SAN DIEGO, Sept 12, 2012 – Sony's long awaited α99 digital camera
sets a new performance standard for professional-class DSLRs, combining
all of the benefits of full-frame imaging with the responsiveness and
speed of Translucent Mirror Technology.
The successor to Sony's
flagship α900 DSLR, the α99 camera features a brand new 24.3 MP
full-frame image sensor, a unique dual phase-detect AF system and a host
of other innovative technologies that work together to deliver the best
image and full HD video quality in the history of Sony's acclaimed line
of α cameras.
"The new α99 camera is the ultimate combination
of Sony's expertise and rich history of image sensor production coupled
with our truly innovative approach to camera design" said Mike Kahn,
director of the alpha interchangeable lens camera division at Sony. "It
redefines what can be accomplished with a full frame DSLR camera."
New Levels of Imaging Performance and Response
flagship α99 model combines its new 24.3 effective megapixel Exmor®
CMOS sensor with a highly advanced BIONZ image processing engine,
delivering unprecedented levels of performance in both still and video
The full frame sensor is enhanced by a newly-developed
separate multi-segment optional low-pass filter, increasing its
resolving power. Assisted by an all-new front-end LSI, the BIONZ engine
can process massive amounts of image signal data from the sensor at very
high speeds. Together with a powerful new area-specific noise reduction
(NR) algorithm, it allows to the camera to achieve 14-bit RAW output,
rich gradation and low noise.
The evolved BIONZ processor also
gives the α99 model a maximum sensitivity range (in expanded sensitivity
mode) as wide as ISO50 – 25600 – a range of nine stops. Its
unprecedented processing power enables the camera to shoot a burst of
images at up to six frames per second at full resolution or up to 10 fps
in Tele-zoom high speed shooting mode.
The new α99 digital
camera features a unique dual AF system, a world's first for digital
cameras. This camera's main focusing system – a 19-point AF system with
11 cross sensors - is complemented by a 102-point focal plane
phase-detection AF sensor overlaying the main image sensor. Harnessing
the power of Translucent Mirror Technology, light is passed to both
phase-detection AF sensors simultaneously and continually, measuring
subject distance and position more completely than other cameras. This
unique Dual AF System permits ultra-fast, accurate autofocusing that
maintains tracking focus even if a subject temporarily leaves the frame.
AF-D (depth) continuous autofocus mode* utilizes the Dual AF system for
wider and more dense coverage of the frame, significantly improving AF
performance with fast or erratically moving subjects against complex
backgrounds. Additionally, during movie shooting, AF Duration control
provides reliable depth focusing information and ensures that the camera
maintains proper focus on its subject when objects or people cross the
A new AF range control allows photographers to
manually select foreground and background distance to which the AF
system will not respond, especially useful for shooting fast moving
sports or animals through a nearby wire mesh or in front of a complex
background that commonly distracts camera AF systems.
Crafted for Videographers and Movie-makers
new α99 camera's video capabilities build on Sony's expertise in
developing professional motion picture cameras, combining the unmatched
resolving power and sensitivity of the full-frame sensor with several
advanced features optimized for professional video production.
flagship α99 model is the first full-frame DSLR to offer Full HD
60p/24p progressive video recording to meet AVCHD™ Version 2.0
specifications and Full-time Continuous AF Movie mode, allowing smooth,
non-stop tracking of moving subjects. Other enhancements include
real-time Full HD video output via HDMI®, and uninterrupted 'dual-card'
recording using both of the camera's media slots.
convenience while shooting video, a new silent, programmable
multi-control dial on the front of the camera body allows silent
adjustment of common settings during shooting including exposure
compensation, ISO sensitivity, shutter speed, aperture and much more.
camera's audio features are designed to meet the demanding needs of
serious videographers. An audio level display and adjustable audio
record levels are joined by a headphone jack for accurate in-the-field
monitoring. Additionally, the multi-interface shoe provides balance
audio input for the optional XLR-K1M adaptor kit, which adds a
high-quality mono shotgun microphone and pro-standard XLR connections
for dependable audio acquisition
Uncompromised Handling for Advanced Photographers
camera's XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ viewfinder offers 100% frame coverage on
the viewfinder screen with exceptional brightness, contrast, clarity and
resolution, ensuring a detail-packed view of the desired scene and
subject. The unique electronic viewfinder will also maintain a 100%
field of view with DT lenses that are optimized for APS-C sensor
cameras, converting the angle of view automatically for image recording
Tru-Finder EVF is a three-way tiltable 1229k-dot (VGA equivalent)
XtraFine LCD™ display with WhiteMagic™ technology to boost overall
screen brightness. It's especially useful for framing and shooting with
the LCD in outdoor, sunny conditions.
