Previous news story    Next news story

Just Posted: Sony Alpha SLT-A99 24MP full-frame camera preview

By dpreview staff on Sep 12, 2012 at 04:00 GMT
Buy on GearShop$2,298.007 deals

Just Posted: Our hands-on Sony SLT-A99 preview article and video. The A99 is the company's flagship full-frame interchangeable lens camera, offering a 24MP CMOS sensor with on-sensor phase-detection autofocus. This combines with the dedicated conventional phase-detection sensor to offer a series of never-before-seen features. We look at these and several of the A99's other key stills and movie shooting capabilities in our hands-on preview.

244
I own it
117
I want it
17
I had it
Discuss in the forums
Our favorite products. Free 2 day shipping.
Support this site, buy from dpreview GearShop.
Sony SLT-A99

Comments

Total comments: 181
12
CraigJaneway
By CraigJaneway (Oct 15, 2012)

I'm with everyone else here... this SLT is crap and produces crappy pics. Way over priced and I"ll never buy one, ever! Hell, I can't even afford a used A850!!!! I have all the glass from Minolta and using an A330 for digital low quality stuff, and a Maxxium5 film when I want full-frame. Have a full set of MC/MD SR mount lenses as well that I use an XE-7/X-700 with film as well. I'll never be able to afford a digital FF DSLR and frankly I'm not sure why I would want to get one. The pics I get from RAW on my A330 look a hella lot better then the sample pics shown here... the a99 is flawed beyound foobard'd.

0 upvotes
What do I know
By What do I know (Oct 9, 2012)

Sony, mark my words...this camera will tank for obvious reasons you are so blind to see.

1. EVF on a FF are you kidding me?
2. $200 less than the Nikon D800 and $700 more than the Nikon D600
3. EVF EVF EVF EVF / SLT SLT SLT SLT = JUNK

How to fix this little mistake Sony

1. Junk the EVF and use the OVF from the a900
2.Drop the price to $2000
3. Make a DSLR and drop the SLT junk.

Will they listen?
NO

1 upvote
Preternatural Stuff
By Preternatural Stuff (Nov 8, 2012)

Dun think you have a clue what an EVF is, much less having looked into one of the latest ones before. Ask the NEX, OMD-5 & micro 4/3 brigade & learn something.

Dun think you know what the SLT does either!

1 upvote
kwojdyna
By kwojdyna (Sep 19, 2012)

Let me notice, that is FOURTH (4th) Sony flash mount so far. We had mounts for:
1. advanced compacts and bridge cameras,
2. Minolta contacts,
3. NEX contacts,
4. And this new standard.

If you wonder what other reasons besides marketing make people buy Nikon or Canon - this is one of them. They buy a camera with accessories and they get a newer camera later still having a chance to enjoy flashes, optics etc.

Having Sony, Samsung or even Pentax it is just impossible (Samsung DSLR vs. mirrorless, new Pentax flashes do not work with manual bodies etc.) or not comfortable to do (try to juggle with Sony adapters between cameras).

Now Nikon went to system 1 with it's new flash terminal. Good move?

Canon keeps the compatiblity between everything (look at their movie cameras) at the same time.

Now - IMHO Canon gives the poorerst rate of good shots out of these brands, but people like it best and buy most. Guess why now?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Zezer
By Zezer (Jan 6, 2013)

I love how people don't take time to read before they react. This new flash mount is an attempt to resolve just that. It is ISO standard with a twist. It will work with the same mount canon uses but will also allow you to use new items they plan on coming out with.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Dan Ortego
By Dan Ortego (Sep 17, 2012)

The fact that Sony's own website is showing incorrect specifications is not encouraging and it plays into the narrative that Sony doesn’t take their own products seriously. To them, it’s just the new flavor of the month. With that aside I actually like the camera and what it’s designed to do. Since I already have a pricy lens that lives on my A900, it makes sense that I try and find reasons to stay in the hunt. Still, the price point is so close to the tried and true D800 I would really have to think hard before choosing my next rig.

1 upvote
SaltLakeGuy
By SaltLakeGuy (Sep 16, 2012)

So the burning question will remain. Will this new camera be capable of taking a 25 minute movie in full HD without shutting down from heat? or not. I don't see anyone even bringing that subject up while it has been a HUGE issue with ALL of the Sony cameras to date. The NeX are particularly poor in this regard. It seems you can trust a Mft camera to go the distance without heating up but so far not many of the DSLR type are capable in this regard. Any answers yet?

1 upvote
John Koch
By John Koch (Sep 17, 2012)

One answer: a VG30. Another answer would be to use something besides a large-sensor camera for video clips that exceed 25 minutes. Dedicted videocams either have better heat dispersion or use fans. Most video is shot in relatively short clips anyway.

0 upvotes
pulsare
By pulsare (Sep 15, 2012)

I am in france it say the sony a99 is 2800 euro but then i look in us and it say its $2800 how that can be? if its $2800 it should be 2134 in euro. something not right here.

0 upvotes
alfedo11
By alfedo11 (Sep 17, 2012)

in USA everything is cheaper :)

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Sep 19, 2012)

"in USA everything is cheaper "

Try healthcare.

2 upvotes
whtchocla7e
By whtchocla7e (Sep 15, 2012)

I see a little bit of that :Minolta mind: in these new Sony products. Rock on. :)

2 upvotes
What do I know
By What do I know (Oct 9, 2012)

The last thing close to Minolta was the a900, this is all Sony and Minolta died a horable death along with their hotshoe

0 upvotes
Michaels7
By Michaels7 (Oct 15, 2012)

A900 looked nothing like anything from Minolta design wise. The A900 looks like a blend of Minolta's older Maxxum film cameras and Canon.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

Boy, oh boy, is the DP REVIEW web site seriously messed-up now, or what?

Man, I am writing a comment, almost done and ready to post it, then BANG -- damned page freshens up all but itself, and everything I wrote is lost.

Gee-sus, DP REVIEW, when you refresh your pages, how about having some warning or auto-save feature in force for those who happen to be writing comments?

0 upvotes
TimR-Niagara
By TimR-Niagara (Oct 21, 2012)

Its not dPreview that's causing the page refreshes, its your browser..

Type "turn off automatic page refresh (enter your browser name + your computer name ie: Mac or PC)" in Google search for instructions

Good Luck.

0 upvotes
cinevid
By cinevid (Sep 14, 2012)

I may have missed it...but do we know the video recording time limit with the A99?

1 upvote
JSayStill Photography
By JSayStill Photography (Feb 12, 2013)

I second this - anyone with a detail on a video recording limit?

0 upvotes
JSayStill Photography
By JSayStill Photography (Feb 16, 2013)

I have finally been able to test this and can confirm that the continuous record time is 30 minutes.

