Sony dropped a huge announcement earlier today at Photokina, unveiling the 42-megapixel, full frame A99 II. Targeting professional sports and wildlife photographers, the camera can shoot up to 12 frames per second — a huge improvement over the mirrorless A7R II, which has the same resolution but only shoots at five frames per second.
Like the original A99 before it, the A99 II takes Sony’s A-mount lenses and features a DSLR-style body that uses a non-reflexing, translucent mirror to split light between the sensor and a dedicated AF module. That AF module is brand new for the A99 II, incorporating 79 dedicated cross-type points clustered near the center of the frame. As if that weren’t enough, the sensor itself contains 399 additional AF points that help extend AF area coverage beyond that of the 79-point module.
“With the Alpha 99 II, we’re delivering an industry-leading level of performance to A-mount owners and enthusiasts,” Said Neal Manowitz, vice president of digital imaging at Sony in a statement. “Its powerful combination of speed and resolution is simply unmatched in today’s market.”
The new AF systems work together to bring improved subject-tracking for sports and wildlife shooters. Impressively, despite the inherent light loss of the translucent mirror design, autofocus is sensitive down to -4 EV, the same as Nikon’s lowlight powerhouse, the D5, which means photographers working in dimly lit conditions should have no problem focusing.
Further improving the camera’s low-light capabilities, the five-axis in-body image stabilization offers an impressive 4.5 stops of shake reduction.
Being a Sony, the A99 II also boasts a robust video mode, capable of shooting in 4K reolution from a Super35-sized (APS-C) crop of the sensor. It oversamples 1.8 times the number of pixels required for 4K, which should produce incredibly crisp results without moiré.
The A99 II will ship in November for a price of $3,200. More information can be found on Sony’s website.