Well, the announcement of the Sony Alpha A99 II took us by surprise! With the Alpha 7 series of mirrorless cameras seemingly leading the charge for Sony, it looked like the A-mount line of SLT cameras had had its day, with only the forgettable Alpha A68 breaking cover in the past year.
With the arrival of the Alpha A99 II, Sony looks to reaffirm its commitment to the A-mount line of cameras and lenses.
The new A99 II gets a big jump up in pixels compared to original A99's 24MP, with an impressive back-illuminated 42.4MP full-frame CMOS sensor at the heart of the camera that has a top ISO sensitivity of 102,400.
Enhancing its low-light credentials, the A99 II's focusing system works down to an impressive -4EV, while it also features a 4.5-stop built-in 5-axis anti-shake system. As the A99 II uses a large XGA OLED electronic viewfinder, the effects of the stabilisation can be seen with a half press of the shutter button.
Getting back to the AF for a moment and the A99 II's all-new focusing system features 79 (all cross-type) AF points combined with 399 focal-plane AF points to create a Hybrid Phase Detection AF system.
This new system promises to deliver wider coverage across the frame, while providing photographers with the best speed and tracking performance we've seen from an Alpha camera.
To make it a tempting proposition for those wanting to shoot detailed action images, the Alpha A99 II has a burst rate of 12fps. Impressive stuff when you think of all the large 42.4MP files the A99 II will have to process.
The Alpha A99 II features 4K video capture, with the Super 35mm mode bound to appeal to those looking for the ultimate quality, collecting 1.8x as many pixels as required for 4K movies, delivering full pixel readout without pixel binning. It also allows HDMI clear output (4:2:2), time code and picture profiles.
Not only is the A99 II 8% smaller than its predecessor, but it also features a newly redesigned shutter that has a lifespan of 300,000 shots. Designed for professionals and enthusiasts, the A99 II features a durable magnesium alloy chassis.
The Alpha A99 II should be available in November, with a body-only price of $3,199 - UK pricing is still to be confirmed.
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