0 upvotes
edfo4
By edfo4 (Sep 13, 2012)

I'm delighted to see that Sony is offering a new full frame camera. I've had a long term relationship with Sony/Minolta. (My current Sony is an alpha 700..used..a good performer, though not up to my 5d). My 2nd 35mm SLR was a TTL Minolta (whose model number I've forgotten). My first was a Canon AE-1, also a TTL. I carried those things forever. I'm intrigued by the EVF and can't wait to hear how it performs. And the flip down LCD in a full frame is great. I bought a used 60d just for that feature. (I own Sony/Minolta and Canon lenses). Can't beat it for shooting over crowds. All three of my cameras fill a niche, and , if the reviews look good, and the price drops somewhat, I think I'll be replacing the 700.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

Have you looked at the $2,100 Nikon D600 yet?

0 upvotes
Michaels7
By Michaels7 (Sep 15, 2012)

@Francis. Two different cameras aimed at different targets.

1 upvote
VDG
By VDG (Sep 12, 2012)

ha ha

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
stanginit
By stanginit (Sep 12, 2012)

that's it ?

1 upvote
Octane
By Octane (Sep 12, 2012)

I'm happy that as a customer we are getting more alternatives, more competition. It's a good thing for all of us.

Sony is great with adding new technology and fresh new ideas to SLR cameras. They are great at marketing these features. Unfortunately they don't quite work as well in real life. Each cool new features comes with limitations. The very small AF coverage for example really limits the hyped AF capabilities.

I love all the innovations that Sony is adding to their cameras, I would love to use them, but frankly as a pro system it's not there yet. Sony has *one* full frame camera. With Nikon I can pick from a number of cameras that each is designed to match a certain priority.

But most importantly the number of up to date full frame lenses just doesn't cut it. Sony has a long way to go to catch up with Canon or Nikon here. And frankly I doubt they ever will considering how consistent and fast the big two come out with new lenses.

3 upvotes
jeremybarton
By jeremybarton (Sep 12, 2012)

I disagree! i have used canon Nikon and the rest! I have been really impressed with Sony! i use the a77 and the @700 great cameras no complaints! The Canon poor colour and weighs like a brick!

5 upvotes
remylebeau
By remylebeau (Sep 12, 2012)

While I see where you're coming from with the impression that Sony's advancements seem unpolished, I think it's a little harsh to say they simply don't work as well in real life.

To your point regarding the hybrid PDAS if you look at the grid for the on sensor phase-detection points, while it is limited and not covering the entire frame it does cover all the points where the rule of 3rds applies. While it may be of some use in certain situations to have hyper accurate focus tracking on the outer sections of the frame, the immediate areas of importance are covered sufficiently and the hybrid focus is from reports simply amazing.

Second, regarding Sony's lack of modern full frame lenses there's nothing wrong with any of Minolta's G lenses. The only addition to the newer lenses of note is the coating and the SSM. The coating wasn't an issue for an entire generation of pro's and is a luxury today, and the SSM motor is quite the luxury and only of significance for video.

3 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Sep 12, 2012)

From the over 400 A mount lenses, there's still a wealth of quality glass to choose from. Are there holes? Absolutely, but at the same time, Sony also offers unique things, such as the STF (no other solution comes close) and stabilization for *all* prime lenses. Just to name 2 things.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
EmmanuelStarchild
By EmmanuelStarchild (Sep 12, 2012)

Canon? Poor color? LMAO...better get your eyes checked. I'm guessing neither is true, that maybe you suffer from bias.

2 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Sep 12, 2012)

Canon is known to use the least selective CFA's (for better high ISO results), which does result in the least amount of colour accuracy. Some may notice it, it can be and was measured too.

It has to be noted though that older Canon cameras such as the 20D are much better in this regard.

4 upvotes
jeremybarton
By jeremybarton (Sep 12, 2012)

Well said!!

0 upvotes
Cane
By Cane (Sep 13, 2012)

Its amazing what people will complain about. So if they dont have just as many lenses, etc., just dont even bother, because for people like you, you need every lens possible. Im so tired of the Canikon fan boys. Yes, we get it, nikon is the greatest camera system ever and you can only be a pro if ou shoot it.

1 upvote
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Sep 13, 2012)

i disagree as well. Sony's innovation rocks. The fact that they dont release much firmware also shows how much testing they done before releasing a product. We dont hear of white orbs on sony, card issues and gaffer tapes on leaked light.
Built in sensor image stabilizer rocks, using manual lens on Sony is the perfect match.

0 upvotes
Octane
By Octane (Sep 13, 2012)

@Cane, no I don't every lens that is available, but I have the largest choice of lenses on any system available to me and I made very specific choices that I simply don't have in Sony's lens lineup. Yes I only need one 85mm prime, but being able to pick my personal best match out of 4 different versions that are available is an advantage.

@remylebeau The advances made in lens design and coating are significant. Especially with digital cameras better coating is important because the sensor reflects light back causing flare and flare. Since Nikon has never changed the lens mount I was also very happy to use older lenses on my first Nikon FX camera, but I had to realize that most of those glorified 'old gems' aren't as good as people make them sound. Over the last three years I replaced all but one lens with modern versions. The difference in quality is obvious.

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Sep 13, 2012)

@jeremybarton. Complaining about the weight of Canon and praising the Sony is odd as the Sony is significantly heavier. As for poor colour a little practice with your RAW converter or your JPG settings will do wonders.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

Canon for one is in the proverbial latrine toilet, and has been for the last 18 months or so. Have you looked at their totally ridiculous "EOS Cinema" cameras, for example?

Nikon, well that's another matter. They seem to be doing everythign jsut right, including pricing the FF D600 at only $2,100.

I guess you are not getting the basics of market economies. Sony does not have to make Canon or Nikon irrelevant. There is plenty of slices to be had from the big pie.

We are no longer impressed by Canikon overall, BTW. You can run down any company to the ground if you are not careful.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

@ Octane: your comments are pretty hilarious, and you take the flag with your lambasting of those poor old bad lenses.

I have some "old" (1960s through 1980s) East German and USSR made 35mm SLR fully manual glasses, primes and zooms, that I had re-coated to current standards. Looking at modern lenses makes me laugh hard, they take everything valuable away to give autofocus and anti-shake for those who are apparently clueless about how to turn a focus ring left or right, and clueless about what a tripod has been designed for.

Your lambasting Sony and their lenses, and at the same time lambasting older SLR lenses really made my day. Keep up the good work, pls!

1 upvote
cplunk
By cplunk (Sep 29, 2012)

You need 4 different 85mm lenses to choose from? That's very interesting. And how many of those are the choice between stabilized vs. stabilized, which just isn't an issue with Sony's in body stabilization?

Anyhow, I actually think the marketing does a very poor job of showing the benefit of many of the greatest features these new cameras have, notably focus peeking. I'll agree that some of the hyped features aren't all that useful to most people (3d?), but there are a lot more that I've never heard mentioned on the marketing that I use constantly.

