Sony a99 full specifications

Those are the detailed specs for the upcoming Sony a99 full frame camera:

  • 24.3MP full frame CMOS Exmor sensor
  • Translucent mirror technology
  • ISO range: 100-25,600 (ISO-low 50 is also available)
  • 14 bit RAW output
  • 1/8000 maximum shutter speed
  • 10 fps
  • Shutter life: 200,000 shots
  • 102 points AF system
  • AF with two phase detection sensors
  • 2360k dots XGA OLED viewfinder
  • 3" tiltable 921k dots LCD screen
  • Full HD video recording at 1920x1080/60p
  • Auto HDR capability
  • HDMI output
  • Built-in stereo mic
  • Built-in flash with guide number of 12 Update: No built-in flash
  • New multi-segment low pass filter
  • Photodiode expansion technology
  • Light concentration technology
  • Selective noise reduction
  • Two memory slots: SD and SD+MS cards
  • Announced on September 12, 2012
  • Available in stores in late October 2012
  • New accessories to be released with the a99: battery grip, flash, remote control, microphone etc.
  • Very light, weather sealed magnesium alloy body
  • Weight: 730 g.
  • Price: around $2,800
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  • looks GREAT, but what on earth are:
    New multi-segment low pass filter
    Photodiode expansion technology
    Light concentration technology
    Selective noise reduction

    I have no idea. I always thought Zeiss glass is exceptional and Sony could be a real contender if they paid attention to pro shooters. But Sony has almost zero full frame support. What if they pull an olympus and drop their full-size line in the future and go solely with NEX? I really want this camera, but I want it to be a Nikon, not Sony

    • Here’s a very wild… wild guess…

      Multi-segment low pass filter: I’m thinking the AA filter’s strength varies spatially… possibly stronger in the center than on the outer edge. The other possibility is some form of layering, obviously.

      Photodiode expansion technology: Again, it could be a spatial thing like binning or, if they’re really good, maybe they can read and empty the photosites in real time, avoiding full wells. Now that would be awesome if someone does that. Imagine a single exposure where the shadows are perfectly exposed and none of the highlights are blown… proper HDR pretty much.

      Light concentration technology: Something tells me the walls of the photosites have something to do here.

      Selective noise reduction: Boring…

      lol @ “pull an olympus” 😀

    • Kevin

      “Multi-segment low pass filter” sounds like the familiar on-chip NR that Sony has used in their big CMOS sensors, or a more sophisticated implementation of that technology.

      “Photodiode expansion technology” sounds like pixel binning. Perhaps this means we can get ARW files at a lower resolution and higher sensitivity?

      “Light concentration technology” can only be related to microlenses.

      “Selective noise reduction” sounds pretty self-explanatory. NR can be applied to low-detail portions of an image without obliterating the detailed sections.

    • Ben

      I’ve actually been pretty satisfied with the full frame options available for the a900. I have the 16-35, 85 and 135 zeiss lenses plus a 70-400 zoom, and that pretty much covers everything I need. For me the only gaping whole is the Sony 50mm, which is badly in need of an upgrade.

    • Steve

      Well, they have a fast wide zoom, fast normal zoom, fast tele zoom, slow tele zooms, very fast tele primes, fast wide prime, and some more. I would say that is adequate.

  • Marvin8

    Maybe it’s just me, but is anybody else NOT impressed by a shutter life of 200,000?
    What do you think it would cost to replace the shutter after that? Need to buy a new camera?

    • Dunno about Sony but with Canon it’s a few hundred dollars… I’d be more worried about my shooting technique if I’m planning to do 200K shots. Machinegun much? 😀

      • Remedy

        Time lapse anyone?

      • sloma_p

        If you do 50 full-day weddings/year, you’re out of luck in just one year…

        • Sloma….you’re shooting 4000 frames per wedding???? Seriously??? You never would have made it in the days of film my friend. It it takes you 4000 frames to document a wedding I would seriously look at another profession.

          • Your skills are definitely better than mine Clint. I shoot over 3000 frames each wedding. Not machine gunning or anything… It’s sort of happening no matter how “selective” I am with my shutter…

          • Leon

            Clint, before making suggestions on other peoples professions, take a look in the mirror. Looking through Bogdans pictures I must say he’s really doing a good job.

            Now you’re not too bad, but there’s not that much to really wave about on your flickr. Just my two cents.

          • LeadWrist

            @Clint, isn’t that the whole point of digital? I mean yes you limited FPS with film due to cost. But with digital it’s no longer a cost limitation. So what if he takes 4,000 frames, probably catches more perfect moments that way. As for shutter replacement. $139 for the D90 replacement service.

