Sony Alpha 99 Ilse Jurriën : September 12th 2012 - 12:30 CET
Sony Alpha SLT-A99 Full Frame system camera : Sony’s long awaited Alpha 99 digital camera sets a new performance standard for professional-class DSLRs, combining all of the benefits of full-frame imaging with the responsiveness and speed of Translucent Mirror Technology. The successor to Sony’s flagship the A900 DSLR, the SLT-A99 camera features a brand new 24.3 MP full-frame image sensor, a unique dual phase-detect AF system and a host of other innovative technologies that work together to deliver the best image and full HD video quality in the history of Sony’s acclaimed line of Alpha cameras.
24.3 megapixel Sony Alpha 99 camera
The flagship Sony Alpha 99 model combines its new 24.3 effective megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor with a highly advanced BIONZ image processing engine, delivering unprecedented levels of performance in both still and video shooting. The full frame sensor in the Sony Alpha 99 is enhanced by a newly-developed separate multi-segment optional low-pass filter, increasing its resolving power. Assisted by an all-new front-end LSI, the BIONZ engine can process massive amounts of image signal data from the sensor at very high speeds. Together with a powerful new area-specific noise reduction (NR) algorithm, it allows to the Sony A99 camera to achieve 14-bit RAW output, rich gradation and low noise. The evolved BIONZ processor also gives the Sony Alpha 99 DSLR camera a maximum sensitivity range (in expanded sensitivity mode) as wide as ISO50 - 25600 - a range of nine stops. Its unprecedented processing power enables the camera to shoot a burst of images at up to six frames per second at full resolution or up to 10 fps in Tele-zoom high speed shooting mode.
Dual AF system of the Sony Alpha 99
The new Sony Alpha 99 digital camera features a unique dual AF system, a world’s first for digital cameras. This camera’s main focusing system - a 19-point AF system with 11 cross sensors - is complemented by a 102-point focal plane phase-detection AF sensor overlaying the main image sensor. Harnessing the power of Translucent Mirror Technology, light is passed to both phase-detection AF sensors simultaneously and continually, measuring subject distance and position more completely than other cameras. This unique Dual AF System integrated into the Sony Alpha 99 permits ultra-fast, accurate autofocusing that maintains tracking focus even if a subject temporarily leaves the frame.
Sony A99 viewfinder and LCD display
The Sony Alpha 99 features a XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder that offers 100% frame coverage on the viewfinder screen with exceptional brightness, contrast, clarity and resolution, ensuring a detail-packed view of the desired scene and subject. The unique electronic viewfinder of the Sony A99 will also maintain a 100% field of view with DT lenses that are optimized for APS-C sensor cameras, converting the angle of view automatically for image recording and display. Complementing the Tru-Finder EVF is a three-way tiltable 1229k-dot (VGA equivalent) XtraFine LCD display with WhiteMagic technology to boost overall screen brightness. It’s especially useful for framing and shooting with the LCD in outdoor, sunny conditions.
Sony Alpha 99 body
Additionally, the camera is weather-sealed and all buttons and controls have been ruggedized. A redesigned shutter block, tested to approximately 200,000 releases, further ensures the camera’s stamina and reliability. The camera’s enhanced ergonomics include a re-designed grip and differentiated designs of several switches and buttons that allow for intuitive fingertip operation. A new exposure mode dial lock on the Sony Alpha 99 prevents accidental rotation, and a newly-developed Quick Navi Pro interface gives quick, intuitive one-handed access to common shooting parameters and controls. The new Sony Alpha SLT-A99 camera can also be operated via remote PC connection. Supported functions include switching between still and video shooting plus automatic transfer of still images from camera to PC for an improved studio workflow.
Sony Alpha 99 price & availability
The Sony Alpha 99 full-frame digital system camera will be available this October as body-only for about $2.800 USD / €2.800 Euro. The Sony SAL300GF28G2 lens will be available this November for about $7.500 USD / €7.700 Euro. The Sony VCG-C99AM vertical grip ($380 USD / €400 Euro), the Sony HVL-F60M flash ($550 USD / €650 Euro) and the Sony HVL-RL1 ring light ($350 USD / €350 Euro) will all be available this October. The Sony XLR -K1M XLR adaptor kit ($800 USD / €800 Euro) and the Sony RMT-DSLR2 remote commander ($30 USD / €30 Euro) will also be available in October, the same counts for the Sony LCS-BP3 backpack ($160 USD / €170 Euro) and the Sony PCK-LM14 screen protector ($17 USD / €20 Euro). The new Sony Alpha 99 camera, lenses and all compatible accessories will be sold at Sony retail stores and other authorized dealers nationwide. Prices and accessories may vary from country to country.
Sony Alpha 99 review
As soon as we receive a Sony Alpha 99 test sample, we will publish a sample photo gallery with high resolution pictures, followed by an extensive Sony A99 review. In the mean time, read our Sony CyberShot DSC-HX200V review.
Hands-on video Sony Alpha SLT-A99 Full-Frame system camera