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.