The Alpha a99 DSLR Camera from Sony is a 35mm full frame digital camera body equipped with Sony's translucent mirror technology. This enables it to shoot without the delay of a reflex mirror, and its Dual Autofocus System to continuously monitor and alter its focus in real time. Recording on a 24.3MP resolution Exmor CMOS sensor, the a99 has great image quality and low-light sensitivity, while using the speed of the translucent mirror and BIONZ Image Processor to record images at 6fps in continuous shooting mode.
Shooting with a 24.3MP full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor means you'll capture high quality images with the benefits of additional low-light sensitivity. This sensor provides an ISO range of 100 to 25600 while area-specific noise reduction allows you to shoot at the higher end of that sensitivity range. The combination of this camera's speed, sensitivity and reduced noise make it great for capturing action both indoors or in low light.
Utilizing Sony's Translucent Mirror technology, the autofocus system continuously monitors the image and can alter the autofocus in real time. Two phase contrast sensors, a 19-point sensor above the translucent mirror and a 102-point focal plane phase detection sensor work in tandem to greatly improve subject tracking performance and increase autofocus precision.
For increased clarity and resistance to reflections, the rear 3.0" LCD features Sony's TruBlack technology. It has a 1,228,000-dot resolution for sharp, vivid imagery when reviewing images, or when framing them using Live View. The monitor also features Shot Result Preview, for previewing the effects of your camera's settings before the exposure is even captured. It is also able to tilt up to 180° vertically and can rotate up to 270° horizontally.
The large 14-bit data generated by the full-frame sensor is easily handled by the enhanced BIONZ image processor, to deliver fast speeds and performance. This provides significantly reduced write times, while the increased power afforded by the processor allows for increased noise reduction throughout the entire dynamic range of the sensor.
Using sensor-shift image stabilization, Sony's SteadyShot technology takes place inside the camera rather than in the lenses you attach. This means that every image you capture, no matter the lens that was used, has image stabilization applied. By reducing camera shake within the camera you can achieve shake reduction of up to 2.5 to 4.5 stops, so your shutter speed will not need to be set as low as it would without the stabilization.
Depending on the Sony lenses you attach, the camera will also detect and compensate for its particular aberrations and degradations in image quality. Shading or vignetting caused by the lens will be corrected, and aberrations like lens distortion or chromatic aberration will be compensated for. Each unique lens attached provides ideal compatibility from one to the next.
The a99's Tru-Finder Electronic Viewfinder features a 2,359K-dot resolution, 100% field of view, and a wide 31.9° viewing angle. This allows it to deliver a bright, clear image in almost any lighting condition, including bright sunlight. It displays information regarding exposure settings and modes, and Shot Result Preview allows you to preview the effects of exposure control before capturing the photograph.
After you've viewed your settings in the EVF and captured your images, the rear 3.0" LCD features Sony's TruBlack technology for increased clarity and resistance to reflections. The monitor also features Shot Result Preview, the same as the EVF.
The innovative noise reduction system used by the a99 applies optimized settings to specific parts of your images based on patterns including edges, textures and gradients. It processes these areas using the best and most appropriate settings to optimize image quality, and reduce noise. This is all in addition to the conventional noise reduction techniques employed by the camera, and helps to produce images with low noise throughout its wide ISO range.
Unlike conventional cameras, the a99 also features a newly developed Multi-Interface Shoe with aditional contacts that dramatically expands compatibility with Handycam accessories, thus raising the potential for photo/movie shooting. It also features three holes in its metal base in order to support an optional locking mechanism in the flash or other hotshoe device.(The included ADP-MAA shoe adapter maintains compatibility with conventional Alpha accessories as well).
The unique Multi Control Dial on the front of the camera allows you to adjust photo, video or audio settings without producing audible clicks or vibrations that may be heard while recording. Full HD 1080p video is supported with this camera and makes use of the high-speed Translucent Mirror technology for continuous autofocus, even while using Live View to monitor your shooting. The 24p frame rate allows you to create movies with a more cinematic feel, and for even greater control ISO sensitivity, P/A/S/M manual shooting modes, and Picture Effects are available.
