Sony A99

Sony SLT-A99 front
  • 24MP - Full frame Sensor
  • 3" Fully Articulated Screen
  • ISO 100 - 25600
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1/8000s Max Shutter
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Sony/Minolta Alpha Mount
  • 812g - 147 x 111 x 78mm
  • Announced December 2012
  • Replaced the Sony A900
  • Later Model is Sony A99 II
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Sony A99 summary

Sony A99 is Sony's Advanced DSLR digital camera initially released on December of 2012. It houses a 24 MegaPixel, CMOS Full frame sized sensor and has a max resolution of 6000 x 4000.

Sony released this model in order to update the older Sony A900 (Read Full Comparison) and afterwards released the updated Sony A99 II (Read Full Comparison) as a way to replace this model.

The A99 comes in at #12 out of 92 in Advanced DSLR cameras and overall #78 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our database. You should try out our Smart camera search to get camera rankings based on your customized criteria.

Photography Glossary

Here is a diagram of various factors used in the rating system.

Sony A99 history

The Sony A99 comes with a history of related digital cameras. Below, you can view all earlier and new models along with important specs.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Sony-Alpha-A99-II front thumbnailSony A99 II
A99 vs A99 II
42MPFull frame12.0 fps2016
Sony-SLT-A99 front thumbnailSony A9924MPFull frame10.0 fps2012
Pentax 17 Pre-Orders Outperform Expectations by a Landslide
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A850 front thumbnailSony A850
A99 vs A850
25MPFull frame3.0 fps2010
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A900 front thumbnailSony A900
A99 vs A900
25MPFull frame5.0 fps2008

Sony A99 Pros and Cons

Below is a selection of positives and negatives of the Sony A99 based on things which are normally considered essential in a digital camera.

2 card slots
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
builtin Top screen
change lenses (Sony/Minolta Alpha mount)
comes with external microphone support
comes with HDMI out
comes with headphone support
decent megapixels (24MP)
display is selfie friendly
environment proofing
fully articulated screen
good resolution screen (1,229 thousand dots)
great ISO range (25,600)
great minimum ISO (100)
great video quality (1920 x 1080 resolution)
has manual focus
max shutter speed is good (1/8,000 seconds)
provides face detection autofocus
provides tracking autofocus
screen size is good (3 inch)
sensor size is great (Full frame)
supports phase detect autofocus
supports RAW files
lack of Timelapse mode
not so great battery pack (500 per charge)
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Sony A99 Sensor details

The Sony A99 houses the Bionz processor chip. The specification of the sensor in the Sony A99 is 35.8mm x 23.8mm (Full frame). The 852 mm² sensor has the ability to capture 6000 x 4000 pixels at aspect ratios of 3:2 and 16:9. The camera boasts Image Stabilization (Sensor based). In body stabilization is preferable than digital stabilization as the latter can easily lead to cropping.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 24MP and delivers a standard ISO range of 100 - 25600. RAW format is supported therefore you have wider margin for error.

The image underneath displays the A99's sensor dimensions compared to other popular sizes. The A99 sensor comes with a crop factor of 1 and is shown in green.

Sony SLT-A99 sensor size Meta to Introduce 'AI-Generated' Labels for Media starting next month

To get a sense of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Sony A99 dimensions

Sony A99 weighs in at 1.79 lbs (812g / 28.64 ounces) and the sizing of the camera is 147mm x 111mm x 78mm (5.8" x 4.4" x 3.1"). The weight of typical Advanced DSLR camera is 776g so the Sony A99 is very much the same in comparison with various competitors.

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Here is a image of the Sony A99 with a softdrink to help you have a feel for its scale.

Sony SLT-A99 dimensions scale

The top view under will show the button design on the A99.

