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The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
The Sony SLT-A99 is the Japanese camera maker's flagship model, aimed squarely at DSLR enthusiasts who will settle for nothing less than a full frame sensor in a rugged body with a plethora of external and customizable controls. It arrives almost four years after its predecessor, the A900, the company's first full frame DSLR. You'd certainly expect significant new features given such a long gap between products and Sony has lost no opportunity to equip the A99 with every bit of electronic expertise they've incorporated into their NEX and SLT models in the interim. Whereas the A900 was a defiantly conventional SLR that would have been immediately familiar to Konica Minolta film-camera users, the A99 is something of a technological tour-de-force.
Start with a dual chip AF system, live view focus peaking, tiltable rear LCD, built-in GPS and 1080p60 movie recording plus the ability to output uncompressed video, and the contrast to the stills-only A900 couldn't be more stark aside from the A99's identical 24MP resolution. And then of course, there's the fact that with the A99 Sony has opted for an electronic, versus optical viewfinder. From a features standpoint, it's clear that Sony was out to rethink its approach to the enthusiast market and attempt to lure would-be DSLR shooters with a surfeit of technology while broadening its appeal to videographers.
Like its predecessor, the SLT-A99 enters a full frame DSLR playing field still dominated by the 'big two', so the camera's success will depend not just on its advances over the A900, but how well it competes against the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Nikon D800. Sony may have chosen not to challenge the 36MP Nikon D800 for pixel count - somewhat of a surprise given that the D800 houses a Sony-made sensor - but has opted instead for a unique dual sensor AF system that promises more precise subject tracking along with a 6fps continuous AF burst rate.
Sony has gone to great lengths to stress the work that has gone into improving the camera's image quality. The latest 24MP sensor has been designed so that more of each photosite is light-sensitive. The electronics in front of this light sensitive region have been slimmed-down to increase the angle from which each site can receive light. These changes, combined with a design that provides a short and high-capacity path between the sensor output and the image processor, and the addition of 14-bit Raw output, should mean improved still image quality.
The rapid adoption of DSLRs by video professionals has made HD recording with manual exposure control a stock feature in even mid-range models. With the A99 though, Sony leverages its considerable video expertise by combining 1080p60 video capture with SLT-enabled phase-detection AF along with the ability to output uncompressed video over HDMI (a feature we first saw in the Nikon D800). Another well-implemented nod to the needs of run-and-gun videographers can be found in the inclusion of a 'silent controller' that allows for adjustments to made while recording without the attendant button clicks.
The A99 is based around Sony's SLT design - a variant on the DSLR concept that uses an electronic viewfinder (EVF), rather than an optical one. Instead of having a mirror that has to flip out of the way to to take a photo, it uses a fixed semi-transparent mirror that redirects light (with negligible luminance loss) to a DSLR-style phase-detection autofocus sensor. This means live view and autofocus are always active and that the A99 can offer a consistent shooting experience whether you use the flip-out screen or the EVF. It also means the conventional 19-point phase detection focus sensor is always illuminated, along with the 109-point on-sensor array. This puts the A99 in the unique position of having dual phase-detection focus systems available at all times - an unusual feature that Sony has developed several features to exploit, including 'AF-D', its depth-map assist continuous AF feature.
|This (Sony supplied) diagram shows very clearly how the SLT-A99's imaging and focussing systems are implemented (the camera shown here is the SLT-A77, but the system is identical). Light coming in through the lens is split by the fixed, semi-transparent mirror - a portion feeds the phase-detection AF sensor, and the majority hits the main imaging sensor for live view and image capture.|
The decision to build a full-frame SLT camera will certainly be controversial among enthusiasts who equate a 'serious' camera with an optical, rather than electronic viewfinder. It's worth pointing out though that the A99 sports the same 2.4M dot resolution OLED 'Tru-Finder' EVF whose performance we found so impressive in our NEX-7 review. And the benefits that an EVF provides, including exposure and white balance preview, focus peaking and a customizable information overlay, all without removing the camera from an eye-level shooting position, may be enough to sway those who spends even a little time actually using it.
This video, shot at the Photokina trade show earlier this year is taken from our previously published preview of the Sony SLT-A99.
Sony has announced delays in delivering certain cameras as a result of the Kumamoto earthquakes. Read more
Weeks after replacing its CEO and announcing a new 50MP CMOS-equipped medium format DSLR, Hasselblad has us scratching our heads yet again. The just-announced Hasselblad HV joins the Lunar and Stellar as a restyled Sony SLT-A99 that offers identical specifications but has a complete aesthetic overhaul and 'tough as nails' PVD-coated aluminum and titanium construction. And we thought those days were over... Learn more
Our friends and collaborators over at DxOMark have been looking into how lenses score on specific cameras, and their latest round-up takes a look at Sony's 24MP full frame flagship, the SLT-A99. The article covers 22 lenses, including both current models from the likes of Sony, Sigma and Zeiss, and some older Konica Minolta optics. They've published a number of reviews of new Sony-mount lenses alongside, including the 300mm F2.8 G II SSM telephoto and the Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di USD, plus the ZEISS Touits for NEX cameras. Click through for the links.
Sony has announced firmware updates for its SLT-A37, A57, A65, A77 and A99 digital SLRs. Firmware version 1.01 for the SLT-A99 adds Dual-AF compatibility with key A-mount lenses. Updates for the rest of the SLTs including the A99 add automatic lens correction with several A-mount lenses. Click through for more details and a link to the updates.
