- Full-Frame 24.3MP Exmor CMOS Sensor
- Sony Dual AF System & Translucent Mirror
- 3.0″ TruBlack Tilting LCD Display
- XGA OLED Electronic Viewfinder
- Full HD 1920×1080 60p Video Recording
- Advanced BIONZ Image Processing Engine
- Internal SteadyShot Image Stabilization
- 1,200 Zone Evaluative Metering Sensor
- Exposure & Focus Controls With Video
- Quiet Multi Control Dial, GPS & Auto HDR
The SLT-A99 Digital Camera from Sony is a 35mm full frame digital camera body equipped with Sony’s translucent mirror technology. This enables it to shoot without the delay of a reflex mirror, and its Dual Autofocus System to continuously monitor and alter its focus in real time. Recording on a 24.3MP resolution Exmor CMOS sensor, the A99 has great image quality and low-light sensitivity, while using the speed of the translucent mirror and BIONZ Image Processor to record images at 6fps in continuous shooting mode.
Shooting with a 24.3MP full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor means you’ll capture high quality images with the benefits of additional low-light sensitivity. This sensor provides an ISO range of 100 to 25600 while area-specific noise reduction allows you to shoot at the higher end of that sensitivity range. The combination of this camera’s speed, sensitivity and reduced noise make it great for capturing action both indoors or in low light.
Utilizing Sony’s Translucent Mirror technology, the autofocus system continuously monitors the image and can alter the autofocus in real time. Two phase contrast sensors, a 19-point sensor above the translucent mirror and a 102-point focal plane phase detection sensor work in tandem to greatly improve subject tracking performance and increase autofocus precision.
For increased clarity and resistance to reflections, the rear 3.0″ LCD features Sony’s TruBlack technology. It has a 1,228,000-dot resolution for sharp, vivid imagery when reviewing images, or when framing them using Live View. The monitor also features Shot Result Preview, for previewing the effects of your camera’s settings before the exposure is even captured. It is also able to tilt up to 180° vertically and can rotate up to 270° horizontally.
The large 14-bit data generated by the full-frame sensor is easily handled by the enhanced BIONZ image processor, to deliver fast speeds and performance. This provides significantly reduced write times, while the increased power afforded by the processor allows for increased noise reduction throughout the entire dynamic range of the sensor.
Using sensor-shift image stabilization, Sony’s SteadyShot technology takes place inside the camera rather than in the lenses you attach. This means that every image you capture, no matter the lens that was used, has image stabilization applied. By reducing camera shake within the camera you can achieve shake reduction of up to 2.5 to 4.5 stops, so your shutter speed will not need to be set as low as it would without the stabilization.
Depending on the Sony lenses you attach, the camera will also detect and compensate for its particular aberrations and degradations in image quality. Shading or vignetting caused by the lens will be corrected, and aberrations like lens distortion or chromatic aberration will be compensated for. Each unique lens attached provides ideal compatibility from one to the next.
The SLT-A99’s Tru-Finder Electronic Viewfinder features a 1,440K-dot resolution, 100% field of view, and a wide 31.9° viewing angle. This allows it to deliver a bright, clear image in almost any lighting condition, including bright sunlight. It displays information regarding exposure settings and modes, and Shot Result Preview allows you to preview the effects of exposure control before capturing the photograph.
After you’ve viewed your settings in the EVF and captured your images, the rear 3.0″ LCD features Sony’s TruBlack technology for increased clarity and resistance to reflections. It has a 1,228,000-dot resolution for sharp, vivid imagery when reviewing images or while using Live View. The monitor also features Shot Result Preview, the same as the EVF.
The innovative noise reduction system used by the A99 applies optimized settings to specific parts of your images based on patterns including edges, textures and gradients. It processes these areas using the best and most appropriate settings to optimize image quality, and reduce noise. This is all in addition to the conventional noise reduction techniques employed by the camera, and helps to produce images with low noise throughout its wide ISO range.
The unique Multi Control Dial on the front of the camera allows you to adjust photo, video or audio settings without producing audible clicks or vibrations that may be heard while recording. Full HD 1080p video is supported with this camera and makes use of the high-speed Translucent Mirror technology for continuous autofocus, even while using Live View to monitor your shooting. The 24p frame rate allows you to create movies with a more cinematic feel, and for even greater control ISO sensitivity, P/A/S/M manual shooting modes, and Picture Effects are available.
We can see there being a lot of excitement and intrigue surrounding the Sony Alpha a99, which is the world’s first full-frame DSLT camera.
We also think that some people will be wary of the electronic viewfinder, but we’re happy to report that it really is a very, very good device which is worth checking out even if you’re skeptical.
Image quality at this early stage also looks to be very promising, with low levels of noise even in images taken at high sensitivities.
We’ll of course be extremely keen to get our hands on a full production sample of the a99 as soon as is possible to put it through our labs testing to see how it compares with its biggest rivals in the shape of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Nikon D800 and Nikon D600.