42.40
Megapixels
Sony Alpha (Minolta A) 35mm
size sensor
image of Sony Alpha ILCA-A99 II
Front side of Sony A99 II digital camera Front side of Sony A99 II digital camera Front side of Sony A99 II digital camera Front side of Sony A99 II digital camera Front side of Sony A99 II digital camera
Basic Specifications
Full model name: Sony Alpha ILCA-A99 II
Resolution: 42.40 Megapixels
Sensor size: 35mm
(35.9mm x 24.0mm)
Kit Lens: n/a
Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
Native ISO: 100 - 25,600
Extended ISO: 50 - 102,400
Shutter: 1/8000 - 30 seconds
Dimensions: 5.6 x 4.1 x 3.0 in.
(143 x 104 x 76 mm)
Weight: 29.9 oz (849 g)
Availability: 11/2016
Manufacturer: Sony
Full specs: Sony A99 II specifications

A99 II Summary

At long last, Sony's new flagship A-mount SLT camera is here. The Sony A99 Mark II can capture high-quality 42.4-megapixel RAW images at a very impressive burst rate. It has an excellent hybrid phase-detect autofocus system to back up the fast capture speeds. On paper, the A99 II is an excellent SLT camera. Fortunately, its positives translated well to real-world shooting, although not without a few negatives. Ultimately, this very good flagship A-mount camera is rugged, durable and fast. If you have been waiting for an excellent full-frame A-mount camera, your wait is over.

Pros

Superb image quality at low, moderate ISOs; Improved high ISO performance; Fast continuous shooting speeds; Very impressive hybrid autofocus; High-quality 4K UHD video; Rugged camera body.

Cons

Multi-selector joystick can be awkward to use; No EVF live view at fastest burst rate; Buffer clearing is slow with no UHS-II support; 4K UHD video isn't as full-featured as E-mount counterparts.

Price and availability

Available since November 2016, the Sony A99 II, sold body-only, can be found for just under US$3,200, although its list price is $3,600.

Imaging Resource rating

4.5 out of 5.0

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Sony A99II Review

by , Jeremy Gray, Zig Weidelich, and William Brawley
Preview originally posted: 09/19/2016
Last updated:

Updates:
11/16/2016: Gallery Images posted
12/08/2016: First Shots posted
12/29/2016: Field Test Part I posted
01/24/2017: Field Test Part II posted
02/07/2017: Performance test results added
03/15/2017: APS-C crop mode burst timing added

03/23/2017: Image Quality Comparison, Print Quality Analysis, and Review Conclusion added

Panasonic A99 II Review -- Product Image

It's been a long four years for Sony A-mount fans, but the company is back with a new flagship model for its Alpha SLT-series camera line, and it's a beauty.

The first new Translucent Mirror camera launched since the Sony A68 made its debut almost a year ago, the Sony A99II reinforces the company's commitment to its SLR and SLT customers, including those shooting with older Konica and Minolta optics. And it does so at an important milestone: The tenth anniversary of the Sony Alpha camera line, which made its debut back in mid-2006 with the Sony A100, not long after the company acquired Konica Minolta's SLR camera business.

Sony A99II features a high-res, highly-sensitive 42-megapixel imager

At the heart of the Sony A99II is a high-resolution, full-frame 42.4-megapixel CMOS image sensor using Sony's Exmor R backside-illumination technology. The sensor features a gapless design for maximum light-gathering efficiency, and includes on-chip phase detection autofocus pixels, which we'll come back to in a moment.

Sony A99 II Review -- Product Image

The sensor's sensitivity range encompasses ISO 100 to 25,600-equivalents by default, and can be expanded to cover everything from ISO 50 to 102,400-equivalents.

Fans of per-pixel sharpness will be pleased to note the absence of an optical low-pass filter in the design.

Sony A99II offers more performance than you can shake a stick at!

The new sensor, Bionz X image processor and a new front-end LSI together allow extremely swift burst shooting from the A99II. At its fastest, you'll be able to capture as many as 12 frames per second with both autofocus and autoexposure adjustments between frames. Sony has finally addressed some of the concerns that inadequate write speed in its cameras left customers waiting after a burst of shots, as it noted that even in high-speed continuous shooting mode, the Sony A99 II will allow image review immediately after shooting.

Card write performance has been improved over prior models as well, but the A99 II still doesn't take advantage of faster UHS-II cards, which unfortunately means buffer clearing can still be rather slow. See our Performance page for details.

