Camera Menus

The A99's menus will be immediately familiar to anyone who's shot a Sony DSLR (or a Minolta, for that matter, since they've evolved from that system). Here they feature 107 menu items spread among 21 pages, divided into seven categories. Unfortunately, unlike 'tabbed' menu systems from Nikon and Canon, you can't jump from one category to the next. You're forced instead to flip through each page in a category to get to the next one. On a menu system with as many options as the A99, this can mean flicking through as many as 10 pages to get to the one you want.

To be fair, it's usually quite easy to work out where the setting you're looking for is going to be, even if it takes a while to navigate to it. One of our first tasks then with any Alpha model is to set the option to revert to the last-used setting when you re-enter the menu system, which can save a lot of time otherwise spent repeatedly scrolling through pages. Most helpfully though, the reintroduction of the Quick Navi menu means that your trips to the main menu are significantly reduced.

The rear dial can be used to scroll through pages, while the front dial scrolls up and down through the options - looping onto the next page if you reach the bottom or top of the page you're on. Alternatively you can use the joystick on the back of the camera. A key setting to find early on is the 'Menu Start' option (Setup page 1) that allows you to decide whether to re-enter the menu at the first option or back at the last setting you used. In menus this long, we're recommend the latter.

The A99's menu contains 107 options spread over 21 pages. For this reason we think it's worth setting the 'Menu Start' option to 'previous' so that pressing the Menu button returns you to the last edited setting, rather than to the first menu page.

Shooting menu

The four shooting menu pages cover some basic behavioral operations (such as SteadyShot and whether pressing the shutter button sets exposure or focus) and image settings (size, color and processing).

Option Values / Actions Notes
Page one
Image size  • L: 24M (20M in 16:9)
 • M: 12M (8.7M in 16:9)
 • S: 4.6M (3.9M in 16:9)
- 6000 x 4000 (6000 x 3376 in 16:9)
- 3936 x 2624 (3936 x 2216 in 16:9)
- 2640 x 1760 (2640 x 1488 in 16:9)
Aspect Ratio  • 3:2
 • 16:9

Quality  • RAW
 • RAW & JPEG
 • Extra Fine
 • Fine
 • Standard
(Raw & JPEG creates a Fine JPEG)
Panorama: Size  • Standard
 • Wide
Only available in Panorama mode
Panorama: Detection  • Right
 • Left
 • Up
 • Down
Only available in Panorama mode
Page two
Clear Image Zoom  • On
 • Off
 
Digital Zoom  • On
 • Off
 
Long Exposure NR  • On
 • Off
 
High ISO NR.  • Normal
 • Low
 • Off
Increases noise reduction at ISO 1600 or above.
Flash control  • ADI Flash
 • Pre-flash TTL
 
Power ratio  • 1/1
 • 1/2
 • 1/4
 • 1/8
 • 1/16
Only available when Manual Flash is selected
AF illuminator  • Auto
 • Off
 
Page three
SteadyShot  • On
 • Off
 
AF drive speed  • Fast
 • Slow
 
Color Space  • sRGB
 • AdobeRGB
Silent Controller  • Focus Mode
 • AF Area
 • Select AF area
 • Exposure Comp.
 • ISO
 • Metering Mode
This setting can also be adjusted by holding the Silent Controller's central button down
Page four
Exposure step  • 0.5 EV
 • 0.3 EV
 
Priority setup  • AF
 • Release
 
AF w/ shutter  • On
 • Off
 
AEL w/shutter  • On
 • Off
 
Memory  • Select  

Movie menu

Although the A99's core movie capabilities are very similar to those in many of the company's other current cameras, it offers a few extra features and settings. These include defining the role of the 'Silent Controller' dial on the front of the camera and setting how persistent the autofocus is when tracking a target.

