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Sony Breathes Life into the A-Mount with the a99 II

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Considered an abandoned system by many, Sony is proving many people wrong with the announcement of a new A-mount flagship camera: the a99 II. Borrowing many of the highlights of the mirrorless E-mount a7R II, the a99 II comes complete with a 42.4MP full-frame sensor, internal 4K recording, 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization, fast phase-detection AF, and the larger, ergonomic body common to DSLR designs.

Utilizing the high-resolution, full-frame 42.4MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor, this camera offers a sensitivity range up to ISO 25600, which can be expanded to ISO 102400, along with 12 fps continuous shooting with autofocus and auto-exposure tracking for repeatable accuracy and consistency when shooting action sequences. An 8 fps shooting rate is also available with continuous live view monitoring available, via either the 2.36m-dot OLED electronic viewfinder or the rear 3.0" 1.23m-dot tilting LCD monitor. Benefitting video and stills recording, the camera is fitted with 5-axis sensor-shift type image stabilization to compensate for up to 4.5 stops of camera shake for sharper handheld shooting with any mounted lens. Additionally, also improving image quality is support for 14-bit raw shooting in the ARW format for a greater range of colors and control during post processing.

Maintaining accurate focus on moving subjects, the a99 II features a unique Hybrid Phase-Detection AF system, which uses a dedicated 79-point focusing sensor with 15 cross-type points, along with 399 on-chip phase-detection points for notably quick and precise AF, improved subject tracking capabilities, and low-light sensitivity down to EV -4. Use of these two systems in tandem is possible due to the Translucent Mirror Design used in Sony’s A-mount cameras, which as the name suggests, makes use of a partially transparent mirror to direct light simultaneously to a focusing and an imaging sensor. This technology also enables the use of the electronic viewfinder when shooting or recording video.

Speaking of video, the a99 II becomes the first A-mount camera to record UHD 4K movies, with frame rates up to 30p at 100 Mbps in the XAVC S format. S-Log3 and S-Gamut3 are also available for a wider dynamic range and improved color-grading capabilities; clean HDMI output is possible for working with an external recorder; and a new S&Q mode, or Slow and Quick Motion, offers selectable frame rates between 1 fps and 120 fps to adjust playback speeds for slow- or quick-motion effects in the Full HD 1080p format.

Outside of the imaging capabilities of the a99 II, the camera is also characterized by its durable, magnesium-alloy construction that is dust- and moisture-resistant for working in inclement conditions. The larger form factor of the DSLR shape also provides room for more physical controls, including a front Silent Multi Controller for intuitive selection of assigned settings, including aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, and more. This new model is also designed to be 8% smaller than the original a99, yet features improved ergonomics, such as a refined grip and easier access to buttons, dials, and other controls. Additionally, built-in Wi-Fi with NFC is available for wireless image-sharing and remote control via a mobile device; location data can also be embedded into files using a Bluetooth connection.

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What about GPS LOCATION?

Hi Ron,

Unfortunately, it seems like Sony has left out GPS on this model.

GPS IS available via WiFi from Smart Phones (iPhone etc).

Have you used this?  If so, please provide an objective review of this feature because everything I've seen or read so far indicates it is a disasterous, error-prone implementation of location/GPS assignment.  There was NOTHING WRONG with GPS in the A99V.  I've already pleaded with Sony to bring the A99IIV model to the market.

I've been using an iPhone 7 to provide GPS data to my a99ii.  Most of the time it works, but the connection between my phone and camera is often lost.  GPS data is important to me and Sony's "solution" isn't reliable enough to trust.

As a happy owner of an Alpha 77 ( now my back up ) and an Alpha 77 Mk II, I am so glad to see that the A mount will stay alive a little longer. Now ,if the lenses manufacturers would ALL take notice, maybe that would expend our choices at a price we can all afford !! If I win the lottery I'll get the 99 and have my 77 turned into a good IR camera !

GPS?????

Am so happy for the new A99II. Ready to trade in my A99. How much?

Very excited!  Upgraded in 2013 from A700 to A99 and sat on the sidelines while the E revolution unfolded. I just couldn't think of lens changeover or the A to E adapters.  Well, I guess Sony does care about guys with big hands!  Hopefully the 8% size reduction isn't noticeable, but I guess I'll also need a new vertical grip (bummer).  Hope the batteries at least haven't changed.

Its been a long wait but bully for Sony to  move the  A mount and SLT format foward in tandem with the APS A77 2. I think Sony realizes that they cannot rely on the E mounts to satisfy enough serious photographers.  I havent quite absorbed what improvemnets have/have not been made in the focusing system versus the a77 2. The question now is do I move from my A900 to the A99 2 as I did with my A700 to the 77 2? Its been such a long wait that I have gotten used to taking both cameras out on assignment and for the most part no longer get confusedf switching from the controls/features of A to B!

Oh bum, I was hoping we would get the A9 announcment too - would really love to have a 5D4 butt kicker with Emount 

Not the announcement about an A9 that I was anticipating. Oh well.

So ready for the A77III with A6300 innards plus stabilization.

Hush! Not sure if I have $'s to lay out for A99 2 let alone forking out for a A 77 3! TRuth be known no more upgrades till I'm too old to shoot straight!!!

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