Sony unveils α99, world’s first full-frame DSLT


Yesterday Sony locally introduced its newest edition to the Alpha family—the α99. It is the world’s 35mm full-frame DSLT (Digital Single Lens Trnaslucent mirror) camera.

For those who are not familiar with the Translucent Mirror Technology, here’s a short video that explains the differences between this new technology and that of DSLRs.

The α99 wields a 24.3-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor and a BIONZ image processor that delivers 14-bit RAW output. It hosts the world’s first Dual AF system, which means that it has two AF sensors—a 19-point phase detection AF sensor and a 102-point focal plane phase detection AF sensor. This is made possible by Sony’s Translucent Mirror Technology.

The α99 has two new AF modes. The AF-D mode employs the 19+102 AF points to stay locked on moving subjects. The AF Range Control mode allows you to control the AF to operate within a certain range of distance.

Alpha Product Manager Zaidi Jantan shows the media how to use the AF-D mode
Jantan explains the AF Range Control mode

Its electronic viewfinder, dubbed as the XGA OLED Tru-Finder, gives you 100% coverage and allows you to automatically see what happens to your image when you adjust the settings—similar to what happens in mirrorless cameras.

Jantan shows the Quick Navi Pro function

The Quick Navi Pro gives you access to all the adjustable shooting elements, like ISO level, exposure values, and white balance on a single menu. It has a dual SD card slot, on which you can simultaneously record still images and videos, and a 3-way tiltable LCD that’s extra useful when shooting at odd angles.

This new camera is targeted not just at professional photographers, but also videographers. It hosts several handy features that cater to professional videographers. It can shoot Full HD videos at 60fps and allows you to see and control the audio levels. The camera has a ready-to-use headphones jack, and you can purchase the optional XLR-K1M kit, which gives you a high-quality mono shotgun mic that can be attached to the camera’s hotshoe. There’s also an optional speedlight that integrates a video light as well, making it a perfect companion for the α99.

The α99 also has full-time continuous AF during movie recording. Best of all, it has an ultra-handy and customizable silent multi-controller knob that lets you tinker with the settings while shooting without making any noise.

Additionally, Sony Philippines Director for Digital Imaging Yung Yap announced that in this year’s Sony World Photography Awards, there will be a “Philippines Award” to be given to the top three entries from the country. Yap says that everyone is allowed to join, and the entries will be judged by the World Photography Organization.

The α99 will available in November at will have an SRP of PHP 139,999 (body-only kit). The media guests at the launch were given the chance to try the α99 out in teams. Here are some of the shots that our team took:

Continuous shooting
Using a 50mm f1/1.4 macro lens
Portrait shot