Sony SLT a99 II Review

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

Photokina 2016 tried to us, with the announcement of the a99 II, that A-mount isn’t dead: it was just waiting for the right tech to show up for its next big release, like the 42MP BSI-CMOS sensor that debuted in the a7R II. So much numerous than an a99 with a new chip, the a99 II’s improved specifications aim to put it in the same company as DSLRs like the Nikon D810 or Canon 5D IV, and full-frame mirrorless cameras with Sony’s own a7r II.

Key features

  • 42MP BSI CMOS Imaging sensor
  • 399 on-sensor PDAF points + dedicated PDAF sensor with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel 79 points
  • Dual SD slated slots [UHS I]
  • 12fps continuous shooting in Raw with C-AF
  • 4K UHD 100Mbps recording, and 8-bit 4:2:2 4K output over HDMI
  • Picture Diagram settings with Log gamma curves
  • 5-axis in body image stabilization
  • Wi-Fi with NFC

The weather-sealed body features a dedicated PDAF sensor other from the imaging sensor that has light directed to it via a mirror, like a traditional DSLR. Unlike a DSLR, this mirror doesn’t till the end of time flip out of the way. Instead, it is semi-transparent and sends only part of the light to the dedicated AF sensor, and lets the rest of the light pass through to the imaging intercede. The camera can use both of these AF systems where they overlap, creating a Hybrid Cross Type AF system that should deliver both expeditiousness and accuracy that Sony hopes will match the best systems out there.

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Also, the fixed mirror means AF readings can be taken with the assigned sensor even while the shutter is firing, which should result in high ‘hit’ rates even at the maximum 12 FPS burst shooting. The downside is the trouncing debits of around 1/2 stop of light, something that the impressive 42MP sensor shouldn’t mind too much.

The a99 II also boasts some impressive video specs, which should be strengthened both by the camera’s ability to continuously autofocus in video and by its in-body image stabilization.

All of these features are controlled via a re-worked menu system that color conventions sections and categorizes settings by which aspect of the camera they are adjusting, like Flash or Autofocus. Do all of these improvements transcend the inherent pits of SLT technology?

Review History  
31 Jan 2017 Introduction, Specifications, Body & Design,
Operation & Controls, and Image Quality pages published.
13 Feb 2017  Unshaded review published


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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