I’ll have a 99, please

Small form, big fea­ture set, even big­ger price: Sony takes a shot at pho­to­graphic per­fec­tion with ver­sion two of its A-mount flag­ship, the A99

Stuff (UK) - - CONTENTS -

£3000 (body) / stuff.tv/sonya99ii A gi­ant sen­sor, tur­bocharged aut­o­fo­cus, 4K video… cam­eras don’t come much bet­ter-equipped than the A99 II. While it’s not quite the most ex­pen­sive snap­per made by Sony (that hon­our falls to the new £4500 E-mount A9), this is the flag­ship model in the A-mount range – the com­pany’s DSLR equiv­a­lents.

With a translu­cent mir­ror and a viewfinder that’s elec­tronic rather than op­ti­cal, the newer A-mount cam­eras can’t strictly be called DSLRS, but to all in­tents and pur­poses this is Sony’s an­swer to the top full-frame mod­els from Canon, Nikon and Pen­tax. Hence its £3000 ask­ing price.

The good news is, the lack of a tra­di­tional mir­ror-and-pen­taprism setup makes the A99 II more com­pact than an equiv­a­lent DSLR. For an in­ter­change­able-lens cam­era with a full-frame sen­sor, it’s im­pres­sively bi­jou – and even 8% smaller than the old A99.

More im­por­tantly, it of­fers both great all-round per­for­mance and some fea­tures you won’t find on any ri­val model. 1 Un­break­able Like most high-end DSLRS, the body is built on a mag­ne­sium al­loy frame for tough­ness, and the con­trols, dials and ports are weather-sealed. A large grip on the right and a rub­bery ma­te­rial wrapped around most of the body will keep it locked in your hands. 2 Un­touch­able There’s a 3in LCD on the back that tilts out and twists, al­low­ing you to view it from al­most any an­gle. It’s a good-qual­ity screen in terms of de­tail and bright­ness, but it’s not a touch­screen, which means the A99 II misses out on touch-to-fo­cus ca­pa­bil­i­ties. 3 Un­fath­omable We miss hav­ing a quick way to tog­gle be­tween auto and man­ual fo­cus. For this, and a lot of other set­tings, you must ven­ture into the vast, labyrinthine menu sys­tem. Thank­fully, you can as­sign cus­tom con­trols to cer­tain but­tons from within those menus.

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