Sony A99 II Review -- Product Image

For an even better shooting experience, you may want to dial the burst capture rate back some. Sony notes that the A99 II has minimal display lag at a capture rate of eight frames per second, thanks to a reworked electronic viewfinder algorithm. Even slower burst rates of four or six fps are also available, if your subject doesn't warrant the camera's full performance.

A brand-new, five-axis image stabilization system

With the Sony A99 II, the company debuts a new five-axis, in-body image stabilization system tailored specifically for A-mount cameras. Like that for mirrorless models which made its debut in the A7 II, the Sony A99 Mark II's image stabilization system can correct for X/Y translational motion, as well as for pitch, yaw and roll. And like the A7 II's system, it's said to have a 4.5-stop corrective strength.

Sony A99 II Review -- Product Image

Sony A99II is weather-sealed and smaller than ever

The Sony A99 II's brand-new body is said to be resistant to both dust and moisture, although Sony does note that it isn't guaranteed to be 100% dust or moisture-proof. Crafted from magnesium alloy and featuring a redesigned grip, the Sony A99II is a full 8% smaller than was its predecessor, and indeed is almost as small as the A77 II.

Among the changes to its body, the Sony A99 II has a reworked the front-panel Silent Multi Controller dial. It now offers a user-selectable click detent, and can be used to control the aperture, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation, autofocus area and mode, and more besides.

Like the A99 before it, the Sony A99II sports dual SD card slots with UHS-I support, one of which is also compatible with Memory Stick Duo media. (As mentioned previously, it's a little surprising that faster UHS-II cards are still not supported, especially given the larger files.)

Oh, and Sony notes that as well as having redesigned the A99 II's body, it has also updated the menu design for better navigation.

Sony A99 II Review -- Product Image

A new hybrid autofocus system

The Sony A99 II is the company's first full-frame camera to sport its 4D Focus AF system, which pairs a 79 point (all cross-type) dedicated phase-detection autofocus sensor with a total of 399 on-chip phase detection points.

Ordinarily, the camera will operate using 79 hybrid AF points, pairing information from both the standalone sensor and the main imaging sensor. But of the 399 on-chip points, a total of 323 can be directly addressed as well, so you're not limited to just those points shared between the standalone and imaging sensors. (Presumably, the remaining 76 on-chip points which can't be directly addressed are used as assist points by the AF system.)

The A99II's autofocus system is rated to work down to an impressively dark -4 EV.

Sony A99 II Review -- Product Image

An updated viewfinder with more generous magnification

Just as in the A99, the Sony A99 II's electronic viewfinder is based around a 1,024 x 768-pixel XGA Organic LED panel. Magnification has increased from 0.71x to 0.78x, though, so while the resolution is unchanged, the new finder will feel noticeably roomier.

To help keep it clear of fingerprints and smudges, the rearmost lens in the viewfinder has a fluorine coating. Sony has also applied Zeiss' T* coating to the viewfinder elements, helping to reduce glare and improve contrast.

The Sony A99 II's three-inch, VGA (640 x 480 pixel) LCD monitor is not touch sensitive and retains the A99's three-way articulation mechanism that allows viewing from a wide variety of angles including in front of the camera. It's still a WhiteMagic-branded RGBW display with a dot count of 1,228,800. The extra white dot allows either greater brightness, or lower power consumption.

Panasonic A99 II Review -- Product Image
A significantly more durable shutter mechanism

The Sony A99II also sports a much more durable shutter mechanism than in its predecessor. (Not that the A99 was any slouch in the shutter life department, either!)

Where the original A99's shutter was rated for a lifetime of around 200,000 cycles, the Sony A99II now boasts a 300,000-cycle lifetime for its shutter mechanism.

Flicker-detection and correction, built-in

Another tweak since the A99 is the addition of 100 / 120Hz flicker detection. When the camera notes the presence of flicker, it will time the shutter accordingly to ensure your image is captured at the peak brightness.

No in-camera GPS, but the A99II can piggyback off your compatible smartphone

In the past, Sony offered two variants of the original A99 camera. One, the A99, forewent GPS connectivity; the other, the A99V, included a built-in GPS receiver. With Sony's main focus these days being on its mirrorless cameras, it doubtless can't justify having two nearly-identical products that differ only in the availability of GPS, though, and so the Sony A99 II can instead piggyback on your smartphone for geolocation information.

