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Sony A99The Sony A9'x' full frame DSLR

Sony FF DSLR rumours and info

Sony's Alpha (A) series cameras make for an interesting range. They show both Sony's desire to be considered one of the top camera suppliers, and in particular challenge Canon and Nikon in the professional market.

Two 'traditional' 35mm full frame DSLRs were launched, and in time discontinued.

Whatever comes next will use electronic viewfinder (EVF) technology, something that eventually will become more widespread, but with current technologies still faces challenges at the top end (compare the viewfinder experience of a Canon 1100D and 1D X to see how far EVF has to go in some areas)

This page collects together any Sony 'full frame' info or rumours I hear of.

SLT-A99 Info

A900 Info

Latest

2014 April

  • 6th A7s 12MP and ISO to 406k [DPR]
  • 5th A7s ... 12MP sensor and 4k video [SAR]
  • 4th Suggestions of a new A7s model launched as soon as this Sunday (6th) [SAR]

March

  • 26th There are suggestions of a Sony MF camera [MF page] and Sony is suggesting that it wants to move more into the 'higher end' market [SAR]
  • 20th Sony introducs a 'Pro Service' in Japan
    • ....a hefty 'joining fee' and $100 p.a. membership should keep out the riff-raff ;-)
  • Cheaper repairs and rental equipment during repairs are amongst the benefits [Sony via Google xlt]

January

  • 4th Sony will be filling out their lineup during the year with four APS-C cameras between now and Photokina [SAR]

2013 December

  • 2nd Sony seem to have developed a 54MP full frame sensor - looks as if yeilds are still too low to see it for a while, but it would make for an interesting D800 followup or D4x [SAR]

July

  • 25th An upcoming Sony SLT may feature a new 32MP sensor an 8-14FPS [SAR] (~72MP on FF if APS-C)
  • 22nd It's suggested that Sony has three new full frame sensors for upcoming cameras (24/32/36MP) [SAR]
digital B/WFYI: I've set up a LinkedIn group (~6000 members) for people interested in all aspects of Digital Black and White photography: Digital Black and White Keith gets our UK used equipt.
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April

  • 8th Sony show off a DSLR style 4k [PR]

January

  • 18th Sony may have a go at eye controlled focus with their upcoming 'flagship' model [SAR]

2012 December

  • 27th Good A99 review at PCA -
    • "Slightly pointless wording on the bright orange anodised lens mount bezel lets you know this camera is not actually aimed at working professionals."

October

  • 13th The highest MP 35mm camera race gets a nudge at SAR , with suggestions of a full frame 36 or 50MP camera next May/June

September

  • 12th Sony launch loads of stuff, including the pellicle mirror based full frame A99
  • Previews etc. at DPR
  • Sony SLT-A99 key specifications:
    • 24MP full-frame CMOS Sensor with on-chip phase detection AF
    • Fixed-mirror design SLT
    • 2.4M dot OLED electronic viewfinder
    • 14-bit Raw output
    • ISO 100-25,600
    • Up to 6 frame-per-second continuous shooting with AF
    • ISO-compatible flash hotshoe with 'multi interface' expansion connector
    • Pull-out three-hinge tilt/swivel 1.23m dot RGBW LCD screen
    • Top panel LCD
    • Microphone and headphone sockets
    • Built-in GPS
    • AF Micro Adjust
  • 9th More leaked specs and images of the A99 (middle) at SAR
  • comparison of camera models

August

  • 29th. September 12th is suggested [PR] as an announcement date for an A99 like this...
    • 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 1920 x 1080/60p
      Auto HDR capability | HDMI output
      Built-in stereo mic | Built-in flash with guide number of 12
      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.
  • 22nd Sony's patent for a semitransparent mirror [SAR]
  • Stiil no real info on an A99.

March

  • 13th Sony inteview gives away future plans - unfortunately, not in much detail ;-) [MP]
  • 8th A firmware update for an expensive lens [SAR], but no sign of any new FF cameras

February

  • 14th 24MP A99 for photokina? [SAR]
  • 9th Sony say that the FF A900 replacement hasn't been forgotten... [DPR]

January

  • 9th A suggestion that the A99 has been pushed back to photokina [SAR]

2011 December

November

  • 25th A new type of FF 'hybrid and a 36MP FF camera get added to the collection for next year [SAR]
  • 3rd Wider use of EVFs move on with a new design from Sony [SAR]

October

  • 19th After the announcement of the 18MP Canon 1D X, people are looking at other manufacturers 'full frame'/FX/35mm offerings and wondering where sensor design is going to go?
  • At SA rumours, the talk is of an upcoming 24MP FF A9x, with a subsequent announcement of a high MP (36?) camera to follow. [SAR]
  • Looks as if any forthcoming cameras will also be 'SLT' types with no optical viewfinder.
  • 3rd The Sony A900 is now marked as discontinued - [SAR]

May 26th

  • A850 is marked as discontinued - so much for Sony and 'Full Frame'?
    More at SAR

2009 August 27th

Sony announce their second FF camera the A850

More info @ DPR

2008 September 9th As expected its the A900...

24.6 MP and $3000 available late October 2008. Also 2 lenses

Vario Sonnar T* 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Series Lens

The SAL1635ZA model is a super wide angle 16-35mm f/2.8 constant aperture zoom lens, well-suited for landscape, snapshot and indoor photography.

