Sony Alpha A99 Mark II Gordon Laing, September 2016

Sony Alpha A99 Mark II preview

Sony's Alpha A99 Mark II is a full-frame professional A-mount body with a 42.4 Megapixel back-illuminated sensor, 12fps con tenuous shooting with AF, built-in five-axis stabilisation and 4k video. Announced in September 2016, it comes four years after the previous A99 which itself followed four years after the original A900.

The 42.4 Megapixel sensor features 399 embedded phase-detect AF points, a top sensitivity of 102400 ISO and the choice of 4k movies either with full-frame or Super-35 coverage. As such it's almost certainly the same sensor as the Alpha A7r Mark II mirrorless camera, but what makes the A99 Mark II different is its translucent mirror technology that allows it to also deploy a second phase-detect AF system. The second array offer 79 AF points in a cross-shaped array and is sensitive to -4EV; both systems work together to deliver broad coverage and low-light sensitivity.

The A99 II shoots much faster than the A7r Mark II, at 12fps versus 5fps, and the new shutter unit is rated to 300,000 actuations. A new front-end LSI takes care of the faster calculations and Hybrid AF system. The body's weather-sealed, there's twin SD memory card slots, the same XGA OLED viewfinder as the A7r II, the stabilisation claims 4.5 stops of compensation, there's a three-axis screen hinged at the top and bottom (no mention of touch-sensitivity yet though), HDMI output at 4:2:2, PC tethering, and praise the Lord, a new menu system. Expect the A99 Mark II in November at a body price of $3199 USD / 3600 EUR. I hope to go hands-on with an A99 Mark II soon and will report back.

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