Sony SLT-A99 topview buttons dials

Sony A99 Lens specs

The A99 works with the Sony/Minolta Alpha mount and has 145 lenses available for purchase. Below is some of the lenses we have in our database which will work with the A99.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Sony-16mm-F2.8-Fisheye lensSony 16mm F2.8 Fisheye16mmf/2.8 400g
Sigma-18-300-F3.5-6.3-DC-Macro-OS-HSM-Sony-E-NEX lensSigma 18-300 F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM18-300mmf/3.5-6.3 585g
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Tamron-SP-150-600mm-F5-6.3-Di-VC-USD-Sony-Alpha lensTamron SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD150-600mmf/5.0-6.3 1951g
Sony-Vario-Sonnar-T-24-70mm-F2.8-ZA-SSM-II lensSony Vario-Sonnar T 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II24-70mmf/2.8 974g
Sigma-17-50mm-F2.8-EX-DC-OS-HSM-Sony-Alpha lensSigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM17-50mmf/2.8 565g
Sigma-35mm-F1.4-DG-HSM-Sony-Alpha lensSigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM35mmf/1.4 665g
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Schneider-PC-Super-Angulon-28mm-f2.8-Sony-Alpha lensSchneider PC-Super-Angulon 28mm f2.828mmf/2.8 565g
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Sony A99 Connectivity

The A99 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Digital cameras that consist of NFC or Bluetooth compatibility can easily be used wirelessly via smartphones. You can easily copy images and oftentimes change camera settings without connecting physically to the camera.

Many applications even allow a Liveview and hit the shutter whenever you are not close to the camera. If the camera contains a HDMI out, it could be attached to an external monitor. Almost all cameras enable you to charge the battery pack with the USB port.

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Sony A99 Video specs

The max video resolution in the Sony A99 is 1920 x 1080 and it can capture in MPEG-4, AVCHD and H.264 file format. 1080p resolution can provide a good balance in video quality versus file sizes but 1080p will not give you much room to downsample. The body does come with both headphone and microphone support making it very valuable while recording audio.

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Sony A99 Weather Sealing

Sony A99 features environment proofing which makes it a excellent choice to use in rough environments. This is particularly handy in case you are unsure about the elements you might encounter in outdoor photography.

Sony A99 Screen and Viewfinder

The Sony A99 is equipped with a 3 inch fully articulated screen boasting a resolution of 1,229 thousand dots.

The screen is selfie friendly to shoot self portraits and even group shots when required. Sadly the screen isn't a touch screen. The A99 also has a builtin Top screen so its possible to instantly see the camera's settings.

Sony SLT-A99 screen and viewfinder Photography Glossary

The View Finder specs regarding Sony A99 are the following:

  • ViewFinder Electronic
  • Resolution 2,359 thousand dots
  • Coverage 100%
  • Magnification 0.71x

In those sunny outdoor situations which make the camera displays washed out and tough to view, viewfinders can be quite useful.

Sony A99 Shutter specs

Sony A99 has the ability to shoot continuously at 10.0 frames/s. The maximum shutter speed is 1/8000 seconds.

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Sony A99 Flash and Hot shoe specs

Sony A99 boasts external flash support but with no built-in flash. The highest flash sync is 1/250 seconds.

Sony A99 Autofocusing specs

Sony A99 boasts both Phase Detect Autofocus along with Contrast Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot more snappier & accurate when compared with Contrast Detect autofocusing. The camera supports Face detection which makes it helpful for portrait photography.

It supports 19 focus points to choose from. It also boasts Tracking Autofocus for objects that move. Sony A99 supports manual focus in case it is needed in low light conditions or you need more precise control on focus.

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Sony A99 Battery life

The battery pack (NP-FM500H) for the Sony A99 is designed to last for 500 shots with respect to the CIPA standards making it lower compared to its competition. The usual Advanced DSLR camera battery life is 909. Nikon D780 comes with the maximum (2260) battery life in this group of cameras.

Below is a number of Advanced DSLR cameras that have the highest battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Nikon-D780 front thumbnailNikon D780
A99 vs D780
2260 yesnoyes
Nikon-D850 front thumbnailNikon D850
A99 vs D850
1840 yesyesyes
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Nikon-Df front thumbnailNikon Df
A99 vs Df
1400 yesnono
Canon-EOS-90D front thumbnailCanon 90D
A99 vs 90D
1300 yesnoyes
Nikon-D500 front thumbnailNikon D500
A99 vs D500
1240 yesyesyes

Sony A99 for various categories of photography

The following bar chart displays a rundown of the Sony A99 for various categories of photography. To check out more, go to the specific paragraph underneath.

