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Sep 12, 2012

Sony Alpha A99 Flagship Full-Frame DSLR Camera

Sony is bound to leave a few people flabbergasted now that it has launched a compact camera equipped with a 24.3-megapixel sensor, but it wouldn't be easy to see just how significant an invention the Cyber-shot RX1 is without a “normal” product to compare it to.

The Sony Alpha A99 full-frame DSLR camera is the sort of large and solid photo and video shooting product that full-frame 24.3-megapixel sensors are actually made for. The company intends to start shipping it in November, for a price, curiously enough, identical to that of the RX1: $2,799.95 / 2,167.31 Euro. Before anyone asks why the sums are the same, there is, in fact, a reason why the A99 is as expensive even if it doesn't demand the same painstaking manufacturing effort implied in cramming 24.3MP quality inside a small frame. Most of all, A99 boasts a Dual AF system, which pairs eleven cross-sensors with a 102-point focal plane phase-detection AF sensor. The result is a 19-point autofocus system that can track objects easier and faster. That said, perspectives can be locked onto via an XGA OLED Tru-Finder digital viewfinder (100-percent coverage) while an LCD on the back (1.2 million colors) displays the preview.

If the lighting isn't suitable, the sensitivity can be adjusted thanks to the Bionz processor, which can go from ISO 50 to 25,600. Furthermore, the camera can shoot rapid-fire images at 6 frames per second, or 10 FPS when Tele-zoom (a high-speed mode) is engaged. For the record, the Cyber-shot RX1 can only manage 5 fps. Other things worth noting are Full HD video recording in 24p/25p/50p/60p (continuous autofocus), real-time HD output (over HDMI) and a “silent” multi-controller on the front (lets shutter speed, audio record levels, ISO sensitivity and other things be adjusted while shooting a film). Finally, the A99 is equipped with a headphone jack and ships with an optional XLR adapter box.

Sony expects the A99 to work best with new 400mm f2.8 G SSM II lenses with zoom, or new wide-aperture Carl Zeiss A-mount prime Planar T f1.4 ZA SSM. Unfortunately, these lenses won't be out until 2013, in spring.

Sony Alpha A99 Flagship Full-Frame DSLR Camera
Images credits to Sony


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