            If we are going to use film as a metric, then lets all look at how pictures were taken originally, nice gel sheets. Lets all shot 1 frame per day shell we.

    • Kevin

      Having an understanding of statistics helps a lot in interpreting these figures of “200,000 shutter actuations” and whatnot. Most cameras will do better than that. What this figure means is that an acceptably small number of tested cameras failed before this figure, such a small number that they are willing to claim the cameras are good for 200,000 shots. This means that the peak of the bell curve is not at 200,000, but well past it.

      Not that 200,000 is anything to sneeze at even if the camera died right then and there. The only people that need worry with these figures are the rental houses or media agencies that will keep room-fulls of cameras in constant use.

      • 200k frames is plenty…..90% of all the people who purchase this camera will sell it and upgrade before it has 20k on the shutter.

        • Leon

          Well Clint, first I thought you were just rude. Now I start to think math isn’t your strong side.

          From my experience a full day of shooting (wedding etc.) is like 1000 pictures, regular day (studio, couple of sets with a model) maybe 500.

          And now you’re saying people update their cameras after 20k? That’s like 30-40 days of use, say 3-4 months tops if you’re making a living with it.
          Wildlife I’m no expert for but I’d say you can easily get 10-20k in a week of shooting.

          Given that a a 3k$ camera doesn’t leave much to upgrade to until its successor is released, which is happening roughly every 3 years, I’d have to say you’re plain wrong and it’s about time you shut up, eh?

    • The D700 had 150000 shutter life and no one complained… 200000 is fine…

  • Jason

    Geez the specs looks so good, too bad its not a nikon

    • Ben

      Doesn’t matter what brand it is. If it is offered at sufficiently competitive pricing the other manufacturers will follow suit and release models with specs that match or surpass it. Every time a manufacturer releases a model that leaps forward all consumers are better for it.

  • poizen22

    102 af point system 😮

  • porkchop

    Maybe I missed something…Sony makes a XQD card, it is supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread but they do not put a XQD slot for their flagship camera?

    • Ben

      Maybe they’re planning on introducing this for the rumored 36MP FF model due out in 2013, which would then take the reins as their true “flagship” model. They’ll need extra features like XQD support to justify the premium price for it.

  • Poncho

    Maybe is the sabe sensor of the Nikon d600, nikonrumors say 24 Mpx

  • @Matthew – Indeed, I would like to know the same things. The second item makes no sense to me either.

    @Marvin8 – A shutter-replacement is typically a service done to repair DSLRs and is not every costly on the order of $150 to $300 USD depending on the model and region doing the service. Having a shutter which lasts twice that much would usually increase the cost of such a camera by much more than replacement cost!

    Lastly, 730g!!! Amazing for full-frame! My guess is this is the savings for not having a heavy glass pentaprism. Well done, Sony 🙂

    • Marvin8

      Thanks for the info, Itai !!!

  • really?

    Its a SD/MS duo+QXD slot! Sony is the only one making them.

  • Nobody Special

    I’m more than willing to wait to see test/reviews of the a99 before I draw any conclusions either way. The idea of being able to use Zeiss glass – hopefully they’ll have some new prime wides – would be very interesting.

    If it just tests out so, so, then I’ll probably just follow through with a D800e instead.

    • Ben

      Definitely a try-before-you-buy camera. I’d want to see a leap in quality compared with the a77 and responsiveness will have to surpass the a900 (which the a77 does not).

      • spam

        The A77 surpasses the A900 in a lot of areas, but certainly not on IQ. Also EVF vs OVF is difficult to rate as they have very different advantages and disadvantages. IMO A77 is not a better camera than A900, but the opposite is also true.

        I’m sure A99 will be a pretty good camera, the A77 certainly is despite some weak sides. Sony’s problem with FF is that they are not consistent. They did two very similar FF models and then nothing for years. That’s not how you keep customers or get new ones. Same with lenses, they daly the 500mm F4 again and again (Iknow it has been launced now) and discontinue the 300 F2.8. Rumors say a new one is almost here, but it’s only rumors.

        I believe that A99 needs to be priced very competitively almost regardless of how good it is, at least to attract new customers. And that might infulence pricing from Canon and Nikon too, it will be interesting to whatch the FF market in the coming months.

  • TopShelf

    Could this be the same sensor that leica is going to use for the M10?

    • spam

      It could, but the D800 sensor is also a good option if Leica can process 36MP fast enough.

      • Sky

        I suppose Leica would much more likely go for 24 MPx.
        It’ll give them a better image quality, and at the same time less data to process for the people who bought it. It’s a win-win scenario, especially because noone really uses digital Leica for landscape shooting these days.