Despite its impressive
pro-class credentials, the α99 camera is the world's lightest 35 mm
full-frame interchangeable-lens digital camera. Constructed of
high-rigidity magnesium alloy panels, it weighs in at just 733g (without
lens and battery). Translucent Mirror Technology, which eliminates the
need for a full-frame moving mirror mechanism and heavy glass
pentaprism, also contributes to the extremely light design.
the camera is weather-sealed and all buttons and controls have been
ruggedized. A redesigned shutter block, tested to approximately 200,000
releases, further ensures the camera's stamina and reliability.
camera's enhanced ergonomics include a re-designed grip and
differentiated designs of several switches and buttons that allow for
intuitive fingertip operation. A new exposure mode dial lock prevents
accidental rotation, and a newly-developed Quick Navi Pro interface
gives quick, intuitive one-handed access to common shooting parameters
The new model can also be operated via remote PC
connection. Supported functions include switching between still and
video shooting plus automatic transfer of still images from camera to PC
for an improved studio workflow.
Designed for Professionals: New α Lens and Accessories
full-frame imaging capabilities of the α99 camera make it an ideal
partner for the new 300mm F2.8 G SSM II (SAL300F28G2) lens. Designed for
demanding sports and wildlife applications, this bright super-telephoto
offers a significantly improved optical design and handling compared
with its predecessor. The Sony-developed Nano AR Coating assures
flawless still images and HD video with reduced flare and ghosting,
offering enhanced contrast. Further, a new LSI drive circuit offers
faster, more accurate autofocus with enhanced subject tracking. The new
lens is also dust- and moisture-resistant, making it an ideal candidate
for the toughest outdoor shooting assignments.
new wide-aperture Carl Zeiss® A-mount prime lens is now under
development. Optimized for superb results with the camera's new 35mm
full frame image sensor, the Planar T* 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM will be
available next spring.
Offered exclusively for the α99 camera,
the brand-new VG-C99AM vertical grip can house and manage three
batteries in total (including the camera's own on-board battery).
Resistant to dust and moisture, the grip is ideal for lengthy shooting
sessions in the studio or outdoors.
brand new, range-leading HVL-F60M is a powerful flash (GN60, in meters
at ISO 100) with built-in LED light that's ideal for creative
applications with still image or movie shooting. Smart functions
include wireless multi-flash ratio control and Sony's unique Quick Shift
Bounce adjustment, while operation can be controlled quickly via the
flash's intuitive Quick Navi system. Also resistant to dust and
moisture, the HVL-F60M flash comes supplied with a bounce adaptor for
flash and a color conversion filter for use with LED lighting.
with 49mm and 55mm diameter lenses, the new HVL-RL1 Ring Light offers
highly effective LED illumination of small subjects and is ideal for
macro shooting**. Its high output level (approx. 700 lx/0.3m) is
approximately four times brighter than the previous model, and operation
can be switched between full-ring illumination and half-ring
The new XLR-K1M XLR Adaptor Kit is designed to
meet the most demanding audio needs. It provides two pro-standard XLR
terminals for connecting the α99 camera with professional microphones
and mixing consoles and offers MIC/LINE input selection and separate
adjustment of two channel levels to maximize operating flexibility. The
adaptor kit comes supplied with Sony professional ECM-XM1 monaural
shotgun microphone, but may also be used with a wide range of
professional microphones. An optional bracket is required when using the
XLR-K1M kit with the α99 model.
The RMT-DSLR2 Remote Commander
allows wireless shutter release for still images and start/stop control
of video shooting. It's compatible with the new α99 models as well as
other α A-mount and E-mount cameras that include a remote control
Styled to reduce carrying fatigue, the new LCS-BP3
Backpack can hold the α99 camera body, an attached telephoto zoom lens
plus the VG-A99AM vertical grip as well as three to four spare lenses,
accessories and a laptop up to 15.5".
The ADP-MAA is a new shoe
adaptor that allows Multi Interface Shoe cameras to be used with
Auto-lock Accessory Shoe accessories. This adaptor will be supplied with
the new HVL-60M flash and HVL-RL1 ring light mentioned above.
Conversely, the ADP-AMA shoe adaptor allows Auto-lock Accessory Shoe
cameras to be used with Multi Interface Shoe accessories.
the PCK-LM14 Screen Protector Semi Hard Sheet safeguards the camera's
LCD screen against dust, scratches and fingerprints, and is supplied
with a separate protector sheet for the top display panel.
new SDXC memory UHS-1 memory card, SF-64UX (64 GB) is ideal for burst
shooting with the α99. It's ultra-high speed interface (UHS-1)
compatibility offers high transfer speeds up to 94 MB/s (read) and rapid
data rates when transferring large RAW files of video files to PC.
The new cards are water-resistant and designed to perform under a wide
range of operating temperatures. For additional data integrity, Sony's
File Rescue Software can help recover photos and videos that may have
been accidentally deleted.
Pricing and Availability
full-frame digital system camera will be available this October as
body-only for about $2800. The SAL300GF28G2 lens will be available this
November for about $7500. The VCG-C99AM vertical grip, HVL-F60M flash
and HVL-RL1 ring light will be available this October for about $380,
$550 and $350, respectively. The XLR -K1M XLR adaptor kit and RMT-DSLR2
remote commander will also be available in October for about $800 and
$30, respectively. The LCS-BP3 backpack and PCK-LM14 screen protector
will be available in October as well for about $160 and $17,
respectively. The new camera, lenses and all compatible accessories will
be sold at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide. Please visit blog.sony.com/a99 for a full video preview of the α99 camera follow #SonyAlpha on twitter for the latest α camera news.