Sony SLTA99V Alpha SLT-A99V Full-Frame 24.3 MP SLR Digital Camera with 3-Inch LED – Body Only (Black)

Sony Alpha 900

Discover truly remarkable clarity with Sony’s innovative new full frame DSLR that doubles as a world-class filmmaking camera. With the world’s first Dual AF system10 and Translucent Mirror technology, you are no longer bound by limitations of the traditional DSLR. This massive leap forward delivers astounding 24MP resolution plus uncompressed, Full HD video recording—all wrapped in an ultra-light, magnesium alloy body.

Sony SLTA99V Alpha SLT-A99V Full-Frame 24.3 MP SLR Digital Camera with 3-Inch LED - Body Only (Black)

Features Sony SLTA99V Alpha SLT-A99V Full-Frame 24.3 MP SLR Digital Camera with 3-Inch LED – Body Only (Black)

  • Full Frame 24 Megapixel resolution
  • Uncompressed Full 1080 HDMI® output
  • Up to 25600 ISO Range sensitivity
  • World’s first Dual AF system10
  • The World’s Lightest Full Frame DSLR Camera
Overall Rating: Rating=4.5
(Full Reviews Product)

List Price: $ 2,799.99
Sale Price: $ 2,798.00

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Sony SLTA99V Alpha SLT-A99V Full-Frame 24.3 MP SLR Digital Camera with 3-Inch LED - Body Only (Black)

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  1. Tim Naff "Tim" says:
    77 of 82 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Low Noise and Some Undiscovered Magic but Mediocre Video, December 11, 2012
    By 
    Tim Naff “Tim” (Huntsville, AL USA) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Sony SLTA99V Alpha SLT-A99V Full-Frame 24.3 MP SLR Digital Camera with 3-Inch LED – Body Only (Black) (Electronics)

    This camera is not for novices and neither is this review. Fasten your seatbelt!

    The A99 is probably the most technologically sophisticated DSLR on the planet with the caveat that the video is less than stellar. While the camera’s unique features for still shooting, when taken individually, may not sound like much, I’ve found that they are powerfully synergistic with each other and with the electronic viewfinder (EVF). The result for me is a capability for real-time decision-making and optimization of settings well beyond what I can do with any other camera, even the A77. While I doubt that any one person could make practical use of all of the A99′s features, that’s not my problem. There is a base set of features, some of which are brand new, that bring real magic and improving my photography. For example, there’s one new A99 exclusive that gives me unprecedented, real-time, simultaneous control of the shutter-speed, aperture, and ISO triad. I can quickly cause the flash to expose for the distance to any feature, anywhere in a scene. As with the A77, I can see an approximation of DRO as well as basic exposure before I shoot, eliminating trial and error.

    Now for a dose of reality: The A99 is a full-frame (FF) camera, which means that it costs more, and its lenses are heavier, bigger, typically smaller in zoom range, and generally much more expensive than for APS-C. It has an important competitor in Sony’s A77 with the same resolution in a smaller sensor – some would say the A77 is the best of both worlds if you’re not concerned with sensor noise. On video, I beat the A99 with a $400 Handycam. The decision to buy may require consideration of all of these things. I’m going to do my best to help you sort it all out.

    So the decision to buy an A99 likely boils down to five considerations: purchase cost; lens options and lens investment; low-noise performance; size and weight; the benefits of the unique features; and your requirement for strong video performance. In this review, I’ll begin by summarizing my own noise testing results and the significance of noise to the photographer. Next I’ll run down features and associated benefits, beginning with feature-differences between A99 and A77 and then covering special features common to both. I’ll tell you about the magical capabilities afforded by the unique features mentioned in the first paragraph. I’ll also give you my personal take on the EVF versus optical viewfinder (OVF) question and make a few points on that subject that I haven’t seen elsewhere. Please see the Comments section for an up-to-date, in-depth look at the video issue.

    My noise-test images were done in RAW format, converted to TIFF in Sony software, and then examined in Photoshop. I formerly tested the A550 versus the A580 and found no significant differences in noise characteristics. Later I tested and ranked the A580, A850, and A77 and compared results. Finally, I compared the A850 and A99. The (approximate) rankings are as follows: A77 was weakest; A550 and A580 were about 2/3 stop better than A77; A850 (in RAW only) was a full stop better than A77; and A99 was roughly a full stop better than A850 or two stops better than A77. How important is noise? A lower-noise camera can shoot at higher ISO. An A99 at ISO 6400 will perform roughly as well as an A77 at ISO 1600, for example. Lower noise means more than the ability to work in low light: it means you can shoot at higher f-number when you need depth of focus and at faster shutter speed (SS) when you need to minimize camera-shake blur (e.g., with long lenses or low SS), or freeze action. A lower-noise camera with a wider dynamic range (the A99 records 14 bits) has more to work with when converting raw data to jpeg; for example, you can impose stronger DRO levels to illuminate shadows without blowing out highlights. If you’re post processing from RAW yourself, you have more dynamic range in your RAW files, which gives you more options in how you manage contrast at the extremes. When cameras apply their own noise-reduction algorithms, the details can be softened, which is why I shoot RAW when possible. With low noise, you can get away with more sharpening (which is severely limited by the presence of noise). (Many cases of really ugly noise are the result of too much sharpening, which was THE flaw in the A859/900, an otherwise good low-light camera.) I’ve found that shooting RAW, I get excellent images at ISO 6400 with an A99. Shooting at ISO 3200, the noise differences in the A99 and A77 were easily apparent without pixel peeping. As I’ll explain, multi-frame noise reduction (MFNR) can greatly increase the usable ISO (as much as 3 stops) in both the A77 and the A99. Noise is the biggest reason to choose an A99 over an A77. If this doesn’t matter to you, the playing field may be tilted toward the A77, but please read on because I’ve yet to describe the new A99 magical features.

