Let me take you back a model, the A77 this is a camera that I had for a few months and I preferred it to my Canon 5D Mk11 with one exception…the hot shoe. From day one my Sony F43 flashgun wobbled on top of my A77 making me very uncomfortable with the build quality of the hot shoe.
Overcoming the poor hot shoe design the camera was a joy to use though choosing lenses for it was not as easy as a Canon or a Nikon. You have three choices of lenses with Sony, Leica, Sony G and Sony plastic body lenses.
The Sony 16-50mm F2.8 was my lens of choice and it was a very good lens indeed, I also had the Sony 70-300 “G” lens a sample can be seen below.
So finally after four years starting with the Canon 5D Mk11 we get a DSLR with all the boxes ticked for video recording, the Sony A99 is not only full frame 35mm sensor but has a movable LCD and full HD output from the HDMI socket allowing external recorders or monitoring.
It has not only mic in and headphone out but can also take an XLR adapter, a major improvement for sound input over any other DSLR on the market today plus the ability to record 1080 50p onto AVCHD, this is not new as the A77 records in 1080 50p but the picture quality is outstanding as I have seen myself.
Is the A99 four years too late…with all the large sensor camcorders that are now available I can’t quite see the need for photographic cameras to evolve to this level though it does give the wedding photographer a second crack of the whip.
There is no doubt in my mind the A99 is streets ahead of the Canon 5D Mk111 from a video stance alone, photographically I think the A99 could give the Canon a run for it’s money but it’s hard to ignore the vast assortment of Canon “L” glass and by all accounts the Sony is very hard on battery power not something a pro would be very happy with !