Sony has announced it plans to release several firmware updates for A-mount and E-mount systems on February 4, 2013. Updates to Alpha and NEX bodies relate mostly to lenses, including the addition of Dual-AF support for 11 lenses on the A99, and Fast Hybrid AF support for six E-mount lenses on the NEX-5R and NEX-6, among others. Three E-mount lenses also get updates to enable Fast Hybrid AF support. See table below for more detail on which bodies and lenses will get updates.
When the Fujifilm X-T2 arrived, it was more than just a modest upgrade to the already impressive X-T1. While the new X-T3 hasn't changed the overall design of the camera, this model is way more than an upgrade; rather, it's a quantum leap.
The Movie Maker is a compact, motorized slider designed for phones, action cams and small mirrorless cameras. We think it's a fun little kit and a good value proposition for the cost, provided you can work around a few of its weak points.
Nikon's Z7 is the first camera to use the all-new Z-mount, the company's first new full-frame mount since 1959. We've put together our first impressions based on quality shooting time with a pre-production camera - check out what we've found.
What's the best camera for a parent? The best cameras for shooting kids and family must have fast autofocus, good low-light image quality and great video. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for parents, and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting landscapes? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best.
What’s the best camera costing over $2000? The best high-end camera costing more than $2000 should have plenty of resolution, exceptional build quality, good 4K video capture and top-notch autofocus for advanced and professional users. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2000 and recommended the best.
|Forever Stalled by Domenick Creaco|
from The End of the Road
|Lost, But Not Forever by Domenick Creaco|
from Lost and found
Two years ago, CatLABS of JP announced a plan to save Packfilm from the dead. Now, it's announced it's giving up its efforts to better focus its resources elsewhere.
The GoPro Fusion is designed to make it easy to capture 360-degree video and stills. We took it out recently on a typically hot Seattle summer day to see what it can do.
We've got our hands on a full-production Nikon Z7 camera and have updated our gallery with additional samples.
A new Kickstarter campaign seeks funding for Chroma Chrono, a programmable RGB camera flash that emits multiple colors during long exposures.
Think Tank Photo has launched a new lineup of six dual-access, water-resistant protective lens cases it calls Lens Case Duo.
Canon and Nikon finally entered the full-frame mirrorless market this summer with the brand-new RF and Z mounts. Now that we've had some time with the cameras, we wanted to revisit our earlier predictions and take stock.
The devices' camera specs look pretty much identical to last year's iPhone X but under the hood a number of important improvements have been made.
Blackmagic Design has announced the public beta of its new Blackmagic RAW video codec. The company says the new format combines the benefits of shooting Raw video with the ease of use and smaller file sizes usually associated with non-Raw video files.
Serif, the company behind the Affinity suite, has announced the latest update for its mobile Photoshop competitor Affinity Photo for iPad.
The Atomos Ninja V external video recorder and monitor will be ready to ship at the end of this month. The 5.2in Ninja V is designed to provide a smaller option, while still offering many of the features of the larger 7-inch models.
Having shot with the camera, spoken to Canon and read the tea leaves, here's what DPR Technical Editor Richard Butler thinks the EOS R tells us about Canon and the RF's mount's future.
After last week's teaser, lighting manufacturer Profoto has announced its 'small big' new product. The B10 is designed to be used as studio flash head but in a very small body, and has a powerful continuous light source for videographers as well.
Konseen has launched Photo Studio, a new light box tent large enough to photograph people, as well as objects.
Seagate has introduced new high-capacity hard drives for Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices: the 14TB IronWolf and 14TB IronWolf Pro HDDs.
The case was first announced earlier this year as a Kickstarter campaign and comes with a range of features aimed at iPhone photographers.
Manfrotto has introduced a new two-in-one tripod to its Befree lineup. Called the Befree 2N1, this new addition is both a tripod and monopod in one and is available with both of Manfrotto's locking mechanisms.
This new high dynamic range editing software comes with an AI-powered Quantum HDR Engine for improved photo merging.
Apple has unveiled the next generation of its iPhone X in the form of three variants: the 5.8" iPhone XS and 6.5" iPhone XS Max with OLED screens, and the 6.1" iPhone XR with an LCD and single rear camera.
Ahead of the launch of the CamRanger II the company has announced a mini version of its wireless remote control system that it says has a longer range than the original in a body half the size.
Lens manufacturer Sigma has announced a trio of fast cinema lenses for full-frame camera systems, that it says will also be available in the future in the LPL mount for Arri’s large format camera system.
LumaPod is a a new tripod being funded on Kickstarter that takes just four seconds to set up and uses patented tension technology to keep your shots steady in a compact design.
X-Rite ColorChecker Video XL is an oversized color target for wide-angle, long distance, and aerial shooting.
ExperimentalOptics has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its second lens design, a 35mm F2.7 lens it claims is the world's 'smallest fastest pancake lens.'
The new XF 8-16mm F2.8 R LM WR and XF 200mm F2 R LM OIS WR are aimed at enthusiasts and professionals, and add considerable versatility to Fujifilm's growing XF lens lineup. We've been taking a look.
The Getty family is working to regain control of stock photo agency Getty Images, according to multiple reports published late last week.
The Phoneslinger line, a modular bag system for mobile photographers, has been launched on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform.
CamRanger has announced the impending arrival of its CamRanger 2 wireless tethering and trigger system, complete with redesigned apps, updated wireless features, and support for select Sony and Fujifilm systems.
As well as high-resolution stills, the new Nikon Z7 also shoots 4K video and 120p HD video. We recently spent two days with director Chris Hershman, shooting a music video on the Z7 for pop artist Emily Blue.
London’s National Portrait Gallery has released the shortlist for its annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, ahead of the winner being announced in October.