Panasonic A99 II Review -- Product Image

Location data is transferred via Bluetooth, so battery life of the camera hopefully shouldn't be affected too significantly. Of course, you'll be reducing your smartphone's battery life when using the function, as the phone's GPS receiver and Bluetooth radio will need to be active, but if you want geolocation without the need to fuss with external accessories, this is doubtless better than having no GPS access at all.

Connectivity and battery life

In addition to Bluetooth 4.1 support, the Sony A99 II also gets built-in Wi-Fi with NFC, both of which the A99 didn't have, and it retains the A99's infrared remote sensor. Wired connectivity options are similar, however the HDMI port now uses a smaller Micro Type-D connector instead of a Mini Type-C connector, and the USB 2.0 port also shrinks down to a Micro-B type connector from a Mini-B. The Sony A99 II continues to include a Multi Interface Hot Shoe, a DC input jack, a wired remote jack, a PC sync terminal, a 3.5mm external mic jack and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Battery life is CIPA-rated at 490 shots per charge when using the LCD monitor or 390 shots when using the EVF using the same NP-FM500H lithium-ion battery pack as the A99. That's down just slightly from 500 and 410 shots respectively which is actually pretty amazing considering the massive increase in resolution and performance. That's significantly lower than most DSLRs, though, so you should definitely consider getting the optional VG-C77AM Vertical Battery Grip and a second battery to double battery life.

Sony A99 II Review -- Product Image

Sony A99II video: 4K capture in-camera is a first for the Sony A-mount

Perhaps the area in which we've progressed most of all since the original Sony A99 is in the video department. High-def is old hat; ultra high-def capture is where it's at these days. Tipping its hat to this fact, the Sony A99II is the first A-mount camera to feature 4K video capture.

The Sony A99II can record 4K internally with full-pixel readout across the entire sensor width, and no pixel binning, hence quality should be good. Sony's XAVC S compression format is used, and the A99II can record at up to a 100Mbps bitrate.

Nor is 4K capture the only feather in the A99 II's cap. It can also record at anywhere from one to 120 frames per second in its Slow and Quick mode, with a total of eight capture rates offered between the maximum and minimum speeds. This allows anywhere from a 60x fast-motion to a 5x slow-motion effect. And Sony has also included support for clean HDMI output, time code, picture profiles, zebra-striping and S-Log / S-Log 2 / S-Log 3 gamma in the A99II.

Sony A99 II Review -- Product Image

Pricing and availability

The Sony A99 II began shipping in the US market from November 2016 and is sold body only. List price is set at around US$3,200 in the US market, and around CA$4,000 in the Canadian market.

 

Sony A99 II Field Test Part I

The A-mount camera Sony shooters have been waiting for

by Jeremy Gray |

Sony A99 II field test photoIntroduction
The Sony A99 Mark II came as something of a surprise. Sony's seemingly steadfast focus on their mirrorless and premium fixed-lens cameras has only recently been interrupted by the A68 this past spring. Otherwise, while 2016 marks the tenth anniversary of the Alpha camera line, new A-mount cameras have been few and far between.

Following up on the original A99 four years later, the A99 II is poised to deliver high-end professional performance and overall top-notch image quality for A-mount users. If anyone thought that the Sony A-mount was dead, the A99 II is Sony's clear and decisive response to those fears. Now the question becomes, is the Sony A99 II simply a statement that the A-mount is still alive, or does it stand on its own as an excellent camera? Read on to find out.

Sony A99 II Field Test Part II

A99 II continues to impress thanks to excellent autofocus

by Jeremy Gray |

Sony A99 II field test photo In Part I, I discussed the Sony A99 Mark II's body design and image sensor's performance. In this second part of my Sony A99 II Field Test, I will be discussing more about the camera's performance, including metering, autofocus and video performance. I will also be discussing how the camera handles high-speed shooting in the context of wildlife photography.

Sony A99 II offers fast, accurate & dependable performance
I have used many Sony cameras, and a sore point for me has always been the camera's menu system. While the A99 II does not feature perfect menus -- if such a thing exists -- its menus are better than previous Sony cameras I've worked with. They have improved organization, which results in slightly faster menu navigation. Further, the camera uses a new font designed for improved legibility.

Sony A99 II Image Quality Comparison

See how the Sony A99 II's image quality compares to rivals

by Zig Weidelich |

Sony A99 II image qualityHere we present crops from our laboratory Still Life target comparing the Sony A99 II's image quality to its predecessor's, the A99, as well as to its closest mirrorless sibling's, the A7R II. We've also compared it against the highest-resolution full-frame DSLRs from rivals Canon, Nikon and Pentax, namely the Canon 5DS R, Nikon D810 and Pentax K-1 respectively.

NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved: click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page...

 

Sony A99 Mark II Conclusion

Sony A99 II Review -- Gallery Image
Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 at 30mm, f/11, 5s, ISO 50.
This image has been modified. Click for full-size image.

It took four years for Sony to release a new flagship A-mount camera, but the calls were answered with the Sony A99 Mark II. The A99 II, like its predecessor and other past A-mount cameras, comes equipped with a translucent mirror, making it more of a pseudo-DSLR than a traditional DSLR, but it is an A-mount camera through and through.

The camera packs a 42.4-megapixel full-frame CMOS image sensor that utilizes Sony's Exmor R backside-illumination technology. The end result is a camera that produces excellent image quality for its resolution across a wide range of ISO speeds. While the high-resolution sensor impressed us, what makes the A99 II unique in the market is its combination of resolution and speed. Equipped with a Bionz X image processor and new front-end LSI, the Sony A99 II can capture full-resolution images at nearly 12 frames per second, although our lab results showed the camera coming up just a bit short of spec -- still, very impressive.

Is the Sony A99 Mark II the camera that Sony A-mount shooters have been waiting for? Read on for our final word.

Sony A99 II Review -- Gallery Image
Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 II at 400mm, f/5.6, 1/800s, ISO 500.
This image has been modified. Click for full-size image.

Image Quality: A99 II's sensor delivers great images across wide range of ISOs

JPEG images look excellent straight from the camera, although a bit oversaturated, which is standard for modern cameras. Detail is very good as is default noise reduction processing. The A99 II can render fine detail very well, thanks in part to its lack of optical low-pass filter (OLPF). Resolution doesn't change much when you process RAW files from the A99 II, but RAW files showcase excellent dynamic range.

The Sony A99 II fared very well in our print quality analysis. Its 42.4-megapixel full-frame sensor produces excellent 30 x 40 inch prints up to ISO 800. Colors are vibrant and details are sharp. There is some shadow noise at ISO 400-800, but not enough to drastically impact overall print quality. At ISO 1600, some fine details lose sharpness, but we could make a good 24 x 36 inch print nonetheless, which is impressive for a camera with this many megapixels. You can make a good 20 x 30 print at ISO 3200, which is great, and 13 x 19 prints still look good at ISO 6400. At ISO 6400, the amount of noise does increase quite a bit, which significantly hurts the ability of the camera to render fine detail.

Beyond ISO 12800, you won't be able to make good large prints. In fact, ISO 51,200 and 102,400 are far too noisy and soft to make any prints at all. Nonetheless, the A99 II provides a lot of flexibility with its excellent 42.2-megapixel sensor. You can make very large prints anywhere from ISO 50 (extended) to ISO 800 and continue to make pretty large prints up through ISO 6400.

Sony A99 II Review -- Gallery Image
Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 at 17mm, f/8.0, 1.6s, ISO 50.
This image has been modified. Click for full-size image. Additionally, this image is focus stacked. Click on the links to view the foreground and background images used in the composite.

Overall, despite packing 42.4-megapixels onto its full-frame sensor, the A99 II still offers very good high ISO performance. The camera is jam-packed with great features, but its sensor should be near the top of the list because it offers excellent image quality across a wide range of ISOs.

Sony A99 II's hybrid phase-detect autofocus delivers speed and accuracy

The Sony A99 II is the first full-frame Sony camera to include a 4D AF autofocus system. This hybrid phase detection autofocus system combines two separate autofocus technologies. The camera has a dedicated 79-point phase detection AF module and also 399 on-sensor phase detect autofocus points, the latter of which is similar to what is found in the Sony A7R II. In traditional DSLR cameras, a camera cannot utilize two autofocus systems simultaneously, but the SLT A99 II can thanks to its translucent mirror.

Sony A99 II Review -- Gallery Image
Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 at 30mm, f/8.0, 2s, ISO 50.
This image has been modified. Click for full-size image.

By combining the separate autofocus systems, the A99 II has 79 hybrid cross autofocus points -- the 79 points from the dedicated PDAF module overlapping with 79 of the 399 points on the sensor itself. The dedicated module has horizontal detection and the sensor points have vertical detection, so combining them creates cross detection AF points.

During our testing, we found the autofocus performance to be very impressive overall for both stationary and moving subjects. Using wide, zone, center, flexible spot, expand flexible spot and lock-on AF, the A99 II excelled in a variety of shooting and lighting conditions. Compared to our high-end, fast DSLR cameras, such as the Nikon D5, the Sony A99 II felt comparable in terms of overall speed and accuracy.