0 upvotes
Zezer
By Zezer (Jan 6, 2013)

I agree my first 2 were sony. I had just purchased an a 65 and a month later it was stolen from my jeep with all of my lenses. I figured why not try canon I have no old equipment left to worry about it working together and I am not happy with it. I plan on getting either an a77 or this guy. Just not sure if I want to spend the money on the a99 just yet. I do miss my a 65

0 upvotes
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (Sep 12, 2012)

Does this shoot uncompressed video? Another interesting release by Sony that will fail totally to pull anyone from being either a Canon or Nikon user. Too expensive and a lack of a real system to support it.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Sep 12, 2012)

It can feed out uncompressed video over HDMI, I believe.

3 upvotes
remylebeau
By remylebeau (Sep 12, 2012)

Yep, uncompressed through the HDMI. It'd be quite the drain on a memory card to record uncompressed video. It's bad enough having to use SDXC or UHS-I cards for stills, but for full HD video 1080p 60 frames progressive? I don't want to spend that much on a memory card when I don't have to.
They also did include tethering for stills. I didn't think I'd need a FF so soon since I'm loving my a77, but strangely I'm pulled to the a99 for video. The new battery grip allows for 3 total batteries to be used at a time on the a99, again for video that would be a godsend. I was thinking of expanding my business into video but now I'm almost certain I will, and not in the near term but almost immediately.

1 upvote
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Sep 12, 2012)

Uncompressed clean HDMI out in 4:2:2.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

"Uncompressed clean HDMI out in 4:2:2."

Exactly right, and incidentally so will the $2,100 Nikon D600. And most likely the considerably cheaper Panasonic Lumix GH3 as well.

The times we are living in, hmmm?

0 upvotes
John Koch
By John Koch (Sep 17, 2012)

Yeah, uncompressed video that you can record on a buiky dedicated recorder that requires mountains of memory and is geared only to commercial projects. Yeah, as though Sony and others don't already make professional devices geared to that industry. The VG900 is perhaps a more suitable object of the inquiry. The main reason Canon and Nikon people won't swoon over anything Sony (or vice versa) is because of the stock of investment in lenses. People may update bodies, but they seldom change the brand of their systems.

0 upvotes
harold1968
By harold1968 (Sep 12, 2012)

congrats to Sony on a great, "lighter weight" entry into the FF market
I am excited to see what this can do with Zeiss lenses

4 upvotes
Marathonianbull
By Marathonianbull (Sep 12, 2012)

Lenses??? FF Zeiss "AF" ones, of course!

2 upvotes
Marathonianbull
By Marathonianbull (Sep 12, 2012)

Well, well, I may go back to Sony after all...

3 upvotes
mavic
By mavic (Sep 12, 2012)

Hi,

I'm quite a big fan of the Sony Alpha system (and own an Alpha 55) but this body makes no sense to me.
Which professional would be jumping on a Sony Alpha FF body just reviewing the line of FF compatible glasses (either from Sony or Tamron or Sigma). There is only a very few as most of those lenses has been designed for APS-C bodies. Why should I limit myself?
Are there any plans / rumors for more lenses in the A-mount domain?
regards

3 upvotes
Joe Shaffer
By Joe Shaffer (Sep 12, 2012)

Sony is bringing out a large number of FF lenses over the next few months. Also, all the old Minolta AF lenses will work vastly better than they do on the current APS-C bodies. My Minolta 50mm F 1.7 has been through three different camera bodies (Maxxum 7000i, A55, and currently lives on my A57.) and remains my favorite 50mm prime.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Low Budget Dave
By Low Budget Dave (Sep 12, 2012)

I only ever use one lens at a time.

3 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Sep 13, 2012)

think leica lens. think voightlander. think samyang. think manual lens. Think peak focusing, think sensor image stabilization.

Think Sony.

2 upvotes
Michel Aristegui
By Michel Aristegui (Sep 14, 2012)

Please explain what you can't shoot with Sony compatible FF lenses. Thanks in advance.

0 upvotes
jdc562
By jdc562 (Sep 14, 2012)

The only two limitations I see are at the extremes: no very wide angle (<20mm) and no super telephoto at 600mm and above. The Sony 500mm is prohibitively expensive at more than $15,000.
I use a Minolta 600mm f4, which works great, but they are hard to get.

Between these extremes the lenses are great. The FF Zeiss lenses for Sony do extremely well in lab tests and field performance. And the professional reviewers rate the FF Sony 70-400 SAL G lens above the equivalents from Canon and Nikon.

If the A99 lives up to its specs for high ISO performance (fast shutter speeds in dim light), focus speed, and fps, it will exceed the Nikon D800 and Canon 5D mk4 for sports and wildlife photography--my favorite things to shoot. If no mirror flop means quieter shooting, that will also be a big asset for photographing skittish wildlife.

0 upvotes
rsf3127
By rsf3127 (Sep 12, 2012)

Should be a great body. If the high iso IQ is better than that from a900 (and it should) then it fits my needs.
For those doing video and stills professionally, it is a no-brainer.
Other manufacturers are a few years behind.

3 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

Nikon D600 ($2,100) FF 135 is at least as good in video capabilities as the Alpha 99 is, if not better.

The D600 for video must have taken a lot of the wind out of the Alpha 99 prospective buyers.

http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d600/features05.htm

http://www.nikon.com/news/2012/0913_dslr_01.htm

F-mount FF 135 new and legacy lens line-up is definitely better than for Minolta/Sony Alpha-mounts.

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Sep 12, 2012)

Remember all those people who hated live view and video back in 2008? Look how far we've come.

1 upvote
Jon Ragnarsson
By Jon Ragnarsson (Sep 12, 2012)

Sony designs are getting better all the time, I'm actually impressed with the looks of this body, even though I haven't seen it in person. And unlike Canon and Nikon they are not afraid of thinking outside the box. I wouldn't be surprised if Sony were the first company to make a 36x24 (or even bigger?) mirror free camera.

8 upvotes
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (Sep 12, 2012)

Sony HAVE to think outside the box if they are to win sales - interesting but too expensive and lacking a fully professional system, this will sell in tiny numbers - Canon & Nikon can breathe easy (again).

0 upvotes
aut0maticdan
By aut0maticdan (Sep 12, 2012)

They did. Its called the RX1!

4 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Sep 13, 2012)

Sad joe , the only folks that are not taking risks nor thinking outside the box is Canon and nikon.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

Sadly, Sad Joe, I just heard that Canon is announcing they are retiring from the camera business. After all, why shouldn't they? Have you even looked at all the lame stuff they pumped out at ridiculous prices during the past 18 months or so?

Biggest circus act from them is their vain and entirely futile attempt to "break into Hollywood" with their low-spec, high-price EOS Cinema cameras.

Nikon -- now that's another matter entirely, there are no probelms there at all AFAIK. Congrats to them on the D600, too.

So, let's distinguish between Canon and Nikon a bit, shall we? The first one is soon going to be on life support unless they come around, and come around fast.

0 upvotes
MrPetkus
By MrPetkus (Sep 12, 2012)

As a Pentax user I'm envious of all the innovation coming out of Sony. This is on my short list as an upgrade.

