Low cost A99 = FF A77

Started Apr 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
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mike_2008
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Low cost A99 = FF A77
Apr 18, 2012

The A99 rumour mill is starting to move into full swing. SAR have made more and more frequent posts recently about it and today there is this:

http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sr4-sony-wants-to-price-the-a99-as-low-as-possible/

It seems that Sony have decided to attack canikon through price and leveraging of the unique dslt features. Switch in a FF sensor to the A77 chassis, make the SLT mirror a little bigger, update the buffer, AF system and jpeg processing and there you go, A99...

How much would such a camera cost at release? We're back to the old chestnut of how much more does a FF sensor cost relative to an APS-C sensor. No one knows for sure, but what we do know is that the FF A850 was released with a $1999 price tag. The simpler DSLT design ought to be even cheaper.

The A77 was $1399 at release, I would bet that the A99 will be less than $1999.

A new 24MP sensor using modern technology ought to have great pixel noise characteristics. Its pixel pitch is 6 microns, compared with 4 microns for the A77. This pixel pitch is that which you get with a 10MP APS-C sensor, like the old A200. The pixel level noise ought to be better than canon's sensor, which is older tech, and better than the D800, because the pixel area is larger.

Just think, in crop mode this will be an A200 with modern sensor tech. Interesting.

On paper it looks pretty good to me (surprised, huh). 24MP is a sweet spot for printing, you can get an A3 at full 300 dpi, but with a FF sensor the pixel area is relatively huge compared with that of the A77, so better noise control at 100%. With the DSLT design this will have at least 12fps.

On paper at least I think it would be serious competition with the 5d3, as it will offer better noise control, similar resolution, better fps, better AF and be lighter, smaller and almost half the price.

The question I have is how well would such a camera do in reality. The D800 has in some way changed the market, now 36MP everyone seems to want 36MP. It's a little bit too much for most people, but it hasn't stopped them selling. In some ways a 24MP A99 would be the optimal FF system, high enough MP to be useful for printing up to A3 in FF mode and A4 in crop mode, good enough noise control for indoor sports.

A solid camera, indeed, but a big seller? Maybe not. But a step towards building a solid line up of dslt bodies, for sure.

I'd think about buying one, but right now I have aps-c only lenses, so it will be a serious investment.

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Canon EOS 5D Sony SLT-A55 Sony SLT-A77 Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM +5 more
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Nikon D800 Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Sony SLT-A77 Sony SLT-A99
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