Sony A99 Review

January 11, 2013 | Mark Goldstein |

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Sony A99 from around the web. »

The Sony SLT-A99 is the Japanese camera maker's flagship model, aimed squarely at DSLR enthusiasts who will settle for nothing less than a full frame sensor in a rugged body with a plethora of external and customizable controls. It arrives almost four years after its predecessor, the A900, the company's first full frame DSLR. You'd certainly expect significant new features given such a long gap between products and Sony has lost no opportunity to equip the A99 with every bit of electronic expertise they've incorporated into their NEX and SLT models in the interim. Whereas the A900 was a defiantly conventional SLR that would have been immediately familiar to Konica Minolta film-camera users, the A99 is something of a technological tour-de-force.
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After a four-year wait, Sony has brought out a replacement to the full-frame Alpha a900 camera, the 24.3MP Sony Alpha a99. Unlike the Sony a900, which was a DSLR, the Sony a99 is a DSLT, or Digital Single Lens Translucent camera. This means that instead of having a mirror that flips up to enable the exposure to take place, the Sony Alpha a99 has a fixed translucent (or transmissive) mirror that allows 70% of the light reaching it to pass through and onto the imaging sensor.
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The Sony Alpha A99 is Sony's premium full frame Digital SLR and the long awaited update to the Sony Alpha A900 and A850, introducing the SLT (Sony Translucent) technology to full frame, and could very well mark the end of optical viewfinders in Sony Digital SLRs. The Sony Alpha A99 features a 24.3 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor, 6fps continuous shooting, full HD video with continuous AF, and an impressive 2.359million dot OLED electronic viewfinder.
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Despite its prolific output across its NEX and Alpha lines over the past few years, Sony has taken a long time to unveil a full-frame successor to the revered A900. The models released since then gave indications as to what may expected from any forthcoming flagship model, and now the A99 has materialised it more or less confirms what most people were expecting.
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We’ve been working with the Sony A99 for around a month now after having played with it a lot during the Media Excursion out in California. Though our experiences are a little different than what they were before, the Sony A99 still represents the premium of what Sony currently has to offer for the professional and high end enthusiast. In many ways, the A99 is really quite an awesome camera and even almost made me switch systems. However, it still wasn’t quite there.
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