Am I the only one that thinks the mode selector knob looks out of place? The whole camera is fluid and svelte and this big knurled knob bulges from the top.

3 upvotes
IshrarH
By IshrarH (Sep 12, 2012)

I'm disappointed with the layout of the AF points of A99.

All the AF points are so much cluttered in the center part of the frame, that I doubt if A99 needed so many points.

I feel Sony simply reused the 19-point AF system of A77 without much modification, so it now only covers the APSC field of view well.

People raving about A99's continuous AF tracking capability should think again on what happens if their subject moves away from center to the left or the right parts of the frame that are left totally uncovered by any AF point.

Also, Sony took one BIONZ processor off the board that reduced much of A99's potential speed for being an SLT. 6FPS sounds dated compared to A77.

Also, no improvement with EVF means all the complains people made with A77 EVF (lagging and clipping of highlights/shadows, for example) may still remain with A99.

So, with such limitations, I wonder why Sony kept people waiting so long to bring out this camera. It's more like an FF sensor packed in a A77 body.

11 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Sep 12, 2012)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjEwsnwbwbs&feature=player_embedded - maybe, A99 AF is not so bad?

1 upvote
Boerseuntjie
By Boerseuntjie (Sep 12, 2012)

A77 on steroids and ugly as hell I agree, Thanks but I will keep my a900

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

It will be a toss-up for many, especially for video shooters, between this A99 and the new Nikon D600.

Alpha 99 has a few things going for it over the D600 (tilting/swiveling LCD screen, for one), but altogether I think the D600 has more scores than what the A99 can deliver.

I briefly tested (only in the store) both the Sony LCD EVF (A57) and OLED EVF (A65/A77), and I tell you, I did not particularly care for either. Both types were rather un-enjoyable to look at for more than a few minutes. So, good old fashioned OPTICAL EVF on the $2,100 D600 sounds better and better to me by the hour.

I am stunned that Sony had just kept the A65/A77 OLED EVF intact and put it into a $2,800 camera body. What were they thinking? The A99's EVF should be larger and with a higher resolution!

Price difference is substantial -- at $2,800, the Alpha 99 costs a whopping 33% more than the Nikon D600 does, wow.

I am not taking or making bets on this one, that's for sure.

0 upvotes
Joe Shaffer
By Joe Shaffer (Sep 12, 2012)

Finally. I need to start saving my pennies now.

3 upvotes
arthon
By arthon (Sep 12, 2012)

So this is a "semi mirrorless design". The light from my motives have to pass through a "semi translucent angled mirror" before the light hits the sensor. With the possibility that the light waves will be bent before they hit the sensor.
No thank you!
Invent some better real mirrorless design for the focus module.

1 upvote
JohnBee
By JohnBee (Sep 12, 2012)

I'm thinking its likely best to confirm such things before drawing conclusions.

3 upvotes
Reinhardt
By Reinhardt (Sep 12, 2012)

don't you use a lens - light is intentionally bent.

7 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Sep 13, 2012)

some speaks out of ignorance and tries to pass it off as intelligence...

3 upvotes
Mark Evans Kent
By Mark Evans Kent (Sep 12, 2012)

I never comment on anything here, but I have to now. We bought an A57 for my other half - with a view to me holding out for this A99 so we could share the system.

The EVF is great, but as we own horses the panning was pants. Sure, 12 frames a second is immense, but not so much fun when you have 500 empty pictures as the picture you see is the one previous and you can't see a current view while panning. The horse you're trying to follow has just turned left and you're still heading right for 2-3 seconds before an empty picture arrives at your eye.

Wonderful technology the SLT and I love the handling, but as an out and out photographic tool for ALL uses, this causes it to fall short somewhat. Terrific if you're not panning unpredictable subjects.

Quite fancy the RX1 though to replace my X100!

4 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 12, 2012)

1. be predictive
2. try a technique of shoothing with both eyes open (which is good even with regular DSLR as you have wider field of view so it's easier to predict what will happen in a moment).

I shot sport events with SLT and never got any problems with tracking - and believe me: Tracking a moving human is by far more difficult then tracking a horse (yep, I tried that too).

10 upvotes
IshrarH
By IshrarH (Sep 12, 2012)

I agree, and I really hoped that they would improve the EVF on A99. :(

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
1 upvote
seilerbird666
By seilerbird666 (Sep 12, 2012)

I have been using an a55 for two years and I shoot primarily BIF. I have no problem panning. I really don't think from your remarks that you even own an a57.

7 upvotes
Mark Evans Kent
By Mark Evans Kent (Sep 12, 2012)

Sorry, but the last comment was great. This is why people don't post things on forums or feeds, children in my classrooms are less predictable than things like this.

"I can do it therefore you are taking rubbish".

I can take a photo of my other half jumping horse using a Canon G12, doesn't mean it's the best tool for the job.

Nothing in my comment would indicate we had never owned an A57. I gave you an opinion, you give me yours. What's wrong with that?

What would you like me to do to prove to you I owned an A57? Purchase invoice? EXIF data on photo feed? Here you go.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ljamielou/7706212518/in/photostream

I actually really liked the camera, loved the handling but the panning was obviously beyond my capabilities. I'm not as adept as I should be perhaps.

In my defence, it was also mentioned on the reviews of all these SLTs. Maybe others came against similar problems.

Enjoy your A55. A57 was much nicer when I handled them both.

4 upvotes
zwoodward
By zwoodward (Sep 12, 2012)

I have an a57 as well and recently used it at a rodeo event, where like you, I also had some difficulty panning. However, I also had the 2 second playback function turned on and would intermittently receive an image review when my memory card started bogging down (as you said 12fps is immense!). I started limiting myself to something more along the lines of a 3fps burst due to space issues on my small card, which made the issue more pronounced as it would then happen every 3 frames. Having not tried it, I wonder if turning off the review would improve panning abilities of myself and any similarly challenged photographers.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

I do not own any Sony SLT cameras. But I tested out in the store and one other situation both the LCD EVF and the OLED EVF that Sony packages these Alpha DSLTs of their with.

I was unimpressed by both types of Sony EVFs. After reading all the praising comments about how great the OLED EVF is on the A65 & A77, I decided that it was maybe at most 10% "better" overall than what I experienced w. the A57. And what I experienced w. the A57 was pretty awful -- image tearing just by doing simple left/right pans. Color were hideous, so was contrast and details. How can you set critical contrast by hand w. something like that?

Also, the rear side of the EVF was also way too close to the LCD screen (A57), I had to press grease on the LCD w. my nose to see anything.

Alpha DSLTs are great devices overall, but I would just forget using the OLED LCD entirely if I get one, and just use the built-in LCD, externally connected EVF, or externally connected LCD monitor instead.

0 upvotes
wy2lam
By wy2lam (Sep 12, 2012)

Does it seems like there's no Bulb mode on this $2500+ body, or am I mistaken?

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 12, 2012)

you are mistaken.