70-400mm f/4-5.6 G Series Lens
The SAL70400G lens is a 5.7x super telephoto zoom lens and the latest addition to Sony’s G-series line of premium lenses.

Designed to deliver extremely sharp descriptive performance across its wide focal length range, it is ideally suited for sports, action and wildlife photography.

Sony A900 cutaway viewBrief specifications

Sony A99A99 Specifications

Sony SLT-A99 key specifications:

 

 

 

 

 

Body type
Body type Mid-size SLR
Body material Magnesium Alloy
Sensor
Max resolution 6000 x 4000
Other resolutions 6000 x 3376, 3936 x 2624, 3936 x 2216, 2640 x 1760, 2640 x 1488
Image ratio w:h 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 24.3 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 24.7 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (35.8 x 23.8 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Bionz
Image
ISO Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 25600
White balance presets 8
Custom white balance Yes (1)
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Extra Fine, Fine, Standard
Image parameters
  • Contrast -3 to +3 steps
  • Saturation -3 to +3 steps
  • Sharpness -3 to +3 steps
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lamp Yes
Digital zoom No
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 19
Lens mount Sony/Minolta Alpha mount
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fully articulated
Screen size 3"
Screen dots 1,229,000
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT Xtra Fine color LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100 %
Viewfinder magnification 0.71×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Exposure modes
  • iAuto
  • Superior Auto
  • Program
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority, Manual
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Sports Action
  • Macro
  • Landscape
  • Sunset
  • Night Scene
  • Hand-held Twilight (6 shot layering)
  • Night Portrait
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (via Hot-shoe)
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High Speed Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in, Wireless
Flash X sync speed 1/250 sec
Drive modes
  • Single-frame advance
  • Continuous advance
  • Continuous adv Priority AE
  • Speed Priority Continuous
  • Self-timer
  • Self Portrait Self-timer
  • Continuous Self-timer
Continuous drive Yes (2.5, 6 fps)
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes ( 3 frames, H/L selectable)
Videography features
Format
  • MPEG-4
  • AVCHD
  • H.264
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60, 24 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30fps), 640 x 424 (29.97 fps)
Storage
Storage types Memory Stick PRO Duo/Pro-HG Duo; SD, SDHC and SDXC
Storage included None
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (mini HDMI Type C)
Wireless None
Remote control Yes (Wired or Wireless (Optional))
Physical
Environmentally sealed Yes (Dust and moisture resistant)
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion NP-FM500H rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 500
Weight (inc. batteries) 812 g (1.79 lb / 28.64 oz)
Dimensions 147 x 111 x 78 mm (5.79 x 4.37 x 3.07")
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording No
GPS None

A900 Specifications

  • A900 with vertical grip
Price (body only)

$3000

Body material Magnesium Alloy chassis, high grade plastic exterior
Sensor 35.9 x 24.0 mm CMOS sensor 'Exmor', RGB colour Filter Array, Built-in fixed low-pass filter, 25.7 million total pixels, 24.6 million effective pixels, On-chip Column A/D Conversion & NR
Image sizes

6048 x 4032 (24M 3:2), 4400 x 2936 (13M 3:2), 3024 x 2016 (6.1M 3:2), 6048 x 3408 (21M 16:9), 4400 x 2472 (11M 16:9), 3024 x 1704 (5.2M 16:9), 3924 x 2656 (11M APSC), 2896 x 1928 (5.6M APSC), 1984 x 1320 (2.6M APSC),

File qualities / formats RAW (.ARW 2.0), Compressed or uncompressed RAW option, RAW + JPEG Fine, JPEG Extra Fine, JPEG Fine, JPEG Standard
Dust reduction Static-resistant anti-dust coating, CCD-shift dust reduction mechanism
Lenses Sony Alpha lenses, (also compatible with Minolta A-type bayonet mount lenses), Can be used with DT (1.5x crop) lenses in APS-C mode
FOV crop 1.0 x
Image Stabilization CCD-Shift ' SteadyShot INSIDE' system, Five level LED shake indicator in viewfinder, Claimed equivalent to 4 steps in shutter speed *
Auto Focus TTL CCD line sensors (9-points, center dual cross types + 10 assist sensors), EV 0 to 18 (ISO 100) detection range, Predictive focus control for moving subjects
AF area selection

Wide AF area, Spot AF area (center), Focus area selection (any of 9)

