The SLT-A99 is Sony’s flagship model, aimed at photography enthusiasts who desire cameras with rugged bodies and full-frame sensors, as well as a host of customizable and external controls. This particular model’s arrival is highly anticipated, considering there’s an almost a four-year gap from the release of its predecessor, the DSLR-A900, which was Sony’s first ever full-frame DSLR.
Since there’s this considerably long gap in releases between the SLT-A99 and its older brother, you’d probably expect significant new upgrades and features in the latter. Well, you’ll find that the SLT-A99 surely doesn’t disappoint, as it is equipped with all the electronic expertise that’s been previously incorporated into Sony’s interim models, the SLT and NEX. And while the A900 was an SLR that’s strongly conventional, whose feel would probably be readily familiar to users of film-cameras from Konica Minolta, the A99 leans more on the being a technological force in the world of photography.
With this Sony Alpha SLT-A99 Review, we’ll have look at the key specifications that makes the unit a compelling buy:
- SLT with fixed-mirror design
- Full-frame CMOS sensor at 24 megapixels, with an on-chip phase detection autofocus
- Raw output at 14-bit
- OLED electronic viewfinder at 2.4M dots
- Continuous shooting of up to 6 fps with autofocus (AF)
- ISO levels 100-25,600
- Top panel LCD
- Three-hinge pull-out swivel/tilt RGBW LCD screen at 1.23M dots
- Headphone and microphone sockets
- Autofocus Micro Adjust
- Built-in GPS
As you can see, the A99 has nothing short of a whirlwind of features and functionalities. We’ll be going into details on some of these specs throughout this Sony Alpha SLT-A99 Review.
First off, the Sony SLT-A99 has an electronic viewfinder versus the traditional optical one. Then there’s its AF system with a dual chip, rear LCD that’s tiltable, focus peaking with a live view, a GPS that’s built-in, and movie recording at 1080p60 – all of which show that the A99 pulls out all the stops compared to the A900, although both have an identical resolution at 24 megapixels.
Looking at these features, it goes without saying that Sony is using technological upgrades to lure in photography enthusiasts and videographers alike. Then there’s the fact that Sony put in some painstaking work to improve the image quality of the A99, as its 24 mp sensor has been designed in such a way that each of its photosite is more sensitive to light.
In addition, Sony uses the SLT design as a basis for the A99. This is a variant of the DSLR concept which utilizes an electronic viewfinder instead of the optical type. And rather than using a mirror that you have to flip away when taking photos, the A99 opts for a semi-transparent mirror that stays fixed, and this simply redirects any illumination to a phase-detection AF sensor (note that the luminance loss is negligible). Because of this, the A99 provides a shooting experience that’s fairly consistent.
The A99 actually has focus systems with dual phase-detection that’s available at all times, which is quite the unusual feature that made Sony develop several other features in order to better exploit.
Overall, this DSLR from the Japanese camera maker is nothing short of a veritable powerhouse of techie features. And to close this Sony Alpha SLT-A99 Review, we conclude that this particular camera is worth the investment for any aspiring or professional photographer or videographer.
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