to need to photograph LeBron James sitting at his locker during a media scrum? No. How about him driving to the basket for a breakaway dunk? Probably not. 

However, when you see cases like this, you realize not just how powerful the camera is, but the potential for capturing not just the moment but the moments between the moments. 

The A9 III is a very, very special camera. And my hat is off to Sony for achieving some incredible new feats of engineering – and also to Diego, for showing us what's possible with them.

(Image credit: Diego Gonzalez Souto)

It goes without saying that the A9 III is one of the best Sony cameras. You might be interested in the best Sony Black Friday deals, as well as the best Black Friday camera deals overall. 

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.