Full Frame Slims Down: Sony Alpha SLT-A99
In a year marked by the arrival of full-frame, top-of-the-line super DSLRs with loads of goodies for professional still and video shooters alike, Sony pulled a September surprise. The new Alpha 99 finally brings Sony’s light-passing mirror technology (the company calls it “translucent”) to a full-frame DSLR, for a smaller and lighter body, blazing bursts of 10 frames per second and true autofocus in video. The latter depends on a pair of AF systems—a fairly standard 19-point phase-detection array and a revolutionary focal-plane array with 102 phase-detection points combined with contrast detection from the CMOS sensor.
A range of other video capabilities and accessories, especially for audio, make the A99 especially attractive for motion-picture shooters. And its new 24.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, the same size as a 35mm frame of film, and latest-generation processor promise improved imaging. Sony, astonishingly, put both of these into two other new cameras at the same time: a Handycam camcorder (NEX-VG900) and a Cyber-shot compact (DSC-RX1), bringing the glories of full frame to photographers who don’t have pro-level budgets. $2,800 for the body only, sonystyle.com