    • I think so. Also the Nikon D600 will have the same sensor (just a guess).

  • Camaman

    Selective noise reduction is a thing long coming, no more noisy skies and noise soiled bokeh.
    But something tells me all those goodies will only come in JPEG.

    Maybe LR5 or whatever will try and mimic those features. But who knows how lon that will take.

  • Camaman

    One more thing…

    That looks to be a Full HD EVF!
    Hooray for Sony! No more pixels!

    Now somebody PLEASE make Virual Reality glasses using these!!! 🙂 🙂

    • sholky

      Nope, it says XGA which means 1024*768. It was the same in A77 and Sony called that a “2.4 million dot viewfinder”, altough it’s only 1024*768.

      Too bad considering that Epson is already making Full HD lcd’s that small and they are putting them in their projectors.
      Epson has made a (lower resolution) viewfinder for Oly EM-5 so I thought that they might make the Full HD one also, but looks like that won’t be happening anytime soon…

      • Camaman

        Damn, the old dots vs. pixel scam got me all giddy.
        I fell for it good. 🙁

  • Dimitrii1130

    nikon D600… 24,7mp… A99 24,3mp… somehow strange. but maybe 24,7 total pixels and 24,3 effective pixels.

    • Sky

      Sony uses less pixels on the sensor to have a little bit of an overhead for Steady Shot? That would be my guess.

      • Do you actually need extra pixels for sensor-based stabilization? The sensor actually moves…

        I have also wondered about small differences in pixel counts, I wonder if it’s related to very small differences in actual image size due to the mount’s design.

  • Zeissdarling

    Sounds like misinformation with deliberately off-kilter technology names to reassure the serious watchers that the true specs aren’t being revealed. The release date seems to close too. Where is the Sweep Panorama? That’s a brilliant high-meg facility that’s hopefully included.

  • fakechuck fake

    mmm and the lens? where is my 100 400 L? or 200 f2? bah go canon!

  • Zeissdarling

    The SP also saves photoshop time. Essential with large volumes of work. I only want to spend hours on photoshop for weddings and special commercial work, not all the time. Jpeg improvement is good too as RAW addiction is pointless and you are dealing with soft images that need even more concentrated work for that. Any facility that saves the pro photographer time is a bonus. High ISO capabilities are also very welcome. I hate Nikon glass but may have to get the D800 and manual Zeiss lenses if the resolution is 24mp … need that extra rez n size for big glorious print sales!

    • Randy S.

      LOL you mean that shit cosina Zeiss crap? Its zeiss slugs that are then cut and ground PISS POOR by cosina. Zeiss on a lens doesn’t mean it was designed or built or ground by Zeiss. Sony’s Zeiss aren’t made by Cosina which is why they perform better then the Zeiss branded 35mm lenses. contax Zeiss was also NOT MADE BY COSINA so they where much better lenses as well. So please clarify your BS.

      • Zeissdarling

        You have no idea what you’re talking about and you’re probably a troll too with that foul mouth. The ZF lenses are amazing pieces of equipment with phenonemal performance. Just check out images made with the 100mm macro etc. I don’t care what factory and anyway Cosina can manufacture good stuff, weren’t the Contax lenses (which i’ve owned) made there? Pillock.

      • fjfjjj

        One dude who hates Nikon glass, and another who thinks Cosina-made Zeiss glass is crap. The perfect couple.

        • Zeissdarling

          Voigtlander rangefinder lenses which are/were made by Cosina are on the whole better that old Nikon lenses in resolution. Many art photographers and other picky people don’t like the yellow Nikon cast – awful, even on ED lenses. That said many of the later lenses, silent wave and indeed the zooms for digital slrs such as that in kit with the D700 are superb (they have to be for hi-rez DSLRS). But on the whole if you want decent lenses go Zeiss or the Sony-branded Zeiss designs. You don’t have to spend the money one has to do for top Nikon or Canon L lenses (even pricier) not to mention Leica. As for the Contax lenses yes they’re made by Kyocera and were quality. You are just slagging the Cosina cameras you are familiar with in your amateurish life, Wanker!
          Though these guys appear to be funded by Canon they are right on the desciption of Cosina’s dedication:

  • Craig

    Buffer depth? EVF? Pfffft.

  • Victor

    …hmmm, with these specs Sony seems to quit going pro. Sad for the Minolta-community.
    Using the SLT concept even for the flagship isn’t convincing to me. And, interesting, Sony didn’t even dare to put their XQD Cards into their flagship.

    • fjfjjj


      The A99 is a “featuritis” camera.

