Sony unveils the a99, full-frame SLT

Written by Russell Co. Posted in Cameras, News

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Published on October 12, 2012 with No Comments

Sony recently unveiled locally their newest Alpha camera – the Alpha 99 (a99). The new a99 is the world’s first 35mm full-frame SLT (Single-Lens Translucent) camera.

SLTs are a Sony brand name for cameras that are somewhat a mix of DSLR and MILC cameras. The SLT camera has a semi-translucent mirror that allows the majority of light to pass through, while reflecting a portion of it into a phase-detection autofocus sensor.


The Sony a99 has a newly developed full-frame 24.3 megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor that utilizes a BIONZ image processing engine. An all-new front-end LSI works with the BIONZ engine to process the massive Exmor CMOS sensor data to achieve 14-bit RAW output.

The a99 is the world’s first full-frame with Dual AF System that utilizes two phase detection AF sensors – a 19-point (11 cross points) phase detection sensor and a 102-point focal plane phase sensor. Coupled with Sony’s Translucent Mirror Technology, the Dual AF System can have ultra-fast, accurate tracking autofocus even if the subject leaves the 19-point frame.

Alpha Product Manager Zaidi Jantan testing out the AF-D mode on the crowd.

With the Dual AF System are two new AF modes. AF-D continuous autofocus mode uses the 19-point and 102-point to capture moving subjects effortlessly. AF Range Control allows users to set the distance range recognized by the AF system, so that you can easily focus on subjects without interference from background and foreground objects.

Camera settings are directly reflected in the a99’s electronic viewfinder called the XGA OLED Tru-Finder such as those found in mirrorless cameras. The Tru-Finder is complemented by a three-way tiltable LCD screen for odd-angled shots. Quick Navi Pro is Sony’s new interface that displays multiple functions adjacently for easy adjustments. The a99 also has dual slot recording that makes use of both media slots.

Coming from a long-heritage of high-quality movie cameras and high-end camcorders, the a99 is capable of shooting full-frame Full HD 60p video with controllable audio levels with full HD video output via HDMI. To reduce noise during shooting, a silent multi-controller is available via a dial on the front of the camera dial for smooth settings adjustment. Additional accessories are available to further highlight its video shooting qualities such as a ready-to-use headphone jack, XLR kits that attach to the hotshoe, and many more.

At a light 733g (without the lens and battery), the a99 can be easily used with a single hand. This is due to the Translucent Mirror Technology and it’s magnesium alloy panels. A redesigned shutter block has been tested to last about 200,000 release cycles.

Sony World Photography Awards

During the release event, Sony’s Director for Digital Imaging Yung Yap announced that at this year’s Sony World Photography Awards, a “Phillpines Award” will be awarded to the top 3 submissions in the country. For more information visit the WPO page and Sony Philippines.


The Sony a99 is set to be available this November for P139,999 (body only).