6 upvotes
wy2lam
By wy2lam (Sep 13, 2012)

Thanks Plastek. Reading up on A77 it seems it's reasonable to assume that the A99 does have a remote-activated bulb mode. Does the mount support screw driven lenses?

0 upvotes
Digiman69
By Digiman69 (Sep 12, 2012)

What about EVF while panning at highest frame rate?
EVF same of A65/A77 and 0,71x (against 0,74x A850/950)
this is the A77 full frame version at 3 times the price.
I'll wait the real substitute to my A850

2 upvotes
whiteheat
By whiteheat (Sep 12, 2012)

I see a lot of folks are a complain'in about the $2,800 price tag. Well, compared to the A900, which was over $4,000 when it came out (if memory serves me right) but the price dropped by quite a bit. After a short period, say 6 months, I am convinced that you'll be able to pick the A99 up for around $1,800 to $2,000 (granted it won't be from high street outlets).

0 upvotes
Justin Francis
By Justin Francis (Sep 12, 2012)

Will be blown away by the Nikon D600 and Canon 6D.

0 upvotes
ser dpreview
By ser dpreview (Sep 12, 2012)

you know the future?

14 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 12, 2012)

specification-wise: it easily blows away these two cameras even before we go down to the middle of it. lol

5 upvotes
tbcass
By tbcass (Sep 12, 2012)

We will be blown away by the A109 :-)

2 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (Sep 12, 2012)

probably not, this looks like a fine camera, and feature wise, nothing blows it away. It may have the same sensor as the D600, so again, it will not get blown away. This is a fresh innovative camera that should please many Sony fans, and probably attract a few new sony users. I have no plans to migrate to sony, but i am glad for their sensors and for them pushing the envelope.

4 upvotes
BCMAR15
By BCMAR15 (Sep 12, 2012)

@Just-Go Away-in Francis,

I'm a Canon shooter and this is childish. Why are you walking through Sony's snow with this BS? Get a life, already.

The A99 will NOT be blown away by the D600 or heavily rumored 6D--no way (different market).

Good job, Sony: keep pushing the other guys.

11 upvotes
Cane
By Cane (Sep 12, 2012)

I am not blown away by the weak trolling job. I've seen better. This camera has gobs of features Nikon users will only dream about. Try chewing on focus peaking for starters.

2 upvotes
psn
By psn (Sep 12, 2012)

It will be blown away by the one after 909... oh, wait. WTF?

0 upvotes
Low Budget Dave
By Low Budget Dave (Sep 12, 2012)

It is pretty rare for any camera to blow any other camera out of the market. Canon and Nikon did it to Kodak, but Sony is not Kodak.

If it takes good pictures, it is likely to be around a while. In spite of what people say here, few people need more than 6 fps.

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

Alpha 99 is probably neck-in-neck with the Nikon D600 now, but it has a whopping 33% price disadvantage.

Yeah, the FF Sony COSTS MORE than the FF Nikon, would anyone have believed that before?

No clue what you are talking about with a "Canon 6D" -- please post the product link for it on the Canon USA site. They do not mention it. All they seem to have is a 5D.

0 upvotes
EinsteinsGhost
By EinsteinsGhost (Sep 14, 2012)

Denial appears to be your best friend, Francis.

0 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Sep 12, 2012)

RX1 is a no brainer as it enters an empty playing field.

A99 is entering fierce battlefield. It would be good for Sony to do their pricing a bit more competitively.

Nikon removes the AA in 800E to just squeeze a few more photons in.....
Sony sends 30% of them to the roof.....

We have to wait and see this video advantage when camera is released.

1 upvote
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Sep 12, 2012)

Nikon did NOT remove the AA filter to gather more photons. First, they replaced one layer of the AA filter to counter the effects of the first, which isn't exactly the same as removing the AA filter as a whole. Second, it's done to increase detail, because the difference in terms of photons isn't even measurable beyond measuring error.

And the effects of canceling out the AA filter is a bad idea for video that already suffers from moire in almost all DSLR's, which gets exaggerated in the former scenario.

And that's where the A99 should excel, the convergience of photo and video in the FF market (with viewfinder, with flip out LCD, with fast focus when required, with MF peaking, with stabilization built in to work with all lenses, with the option of an external audio recorder allowing XLR inputs, with 4:2:2 clean HDMI output etc.).
Not to mention all the LV benefits as well.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
harold1968
By harold1968 (Sep 12, 2012)

RX1 is nice and brave, but I think it will be squeezed by not having removable lens at that price

A99 is outstanding. It is clearly ahead of Nikon and Canon in features and weight and will be interesting to see the pricing. If its low, Sony will hurt Canikon.

Hats off to Sony and Fuji, really pushing the envelope and shaking off the cobwebs

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

"... the A99 should excel, the convergience of photo and video in the FF market with viewfinder, with flip out LCD, with fast focus when required, with MF peaking, with stabilization built in to work with all lenses, with the option of an external audio recorder allowing XLR inputs, with 4:2:2 clean HDMI output etc."

True, but looking at it from the side of a Nikon D600:

VIEWFINDER -- optical is just superior to tearing-prone electronic. Which is why you can get an optical VF for such pricey new digital film cameras those made by Aaton, Arri, Panavision, etc.

FOCUS PEAKING -- any external EVF or LCD will do that at least as good, if not better.

EXTERNAL AUDIO INPUT -- at $800 for a pair of XLR jacks for the A99, it is going to be the priciest XLR adapter ever made, period.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Camcorder-XLR-Adapters/ci/8673/N/4291085906

EXTERNAL VIDEO -- they both do that equally well.

Price advantage is favoring NIKON D600 by a whopping $700.

0 upvotes
hsmadi
By hsmadi (Sep 12, 2012)

So, with that dual auto-focus system(s), I'm just wondering if u can tilt the translucent mirror up, or completely remove it and still get auto-focus to work, now that would be awesome !!

2 upvotes
walter marshall
By walter marshall (Sep 12, 2012)

It looks very interesting to me, I use both the a55 and the a850 all my lenses are Minolta legacy, I obviously understand both EVF and optical, I would have to get my hands on one first to give it a try, the new Sony FF compact looks like a fine camera to me, I have a Leica M9 with just the Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f1.5 lens, I am a prime lens man, this little beauty looks like a winner to me and is going to be tempting my pocket, if so my M9 might finish up gathering dust.

1 upvote
ptox
By ptox (Sep 12, 2012)

That is interesting, I was wondering the same things, I love primes too, but not as much as commas, they are the best thing ever, only sometimes I run out of breath, but that's the price one pays, for sublime eloquence, I always say, ?

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
PerL
By PerL (Sep 12, 2012)

One question unanswered: can the EVF maintain live view at the highest fps, or will the EVF show a "slideshow" of previous shots, like Sonys other SLTs?

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Digiman69
By Digiman69 (Sep 12, 2012)

if not is unacceptable at this price tag ! It should mean they placed the same EVF as on their mid price aps-c SLT (costing one third of the A99)

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 12, 2012)

Either slide-show with picture, or slide-show with black frames between. That's all you can get with current SLRs. I doubt there would be any breakthrough.
And it doesn't have anything to deal with EVF but rather whole imaging processing which is far more complicated.

