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A full-fledged pro DSLR featuring a 24.3MP 35mm-sized CMOS sensor, the Sony Alpha SLT-A99V, offers the world's first dual AF system in a DSLR, and the world's lightest body for a full-frame DSLR, this dust- and moisture-sealed camera replaces the old Alpha A-series A900 and A700 full-frame DSLRs and boasts what Sony calls "dramatically improved image quality, noise reduction and AF performance."
Sony Alpha SLT-A99V: Key Features
Translucent Mirror Technology
New 24.3 MP 35 mm Exmor CMOS sensor and BIONZ Processor
World's first Dual AF System
Advanced Movie Shooting Functions
1/2" XGA OLED TruFinder Electronic Viewfinder
Fast 6 frames per second continuous shooting
Maximized handling performance
Quick Navi Pro
Three-way Tilt-able LCD
World's Lightest Body
Durable shutter mechanism
Dust and Moisture Sealed
New Anti-dust coating
New Expandable System
Let's take a closer look at the Sony Alpha SLT-A99V, based on technical information provided by Sony.
Viewfinder: Sony has moved away from the traditional optical DSLR pentaprism-type viewfinder to a very high-resolution (2.359 million dots) OLED electronic viewfinder. Resolution and contrast ratio are both claimed to be high and the resulting image rivals that visible in an optical finder. An advantage here over optical is that you can see the results of camera adjustments in real time. Sony's proprietary Translucent Mirror Technology simultaneously directs light to the image sensor and AF sensor at all times to realize Full-time Continuous AF that is said to keep the subject in sharp focus and even during continuous shooting and movie shooting. It also allows the high-precision electronic viewfinder to accurately display the results of camera setting adjustments in real time.
Sensor and Image Processing: The 24.3MP 35mm full-frame sensor offers an ISO range of 100-32,000, with low noise. However, if that isn't enough, Sony's Multi-frame NR mode captures six images in a fraction of a second, then combines them, reducing the noise by what Sony says is the equivalent of two stops.
Video: The Sony Alpha SLT-A99V is the first full-frame Sony DSLR with video. It can record Full 1080 HD uncompressed clean-screen video files to external recording devices via an HDMI® connection in 24p, 60p and 60i frame-rates.
Autofocus: The SLT-A99V debuts the world's first Dual AF system. It has a 19-point AF system with 11 cross sensors that is complemented by a multi-point focal plane phase-detection AF sensor with 102 AF points that overlays the image sensor. This is made possible by Translucent Mirror Technology, which simultaneously directs light to the image sensor and AF sensor at all times. Continuous AF uses all 19 AF points with reliable depth-direction focusing performance to capture subjects; Sony says it is assisted by the 102-point multi-point focal-plane phase-detection AF sensor. It continues to accurately focus on the subject whether the subject is moving in depth or plane direction. Users can set the range of focus distance, an essential feature when shooting sports.
Burst Rate: The Sony Alpha SLT-A99V can shoot at approximately 6 frames per second (fps) with enhanced Tracking Focus, which is said to offer more advanced acquisition and tracking performance. The Tele Zoom High Speed shooting mode shoots up to 8 fps at 10 MP while maintaining continuous auto focus and auto exposure.
LCD monitor: The SLT-A99V may be the first full-frame DSLR with a flip-out monitor. The 921k dot LCD monitor can tilt three ways and is the same monitor used on the SLT-A77.
Exposure is determined via a 1200-zone evaluative metering; the camera reads exposure directly from the main image sensor. You have a choice of multi, center and spot metering. The camera offers built-in HDR, sweep panorama mode, D-range Optimizer, and 13 creative filters (Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn leaves, Black & White, Sepia.)
GPS: The camera has built-in GPS.
Construction: The Sony Alpha SLT-A99V is built to meet the heavy demands of prosumers. Main outer body panels and interior chassis are constructed of lightweight, righid magnesium alloy. The camera is also ruggedized: Outer body and moisture countermeasures include the sealing and treatment of major operational buttons/dials and a convex/concave mating structure that tightly interlocks components to protect against dust and moisture. Controls also feature a durable structure that withstands the touch usage of advanced amateurs. The shutter is rated for up to 200,000 releases.
Communication with Accessories: The Sony Alpha SLT-A99V offers Sony's new Multi-Interface shoe that dramatically expands compatibility with Handycam® accessories, thus raising the potential for photo/movie shooting (The included ADP-MAA shoe adapter maintains compatibility with conventional Alpha accessories as well). One such accessory is the HVL-F60M flash with video light offers high output, Sony's original Quick Shift Bounce mechanism, a new video light for movie shooting and improved operational interface. Another is the RMT-DSLR2 Remote Commander for movie shooting that includes a dedicated movie record button.
Everything I want and need except that it will not tether to my lap top. Shame! Sony do something about that. Otherwise an amazing camera in every way! Flash great. Battery grip supplies needed power for video. So it only is good for 200,000 shots. Can buy two replacements with the money I saved by not buying a 400,000 C---- or N----.
