Sony SLT A99

Released October, 2012
  • 24 MP
  • Full frame 35.8 x 24 mm EXMOR
  • 3" LCD
Sony is certainly confident about it, suggesting that it's close enough to the quality of a high-end optical viewfinder that the advantages (the ability to preview exposure and white balance, or to gain-up for working in low light), outweigh the areas in which it isn't as good.
by DPReview (Dec, 2012)
9.2 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Sony SLT A99

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

SLT A99
10.0
Nikon D800
10.0
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

SLT A99
6.6
focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

SLT A99
10.0
Nikon D800
10.0
continuous shooting

Reviews

What do the experts think?

SLT A99
9.2
Reviews from sonyalpharumors.com, imaging-resource.com, techradar.com and 5 more

9.2

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

SLT A99
9.2

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Sony SLT A99

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

SLT A99
1,555 ISO
Nikon D800
2,979 ISO
Nikon D610
2,925 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

SLT A99
2,900 LPH
DSLR-A850
2,150 LPH
Alpha NEX-6
2,300 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

SLT A99
127 ms
Nikon D610
260 ms
Alpha NEX-6
257 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

SLT A99
700 ms
SLT A77
3,100 ms
Alpha NEX-6
2,000 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

SLT A99
6 fps
SLT A77
12 fps
SLT A77 II
12 fps

Battery life How many photos per battery charge (CIPA)

SLT A99
500 photos
EOS 5D Mark III
950 photos
Nikon D800
900 photos

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Sony SLT A99


8.4
With a CIPA standard capacity of 410 shots using the EVF, it provides less than half the shooting capacity of the A99's rivals; a direct consequence of having to support full-time live view.

9.0
As with Live View, continuous phase-detection AF is possible whilst shooting movies on the A99, a distinct advantage over most DSLR cameras and fast enough to rival Compact System Cameras like the Panasonic Lumix GH series.

8.3
In addition to the complete set of essential features for a pro camera, the A99V has a couple of unique features for this class, including built-in GPS (which strains the already lackluster battery life a bit), in-camera image stabilization (both Canon and Nikon use lens-based IS), and a built-in stereo microphone (which is nice to have in a pinch).

7.0
In addition, the in-camera HDR system is very effective, producing subtle effects at the lower settings and overtly HDR results when set to its 6EV maximum.

Overall

8.4 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Sensor

The Sony A99 can shoot full-resolution 24.3 megapixel pictures at up to 6fps whilst maintaining continuous auto focus and auto exposure, an impressively fast rate for a full-frame camera.
by Photography Blog (Jan, 2013)
You can shoot Raw images in the 8 fps mode, whereas the faster 10 fps mode is JPEG-only.
by DPReview (Dec, 2012)
Having a full-frame sensor gives the 24.3 million pixels a bit more room, and this enables the Sony Alpha a99 to capture high quality images with lots of detail - especially in raw files.
by TechRadar (Nov, 2012)

Focus

Despite the tons of technological R&D it sounds like Sony put into the autofocus system, I didn't feel always feel the magic.
by c|net (Mar, 2013)
Interestingly, the Sony Alpha a99 actually uses two AF sensors, one in the usual location above the mirror-box with 19 AF points (11-cross type) and the other with 102 points over the image sensor itself.
by TechRadar (Nov, 2012)
The ability to use this dedicated sensor at all times means that the A99 offers full DSLR-style autofocus in live view, so the shooting experience is fast and responsive regardless of whether you use the viewfinder or the rear screen (something no conventional DSLR can claim).
by DPReview (Dec, 2012)

Lens

In the examples below we compare a 2x zoom using both Clear Image and standard zoom options and are hard pressed to find significant difference between them.
by DPReview (Dec, 2012)
The lens was set to manual focus and at the end of the clip the lens is purposely set to the minimum focus distance to demonstrate bokeh rendition at its widest aperture.
by DPReview (Dec, 2012)
We much prefer the convenience and greater range of options provided by having this control in the camera as opposed to using the much more basic lens switch.
by DPReview (Dec, 2012)

Viewfinder

It's worth pointing out though that the A99 sports the same 2.4M dot resolution OLED 'Tru-Finder' EVF whose performance we found so impressive in our NEX-7 review.
by DPReview (Dec, 2012)
Although it's not perfect, the electronic viewfinder is very good, and we would urge skeptics to take a look at it to see what the future holds.
by TechRadar (Nov, 2012)
The inclusion of an EVF may not be to everyone's taste, but from a practical standpoint makes for equivalent operational experience whether you're shooting with the camera at eye-level or at arm's length using the rear LCD.
by DPReview (Dec, 2012)

Screen

The groove to access the screen is large, and the hinge moves freely, the key to its easy mechanism.
by TrustedReviews (Sep, 2012)
Quick Navi becomes a sixth display option for the rear display and, once made available in the menu, can be engaged by cycling through the display modes using DISP (we'd like to see it accessed from the Fn button).
by DPReview (Dec, 2012)
Studio photographers who use flash will appreciate the ability to toggle exposure simulation on and off via the 'Live View Display Setting Effect' option.
by DPReview (Dec, 2012)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

Type EXMOR
Megapixels 24 MP
Resolution 6000 x 4000
Size Full frame
Area 35.8 x 24 mm
Crop factor 1.0x
Pixel size 35.8 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 25,600 ISO
Codecs
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,900 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,900 LPH

focus system

Type Phase detection
Focus points 19
Cross type focus points 11
Supports continuous Yes

shutter

Min 30 s
Max 1/8000 s

form factor

Size 147 x 111 x 78 mm
Thickness 78 mm
Weight 812 g
Is weather sealed Yes

features

Includes a GPS Yes
Supports HDR Yes
WiFi None
Automatic panorama Yes
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization Sensor shift

video

Video 1920 x 1080 @ 60 fps (17 Mbps, AVCHD, MPEG-4)
Shoots video in 24p Yes
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack 3.5mm
Autofocus while shooting video Phase detection
Autofocus type Phase detection
Autofocus supports continuous Yes

display

Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 1,229 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen Yes
Supports live view Yes

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror Translucent
Viewfinder Viewfinder
Type Electronic
Coverage 100%
Magnification 0.71x
Viewfinder size 0.71x
Display type OLED
Display resolution 2,360 k dots

performance

Max continuous shooting 6 fps
Battery life 500 photos
Continuous shooting 6 fps
Focus lag 127 ms
Startup delay 700 ms
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