- 24.3MP Exmor Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
- The 24.3MP full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor provides a high level of image quality and additional low-light sensitivity benefits. This sensor allows for an extended ISO range from 100 to 25600 while effectively reducing noise at higher sensitivities. This combination of sensitivity and reduced noise make this camera ideal for use for action photography indoors or at night.
- Dual Autofocus System
- Utilizing the Translucent Mirror technology, the autofocus system is able to continuously monitor the image frame and alter the autofocus quickly and responsively. Two phase contrast sensors, a 19-point sensor above the translucent mirror and a 102-point focal plane phase detection sensor, work together to deliver greatly improved subject tracking performance and increased precision.
- Full HD Video Recording
- Full HD 1080p recording is supported with this camera and also makes use of the high-speed Translucent Mirror Technology for continuous autofocus, even while using Live View to monitor your shooting. The AVCHD format is used and allows recording of 60 frames per second (60p) for outstanding clarity and motion detail. Additionally, the 24p frame rate is supported allowing you to create movies with a more cinematic feel. For even greater control over video recording, P/A/S/M manual shooting modes, selection of ISO from 100 to 6400, and Picture Effects are available.
- Xtra Fine LCD
- The rear 3.0" LCD features Sony's TruBlack technology for increased clarity and resistance to reflections. It has a 1,228,000-dot resolution for sharp, vivid imagery when reviewing images or monitoring your recording while using Live View. The monitor also features Shot Result Preview, for previewing the effects of your camera's settings before the exposure is made. For even greater viewing possibilities while shooting, the screen is able to tilt up to 180° vertically and rotate up to 270° horizontally. The range of movements and reflection protection give you a wide variety of possibilities for viewing from difficult angles and lighting conditions.
- BIONZ Image Processor
- The enhanced BIONZ image processor easily handles the large 14-bit data generated by the full-frame sensor to deliver fast speeds and performance. It offers significantly reduced write times. The increased power afforded by this processor allows increased noise reduction and richly detailed gradations throughout the entire dynamic range.
- SteadyShot INSIDE Image Stabilization
- This camera features Sony's SteadyShot technology for image stabilization within the camera. By reducing camera shake at the camera level you can achieve shake compensation up to 2.5-4.5 stops in shutter speed. This technology is compatible with any Sony Alpha lens.
- Multi-Interface Shoe
- Unlike conventional cameras, the a99 also features a newly developed Multi-Interface Shoe with additional electronic contacts that dramatically expands compatibility with Handycam accessories, thus raising the potential for photo/movie shooting (The included ADP-MAA shoe adapter maintains compatibility with conventional Alpha accessories as well).
- Lens Shading and Aberration Compensation
- Depending on the Sony lenses you mount to the a99, the camera will compensate for its unique handling of the images you shoot through it. Shading, or vignetting, caused by the lens will be corrected, and aberrations like ghosting, distortion and chromatic aberration will be compensated for each unique lens attached - providing ideal compatibility from one to the next.
- 6 Frames per Second Continuous Shooting
- Full-frame images can be captured at 6fps with the dual AF system. When using the Tele-zoom High Speed Shooting mode, up to 10fps can be recorded while magnifying the center of your image by 1.46x. This cropping limits your image resolution somewhat and brings your subject closer for tighter compositions.
- Tru-Finder OLED Electronic Viewfinder
- The Tru-Finder EVF is a high resolution finder featuring a 2,359K-dot resolution, a 100% field of view, and a wide 31.9° viewing angle. It delivers a bright, clear image in almost any lighting conditions, including bright sunlight. This finder displays image information regarding exposure settings and modes, and Shot Result Preview allows you to preview the effects of exposure control, white balance modifications, and other creative modes before making an exposure. You can also review photos and video after you've captured it. Adjustable finder magnification gives you the choice between 1.04x and 0.97x, permitting you to see the entire frame while wearing glasses.
- Area-Specific Noise Reduction
- The noise reduction system used by the a99 divides your images into various parts based on their patterns including edges, textures and gradients. It then processes these areas using the best and most appropriate settings to optimize image quality, and reduce noise. This is all in addition to the conventional noise reduction techniques employed by the camera, and helps to produce images with low noise throughout the wide 9-stop ISO range of 100 to 25600, and expanded to include ISO 50.
