Sony Alpha SLT-A99 DSLR Camera, Body Only

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84% Gold Award
We have to applaud Sony's forward-thinking efforts to leverage all of its existing technology - including its high quality OLED EVF - into its flagship model and not be afraid to look beyond the status quo of what a full frame DSLR-style camera should be.”

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Key Features

  • 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • SLT design with fixed, semi-transparent mirror
  • 19-point AF system with full-time phase-detection AF in video mode
  • ISO 100-25600
  • 3.0 inch semi-articulated LCD with 1.23m-dots
  • 1080p HD video recording
  • 6 frames per second continuous shooting with AF
  • 100% 2.4m-dot OLED electronic viewfinder
  • Built-in GPS

Product Description

The Sony SLT A99 is Sony's flagship full frame interchangeable lens camera, and nominally replaces the A900, which was released all the way back in 2008. It uses Sony's 'SLT' design with a 2.3M dot OLED electronic viewfinder, and has a fully-articulated 1.2M dot 3" rear LCD. Its in-body image stabilisation system works with all lenses, new or old.

The thoroughly modern A99 features a 24MP 36x24mm CMOS sensor that features on-sensor phase detection, creating a dual AF system that promises improved focus tracking and focus precision. It also includes Sony's Quick Navi interactive status panel and a host of features for video shooters, including a 'silent' control dial, mic and headphone sockets and focus peaking, to make the most of its 1080p60 HD video capability.

Specs

Body type
Body type Mid-size SLR
Sensor
Max resolution 6000 x 4000
Other resolutions 6000 x 3376, 3936 x 2624, 3936 x 2216, 2640 x 1760, 2640 x 1488
Image ratio w:h 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 25 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (35.8 x 23.8 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Bionz
Image
ISO Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 25600
White balance presets 8
Custom white balance Yes (3)
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Extra Fine, Fine, Standard
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (Clear Image Zoom + Digital Zoom)
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 19
Lens mount Sony/Minolta Alpha
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fully articulated
Screen size 3
Screen dots 1,229,000
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT Xtra Fine color LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.71×
Viewfinder resolution 2,359,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes No
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (via Hot-shoe)
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High Speed Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in, Wireless
Continuous drive 6 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes ( 3 frames, H/L selectable)
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60, 24 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30fps), 640 x 424 (29.97 fps)
Format MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types Memory Stick PRO Duo/Pro-HG Duo; SD, SDHC and SDXC
Storage included None
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (mini HDMI Type C)
Remote control Yes (Wired or Wireless (Optional))
Physical
Environmentally sealed Yes (Dust and moisture resistant)
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion NP-FM500H rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 500
Weight (inc. batteries) 812 g (1.79 lb / 28.64 oz)
Dimensions 147 x 111 x 78 mm (5.79 x 4.37 x 3.07)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording No
GPS BuiltIn

Reviews

DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Value
Gold Award
Gold Award
84 %
Overall Score

The SLT-A99 is a feature-rich camera that still provides a wealth of easily accessed manual user controls. It stands out as the only full-frame camera to offer in-body stabilization, an EVF, and an articulated rear screen. Budding videographers will enjoy brisk AF performance, as well as the option to output uncompressed video.

Good For

Photographers looking for outstanding high ISO performance. DSLR enthusiasts who want the option to shoot using live view without sacrificing AF performance.

Not So Good For

Dedicated sports shooters and those who prefer an optical viewfinder.

User Reviews

  • Martin Muehlemann, Feb 28, 2013 GMT:
    Well done Sony

    After having a disappointing A850 and Since 2010 being using a Canon 5D Mark II and 5D Mark III, I am really enjoying this new Fullframe from Sony. Although the ISO performance at ISO 25'600 is not as good as the 5D Mark III, I still can use it until ISO 12800. This is fine for all of my appliances. Having a tilt&svivel screen is a great advantage. The viewfinder has a perfectly implemented level gauge AF is fast and accurate.It can combine CDAF and PDAF, even in lifeview Focus Peaking ...

    Continue Reading

  • Trued1, Feb 9, 2013 GMT:
    Fits me like my best gloves

    My best camera ever. With the vertical grip and the handstrap it is glued to my hand just like a natural extension of my artistic brain. Problems: None

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  • Carlos Taylhardat, Feb 4, 2013 GMT:
    Electronic Viewfinder

    I am very excited about possibly buying the Sony SLT-A99, but am wondering if the electronic viewfinder is the future of how camera's should work, or is it a deterrent? Somehow I wonder how much better my Wedding photography might have turned out with an electronic viewfinder. I find that guests and the bridal party expect the photographer to capture candid moments, inside and outside immediately. What is a natural movement from indoor to outdoor - its a requirement for the photographer to ...

