- Review contents
- Pro shooter's report
- Design & tech overview
- Image quality & test shots
- Performance results
- Video results
- Final conclusion
- Discuss the A99
- Image quality comparison
- Compare the Sony A99 to its competitors in detail, color, noise and noise suppression across a range of ISOs.
- In-depth image analysis
- In-depth analysis of Sony A99 test images, focusing on factors like color, white balance, sharpness, active D-lighting, dynamic range, low light and print quality.
- High ISO NR
- Noise suppression is the enemy of detail at High ISO's. See how the Sony A99 performs in this difficult task.
- RAW Comparison
- Compare the A99 to its competitors (in the raw).
Sony A99 Image Quality Comparison
Below are crops comparing the Sony A99, Sony A900, Sony A77, Canon 5D Mk III, Nikon D600, and Nikon D800.
NOTE: These images are best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction. All cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses.
Sony A99 versus Sony A900 at ISO 100
|Sony A99 at ISO 100||Sony A900 at ISO 100|
Not a lot of difference here, at ISO 100. The Sony A99 manages a more refined rendering of the red swatch and the threads in the pink swatch below it, but both cameras turn in a good performance.
Sony A99 versus Sony A77 at ISO 100
Sony A99 versus Canon 5D Mk III at ISO 100
Sony A99 versus Nikon D600 at ISO 100
|Sony A99 at ISO 100||Nikon D600 at ISO 100|
Here, we'd give the nod to the D600, if only by a nose. Really fine detail is better preserved, and the contrast levels on the red fabric swatch are closer to reality in the D600's image.
Sony A99 versus Nikon D800 at ISO 100
|Sony A99 at ISO 100||Nikon D800 at ISO 100|
The Nikon D800's higher resolution is clearly evident in this shot, easily resolving thread detail in all the fabric swatches, and with better resolution on the finest detail in the bottle label.
Most digital SLRs and CSCs will produce an excellent ISO 100 shot, so we like to push them and see what they can do compared to other cameras at ISO 1,600, 3,200, and 6,400. Recent advances in sensor technology have made ISO 1,600 look a lot more like ISO 100, but there are still cameras whose quality starts to fall apart at this setting. We also choose 1,600 because we like to be able to shoot at least at this level when indoors and at night.
Sony A99 versus Sony A900 at ISO 1,600
|Sony A99 at ISO 1,600||Sony A900 at ISO 1,600|
Several years of sensor and image processing development are clearly evident here, with the A99 showing both dramatically less noise and better detail preservation than its now-aging predecessor.
Sony A99 versus Sony A77 at ISO 1,600
Sony A99 versus Canon 5D Mk III at ISO 1,600
Sony A99 versus Nikon D600 at ISO 1,600
Sony A99 versus Nikon D800 at ISO 1,600
Today's ISO 3,200 is yesterday's ISO 1,600 (well, almost), so below are the same crops at ISO 3,200.
Sony A99 versus Sony A900 at ISO 3,200
|Sony A99 at ISO 3,200||Sony A900 at ISO 3,200|
Yikes - The A900's images really fall apart at ISO 3,200. An easy win for the A99.
Sony A99 versus Sony A77 at ISO 3,200
|Sony A99 at ISO 3,200||Sony A77 at ISO 3,200|
Again, an easy win for the Sony A99, thanks in part to its larger pixels.