A99 Mark II performance: 42MP images at crazy-fast speeds

The A99 II offers excellent overall performance. Admittedly, it is a bit slower than many other DSLRs when powering on to first shot and when switching from playback to recording mode, but many other aspects of its performance are very quick. Full-autofocus shutter lag is only 0.11 seconds, which is fast for its class. Single shot cycle times were less than 0.3 seconds, which is fast as well.

What's most impressive about the A99 II is that it can shoot continuous compressed RAW images at nearly 11 frames per second with a total number of frames just under 60. Considering the A99 II's resolution, this is especially fast and a remarkable feat. It is worth pointing out that we were unable to achieve Sony's spec of 12fps shooting in the lab. Shooting uncompressed RAW images brings the speed down to 10.58fps and drops the buffer depth to 24 frames. Depending on the lens and aperture used, the A99 II can continuously autofocus at its max speed, too. You can learn more about potential continuous autofocus caveats here (PDF, page 39).

Sony A99 II Review -- Gallery Image
Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 II at 70mm, f/8.0, 1/80s, ISO 320.
This image has been modified. Click for full-size image.

Buffer clearing, however, is an area of weakness for the A99 II and the only major negative mark on the A99 II's otherwise excellent performance report card. 61 Extra Fine JPEG images -- captured at 10.53fps -- takes 56 seconds to clear with our testing card, a pretty quick SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-I SDHC card. UHS-I is the kicker here, as UHS-II support would likely improve buffer clearing performance considerably. We have seen cameras that support UHS-II SD cards offer write speeds that more than double what the A99 II can achieve. Nonetheless, the A99 II does offer faster write performance than the Sony A7R II, which utilizes a 42-megapixel sensor as well.

Despite being a "DSLR" camera, the A99 II doesn't offer the great battery life we're used to observing. The A99 II utilizes an electronic viewfinder due to its translucent mirror design, which decreases its battery life relative to optical viewfinder-equipped DSLR cameras. Battery life using the viewfinder is 390 shots and 490 shots using the rear display. We recommend picking up a spare battery or using the optional battery grip to double the battery life.

Sony A99 II Review -- Gallery Image
Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 II at 280mm, f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 125.
This image has been cropped. Click for full-size image.

Overall, while buffer clearing performance is slow, the camera is overall very fast. For a full-frame "DSLR" camera, the Sony A99 Mark II offers excellent performance across the board. Autofocus speeds are quick, shutter lag is low, the camera cycles quickly and it achieves great continuous shooting speeds considering its resolution.

Video: 4K video quality is good, but the A99 II has odd restrictions

Capable of recording 4K UHD video, the Sony A99 II can capture very high-quality video. It records 4K video at up to 30 frames per second with a bitrate up to 100Mbps (when using a compatible SD card). The camera offers two 4K recording modes. The default is Super 35mm format that records the central 6K-resolution-worth of pixels before downsampling to 4K UHD. If you want to record using the full sensor, you can do that too, but this latter mode has pixel binning.

Videographers will also be pleased to find that the A99 II has S-Gamut and S-log shooting modes, clean HDMI output, a zebra display mode and headphone/mic inputs. But the camera also has odd video recording limitations. You cannot record video when using AF-S nor can you record outside of program auto mode using AF-C. This means that if you want to record video in manual, aperture priority or shutter speed priority modes, you must manually focus. This is an odd restriction and one not placed on other Sony cameras, such as the A7R II.

Overall, video quality proved to be very good, although the interesting limitations of the Sony A99 II are worth considering if you intend to shoot a lot of video.

Build Quality: Smaller than its predecessor, but even more rugged

Bulkier than Sony's E-mount full-frame mirrorless cameras, the A99 II feels much more like a standard DSLR, with a large, chunky grip, for example. With that said, the camera is 8% smaller than the original A99. The A99 II is dust and moisture resistant, although Sony stopped short of calling it weather-proof. We found that the camera was very comfortable to hold, and we also enjoyed the wealth of physical controls, with many important functions within reach of your index finger, as well as lots of user customization to the buttons and dials.

Sony A99 II Review:  -- Product Image Top

While we like the A99 II's body overall, there were a couple of issues. The 3-inch rear display is sharp and works well, including its tilting functionality, but the lack of touchscreen functionality is notable. Further, the multi-selector joystick on the back of the camera takes the place of a traditional directional pad. The joystick works okay, but it proved to be not as consistent as a directional pad with a dedicated central button in order to accurately select and confirm what you want.

