Sony launched a new flagship A-mount mode, the a99 II in India recently. The successor to the a99, the new model includes a new Hybrid Phase Detection AF system with exclusive Sony A-mount features like Translucent Mirror Technology (TMT).
The A99 II has been redesigned to allow for high resolution and continuous shooting at high frame rates. A new front end Large Scale Integration (LSI) works with the image sensor and BIONZ X image processing engine along with a newly designed shutter unit to enable continuous shooting at upto 12FPS with AF/AE tracking. The 42.4MP sensor is able to deliver detailed shots even with fast moving objects in challenging light conditions. These shots can be immediately viewed thanks to the large buffer and if the shots are taken indoors under artificial lighting then flicker is automatically detected so the shutter is timed to minimise its effect on the end image.
The EXMOS R CMOS sensor benefits from gapless-on-chip design allowing for fast readout of large volumes of data as well as being efficient in its light gathering ability. This results in very high sensitivity with low noise, wide dynamic range across an ISO range of 100-25600 expandable to ISO 50-102400. It has been designed without an optical low-pass filter to allow minute details which can be saved as compressed or uncompressed RAW files. The newly developed Phase Detection AF system is capable of full-time AF and is the first implementation of 4D FOCUS in the full frame A series. The Hybrid Phase Detection AF System is enabled by combining a 79 point dedicated phase detection AF sensor with 399 focal plane phase detection AF points to produce a 79 hybrid cross AF point array.
The camera enables internal 4K movie recording featuring full pixel readout [SDHC/SDXC memory card of Class 10 or higher is required for movie recording in XAVC S format. UHS-I (U3) SDHC/SDXC card is required for 100Mbps recording] without pixel binning (In Super 35mm recording mode) in the XAVC-S format. It can record 4K footage at 100Mbps with a new Slow and Quick mode supporting both slow motion as well as quick motion (Sound cannot be recorded and SDHC/SDXC memory card of Class 10 or higher is required).
Sony has designed a new in-body 5 axis image stabilisation for A-mount cameras which debuts for the first time in the A99 II. This system effectively detects and compensates for shift blur that can occour on the X and Y axes when shooting close-up and roll blur that can be seen in still images and movies shot at night. Newly implemented precision gyro sensors capable of detecting tiny camera movements can cause blurring which provides 4.5 step shutter speed advantage.
Based on feedback from professional users, the design has been noticeably evolved compared to the first model. It is 8% smaller than the original A99 and has a newly designed grip, magnesium alloy body, dual SD card slot and other upgrades that improve both hold and operation. All major buttons and dials are provided with seals while the media jack cover plus enclosure edges feature tongue and groove resulting in a body that is both dust and moisture resistant.
The A99 II is available in select Sony Centers, Alpha flagship stores and major e-stores across India at a price of Rs.2,49,990.