Last month, Sony had officially taken the wraps off the DSLT a99 globally, but at the time there was no information about when this camera would land on Indian shores. Sony has recently announced the full frame Alpha a99 in India that boasts of a new 24.3MP image sensor, a dual phase-detect AF system, and a range of features with the responsiveness of a the Translucent Mirror Technology.
“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”.
The flagship α99 model combines the 24.3 effective megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor with the BIONZ image processing engine aiming to deliver high image performances in both still and video shooting.
Flagship DSLT announced in India
The full frame sensor has a separate multi-segment optional low-pass filter, increasing its resolving power. Assisted by a front-end LSI, the BIONZ engine can process image signal data from the sensor. Together with a new area-specific noise reduction (NR) algorithm, it allows to the camera to achieve 14-bit RAW output, good gradation and low noise.
The evolved BIONZ processor also gives the α99 model a maximum sensitivity range as wide as ISO50 – 25600, which features a range of nine stops. The camera’s processing power helps the camera to shoot a burst of images at up to six frames per second at full resolution or up to 10fps in tele-zoom high speed shooting mode.
The new α99 digital camera features a dual AF system. This camera’s main focusing system which is a 19-point AF system with 11 cross sensors, which is assisted by a 102-point focal plane phase-detection AF sensor overlaying the main image sensor.
Making use of the power of Translucent Mirror Technology, light is passed to both phase-detection AF sensors simultaneously and continually thereby measuring subject distance and position better. As per an official statement by Sony, this Dual AF System permits ultra-fast, accurate autofocusing that maintains tracking focus even if a subject temporarily leaves the frame.
Sony states that the AF-D continuous autofocus mode makes use of the Dual AF system for wider and denser coverage of the frame, improving AF performance with fast or erratically moving subjects against complex backgrounds. 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 focal plane.
The AF range control allows photographers to manually select foreground and background distance to which the AF system will not respond. This is especially useful for shooting fast moving sports or animals through a nearby wire mesh or in front of a complex background that distracts camera AF systems.
The α99 model is a full-frame DSLR that provides Full HD 60p/24p progressive video recording to meet AVCHD Version 2.0 specifications and Full-time Continuous AF Movie mode. Other features include real-time Full HD video output via HDMI, and dual-card recording using both of the camera’s media slots.
An audio level display and adjustable audio record levels are joined by a headphone jack for in-the-field monitoring. The multi-interface shoe provides balance audio input for the optional XLR-K1M adaptor kit, which adds a mono shotgun microphone and pro-standard XLR connections for dependable audio acquisition.
The camera’s XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder offers 100 percent frame coverage on the viewfinder screen with high levels of brightness, contrast, clarity and resolution, ensuring a detail-packed view of the desired scene and subject. The electronic viewfinder will also maintain a 100 percent field of view with DT lenses that are optimized for APS-C sensor cameras, converting the angle of view automatically for image recording and display.
Complementing the Tru-Finder EVF is a three-way tiltable 1229k-dot 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.
The camera is made of high-rigidity magnesium alloy panels. It weighs in at 733g without the 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.
Additionally, the camera is weather-sealed and all buttons and controls have been ruggedized. A redesigned shutter block, tested to approximately 200,000 releases.
The camera features an exposure mode dial lock that prevents accidental rotation, and a newly-developed Quick Navi Pro interface which gives quick, intuitive one-handed access to common shooting parameters and controls.
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.
As of now there is now pricing available of the camera in India but as far as availability is concerned this handset will be touch shores here by November, and will be priced at Rs 179,900.