4 upvotes
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Sep 12, 2012)

The difference is that with a SLR, the 'slide show' frames are real time. There's no delay. Current SLT cameras can't offer that capability at framerates above 3 or 4 fps.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Sep 12, 2012)

The sad/ironic part is that the original reason for pellicle mirrors to be used in SLR was to prevent viewfinder blackout altogether. But Sony's implementation instead gives us one of the worst VF experiences for action shooting.

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 12, 2012)

Original intend for SLT design was to get constant AF during video and continuous shooting. It never had anything to deal with viewfinder.

chlamchowder - at speed of 10 FPS if you know word "prediction" there isn't much difference between "real time" and "last picture". Imagine that first movies were made in 16 FPS for long time - which isn't much faster then what you get in A99 continuous shooting.

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Sep 12, 2012)

I was talking about the original use of the pellicle mirror, long before Sony. Canon did it first in the 60s and there was a few sports-centric models spanning the 70-90s from both Canon and Nikon. The goal was no viewfinder blackout and in later models, continuous AF while taking photos.

1 upvote
APL
By APL (Sep 12, 2012)

A99 will cost more than Nikon D800 in Europe, that's absurd! Looks like Sony and also Canon (5D MarkIII) are pricing themselves out of the market.

2 upvotes
JohnBee
By JohnBee (Sep 12, 2012)

Is it just me or does Europe always seen to get a bum wrap in camera pricing?

Prices look very good in Canada.
I expect the A99 to settle at/or around $2200 when all is said and done.

0 upvotes
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (Sep 12, 2012)

Expect to see this new (Sony) sensor in the Nikon D600 FF camera - 36 MP is mad for any normal use - the D700 was always able to produce superb images with 12MP - so upping the sensor to 'just' 24MP should not been seen as a 'bad thing' and it might allow for even better low light and video modes than the D800. Should also be cheaper to produce - roll on the D600 (or whatever they call it).

2 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Sep 12, 2012)

...or an Aptina 24MP sensor in the D600.

0 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (Sep 12, 2012)

I think I read they were both 24.3, so they may be the same??

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

Same exact thing, it seems. Good news.

0 upvotes
Martin Datzinger
By Martin Datzinger (Sep 12, 2012)

Sad to see they used an SLT design, the brilliant OVF was one of the main incentives to buy the a900.

4 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Sep 12, 2012)

Sad to read that you are stuck to outdated technology. EVF is the future...

4 upvotes
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Sep 12, 2012)

The OVF isn't outdated technology - it's technology that's different from an EVF, and superior to an EVF in many ways. Newer doesn't imply better.

5 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Sep 12, 2012)

I see Fujifilm's hybrid viewfinder as far more technologically impressive than just replacing the viewfinder with a tiny screen. Add to my current capabilities and I will call it progress. If you remove as many benefits as you add, it is not progress.

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

EVFs are really nasty overall.

Brand new, very high-end digital film cameras (Aaton, Arri, Panavision, etc) today all use OPTICAL VFs. Not electronic. The person commenting that "OVF is outdated technology" must be using a $99 P&S. He/she probably also believes that "film is dead."

Fuji hybrid VF is 10x better in all respects than the Sony LCD & OLED EVFs. I tried them all a bit, could not warm up to what the A57, A65, and A77 have for EVF. Talk about eye straining and headache-inducing! The tearing alone when you pan fast kills it all, not suitable for the very purpose it was designed for.

But hey, if you love the Sony OLED EVF, get the A99, by all means.

0 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Sep 12, 2012)

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sony.jp%2FCorporateCruise%2FPress%2F201209%2F12-0912B%2F

DPR Get your specs info corrected. Here are the correct ones.

2 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Sep 12, 2012)

Why there is no mention about the upcoming Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1.4 SSM?

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sony.jp%2FCorporateCruise%2FPress%2F201209%2F12-0912B%2F

Scroll down until you see the lens rendering.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Sep 12, 2012)

Because at the moment it's a development announcement only. This, in contrast, is a preview of a camera that does actually exist.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 12, 2012)

and still the specs are wrong.

1 upvote
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Sep 12, 2012)

The lack of information about the updated 300mm G II is more glaring, especially since it's mentioned briefly in the anouncement of the A99.

0 upvotes
Archer66
By Archer66 (Sep 12, 2012)

DPR never posts development announcements.

Oh wait,
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/07/11/Nikon-creates-800mm-F5-6-VR-super-telephoto-lens

3 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 12, 2012)

HAHahahhahaha dPreview FAIL

0 upvotes
JohnBee
By JohnBee (Sep 12, 2012)

Here's a brief commercial showing some of the accessories available for the A99: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D90fvwoB3Ak

Without seeing anything on IQ, this looks like a very capable piece of kit.

1 upvote
sye46
By sye46 (Sep 12, 2012)

Full 9 minute video preview of the A99

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvFgUrHgsiI&feature=youtu.be

0 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Sep 12, 2012)

A lot of errors on almost all Sony announced products. dpReview, Please check your release notes.

Btw, it wasn't supposed the SLT tech would reduce costs compared to traditional dSLR? Where is the benefit? I waited for A77 to see price, nothing, similar to other SLR. And now with A99, similar and under spec compared to others. The only real benefit of SLT I see is PDAF on video. Good camera but cannot see any real advantage over rivals.

2 upvotes
JohnBee
By JohnBee (Sep 12, 2012)

And don't forget focus peaking through VF, which is a god sent for MF shooters.

2 upvotes
zstan
By zstan (Sep 12, 2012)

many people also thinks this camera ONLY has 19AF points but didnt know that it has 102 on sensor phase detection AF pixels. sigh.

1 upvote
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Sep 12, 2012)

Right, the Focus Peaking...But I was expecting a reduced price, given we only have 1 Bionz Processor (maybe that's why is limited to 6fps compared to 5fps on A900) and an EVF that is the same as A77..

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

For proper focus peaking, just get a 5.6-inch external LCD monitor for a little over $400, that will give you all sort of focus assist and tons more. Connect to camera via mini-HDMI.

0 upvotes
JDT0505
By JDT0505 (Sep 12, 2012)

I really don't think pros are going to be jumping ship from Nikon and Canon for an EVF camera. Only 6 fps? Isn't one of the reasons for using SLT to up frame rate by not using a moving mirror? I guess the processor isn't really up to the job. Sony is just throwing out high dollar junk today.

1 upvote
Intence
By Intence (Sep 12, 2012)

Agreed, I really was expecting something huge ... something new, that would put C&N to shame. Instead we have a camera priced very close to the D800 with a lower end sensor (i'm not going purely by MP, but the fact that D800 has the high MP sensor and D600 will likely share this sensor with the A99).