The Sony A99 II is an SLT camera rather than an SLR camera, which means that it uses a translucent mirror. As an SLT, the A99 II uses an electronic viewfinder in lieu of an optical viewfinder. The EVF is very good, offering a 0.5-inch OLED display with 2.4-million dots. The 0.78x magnification is improved over the EVF in the predecessor and the EVF itself worked well in the field. The one drawback to the A99 II's EVF is that it doesn't offer a live view of the scene when shooting in the fastest "Continuous High+" burst mode, which can make it difficult to accurately track fast-moving subjects.

Sony A99 II Review:  -- Product Image Top

The Sony A99 II features an updated 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system, similar to the one from the A7R II, and corrects for X/Y translational motion, as well as for pitch, yaw and roll. We found it to work very well with the two lenses we tested with the A99 II, the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 and Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6G SSM II.

Overall, we found that the Sony A99 II build quality and handling characteristics were very good. The weather-resistant body feels built to last and is oriented toward professional shooting with its ample physical controls and button layout.

Sony A99 II Review -- Gallery Image
Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 at 20mm, f/8.0, 0.8s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for full-size image. This image is focus stacked. Click on the links to see the two images used in the composite: Foreground and background.

Summary: A-mount lives! A99 II brings high-resolution, lots of speed

The Sony A99 II is a bold statement that the Sony A-mount is alive and well for enthusiasts and professionals alike. It is a remarkable technological achievement in multiple ways, from its ability to capture full-resolution 42.4-megapixel RAW images at nearly a dozen frames per second, to utilizing a super-quick, advanced hybrid autofocus system with tons of individual AF points.

However, it is also a camera that, despite how advanced many of its features are, felt occasionally stuck in the past. 4K UHD video recording is hampered and despite Sony's efforts, the menus and a few of the controls are somewhat clunky.

Overall, the Sony A99 II is an excellent full-frame "DSLR" camera that achieves some great feats. To be able to utilize hundreds of autofocus points while shooting 42.4-megapixel images at nearly 12fps is very impressive.

Pros & Cons

  • Superb image quality at low to moderate ISOs straight out of the camera
  • Very good high ISO performance, much improved over its predecessor
  • Very high resolution
  • Very good dynamic range, especially at higher ISOs
  • Fast, sophisticated hybrid autofocus system
  • Low prefocused shutter lag
  • Outstanding ~11fps burst mode speeds
  • Very good buffer depths considering burst speed and resolution
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • Electronic first curtain shutter option
  • Flicker reduction feature
  • 4K (UHD) in-camera video recording
  • Full HD up to 120fps
  • Uncompressed RAW option
  • Comfortable camera body with good physical controls
  • Durable, weather-resistant camera body
  • Sharp electronic viewfinder with higher viewfinder magnification than its predecessor (0.78x vs 0.71x)
  • Dual SD card slots
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth
  • Susceptible to aliasing artifacts (common issue these days)
  • Dynamic range not as high as predecessor and some competing models at low ISOs
  • Slow buffer clearing times
  • No UHS-II support
  • Struggled to autofocus on our standard low-contrast AF target below -0.5 EV (but could focus on our high-contrast AF target down to -4.7 EV)
  • No built-in AF illuminator
  • No touchscreen functionality
  • Electronic viewfinder cannot keep up at fastest shooting speeds
  • Multi-selector joystick is not a great replacement for a traditional directional pad
  • Poor battery life compared to DSLRs without optional grip
  • Odd focus quirks with video: AF-C only with Program Auto, or Manual Focus for other exposure modes.
  • Improved but still limited remote shooting capabilities
  • No built-in GPS (unlike its predecessor)


 

In the Box

The Sony A99 II retail box (as reviewed) contains the following items:

  • Sony Alpha A99 II Body (ILCA-99M2)
  • NP-FM500H InfoLithium Battery (7.2V, 1650mAh)
  • BC-VM10A Battery Charger
  • Body cap
  • Shoulder strap
  • Accessory shoe cap
  • Eyepiece cup
  • Micro USB cable
  • Warranty card

 

Recommended Accessories

  • Large capacity SDHC/SDXC memory cards. 32GB UHS-I should be a minimum.
  • Extra battery pack NP-FM500H (~US$48)
  • Sony Vertical Battery Grip (~US$298)
  • Sony external flash (~US$150-US$550)
  • Large DSLR bag
  • An assortment of A-mount lenses if you don't already have some

 



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