A full Frame camera with a Punch. This Sony FF camera is really excellent in every way. this is a camera is designed too make you wanna work with it more. Color, detail's, sharpens and weather proof camera is a great choice too have when you are traveling and taking photo's here on Iceland. Best camera i ever had. Lafur Photography
I have always wanted this camera since it was released it is my second go to camera lighter and more convenient to carry around
I love my A77. But the A99 takes everything to another level in a very familiar operational format. It solves for the biggest published complaint (which never bothered me) against the A77 with gorgeous clean images up to ISO 6400. The dual sensor AF-D depth mapping mode is sheer genius. And the new DMF mode further capitalizes on the A77's excellent peaking feature for accurate and rapid manual focus. The AF range limiter feature can be set to limit hunting on supported long focal length lens. The fact that my existing SAL-70400G and SAL-70300G lenses are also supported by the new AF-D mode (like the SAL-2470Z) feels like a reward for being a loyal Sony photography enthusiast. I had fantastic results with the A77 & the SAL-1680Z (and I am keeping them). By adding the massive SAL-2470Z with it's constant 2.8 aperture (coupled with the shallow depth of field of the A99 full frame sensor), I find myself exploring a wider range of available light photo opportunities on the fly. The same excellent wireless ratio flash ability that I began to enjoy on the A77 is supported by the A99. Now that I have the more powerful HVL-F60M to augment my three HVL-F43AM units, I plan to move forward with improving my portrait photography technique. (The vertical grip with added battery support is finally en route this week.) Early results show improved video quality with the A99, as well, aided by an improved articulated rear LCD screen. At the end of the day, it's all about the image quality. Simply put, this discretionary purchase represents my intent to take the A77's excellent visual results to the next level. I have an intuitive feeling that this will be my primary camera and lens combination for the long run regardless of path Sony takes with the Alpha mount system in coming years. I trust that future evolutionary firmware updates will make the utility of the A99 even better. After all these years, starting with a Minolta SRT-101 in college, and with many innovative Sony digital cameras in between, my hobby has finally evolved into the passion that I had envisioned in my mind's eye.
I got the SLT A-99 as a 1 time use promo camera and its the only reason that I decided to purchase it was for the discounted price. After taking the camera and pushing it through its paces with my arsenal of CZ lenses, it so far has become a welcome addition to my photography tools. The weight of the camera is so much better than the A900 and A700 and has also made my work flow a lot easier with various shooting styles with still life. My A900 was specifically used for still life shots until I got the A-99 which proved to be a more nimble character and easier to use with the leveling on screen feature (love this). The EVF was the main selling point as it was clear and easy to view allowing me to place the camera almost anywhere and not have to worry about looking through the view finder to complete my shot in focus as with the a900. Since I had the A-99 it taken the spot as my main photography tool coupled with the CZ lens line up, its a no brainer but my favorites with the A-99 are the CZ-2470 and the SAL135F18Z. The battery pack addition is also great as it doesn't add much more camera weight, so with 3 batteries you can shoot until the cows come home. Another great feature is the low light ISO improvements over the A900, shooting in low light at higher ISO settings is a lot less noisier. Over all I think the advancements Sony has made in camera technology is fantastic and the camera shows the results in my work flow. I was trying to hold out to purchase a Sony medium format camera that I hoped would materialize soon since hearing about the connections with Hasselblad. I'm looking forward with hopes Sony will at least present a product release close to a medium format solution. For now its the A-99 and so far its a good product for me.
The focusing system on the camera is amazing, fast and accurate. The range control is a good feature. i loke the OLED viewfinder
This is my 2nd SLT-A99V, unfortunately my 1st one went for a swim (reason for the only con) even though expensive it is worth every penny
First let me say, I wanted to love this camera so much! It takes some really great pictures of landscapes (still pics are awesome) but where it falls down is indoor sports :( The buffer is way too small for sports - ripping off 15 pictures at 5fps (cont Hi), then waiting 8 - 10 seconds for the buffer to clear is awful as you miss so much action -- like my daughter's gymnastics routine. A camera of this caliber should be on par with the Canon 5d Mk III, which allows for 3x as many pictures in the buffer. Auto focus and tracking is a problem for things like gymnastics where the number of focus points is pretty small (19) where others are greater (ex. the 5d is 61). I know the AF-D has 102 points but they don't support the sigma 70 - 200 lens I have and so I am hobbled. ISO noise at 6400 is pretty low and I am impressed, but I wish 12800 was less noisy. For me, it came down to the buffer size -- If the buffer was bigger, I could live with the camera but I am missing too many shots now due it's size. (shoot 10 shots rapidly then not being able to shoot anything for several seconds is a killer when the gymnastics routine is only 45 - 90 seconds long in the first place) Again, this is an incredible camera for other types of photography -- the EVF is amazing, the folding screen is great, menus are easy to navigate and video support is great too. I understand not everyone does sports or even indoor sports, but for my main need (indoor gymnastics) it just doesn't work and that's a shame :(
I LOVE this camera and it's Electronic View finder. I wasn't sure about the EVF the first few times I used it, but after a week I was sold. I don't want to shoot without it. Long live EVF!