Option Values / Actions Notes
Page one
File Format  • AVCHD
 • MP4

Record Setting  • 60i 24M (FX)
 • 60i 17M (FH)
 • 60p 28M (PS)
 • 24p 24M (FX)
 • 24p 17M (FH)
50i/p in European units
SteadyShot  • On
 • Off
 
AF Tracking Duration  • High
 • Mid
 • Low
 
Auto Slow Shutter  • On
 • Off
 
Silent Controller  • Audio Rec Level
 • Focus Mode
 • AF Area
 • Select AF area
 • Exposure Comp.
 • ISO
 • Metering Mode
 • Shutter Speed
 • Aperture
This setting can also be adjusted by holding the Silent Controller's central button down (While recording)
Page two
Audio Recording  • On
 • Off
 
Wind Noise Reduct.  • On
 • Off
 
Audio Rec Level  • Level, 0 – 31
 • Reset
 
Audio Level Display  • On
 • Off
Shows the audio level (Movie mode only) when rec level is being changed
Audio Output Timing  • Live
 • Lip Sync
Lip Sync delays audio output by the slight delay taken to record the video

Custom menu

The A99's custom menus run to six pages, and allow a pretty high degree of camera configuration. Here you'll also find all the settings relating to the user interface.

Option Values / Actions Notes
Page one
Eye-Start AF  • On
 • Off
Sets the camera to AF if it detects an eye has been put to the viewfinder.
FINDER/LCD setting  • Auto
 • Manual
Switch between rear LCD and EVF
Red Eye Reduction  • On
 • Off
 
Release w/o Lens  • Enable
 • Disable
 
S. Auto Cont. Shooting  • Auto
 • Off
Continuous shooting in Auto+ mode
S. Auto Image Extract.  • Auto
 • Off
Saving all images that were shot continuously in Auto+ mode
Page two
Grid Line  • Rule of 3rds Grid
 • Square Grid
 • Diag. +Square Grid
 • Off
 
Auto Review  • 10 Sec
 • 5 Sec
 • 2 Sec
 • Off
 
DISP Button (Monitor)  • Graphic Display
 • Display All Info.
 • No Disp. Info.
 • Level
 • Histogram
 • For viewfinder
Sets which screens are available on the rear display when shooting.
DISP Button (Finder)  • Graphic Display
 • Display All Info.
 • No Disp. Info.
 • Level
 • Histogram
Sets which screens are available in the viewfinder when shooting.
Page three
AF RANGE Button  • AF Range Control
 • In-Camera Guide
 
AF Range Control Assist  • On
 • Off
 
Peaking Level  • High
 • Mid
 • Low
 • Off
Sets the sensitivity of the
Peaking Color  • Red
 • Yellow
 • White
 
Live View Display  • Setting Effect On
 • Setting Effect Off
Defines whether the preview represents exposure brightness
Page four
Func. of AEL button  • Exposure Comp.
 • Drive Mode
 • Flash Mode
 • Focus Mode
 • AF area
 • Smile/Face Detect.
 • Auto Port. Framing
 • ISO
 • Metering Mode
 • Flash Comp.
 • White Balance
 • DRO/Auto HDR
 • Creative Style
 • Picture Effect
 • Image Size
 • Quality
 • AEL hold
 • AEL toggle
 • Spot AEL hold
 • Spot AEL toggle
 • FEL Lock hold
 • FEL Lock toggle
 • Object Tracking
 • AF/MF Control Hold
 • AF/MF Control Toggle
 • AF lock
 • AF On
 • Aperture Preview
 • Shot. Result Preview
 • Focus Magnifier
 • Memory
 
ISO Button  • As above  
AF/MF button  • As above  
Custom button  • As above  
Preview Button  • As above  
Smart Telecon. Button  • Smart Telecon.
 • Zoom
 • Focus Magnifier
Smart Teleconverter offers crops of the image, Zoom uses Clear Image Zoom and Digital Zoom to give full res
Focus Hold Button  • Focus Hold
 • Preview Button
 
Page five
MOVIE Button  • Always
 • Movie Mode Only
 
Ctrl dial setup  • Front Dial SS, Rear Dial F/no.
 • Front Dial F/no. Rear Dial SS
 
Dial exp.comp  • Off
 • Front Dial
 • Rear Dial
 
Exp. comp. set  • Ambient&flash
 • Ambient only
 
Bracket order  • 0 – +
 • – 0 +
 
Page five
Lens Comp.: Shading  • Auto
 • Off
 
Lens Comp.: Chro.Aber.  • Auto
 • Off
 
Lens Comp.: Distortion  • Auto
 • Off
 
e-Front Curtain Shutter  • On
 • Off
 
Face Priority Tracking  • On
 • Off
 
Face Registration  • New Registration
 • Order Exchanging
 • Delete
 • Delete All