Portrait photography with Sony A99

The Sony A99 receives a rating of 82 which is very high, meaning that it is a wonderful fit to use for portraits. Shooting portraits leans heavily to sensor dimension, support for RAW photos plus the ability to utilize off-camera lighting.

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has manual focus
resolution is good (24MP)
large sensor size (Full frame)
has face detect autofocus
exports RAW formats

Sony A99 Street photography information

Having a above average points total of 75, the Sony A99 is a very decent choice to buy for street photography. A decent street photography camera gives a perfect balance of image quality plus portability.

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fully articulated screen
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
big sensor size (Full frame)
delivers RAW files
weather proof
above average ISO range (25,600)

Sony A99 as a Sports photography camera

A superb sports photography rating of 78 indicates the Sony A99 is a brilliant option for taking photos of sports. A camera really should have good autofocus and continuous shooting for sports photography.

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great max shutter speed (1/8,000 seconds)
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
megapixel count good (24 megapixels)
large sensor size (Full frame)
provides tracking focus
weather proofing
supports phase detect auto focus
bad battery pack (500 per charge)

Travel photography with Sony A99

Portability is pretty important when choosing a camera for travel. Over-all, the Sony A99 gets a reasonable 60 as a travelling camera which is fairly adequate for your trips.

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weather proofing
decent megapixels (24 megapixels)
display is selfie friendly
does not have Timelapse mode
terrible battery (500 CIPA)

Sony A99 as a Landscape photography camera

When you're looking to buy a digital camera for landscape photographs, the most critical factor is going to be image quality. The Sony A99 and it's very good grade of 75 for a landscape camera is a very decent choice amongst its rivals.

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manual focus
swap lenses (Sony/Minolta Alpha mount)
screen size is good (3")
image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor resolution is decent (24 megapixels)
big sensor size (Full frame)
very good ISO range (25,600)
delivers RAW formats
weather proofing
has double storage slots
low battery life (500 per charge)
no Time Lapse function

Sony A99 Vlogging advice

A vlogging camera preferably should come with a moving display screen, microphone port and ideally IBIS. Taking all things into account, the Sony A99 is a fantastic choice for vlogging as it comes to a great rating of 76.

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screen is selfie friendly
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
provides face detect focusing
video res high (1920 x 1080 pxls)
does have microphone jack

Sony A99 Alternatives

If you are looking for alternatives to the A99, here is a selection of the highest rated cameras which fall under the class of Advanced DSLR.

The line graph followed below provides you a bird's eye view of the A99 compared to it's top ranking competitors listed above.

Here are a few more cameras you might take a look at as alternative options. To see a extensive comparison, go to the "compare" link.

Photography Glossary


General Information
Brand Name
Sony SLT-A99
Advanced DSLR
Physical type
Mid-size SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Full frame
Sensor measurements
35.8 x 23.8mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
24 megapixel
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
3:2 and 16:9
Peak resolution
6000 x 4000
RAW support
Highest native ISO
Lowest native ISO
Focus manually
Touch to focus
Autofocus continuous
Autofocus single
Autofocus tracking
Selective autofocus
Center weighted autofocus
Multi area autofocus
Autofocus live view
Face detection focus
Contract detection focus
Phase detection focus
Number of focus points
Cross focus points
Lens mounting type
Sony/Minolta Alpha
Amount of lenses
Focal length multiplier
Screen type
Fully Articulated
Screen diagonal
3 inch
Resolution of screen
1,229 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch screen
Screen tech
TFT Xtra Fine color LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Viewfinder resolution
2,359 thousand dots
Viewfinder coverage
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Min shutter speed
30 secs
Max shutter speed
1/8000 secs
Continuous shutter rate
10.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash range
no built-in flash
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High Speed Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in, Wireless
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
WB bracketing
Max flash synchronize
1/250 secs
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (60, 24 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30fps), 640 x 424 (29.97 fps)
Highest video resolution
Video data format
MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
Microphone support
Headphone support
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
812g (1.79 lbs)
147 x 111 x 78mm (5.8" x 4.4" x 3.1")
Battery life
500 shots
Battery style
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse feature
Storage type
Memory Stick PRO Duo/Pro-HG Duo; SD, SDHC and SDXC
Card slots
Pricing at release