Sony A99 II review

A massive sensor, turbocharged autofocus, 4K video recording… Cameras don’t come much higher-prepared than the Sony A99 II.

While it’s now not the maximum highly-priced snapper made with the aid of Sony, the A99 II is the flagship model in Sony’s A-mount variety, which is the enterprise’s DSLR equivalents.

With a translucent mirror and a viewfinder that’s digital in place of optical, Sony’s newer A-mount cameras can’t strictly be called DSLRs, however, to all intents and functions, the A99 II is the employer’s solution to the pinnacle complete-body fashions from Canon, Nikon, and Pentax. Hence it is ₹2,50,000 asking charge.

It might not be cheap or mainly quiet, however, this camera is an aspect of hanging beauty underneath its unassuming pores and skin, providing not handiest extremely good all-round overall performance but functions you received locate on any rival version, all in a compact, lightweight and weatherproof frame. Read on for all of the juicy details.

DESIGN: DINKIER THAN A DSLR
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Due to the lack of a conventional DSLR replicate-and-pentaprism setup for bouncing light via the lens to an optical viewfinder, the A99 II (like several Sony’s SLT cameras) is greater compact than an equivalent DSLR. Where maximum has a huge bulge to deal with the viewfinder, the A99 II needs nothing extra than a trifling bump for its OLED viewfinder’s eyepiece.

We do not speak me mirrorless CSC-style dimensions here, but for a high-stop interchangeable lens digicam with a full-body sensor, it’s impressively Bijou; it’s genuinely 8% smaller than its predecessor, the A99. It’s at the lightweight facet too – properly below a kilo with out a lens attached – which makes it pretty clean to hold round for lengthy durations.

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Like maximum high-give up DSLRs, the frame is built on a magnesium alloy frame for toughness, and the controls, dials, ports and so forth are climate-sealed, allowing for use in rainy or dusty environments. A large grip at the proper facet and a rubbery material wrapped around most of the body will also maintain it locked to your arms irrespective of the conditions.

There’s a 3in LCD at the back which tilts out and twists, permitting you to view it from almost any angle, which includes from in front of the digital camera lens. It’s an awesome exceptional display screen in phrases of element and brightness, however, it’s no longer a touchscreen, this means that the A99 II misses out on touch-to-recognition competencies. That’s a piece of a shame.

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CONTROLS: BUTTON BONANZA
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No touchscreen? Not a massive trouble gave the sheer quantity of controls Sony has located on the consumer’s fingertips. The A99 II is bristling with bodily controls – dials, buttons, a thumb-controlled joystick – and when you’re acquainted with the format, you shouldn’t have any trouble swiftly adjusting your settings to cope with any trade for your shooting wishes.

There are some areas where improvements can be made. I at once missed having a short manner to toggle among vehicle and guide attention, in place of only a button which, while held down, engages manual. For this, and a variety of different greater minor settings, you must mission into the A99 II’s massive, labyrinthine menu system, which can be a chore until you start to get a feel for wherein the whole thing is. This is a flexible camera, you notice, and there are plenty of alternatives you may play with.

Thankfully, you may assign custom controls (along with AF mode, I was happy to examine) to sure buttons from within the menus, because of this you could install the digicam to suit your favored approach of capturing.

FEATURES: MORE THAN GIMMICKS
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The A99 II is filled with greater functions than I could probably detail right here, however, a few stand out. The 5-axis picture stabilization, for instance, works in-frame instead of requiring lenses to have optical photo stabilization built into them. This approach any A-mount lens you connect gets the gain of IS, even the ones classic Minolta lenses from the Eighties.

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The hybrid autofocus right here is notable, with all 79 AF section-detection points running as hybrid points. That method a responsive non-stop autofocus that tracks movement correctly – perfect for capturing difficult, unpredictable topics.

There’s even an Eye AF mode that recognizes and maintains cognizance on human eyes, which works well while you’re taking pictures pics with a narrow depth of discipline, while even a movement of some millimeters out of your challenge can effect in their eyes being blurry while the top in their nose is sharp. AF additionally works nicely in gloomy situations; it’s all-round tremendous.

Also, a quick word approximately the OLED viewfinder. Time turned into, an electronic viewfinder changed into regarded as the bad relation to an optical viewfinder, but that has changed rapidly during the last few years and it’s generally right down to Sony’s efforts. This viewfinder is huge, beautifully crisp and herbal-looking – nearly indistinguishable from an optical viewfinder, clearly – and has the added advantage of being capable of previewing and reviewing pictures and video clips.

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IMAGE QUALITY: BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
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The A99 II is as lots a videographer’s device as it’s miles a photographer’s, and with a high-data 4K mode (up to 100Mbps in XAVC S format) and seasoned-level workflow functions including the capacity to output uncompressed footage to an outside recorder thru HDMI, it is able to without difficulty be used to make a movie or TV show with the proper lenses attached.

Video exceptional is amazing in-digicam though, and whilst I’m no budding Tarantino I controlled to seize a few lovable-looking stuff actually by means of pointing, focusing and hitting the report button. Footage famous natural-searching colors – possibly a bit muted – robust dynamic range and crisp, smooth element. The 5-axis IS facilitates lots with handheld video too, negating a number of the outcomes of the wielder’s much less-than-regular mitts.

 

The forty-six.4MP sensor is fantastic for stills to work too. There’s no low-skip filter out, which increases the sheer amount of element the A99 II can remedy.

The JPEG pics embedded above and under communicate for themselves, really, but in case you don’t trust the onboard processor to deliver the goods, or are simply a manipulate freak, you can continually shoot in uncompressed 14-bit RAW and manually procedure the ensuing pictures to your preferred PC photograph editor. Prepare to wrangle with a few big report sizes, though: this digital camera’s RAWs are approximately 85MB each.

As you’d count on from a full-body digicam with a maximum ISO of 102, four hundred, low-mild images works properly here. I wouldn’t call it a grasp to the diploma of the Sony A7S II, but with a quick lens attached, you may snap away in a dimly-lit pub and pass domestic with a few terrific images.

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SONY A99 II VERDICT
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With its charge tag and DSLR-like build, the A99 II isn’t for everybody. Even the ones worrying a complete-body camera have cheaper, more compact and less complicated to stay with options in Sony’s very own E-mount cameras inclusive of the A7, A7S, nd A7R. And in case you’re already invested within the Nikon or Canon structures, you’re probably higher off going with those employer’s respective complete-frame fashions so you can use your current lenses.

But for the ones inclined to invest in a new gadget or already using A-mount glass, the A99 II is a highly effective flagship that can address any pictures or video task with aplomb. In fact, it’s possibly the most effective camera you’ll ever need – which it might well have to be thinking about that fee tag.