New 4K Sony A99II is like an a7R II in a DSLR Body

Sony made a surprise announcement at Photokina 2016 earlier today by shoving the a7RII specs in a DSLR body, thus creating the new A99II, which now shoots 4K video and has a 5-Axis SteadyShot Inside (In-Body Image Stabilisation) and lots more. The new a99II features a massive 42.4 Megapixel BSI Exmor sensor (probably the same one from the a7RII) but has a new faster processor for that sweet AF system that supposedly is targeting high end DSLR pros that usually go for the 5D Mark IV or 1DX II or Nikon D5. The a99II is packed with awesome features for photography, but my interest in mainly in the video department. If you are familiar with the A7rII video functions, from the press release and spec sheets all seems to be the same when it comes to frame rates, codec and resolutions. The a99II can do UHD up to 30p and 1080p super slow motion at 120fps, however unlike the mirrorless a7RII, the A99II also gets the better S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log-3 and S-Gamut3/S-Log3 which are easier to grade for non-colourists.

Sony a99II Sony Alpha a99 II Photokina 2016 4K IBIS 5 Axis

So, for those of you video shooters that were quite disappointed with the video features in the Canon 5D Mark IV or don’t want to take out a 2nd mortgage to buy a 1D X Mark II, the a99II may be the one for you. One big caveat here that may be a deal breaker for a lot of you – are the lenses. The dreaded A-mount has been almost considered dead, gone and buried, until it was revived earlier today with the a99II announcement. If you are invested in Canon EF glass – no dice, you can’t use them here. You won’t be able to use your E-mount lenses either, so you are stuck with A-mount Sony lenses.

Sony a99II 4K DSLR

Sony A99II Features

  • 42.4 Megapixel Full-Frame Back Illuminated CMOS Sensor
  • Sony A-Mount
  • BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI
  • Internal UHD (3840 x 2160) up to 30p
  • UHD codec: XAVC-S 8bit 4:2:0 at 100Mbps
  • 1080p/120fps Super-Slow motion
  • S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log-3 and S-Gamut3/S-Log3
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
  • Hybrid Phase Detection AF with 79 hybrid cross AF points
  • ISO 102,400 and 12 fps Shooting with AF
  • 3.5mm Headphone and mic jack
  • OLED Tru-Finder EVF
  • Built-In Wi-Fi & NFC

Here’s a 4K movie sample released by Sony (be sure to change the YT settings in the video below to 2160p to view in 4K).

Sony alpha a99 II top

Sony alpha a99 II headphone jack

You can pre-order from authorised dealers like B&H from Wednesday 21st September. The price for the US is $3,199 and the camera is expected to ship in November. In the UK, the a99II looks like it will be priced at £3000.

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  • Steve M.

    One has to wonder why camera companies keep crippling their products with absolutely stupid decisions. Why Sony would put that mount on this camera is beyond a mystery. Is it a way to force people to buy A mount lenses, if you’re interested in this camera? Definitely a deal breaker there, nice job, Sony.

    • How about legacy users like me that started with Minolta, I have quite an A-mount collection that I co-currently use with my E-mount cameras(A7s, FS5).

      There’s the distinct possibility Sony didn’t make this camera to attract new users, but to keep old ones with the system. A-mount lenses work quite well on E-mount camera’s via adapters, the same can’t be said with Nikon or Canon glass.

    • bakanecko

      well this is camera for people that already invested heavily in A mount lenses, a rumoured new flagship e mount camera surely will come but the question is this year or next?

      • kingofkats

        Exactly — I was hoping for the mythical A9 FE mount with 70MP sensor, etc., and had even budgeted for it. Now it looks like Gitzo, RRS and Olympus may be moving up on my wish list? #butitsnotoveryet

    • Devon Taylor

      Steve have you even looked at all the bargain quality Minolta compatible lenses out there?? An A mount body means smart people can get a vast array of lenses at a fraction of E mount prices. Go hit Ebay.

  • Per Kristoffersson

    There is nothing wrong with A-mount that cannot be fixed. A-mount lenses can be used on E-mount bodies. A-mount can easily be made into mirrorless when on sensor PDAF is good enough. A-mount could be gradually turned into a fully electric mount (start with the lenses and add connectors to the camera bodies, then remove screw-drive AF and lever-actuated aperture from entry-level bodies, finally leave only the high-end bodies with lever-actuated aperture). If Nikon could do a gradual transition and upgrade, so can Sony.

    Your question really is on the level of “why would canon cripple their cameras by putting EF mount on there instead of Nikon F mount?”.
    The downside to A-mount is not being able to use Canon or Nikon glass. The downside to EF mount is not being able to use your Minolta/Sony glass. If you have E-mount glass, well, you’re stuck with E-mount bodies. If you have a Leica, you’re stuck with that. If you have Panasonic glass… Get the point?

  • Crowd_Sorcerer

    Sony’s sensors are now superior to Canon and Nikon sensors. The extra dynamic range is very appealing, along with high framerate full-frame video (for slo-mos).

    Anyone with lots of Canon and Nikon glass can use the E-mount a7Rii camera for stills photography, or the a7Sii camera for those who prioritise video or low light ability. The better adaptors work pretty well to convert EF and F mount lenses to Sony’s E-mount camera.

  • Devon Taylor

    Since when are A mounts “dreaded”??? I got the LA-EA2 just to access all that inexpensive quality glass! Sure, you will pay more for an AMount Sony lens. Why waste money on a Sony lens when the Minolta compatible lenses snap right on, are legendary, and are pennies on the dollar for comparable lenses?

    Maybe Sony would be wise to stop wasting everyone’s time with E mount.