This might be a nice camera to get when the price drops significantly after sales don't materialize. Pros will want the accessories, lenses, and support offered by C&N (not to mention the ability to easily rent a wide array of lenses). Pricing is a bit high for hobbyists when the competition isn't priced much higher. Sony needs to do their homework, while their latest sensors are quite promising, if they keep this up, their camera division will go the same way as the rest of their electronic division.

1 upvote
JohnBee
By JohnBee (Sep 12, 2012)

Think of MF advantage and you have yourself a winner.
The D800 is nice but has its share of limitations also. The A99 addresses those quite nicely with a 2FPS advantage in FF format(not to shabby I'd say). On the resolution front, there isn't very much difference between a 36 and 24MP at the end of the day tbh.

In closing I'd point-out that Sony's pricing strategy will place it in a very appealing market after the dust settles.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Intence
By Intence (Sep 12, 2012)

How? It's only $200 cheaper than a D800 with a cheaper sensor (don't try and propose than the 24MP is "better" when it will likely be the sensor used in D600). 5D3 can routine be had for just over $3k from an authorized dealer. 6 fps on the Canon. Sony's eco-system is lacking to say the least.

From what I can tell the Sony offers the EVF and the flip-out screen. Prosumer crap that pros won't give a damn about.

To me (and not trying to troll), this is a HUGE screw-up on Sony's part. Priced closer to $2k this would have been a phenomenal camera. Priced close to D800 / 5D3 territory, i'm predicting only a small minority of consumers are going to purchase the Sony (perhaps those who need far better MF abilities, or those who own compatible glass).

Sony's the new kid on the block with FF, and they've priced themselves in the same league as the big boys. Nikon will use the same sensor in their upcoming offerings which leaves Sony in a very awkward position at the current price.

6 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Sep 12, 2012)

The D600 will likely have an Aptina sensor.

0 upvotes
JohnBee
By JohnBee (Sep 12, 2012)

Don't forget about Sony's secret weapon also... (The A99 accessories). After seeing the video support from this camera, I honestly don't think there's any other camera of its price bracket that comes close. Very impressive piece of equipment.

3 upvotes
Intence
By Intence (Sep 12, 2012)

Agreed that this may turn out to be a very nice tool for video. For pure stills (the bread and butter of C&N) it's going to have a hard time given the current competition.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Sep 12, 2012)

@Troj: not so sure. The MP count seems exactly same, and no news of PDAF on the D600. If not included, certainly not Aptina. Maybe standard Nikon FF design (a la D4), but not Aptina.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 12, 2012)

Sony may sell this sensor without PDAF included. After all it's their own patented technology so I'm not sure if they'll be so willing to sell it to Nikon just like that. Rest of the sensor might remain unchanged though.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Sep 12, 2012)

"If not included, certainly not Aptina."

That's a bit of a non sequitur. It's not as if all Aptina sensors must have on sensor PDAF now, just because the 1 series do.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

Current list pricing for some sampled digital cameras:

$3,500: CANON 5D Mk II

$3,000: NIKON D800

$3,000: Blackmagic Cinema Camera

$2,800: Sony Alpha 99 DSLT

- - - - - - - - - - -

$2,100: Nikon D600

$1,100 - $1,400 range: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 (M4/3 sensor)

For video use, the half price or even less GH3 will be every bit as good as the $2,800 Alpha 99.

And for everything else, there is the Nikon D600.

Sony has its work cut out for them recruiting converts/buters at $2,800 a pop. Heck, even the EVF seems to be sourced (cannibalized) right out of their much cheaper A65/A77.

And believe or not, I actually love Sony!

0 upvotes
Intence
By Intence (Sep 12, 2012)

Can someone please enlighten me, i'm puzzled and confused as to why anyone would purchase this camera. I'm not trying to be a troll, I really don't understand. Low FPS, no major advantages over 5D3 or D800 and similar pricing (keep in mind 5D3 can be had for just over $3k routinely). Specifically, far fewer AF points than both C&N, fewer lens options, relatively average FPS, along with fewer accessories/thid-party support.

Unless you're heavily vested in compatible glass, why would ANYONE purchase this over the D800 or 5D3. I just don't get it? Sony is the underdog in this arena, yet they've priced themselves inline with the competition. Some enthusiasts who have $3k to drop on a camera may buy it, but I can't see pros moving to Sony without either a clear price or feature advantage?

I can undersand the motivation behind the RX1 (FF in a VERY compact package), but I just can't fathom who the target market for the A99 would be.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
JohnBee
By JohnBee (Sep 12, 2012)

The 5D Mark III currently retails for $3500 in Canada.
The A99 has an introductory price of $2800 in Canada.
If we factor in Sony's price strategy, were looking at a $2200-2400 body in 6 months.

Aside from this, have you compared features between these two camera's? Video, Image stabilization, seals etc. Sounds to me like you've got some reading to do... ;)

4 upvotes
Intence
By Intence (Sep 12, 2012)

Video and IS are nice, but if you're dropping $3k on a body, then yous should be getting top-end glass. I'm not saying this camera doesn't offer advantages, but it's not offering nearly enough at the price (and to make up for the fact that it won't have the same support as C&N).

Predicting what the price will be is a whole different ballgame. At $2200 this would have been a winner, at $2800 it's just a reason to purchase C&N. FWIW the 5D3 was offered through eBay last week (from a VERY reputable retailer) for $2800. It's routinely sold for just over $3k through the same channels.

My point is that the 5D3 / D800 war has been ongoing for months now. At MSRP the D800 appeared more popular forcing 5D3 prices down. $2800 for the A99 is VERY steep, either Sony didn't want to sell too many, or they've screwed up royally.

3 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Sep 12, 2012)

A stabilized FF sensor. Focus peaking . A viewfinder that works in video mode and for LV. Fast focusing for video and LV. Much more lightweight. Full HD at 60P FF video, the only FF with a flip screen, etc.
If you don't see benefits in the LV and video technology, you're not the target group to begin with.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
JohnBee
By JohnBee (Sep 12, 2012)

Sony pricing strategy is well known. There introductory prices are just that(always been this way). Best thing to do, is wait for the prices to settle do draw comparisons.

On the feature side of things, all I can say at this point, is to dig in and learn more about it. Because as it stands, there isn't a camera anywhere in this price range that can do what this unit does.

If the A99 sensor delivers on IQ, it could easily become the camera to beat this year. Time will tell but so far, its looking very good for Sony.

0 upvotes
Intence
By Intence (Sep 12, 2012)

I suppose I read the specs thinking only of stills. For video, this does appear to be very promising. In fact, that may be how Sony will distinguish themselves from the other two.

TrojMacReady and Jonbee, I stand corrected. I was only looking at the camera from the "still" point of view, neglecting that there's a whole other market looking for premium video. With Canon not offering a flip-screen on anything higher than the 60D (not sure about Nikon) and both C&N missing key video features across the board, the A99 should make for an awesome video camera. I'm guilty of only reading the specs with regard to what I was interested in, instead of looking at the big picture. The A99 would be a delight for videographers.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
zstan
By zstan (Sep 12, 2012)

102 on sensor AF points is less than C and N's offering?