    A77…

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  2. T Payne "t_payne" says:
    55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Excellent and gives Nikon/Canon a run for their money, November 8, 2012
    By 
    T Payne “t_payne” (Fremont, CA United States) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Sony SLTA99V Alpha SLT-A99V Full-Frame 24.3 MP SLR Digital Camera with 3-Inch LED – Body Only (Black) (Electronics)

    Make no mistake; this is a top notch camera. I can’t imagine anyone will dispute that. But this camera directly competes with the likes of Canon and Nikon (Nikon D800 for example). I have been a Nikon enthusiast for about 15+ years and have gone from film (N80) to digital (D70) to better digital (D7000) and recently went to full format (D600). As I’ve progressed, I have noted one glaring problem with basically ALL Nikon and Canon cameras: that would be the phase detect autofocus. The bottom line is that I have yet to see a DSLR that doesn’t back-focus or front-focus to some extent. This is why there are autofocus fine tune settings on most DSLRs and this works fine with prime lenses. But if you are using a zoom lens then you usually need to adjust a certain amount on one end and a different amount on the other. Since there is only one focus adjustment for the whole lens, you end up compromising with less than perfect focus at all focal lengths. This never worked well for me because I am absolutely obsessed with perfect focus. These ongoing focus issues with Nikon and Canon annoy me to no end. I thought if I upgraded to a better camera (like the Nikon D600) with a serious lens (Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8), then my problems would be solved. Wrong again! Suffice it to say that after using a LensAlign MkII Focus Calibration System and Reikan’s FoCal software, I concluded that the D600 was back-focusing either slightly or a lot (depending on which lens I used and at what focal length). That was frustrating. I didn’t even bother looking at the D800 because it was totally plagued with this problem from day 1 (see all the negative reviews – have they solved that yet?).
    -
    Frustrated, I started looking at this new Sony. What attracted me was the “dual phase detect autofocus”. That’s a new approach! It has a phase detect chip like all the other DSLRs but also a second one right on the imaging sensor. The problem is that Sony and all the write-ups on this camera talk about how this benefits video capture but talk very little about how it affects focusing accuracy for still images. I’ve done one preliminary test using the LensAlign tool and am working with Reikan to get it to work with their software. So far the results are very encouraging. I seem to be getting much more accurate focus on still images (without any calibration) than I ever got with the D600. I will update this part as I do more testing.
    Other things that make this camera awesome: a lot of info in the viewfinder that you will never get in an optical viewfinder. This is the way of the future for sure, but Sony’s electronic viewfinder (EVF) only has about 2 million pixels and I can easily see future versions pushing that to about 5 million or more. The noise level and dynamic range will also improve a lot in the coming years. When that happens, I can imagine Nikon/Canon will rethink the optical viewfinder. I personally like the EVF a lot and appreciate the fact that I can see the white balance of my picture as it will actually be captured, I can see the picture I just took right in the viewfinder (great for bright outdoors) and the clarity and realism of what you see through that thing is remarkable. You can also zoom in on what you are focusing on right in the viewfinder which is very helpful. Some have said that what you see through an EVF is not as realistic as an optical viewfinder (OVF). That may be true, but the picture I’m about to take is also not as realistic as what I see in the OVF! So wouldn’t you rather “see” in the viewfinder what you will “get” in the final picture? I say yes to that.
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    Also, this camera has tons of buttons with tons of ways to customize them. You can pretty much have every button do whatever you want and that makes it fast and easy to use. Picture quality is frankly fantastic although I have to defer that discussion to the labs and their special equipment with phD-type people in white lab coats to tell you more.
    As for why go with this over the a77? Well why go with this over any APS-C camera? The full format sensor really excels in dark environments. You can push this to ISO 3200 and hardly notice any noise. If I push my Nikon D7000 to even 1600 ISO, it starts looking pretty bad. There are other advantages to full format, of course, but this is the main thing for me. I have played with the a77, and it is very similar in feel and function as the a99, just smaller, lighter and a lot less expensive. Whether the a99 is worth the huge premium depends on your needs and your budget.
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    Now for what I don’t like about the a99: It is slow. When I switch my D7000 from off to on, the top LCD lights up instantly and I can press the shutter and take a picture. Total time is about ½ second. The Sony on the other hand is slower, taking about 1.5 seconds,…

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