- Quiet Multi Control Dial
- The combination of a button within a smooth twisting dial allows you to adjust photo, video or audio settings without producing audible clicks or vibrations that may be heard while recording. You'll find this dial built into the front of the camera body, below the lens release button, and is kept right at your fingertips when holding the camera in both hands.
- Dirt, Dust and Moisture Protection
- The a99 employs comprehensive dust and moisture resistance that contributes to its high reliability and long life. Sony tightly interlocked the camera's panels and components, added sealing around most of its buttons and dials, and placed gaskets along the edges of the viewfinder and LCDs (both top and rear) in order to help prevent water and dust from entering the body during rough conditions. Jack covers are fitted with rubber-based covers for better sealing and are organized by function in order to minimize unnecessary opening and closing. The front section of the accessory shoe is also constructed of highly dust and water resistant parts.
- Sensor Cleaning System
- Should dust particles enter the camera when the lens is being changed, two levels of internal protection safeguard the image sensor. The first is a newly developed coating applied to the surface of the optical low-pass filter. This highly effective anti-dust coating effectively suppresses the attachment of both dry and moist dust particles, simplifying their removal. The second level of protection is an anti-dust vibration mechanism that vibrates the filter at high speed every time the camera is switched off in order to dislodge any dust particles that settled on its surface.
- 1200-Zone Evaluative Metering
- An advanced evaluative metering sensor with 1200 zones ensures you capture balanced exposures in a wide range of lighting conditions, as well as accurate subject recognition when tracking subjects. Choose between the available Multi segment, Center weighted and Spot metering modes.
- Two-Axis White Balance
- Enabling finer white balance adjustment than auto white balance is capable of, you can adjust white balance using amber to blue and green to magenta spectrums in order to achieve more true-to-life color using almost any kind of light source.
- Auto HDR
- When this mode is selected, three separate bracketed exposures are made at a time and then automatically composited into a single file. This resulting file represents the longest range of tones in highlights, mid-tones, and shadows. Unlike traditional high dynamic range capture, this mode does not require the use of a tripod and simplifies the entire process into a simple, in-camera function.
- Auto Portrait Framing
- Auto Portrait Framing automatically creates compositions revolving around your portrait subjects and artfully crops your image based on the rule of thirds, where your portrait is located within the frame, exposure on your subject, and the direction he or she is looking. Face Detection, Smile Shutter, and Face Recognition modes are used in conjunction with Auto Portrait Framing for creating the best portraiture possible in a highly efficient manner. This mode utilizes the Clear Image Zoom function and automatically creates a second image file based on these considerations.
- Multi Frame NR and Hand-Held Twilight
- Similar in theory to an HDR image, Multi Frame NR and Hand-held Twilight feature a noise reduction technology that automatically composites 6 different images into one file for a reduction in noise up to 2 ISO stops. Once you have selected your desired settings, you can create extremely low light images with confidence. The camera combines these 6 exposures to provide a gain in brightness without the increased noise that is associated with higher sensitivity levels. Since the initial exposure length is also shorter, you can easily handhold for shots that are sharp regardless of the ambient lighting.
- Built-In GPS for Geotagging
- The a99's built-in GPS feature tags your photos with global positioning data that indicates where and when they were taken, so you don't have to. When you view tagged photographs on a PC installed with PMB software, or on a connected BRAVIA TV with its Photo Map function, the photos are displayed on a map to indicate where they were taken. A highly sensitive antenna in the camera ensures clear GPS reception wherever your photography takes you.
- Picture Effects
- A variety of picture effects are supported for in-camera image-processing and creative applications. These effects include HDR Painting, Soft Focus, Miniature, Soft High-key, Pop Color, Partial Color (Red, Green, Blue, Yellow), Rich-tone Monochrome, Toy Camera, High Contrast Monochrome, Posterization (Color), Posterization (Black & White), and Retro Photo. They are available for both photo and video recording.