1 upvote
JDT0505
By JDT0505 (Sep 12, 2012)

I don't know why this camera would appeal to videographers more than let's say, the NEX VG-900 full frame video camera with the same sensor.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Sep 12, 2012)

It probably wouldn't but the A99 is targeted at videographers who are at least as interested in stills too, while the the ergonomics of the VG900 and the camera as a whole is less targeted at stills and more at video. It just can take great stills too.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

NIKON D600: $2,100 list price. 'Nuff said.

Video capabilities of D600 on-par with Alpha 99. Really.

http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d600/features05.htm

Video capabilities of upcoming Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 will also likely be on-par with Sony Alpha 99. And the GH3 will probably cost 50% or less than what Sony is asking for the A99.

Not a good week for Sony overall with the Alpha 99. Fortunately for them, they have a host of amazing new products besides this one.

0 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (Sep 12, 2012)

Just out of curiosity- why would you not put an optical view finder in a FF camera? Are there pros(or anyone) who said "I don't want an OVF"?
Won't having full time evf drain the battery fast?
I just don't get it... I know why people like evf, but who doesn't like a big FF OVF?

1 upvote
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Sep 12, 2012)

You need to read a bit about SLT technology...

7 upvotes
forsakenbliss
By forsakenbliss (Sep 12, 2012)

to have through the lens optical view finder you will need prism & mirror.
Prism is big and mirror slaps.

4 upvotes
Intence
By Intence (Sep 12, 2012)

This body doesn't exactly look small. Are they using the EVF for the sake of using the EVF? It makes sense on the RX1 and the NEX series, and even in the relatively small Sony SLRs, but here? I fail to see the advantage besides adding complexity.

0 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Sep 12, 2012)

They put an EVF because they couldn't put an OVF. SLT technology doesn't allow the use of OVF. What's SLT? Just google it.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

"You need to read a bit about SLT technology..."

No, you don't. Just pick up a couple of Sony SLTs like I have (A57/65/77) and test out their LCD & OLED EVFs. If you like them -- fine. But I did not like either type, was very disappointed in the performance of the A65/A77 OLED EVF particularly. I guess it must be cheaper still than optical, which of course would not even work with DSLTs.

BTW, Sony is not against optical VFs -- their own D65 cinema camera (all digital) will have one as an accessory. Of course, that one is a totally mirrorless camera, ha-ha-ha. How they do it, I don't really know.

0 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Sep 18, 2012)

SLT CAMERAS CANNOT HAVE OVF LIKE THE SLRS DO!

0 upvotes
obayedh
By obayedh (Sep 12, 2012)

@ steven_k

It will depends on high ISO noise - looks like a great cam for CaNikon to afraid of!!

2 upvotes
Kabe Luna
By Kabe Luna (Sep 12, 2012)

Canon and Nikon have nothing to fear from this camera as long as the battery life remains a weakness, viewing is exclusively by power-hungry EVF, its lens options are so restricted and you can't rent system gear readily. Plus, looks like Nikon will have the same or similar sensor in the D600 not long after this launches.

1 upvote
Atarandas
By Atarandas (Sep 12, 2012)

Lens options restricted and cant be rented ? How much do you know about the Alpha lens eco system really

0 upvotes
Intence
By Intence (Sep 12, 2012)

He's not saying they can't be rented, be realistic, it's FAR easier to rent C&N glass than anything else. I used to shoot Pentax, and know all too well the "left out" feeling of not having the same lens options or limited rental options compared to C&N.

0 upvotes
Archer66
By Archer66 (Sep 12, 2012)

@Kabe Luna
Can canikon use 3 batteries ( 1 in camera, 2 in grip ) ?

1 upvote
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Sep 12, 2012)

@archer
A Nikon D800 with two standard batteries gets more shots per charge than the a99 will with three batteries. And if you use the D4 battery in the grip...

1 upvote
DStudio
By DStudio (Sep 12, 2012)

DPR, I like your preview videos - keep 'em coming!

1 upvote
steven_k
By steven_k (Sep 12, 2012)

I just ordered one from Sony store, amazon, and B&H
I hope they ship in October for fall colors in Telluride.
I also hope that at base ISO, IQ will surpass the A850/A900
Will see
Now,I wonder if any Nikon D800 users will jump,ship?

1 upvote
jadgl968
By jadgl968 (Sep 12, 2012)

probably not

3 upvotes
Intence
By Intence (Sep 12, 2012)

Why? What does this do that the D800 doesn't? Is it the EVF or the flip-out screen?

I really don't see this as a serious threat to the D800 or 5D3 at Sony's current pricing. Unless there's some feature we're missing. 6 fps, 19 AF points, $2800?!? I am very confused.

We should have full specs on the D600 in 24 hours or so. If rumored pricing turns out to be true, i'd really like to see why the A99 is worth $1000 more than a D600.

1 upvote
foto2021
By foto2021 (Sep 12, 2012)

Intence wrote:
>Why? What does this do that the D800 doesn't?

This has a fabulous 24 MP whereas the D800 has 'only' 36 MP.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 12, 2012)

It's not a competition to D800, but rather Canon 5D mk III. And I'm sure lots of Canon shooters will be very interested in A99 cause it blows if out of water in terms of video.

1 upvote
Dustinash
By Dustinash (Sep 20, 2012)

How about:

-In body stabalization
-flip out screen
-EVF with levels
-shot preview
-access to Zeiss glass
-60p video mode
-stepless front button for changing gain in video
-lighter
-potentially better low light noise handling
-no mirror slap

Having in body stabalization and no mirror slap both contribute greatly to steadier photos and more hits. Its like a built in monopod

That said there are plenty of advantages that the d800 has. And the extra 12mp is certainly one, also sporting a superior AF system and a flash system that kicks the living bejesus out of sonys.

Sony flash can only go down to 1/32 which if your shooting tethered, direct flash can be too much.

0 upvotes
FTW
By FTW (Sep 12, 2012)

Seems we where waiting for a A900 in a new work suit. So nothing to hurry for, specially at the price they are presumed to ask for. 3200 ISO limit and 2800$ street price, no comment on that joke. Same for the long awaited NEX-9. Instead we get a fixed lens tourist camera at horrible price tag. Good work Sony, you really know what people don't want and need. Our goal was to get a camera we could use, not to enter in Guiness book of records for the smallest FF Tourist P&S.

0 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (Sep 12, 2012)

This isn't sounding tired or anything.

3 upvotes
RubberDials
By RubberDials (Sep 12, 2012)

The ISO limit is 25600, not 3200 - Dpreview got it wrong. They also say it doesn't have a GPS and it does.

6 upvotes
Charrick
By Charrick (Sep 12, 2012)

This is what I've been craving! I don't have the money, however, so I'll wait for the Alpha 79 (or the next version after the 77...hopefully that will come next year).

0 upvotes
Total comments: 181
12