Focus modes Single-shot AF, Direct Manual Focus, Continuous AF, Automatic AF, Manual focus, • AF micro adjustment (+/- 20 steps for up to 30 lenses)
AF assist, illuminator Yes (built-in LED lamp), Range approx 1m - 7m
Eye-start AF No
Shooting modes

Auto, Programmed AE (with shift), Aperture priority AE, Shutter priority AE, Manual, MR (memory recall) / Custom,

Sensitivity

Auto (200 - 3200) - upper/lower limit selectable *, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200, Up to ISO 6400 (expanded range)

Metering modes Multi-segment (40 segment Honeycomb pattern), Center-weighted, Spot
Metering range EV 0 to 20 (Multi-segment / Center-weighted), EV 2 to 20 (Spot metering), (at ISO 100 with F1.4 lens)
AE Lock AEL button (customizable), Half-press shutter release
AE Bracketing Single or continuous bracketing, 3 or 5 frames, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 or 2.0 EV steps*, *2.0 EV steps for 3 frames only
Exposure compen. -3.0 to +3.0 EV, 0.3 or 0.5 EV steps
Shutter Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane Shutter
Shutter Speed 30 to 1/8000 sec, Bulb
Flash X-sync 1/250 sec, 1/200 sec (with SteadyShot INSIDE on)
Aperture values Depends on lens, 0.3 EV steps
DOF preview Yes, dedicated button
White balance

Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash, colour temperature (2500 - 9900 K), Manual (Custom) - 3 memories

White balance fine tuning Auto (none), Preset WB: -3 to +3, Fluorescent WB: -2 to +4, colour temperature WB: G9 to M9 (19 step Magenta / Green compensation)
White balance bracketing 3 frames, Hi or Lo steps
Dynamic range optimizer

Off, Standard, Advanced Auto, Advanced, DRO advanced bracketing (3 frames, High/Low selectable)

colour space sRGB, Adobe RGB
colour modes Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night view, Autumn Leaves, B&W, Sepia, Adobe RGB
Image parameters Contrast (-3 to +3), Saturation (-3 to +3), Sharpness (-3 to +3), Zone Matching (-1 to +2 steps), Brightness (-3 to +3 steps), (Available in all colour modes)
Noise reduction Long exposure for exposures longer than 1 second (User controllable: On / Off), High ISO NR High/Normal/Low/Off at ISO 1600 or higher
Viewfinder

Eye-level fixed optical glass pentaprism, Spherical Acute Matte focusing screen (interchangeable), Magnification approx. 0.74x, 100% frame coverage, Dioptric adjustment (-3 to +1.0), Eye-relief 20 mm from eyepiece, Eyepiece cup removable, Eyepiece shutter built-in, Viewfinder info bar

LCD monitor 3.0 " 'Xtra Fine' TFT LCD, 921,600 pixels (640 x 480 x 3 (RGB)), 100% coverage, Anti-reflective coating
Flash compensation -3.0 to +3.0 EV in 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 2.0 EV steps
External flash (optional) Sony HVL-F58M, Sony HVL-F56M, Sony HVL-F42M, Sony HVL-F36M, Macro Twin Flash Kit HVL-MT24AM, Ring Light HVL-RLAM, Off camera flash shoe FA-CS1 AM
Drive modes Single-frame, Continuous (H/L selectable), Self-timer (10 or 2 sec), Continuous bracket, Single-frame bracket, White balance bracket, DRO bracket
Continuous , shooting * H: Approx 5fps max, L: Approx 3fps max, RAW: Up to 12 frames, cRAW (compressed): Up to 25 frames, RAW+JPEG: Up to 10 frames, JPEG (XFINE): Up to 11 frames, JPEG (STD/FINE): 285/105
Self-timer

10 sec, 2 sec, Mirror up function (optional), Remote control

Orientation sensor Yes, for shooting, playback and control panel display
Connectivity USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mass storage, Multi-LUN or PTP), Video out (NTSC or PAL), HDMI type C mini jack, DC-IN, Remote terminal, PC control (with supplied software)
Remote control * Wired: with optional RM-S1AM or RM-L1AM, Wireless: with included remote control
Video out AV (Selectable NTSC or PAL), HDMI (1920 x 1080i, 1280 x 720p, 720 x 580p, 720 x 576p), 'PhotoTV' HD settings applied with BRAVIA.
Storage Compact Flash Type I/II, UDMA Mode 5 compliant, Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo, PRO-HG Duo, Supports FAT12 / FAT16 / FAT32
Power NP-FM500H Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (1650 mAh), CR2025 Wireless remote, Battery charger included, Optional AC adapter, Batter life Approx 880 shots (CIPA standard)
Vertical grip Vertical Grip VG-C90AM, One or Two NP-FM500H batteries with auto switchover for power (additional battery is optional).
Dimensions 156 x 117 x 82 mm
Weight (body) No battery: 850 g, With battery: 895 g

Other (real :-) info and stuff on this site