Sony reveals the Alpha A99, its first full-body flagship since 2008's A900 (palms-on)
It isn’t day-after-day that a digital SLR producer releases a brand new full-body digital camera — actually, it isn’t even yearly. Sony’s final prime-finish mannequin, the A900, was first launched 4 years in the past, so that you higher consider its successor gives an overflowing boatload of enhancements. The Alpha A99 is a flagship if ever there was one, crushing each different Sony nonetheless digital camera when it comes to functionality, each relating to stills, and within the HD video realm as properly. With this $2,800 behemoth, the corporate is concentrating on each skilled photographers and main filmmakers, with loads of options that may attraction to each. The centerpiece is an all-new 24.three-megapixel Exmor sensor (nope, it isn’t the rumored 36MP chip you could be anticipating), which options an elevated photodiode space for boosted low mild high quality (as much as ISO 102,four hundred). The digital camera additionally options what Sony’s calling the “world’s first twin-AF system,” which incorporates two totally different part-detect AF techniques, together with the identical 19-level system on the A77, plus a further 102 factors on the imager itself.
Video shooters will discover 1080/60p and 24p choices with AVCHD 2.zero, together with uncompressed output by way of HDMI (with simultaneous output to a monitor) and part-detect focus help in video mode. There’s additionally a 6 frames-per-second burst mode, 14-bit RAW output for stills, the identical 921k-dot Xtra Advantageous twilt-and-swivel LCD included with the A77 with WhiteMagic and TruBlack, and the identical OLED viewfinder discovered on the A77, NEX-6 and NEX-7, that gives barely boosted performance because of the complete-body sensor, letting photographers snag a realtime depth-of-area preview with out dimming the finder. It additionally presents a 34-diploma viewing angle and shade tone adjustment management. As a result of the A99 gives a translucent mirror, Sony was capable of remove the pentaprism to maintain the dimensions and weight at bay, making the DSLR lighter than the Nikon D800 and Canon 5D Mark III. Bounce previous the break for our palms-on.%Gallery-163051%
We had a chance to see how the A99 weighed in — having spent many hours behind the lens of a 5D Mark III, it felt surprisingly mild, and was a pleasure to carry (even in a single hand). The shortage of a pentaprism additionally aided in refining the design, eliminating that raised hump the place you’d in any other case discover a pop-up flash on decrease-finish fashions (the A99 is supposed for use with exterior strobes, which could be mounted on the Multi Interface Shoe). There are many different connectivity choices as properly, together with a mini USB port, HDMI out, headphone and microphone jacks, energy in, a distant management jack, PC Sync socket (for studio strobes) and GPS. Video shooters will certainly respect the brand new silent controller simply to the left of the lens, and the power so as to add an XLR enter module to the recent shoe. There are additionally twin SD card slots (one is Reminiscence Stick suitable), letting you duplicate pictures, assign video and stills to totally different playing cards or copy folders with out eradicating a card.
You’ll decide up your very personal A99 starting in October for $2,800 — a relative discount — at which level you will additionally be capable of snag an up to date 300mm f/2.eight G SSM II lens for $7,500, the brand new HVL-F60M flash or a VG-C99AM vertical grip ($380), which does not embrace the standard “chimney,” letting you add two extra battery packs for a complete of three. There’s additionally a brand new fifty five-300mm f/four.5-5.6 optic coming in September. As you’d anticipate from a digital camera with this degree of performance, we will not cowl each element right here, so skim by way of Sony’s press launch after the break for remaining particulars. You will additionally discover some shut-up photographs in our arms-on gallery up above, together with a peek on the new $800 XLR mic module, which contains a shotgun mic and appears like a camcorder transplant. Keep tuned for a better look as soon as the A99 ships this fall.
- Key specs
- Sort DSLR
- Lens mount Sony Α / Minolta AF
- Decision (efficient) 24.three&#one hundred sixty;megapixels
- Sensor measurement Full-body
- Picture stabilization Optical (sensor-shift)
- Reminiscence card SD (SDXC, SDHC), Reminiscence Stick PRO-HG Duo, Reminiscence Stick PRO Duo
- Weight 1.sixty two lb
- Launched 2012-10