Professional photographers will be pleased to hear that Sony has announced the A99 II SLT camera at the Photokina 2016 event with multiple improvements compared to the aging A99.
The success of its full-frame mirrorless cameras has driven Sony to postpone its A-mount plans. FE-mount cameras are best-selling devices, so a lot of people were thinking that A-mount was dead.
A-mount’s flagship shooter, called A99, was launched back in 2012, and only a few other A-mount cameras have been released since that time. The most recent unit was the A68, announced in November 2015 and released in Q1 2016.
While some A-mount lenses were introduced, people demanded more support from Sony. Well, the time has come for a new flagship. It is called Sony A99 II, as the rumor mill predicted, and it has been unveiled at Photokina 2016.
Sony A99 II becomes official with 42.4MP sensor, 5-axis IBIS, and 4K video
The new device does not shed its built-in viewfinder. This is still an SLT (Single Lens Translucent) camera, but one with specs that we have already seen in the full-frame FE-mount devices.
Sony A99 II features a 42.4-megapixel full-frame Exmor R BSI-CMOS image sensor with built-in 5-axis optical image stabilization technology. The sensor is joined by a 4D Focus system that uses 79 hybrid cross-points along with 399 focal-plane points.
The result is a Hybrid Phase Detection AF technology that will deliver quick and accurate autofocusing even in -4EV conditions. Additionally, there is a BIONZ X processor that delivers a burst mode of up to 12fps.
Moreover, the sensor and image processor combo allows the camera to record 4K videos without pixel binning. There is no need for an external recorder, as the camera can shoot these videos directly to an SD card.
The 4K video recording is done in XAVC S format at up to 100Mbps. For videographers, it is worth pointing out that timecode, S-Log2, and S-Log3 are supported along with 4:2:2 output via HDMI.
Sony A99 II is smaller, but easier to use
Sony has confirmed that the 42.4MP sensor supports uncompressed 14-bit RAW files and a maximum ISO sensitivity of 102,400. Full HD video recording is also there, but it comes with a Slow and Quick mode, that delivers frame rates between 1 and 120fps.
Users can compose their shots via the 2.36-million-dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder, as well as using the 3-inch 1.22-million-dot tilting LCD. The company says that the Sony A99 II is also easier to use, thanks to a redesigned menu and improved button placement.
The Multi-Controller is now even better, as it comes with an on/off switch. The “ON” setting is useful for photographers because it clicks when rotating to let them know that they have changed the settings. When “OFF”, it comes in handy for videographers because it is quiet.
As Sony has accustomed us, the new camera features built-in WiFi, NFC, and Bluetooth. Among others, the shooter comes packed with anti-flickering technology and dual SD card slots. All of these are available in a body that is 8% smaller than the one of its predecessor.
Sony will release the A99 II this November for a price of $3,200 in the US and €3,600 across Europe.