The Sony a99 II: Sony’s Serious DSLR Body – Is It Right For You?

by Bret Hoy4 Comments

The Sony a99 II might have gotten a bit lost in the shuffle in the midst of the Photokina press rush about the Panasonic GH5 and the Fuji GFX system, but don’t underestimate its value.

It doesn’t contain the groundbreaking features that we’ve been spoiled with in the recent years from Sony. And really the biggest argument against the Sony a99 II is that it’s not necessarily something that’s unique to the Sony line and because it doesn’t have a well-defined role, it’s more obvious where to find its flaws. At Photokina, DPReview was Hands-on with the Sony a99 II and developed some pretty quick opinions about the a99 II and its upgraded features.

The Sony a99 II has the 4k video that we’ve come to expect from Sony’s contributions, but will likely arrive with the same overheating issues that plague the Sony a7RII. While this hasn’t really slowed a7RII sales, it’s important to talk about because of its similarities to the a7RII.

The updated autofocus sounds a hell of a lot like what’s already in the a7RII. I’m still waiting on direct speed comparisons, but I imagine things will be fairly similar. However, this autofocus speed in conjunction with the Sony a99 II’s increased FPS is where the a99 II carves out its niche, however small.

DPReview says, “the a99 II can shoot at up to 12 fps, something it can maintain for up to 60 JPEGs or 54 Raws. It can also continue to show live updates while shooting at up to 8 frames per second…

For shooters that are looking for a body that’s more suited for sports or action photography, the Sony a99 II is the clear choice within the Sony line. But this focus and increased processing power may actually become a downside for those that are wishing to use their E-Mount Sony glass on the Sony a99 II.

In the same way that the EF-M Mount for Canon is the least useful mount for the brand, the A-Mount has quickly become outdated because of the influx of new Mirrorless Customers. For those that have adopted the Sony system, they’re not investing in the A-Mount and manufacturers haven’t spent time working on lenses for that system. This fact highlights the biggest problem with the Sony a99 II.

It’s just not different enough (for most Sony shooters) to justify the different lens mount.

I can absolutely understand the need for higher frames per second when shooting photo, but it’s not the reason that shooters have migrated to Sony and it’s certainly not why they were there before the Mirrorless line.

What we’re left with is a solid Sony camera that doesn’t really have someone that’s itching to pick it up. It has great features but its place within the Sony brand just doesn’t call for much excitement.

Am I wrong or do you agree? Let me know in the comments.

Sony Alpha 99 II announced – aimed at photographers but juicy bits for 4k video

sony-alpha-99-ii

Via planet5D:

Sony continues their Alpha line (which is now 10 years old) with their new Sony A99 ii which was announced today at Photokina (thanks to @ninoLeitner from cinema5D for streaming the press conference!).

Juicy bits: 4k full frame video with no pixel binning and a super35 crop option as well. As someone said in the live stream, “basically the A7Rii for A-mount” – I thought that was a good way to put it.

Sony put up an A99 II site

Read planet5D's full article “Sony Alpha 99 II announced – aimed at photographers but juicy bits for 4k video”

α99 II – Product Feature | α | Sony

(cover photo credit: snap from Sony)


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Comments

  1. Tony K.

    All the rubbish about A7rii overheating is a long gone problem. Caused by the combination of Sony’s Li Ion battery crammed next to high heat producing 4K processing means that the current drain on the battery makes it get hot as well. Run with remote usb power cell attached and it just doesn’t get hot…the external battery can supply the needed current without overheating. The heat problem is a design issue..but no way catastrophic. A bit of common sense fixes it. I shot loads of long form 4K video on location in Cyprus last year. No problem. As Sony move on using lower power circuitry these issues will fadexaway completely. Super kudos to Sony for leading the marketplace with innovative packages to suit may uses.

  2. Philip Reese

    As an ex-Canon shooter and a professional wedding photographer (shooting with Sony A99s) I have a few thoughts:

    This is everything I’ve been waiting for in a successor to the A99. I’ve been craving better low-light AF, and the increased IQ of the 42MP BSI sensor. Those were the only real things I wanted to make sure a successor had.

    Sony’s A-mount lens lineup, while not as vast as Canon’s, is plenty sufficient for most photographers, especially portrait and even photographers. The lens glass is excellent, and Zeiss colors are unparalleled. Combined with the availability of several key lenses in Sigma’s A line, there’s more than I will ever be able to afford.

    In my experience shooting, I’ve been wanting better high-iso, and this sensor should deliver. I’m not one of the folks who says I don’t need the megapixels – I look at them as a fantastic way to crop and/or downsize for even better noise handling! Low-light AF and great low-light capabilities will enable me to capture more reception mood shots without external flash, and in that, the new 12 FPS will be great for things like bouquet toss or quick reactions from people. I am excited to have a very responsive body with great AF, low light, Eye-AF, and 5-axis IS.

    So why didn’t I switch to E-mount? Poor ergonomics, battery life, and most importantly, no dual card slots. The A99 II should fit like a glove, should be operable in the dark with one hand, and won’t need a new battery ever half hour. I could see a user who is not invested in any system choosing the A99 II over the 5D line and over the D810 for any type of photography, but I don’t know that it would be enough to get another system user to switch entirely. Time will tell. I do know that I couldn’t go back to an optical viewfinder!

    Ultimately, Sony listened to pros and I’ll be rewarding their attention to our needs with the purchase of three A99 II bodies in the next year.

  3. Esmoxd

    As a photographer that has a large collection of A mount lenses I for one are itching to get my hands on one.

  4. Henry Smith

    Me too, I’m itching to get my hands on two Sony A99II bodies. I’ve shot A-Mount for over 30 years (with Minolta, then Konica-Minolta, and now Sony).

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