    • Pablo Ricasso

      But the other people are struggling to release cameras costing twice as much only to do about the same ten frames per second with much less resolution and weighing a whole lot more. I think I could stuff it in a small pack and shoot wildlife with it. I could even bring a crop camera to get a little reach.

      And with the vr all built in, I’m kind of glad I thought to make a small pile of lenses, because I’m guessing it’s going to get kind of hard to do that now…

  • Gil

    I can’t wait except for the price : 2800 $ (therefore 2800 pound and euro as if all the money were the same).

    Are Sony aware of the coming release of a 24 MP FF D600 from Nikon with quite the same features for 1500 $ ?

    I hope the price is the only fake in this rumor, because I don’t see why I would pay 1000 $ more for the same sensor and the same technology (apart that Nikon are better in image quality).

    Anyhow, the A99 was supposed to be out a long time ago already and many rumors gave wrong release dates like this one. Hopefully, this time it’s right…

    The only reason why one would pay more for having the same FF camera would be a faultless camera from Sony contrary to what happened to the d800…

    • chuck

      Just some maths

      – A99 2800$ VS D800 (2400 Eur, body only airport price)
      – A99 2800$ VS D600 (announced at 1500$ or 2000$)
      – A99 2800$ VS 5 Mark2: 2100

      – A99 VS D800: same sensor
      – A99 VS D600: probably the same
      – A99 2800$ VS 5 Mark2: their own

      – A99: 24 MP VS D800: 36 MP
      – A99: 24 MP VS D600: 24 MP
      – A99 2800$ VS 5 Mark2: 21 MP (largely enough)

      – A99 lenses: very few
      – Nikon FF lenses: much more (24-85 last released)
      – Canon FF lenses: A lot

      – Sony cameras VS Nikon cameras: Image quality wise: Nikon has definitively the upper hand. For Canon, I am not sure…

      Sony, Canon, Nikon customer support and repair: they all sucks as we know and some even lie on their warranty.

      etc, etc, etc…

      Then, at the end it comes to value for your money, so:

      Why on earth would I be so stupid to buy a camera at 2800$ while I could get the same type with better image quality and more choice of lenses at 1500$ or 2000 ?

      Ask yourself the question and unless you’re a Sony shareholder, think about the fact that after the body you will need lenses…

      • Pablo Ricasso

        Free vibe reduction.
        Autofocus for your Zeiss glass.
        10 frames per second.
        Your sensor won’t get dirty.
        Faster shutter.

        Maybe not for everyone, but glad to have it…

  • phew. got my D800 over a month ago. price: 2435 eur with postage.
    new glass: 0 eur. already have 3 Nikkor zoom lenses. bought 2009.

  • Why an EVF? That’s going backwards to P&S and Panasonic Bridge cameras 10+ years ago! Why why why re-invent the wheel? OVF is clearer than EVF and I just don’t get it! It’s plain stupid to take the existing FF body and bang on some gadgets and gizmo’s that aren’t required and stick a huge price tag on for the privilege. Have they improved the noise algorithm? I doubt it. What’s the bottom line? Is the EVF going to make what goes in the lens and end up on the sensor any better? No, of course not, so why have it? I don’t want to see pixels in the viewfinder, I want to see a clear sharp subject, and OVF has proven to be perfect thus far. I thought Sony would do this, and as an A850 user, this is not a body I would want to own even in 10 years time when it becomes affordable on the used market. Likely when I and other FF users want a ‘proper’ upgrade, going to another brand may be the only option.

    Tweaking the edges may improve certain things, but the bottom line is the quality of the end product, and should this new FF body do that, is it worth the asking price? I think not. Price aside, I’m sure the A850/A900 will still be producing top shelf images for many years to come as will the A700 over the A77.

    Sony, leave EVF at home and the wheel already exists. I don’t need gizmo’s and gadgets with a steep price tag to match. I wan’t a tool to produce cutting edge photo’s and anything that doesn’t directly do that is wasted.

    Finally . . why change the memory card formats? 2x SD cards would be perfectly fine . . 2 card formats are required because . . . . ? Oh . . . will Sony ever design a range of bodies that take a single grip thus standardising accessories instead of multiple grips for example when one type fits all? Also, would a pro studio body with a moulded grip akin to the Canon 1D with OVF, ISO 6400 with no noise and the very, very best of everything be what Sony FF users would want or are we happy with gizmo’s, gadgets and second rate noise control?

    I love my A700 + A850 and would’ve hoped for something akin to a full moulded body with the improvements that a pro body demands, but the A99 is just a joke and unless Sony don’t get off the EVF bandwagon, I for one will likely be saddling up and moving on out, but I sincerely hope that won’t happen, but I won’t hold my breath on that one.

  • David Sadler

    No GPS in latest spec sheet?

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