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  • Warren Roos, Dec 23, 2012 GMT:
    Get this and pair it with Zeiss optics!

    I’m very happy that the poor low light performance of the A900 is gone with the A99. (I’ll still keep a 900 body). As a long time pro, now a three year Sony user, leaving the Canon platform (initially because of the Zeiss optics and 24MP) the switch over to a A99 Body was nothing complicated nor would it be if you are new to the Sony platform. Dial up the exposure one stop and shoot only RAW and never look back. The A99 is very quite companied to the A900 and that’s great too. The future ...

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Questions & Answers

QUESTION

A7 and A-mount lenses + LA-EAx adapter

I liked both A7 and A7r very much, and thought of getting one an A7 as companion and back-up to my A99. Problem is  I've a lot invested on FF A-mount lenses and I really don't like the bulkiness of the adapter LA-EA4. Anyway, the LA-EA3 adapter seems to have an acceptable size. So, my question is: Using A-mount lenses with SSM, HSM,.. and the LA-EA3 adapter , considering that the A7 has on-sensor PDAF and CDAF , w ill I be able to use the camera's sensor AF systems ? ( I'd expect the AF to be slower than with the LA-EA4, but I'm OK with that. ). I'd appreciate any help on this, Thank you ... Lucas Note: I've also posted this on the Sony SLR/SLT Forum :-) Always having fun with photography :-P http://www.lucaspix.smugmug.com/

Lucas_ asked
10 months ago

ANSWERS

Hello tesch, If you're expecting the A7/LA-EA3 to be just as fast as your A77 with the sal50f14z I'm afraid you're might be very disappointed. As I understand it the LA-EA3 adapter is the same as the LA-EA1 adapter,except it is designed for full frame while the LA-EA1 is made to cover an APS-C image circle. I have the LA-EA1 adapter and I can tell you it is much slower than the PDAF you find on any A-mount body.This is because A-mount bodies have a separate PDAF module to drive the autofocus,while NEX bodies do not. The hope is that the OSPDAF on the A7 will help with AF with the LA-EA3 attached.Speeding up AF.Which is what I believe was Lucas' original question.Even if the OSPDAF does function with the adapter,the 117 OSPDAF points don't have the resolution a full separate PDAF module has. My hope is that the A7/LA-EA3 combo will be OK in terms of AF speed.That's why SONY reps are all pushing the LA-EA4 adapter if you want AF speed equal to your A77.Personally I don't want a SLT ... Continue Reading

robert614 answered
10 months ago

It provides Auto Exposure (AE) and Aperture. I think it gives AF with Sony SSM/SAM lenses, but it is probably slow (based on what I heard about the LA--EA1 on NEX cameras). Continue Reading

sean lancaster answered
10 months ago

Thanks, Sean! That's partly what I expected. ... Lucas :-) Always having fun with photography :-P http://www.lucaspix.smugmug.com/ Continue Reading

Lucas_ answered
10 months ago

QUESTION

Where is the DP GOLD review of A99?

Many other professional photography websites already had published their own review. I can't wait DP...Platinum award!

BMWX5 asked
1 year ago

ANSWERS

Why is someone so obsessed with DP awards, and awards in general??? The A77 only received a 'silver' award, but that doesn't make it any 'less' of a camera in my view. All recent (and most past) modern SLR's and SLT's are great cameras that are capable of producing phenomenal images when used by skilled photographers. Continue Reading

Karl Scharf answered
1 year ago

I guess the thumbs up is an indication that at least one other reader has tired of this guys obsession with gold awards. Continue Reading

digititus answered
1 year ago

Starting stupid threads like this is probably why A77 got silver too.  Grow up. Even D600 hasn't been reviewed it. Don't expect A99 review for at least 30 (most likely 60) days. Continue Reading

ET2 answered
1 year ago

WHAT'S IN THE BOX?

  • Sony a99 camera body
  • Battery Charger (BC-VM10)
  • Rechargeable Battery (NP-FM500H)
  • Shoe Adaptor
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Body Cap
  • Accessory Shoe Cap
  • Eyepiece Cup
  • USB Cable
  • CD-ROM
  • ADP-MAA Multi-interface to Auto Lock Accessory
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