Sony Alpha SLT-A99 Brief Review

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REVIEW SUMMARY

Specifications

  • 24.3 megapixel full-frame CMOS resolution
  • 1080/60p HD recording with stereo sound
  • On-chip phase detection for dual autofocus
  • 3-inch articulated LCD with 1.229 million dots
  • 100% OLED viewfinder with 2.3 million dots
  • 6fps continuous burst
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • Focus limiter
  • RAW capture
  • Manual modes
  • Release Date: 2012-09-11
  • Final Grade: 94 4.7 Star Rating: Recommended

4.7 Star Rating: Recommended
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Sony Alpha SLT-A99
24.3 megapixel full-frame CMOS resolution; 1080/60p HD recording with stereo sound; On-chip phase detection for dual autofocus; 3-inch articulated LCD with 1.229 million dots; 100% OLED viewfinder with 2.3 million dots; 6fps continuous burst; Sensor-shift image stabilization; Focus limiter; RAW capture; Manual modes;
By , Last updated on: 5/18/2014

The A99 replaces the aging A900 as Sony's premier full-frame camera, and does so with graceful curves and a lightweight body that belie some serious technology under the hood. Sony is now entirely committed to their SLT technology, which replaces the mirror with a semi-translucent mirror that allows the camera to gather autofocus information full time. While there can be no optical viewfinder with such a setup, most who try electronic viewfinders quickly realize that there are some key advantages, like seeing exposure and shooting information in the viewfinder, that are quite useful. The A99 is the first full-frame SLT camera from Sony, and comes with a new 24 megapixel sensor with on-chip phase detection pixels, 1080/60p video recording at 28 mbps, 2.3 million dot OLED viewfinder, in-body stabilization and 6fps continuous burst mode. Sony is boasting about the autofocus abilities of the A99, which include features like focus limiting and extensive focus tracking options. And of course, expect image quality to be excellent throughout the ISO range.

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Sony Reviews

Sony has been at the forefront of the market for consumer electronics for the past 30 years by offering innovative imaging products in response to changes in the market. Sony has made cameras that are ideal for casual users, hobbyists, and professional photographers through their dedication to implementing the most current technology with a sleek and minimal style, resulting in an end result of the highest quality.

Sony was the first to put a full-frame sensor inside of a mirrorless camera, the A7 and A7R, and a little later, the A7S. While the first-of-its-kind cameras aren't without flaws, Sony executed their ideas fairly well and made some pretty solid cameras to start the new line.

Speaking of first-of-its kind, Sony also designed a “camera-without-a-camera,” the QX10 and QX100. These cameras have a sensor and lens, but no operating system—instead, consumers use their smartphone via wi-fi or NFC to operate the camera. While the cameras certainly have flaws (mainly in the slow response due to operating through wi-fi), we still have to applaud Sony for the way they've responded to the rise in smartphone photography (plus the cameras have actually sold remarkably well).

Sony has also been highly successful with the RX compact camera line that began with the RX100, a compact camera with a 1” sensor, excellent image quality and full manual modes. The camera has since seen some solid updates, and remains a good option. Sony also added the RX10, a camera with a 1” sensor but instead of focusing on compact size, adds a much bigger zoom.

While their focus is on more advanced models, it’s usually a pretty safe bet to pick up a Sony compact, even a budget priced one, and still get a lot of bang for your buck. We're also big fans of Sony's designs, making their cameras easy to use and adjust, like the HX400 that has an automatic sensor on the electronic viewfinder as well as a control ring around the lens.

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