Sony a99 Full-Frame DSLR Camera Body
Beast of a Camera
I upgraded from the Sony a57 to this camera at the beginning of December, and so far I am blown away. I had demo'd my friends Canon 5D Mark III before purchasing this camera, and I feel that, while the Canon does a little better on the higher ISO's, this camera's features are on a completely different scale.
A main selling point for the Sony line is their inclusion of Image Stabilization within the body, making nearly any lens viable in a professional setting. I don't have to worry about IS in any lens that I buy because it is built into the body. Also, while not nearly as fast as my Sony a57, this body really utilizes the 35mm Full Frame sensor to produce high quality and sharp images. I have recently purchased the Carl Zeiss f2.8 24-70mm Lens, and that lens plus this body produces some amazing, nearly 3D photos.
Overall, while I sometimes get pressure from the market for not using the Canon or Nikon lines, I feel sorry for people that spend this amount of money on a camera of this quality, and then have to worry about whether or not the lens comes with IS. I am extremely pleased by the build quality of the Sony a99, and look forward to this years projects using this camera.
February 28, 2014
Northern Lights from Iceland
A full Frame camera with a Punch.
This Sony FF camera is really excellent in every way.
this is a camera is designed too make you wanna work with it more.
Color, detail´s, sharpens and weather proof camera is a great choice too have when you are traveling and taking photo´s here on Iceland.
Best camera i ever had.
July 23, 2013
Could have been great...
Sony have wasted an opportunity here. The design is great, the implementation leaves you wondering if they field tested this camera well, or listened to what their testers really told them. My major criticism of the A99 is its battery life – it’s appalling, even with the grip, leaving the camera on drains the battery before your eyes – and its start-up time is too slow – so missing the shot is more than a good probability. I realize with and EVF and a LCD screen – that you can’t turn off (you can with an Olympus OM-D EM-5), unless you turn it into the camera body – power consumption is always going to be more than with a camera with an OVF, but Sony really need to look at this if they want this model to compete with its peers. There are things you can set to optimize battery life, but Sony need to be re-thinking certain things – battery power output for example. Sony – you could bundle 2/3 batteries with this camera, it does not solve the problem, but goes some way to helping anyone who buys it. In short you need to buy and keep charged batteries with you at all times.
Its low light performance is good, but not on par with other full frame offerings from Nikon and Canon, although the EVF is wonderful, especially in low light.
I do not feel that anyone who has shot Nikon or Canon, for any length of time, especially full frame will ditch them for a Sony A99, it has too many short comings compared to its peers. Though I must say, shooting with the A99 is an enjoyable experience – the camera handles well, the controls are well placed, it feels good in the hand. It does not feel or behave like a “Pro” model though, and if Sony want to pitch it as such, then they need to up their game – it my mind, it is overpriced. If you want quality glass, it’s there, at a price off course, but you don’t get options open to you from Nikon or Canon, nor are they weather sealed! Would a Pro really move to Sony? I am not a pro, but I have been shooting for over 35 years – mostly Olympus, Minolta and Nikon.
Ask Sony if they have a road map – you will not get a positive answer, they acquired Konica Minolta a few years ago and recently a large share of Olympus – what will they do? What have they done? They have some good cameras – they could be great. They have the financial and technical clout, but need someone or a team with vision leading the charge. I really hope they do well, Nikon and Canon need some serious competition – Sony have the potential to provide it – come on Sony!
I did not mean this to be a technical review, more my thoughts, feelings and experiences with an A99 – it could have been a great camera, but it does leave you feeling wanting in some key areas.
July 20, 2013
A Superior Full Featured Camera For The Long Run
I love my A77. But the A99 takes everything to another level in a very familiar operational format.
It solves for the biggest published complaint (which never bothered me) against the A77 with gorgeous clean images up to ISO 6400.
The dual sensor AF-D depth mapping mode is sheer genius. And the new DMF mode further capitalizes on the A77's excellent peaking feature for accurate and rapid manual focus.
The AF range limiter feature can be set to limit hunting on supported long focal length lens.
The fact that my existing SAL-70400G and SAL-70300G lenses are also supported by the new AF-D mode (like the SAL-2470Z) feels like a reward for being a loyal Sony photography enthusiast.
I had fantastic results with the A77 & the SAL-1680Z (and I am keeping them). By adding the massive SAL-2470Z with it's constant 2.8 aperture (coupled with the shallow depth of field of the A99 full frame sensor), I find myself exploring a wider range of available light photo opportunities on the fly.
The same excellent wireless ratio flash ability that I began to enjoy on the A77 is supported by the A99. Now that I have the more powerful HVL-F60M to augment my three HVL-F43AM units, I plan to move forward with improving my portrait photography technique. (The vertical grip with added battery support is finally en route this week.)
Early results show improved video quality with the A99, as well, aided by an improved articulated rear LCD screen.
At the end of the day, it's all about the image quality. Simply put, this discretionary purchase represents my intent to take the A77's excellent visual results to the next level. I have an intuitive feeling that this will be my primary camera and lens combination for the long run regardless of path Sony takes with the Alpha mount system in coming years.
I trust that future evolutionary firmware updates will make the utility of the A99 even better.
After all these years, starting with a Minolta SRT-101 in college, and with many innovative Sony digital cameras in between, my hobby has finally evolved into the passion that I had envisioned in my mind's eye.
June 4, 2013