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Sony Alpha a99 review

Sony gets back in the full-frame game

Our Verdict


  • 24.3MP
  • Noise under control
  • AF Range control
  • Articulating screen


  • AF slower than rivals'
  • Poor non-cross type AF
  • Object Tracking mode is limited

We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using DXO Analyzer software to generate the data to produce the graphs below.

A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.

For more more details on how to interpret our test data, check out our full explanation of our noise and dynamic range tests.

Here we compare the Sony Alpha a99 with the Nikon D600, Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Nikon D800.

JPEG signal to noise ratio

Sony Alpha a99 review

These results show that the Sony Alpha a99's JPEG files have a similar signal to noise ratio to those from the Nikon D600, Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Nikon D800 throughout the sensitivity range. The Sony achieved a slightly stronger ratio than the D800, but falls a little way beneath the other two, with the Canon coming out top.

Raw signal to noise ratio

Sony Alpha a99 review

The signal to noise ratios of the TIFF images (after conversion from raw) from the Sony Alpha a99 show a bit more of a difference than the JPEG images did, with the Sony again falling below the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and above the Nikon D800. It achieves very similar results to the Nikon D600, which marginally beats it at the lower ISO settings.

JPEG dynamic range

Sony Alpha a99 review

JPEG results for dynamic range are a bit more spread out than those for signal to noise ratio, with the Sony Alpha a99 this time producing a stronger dynamic range than the Canon EOS 5D Mark III at the low-to-mid range, before falling behind after ISO 3200. Conversely, the Nikon D600 and Nikon D800beat it at lower sensitivities, but the Sony performs better at ISO 6400 and above.

Raw dynamic range

Sony Alpha a99 review

This chart indicates that TIFF images (after conversion from raw) from the Sony Alpha a99 produce very similar dynamic range results to the Nikon D600, Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Nikon D800. It performs slightly better than the D800, but more or less the same as the other two cameras, overall.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLT Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution24.3 Megapixel
Image StabilizationOptical
Brand NameSony
DurabilityDust Resistant, Moisture Resistant
FeaturesSelf-timer, Live View, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor, Noise Reduction, External Flash Shoe
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsAVCHD, MP4, MPEG-4, MPEG-4 AVC
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)733 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityErP, REACH, WEEE
Flash Memory CapacityNo
Maximum Image Resolution6000 x 4000
Maximum Frame Rate60 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
Total Camera Resolution24.7 Megapixel
Camera AssemblyBody Only
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedNP-FM500H
Memory Card SupportedMemory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height111.2 mm
Width147 mm
Depth78.4 mm
Autofocus Points19
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Audio FormatsAC3, AAC-LC
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Fill Flash, Slow Sync, Rear Flash Sync, Red-eye Reduction, High Speed Sync, Wireless Flash, Flash OFF, Flash ON, Rear Curtain Sync
Focus ModesManual, Auto
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelSLT-A99V
Product NameA99 Translucent Mirror Interchangeable Lens Camera
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberSLTA99VCE
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

It's enough to please the toughest of photo editors, with results in every frame. A full-frame sensor with Translucent Mirror technology is more of everything, the kind of detail, colour and tone you need for demanding tasks. It goes far beyond the limits of your DSLR camera.

Battery Life500 Shot
Package Contents
  • A99 Translucent Mirror Interchangeable Lens Camera
  • NP-FM500H InfoLITHIUM Battery
Display Resolution1228800 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesSpeaker, Microphone