Sony SLT-A99: A body built for stills and motion (pictures)
The company wants you to feel equally at home shooting photo and video with the A99.
Light but large
The A99 is one of the lighter mirrored interchangeable-lens full-frame bodies, but it's still rather large. Of course, that makes it more comfortable to use when you're shooting with a fast, quality lens. It has similar construction to competitors, with a magnesium alloy chassis, dust-and-moisture seals, and a 200,000-cycle shutter.
If you've ever used one of Sony's prosumer camcorders you'll recognize this multicontroller dial, which allows you to quickly and quietly change settings such as aperture and exposure while shooting video.
In addition to offering an almost complete set of connections, the implementations seem very nice. For instance, via the headphone jack you can monitor audio either live or synced to playback, and the camera can output uncompressed, clean HDMI.
The A99 has the same complex articulating LCD design as the A77's. It's more flexible than the typical flip-out-and-twist versions, but I also find it takes more concentration to get it properly positioned than I like to devote to an LCD.
The locking mode dial features the basics plus a few extras: three slots for custom settings, a manual-control movie mode, Continuous Priority AE shooting, and panoramas. The A99 also has a built-in stereo microphone on top of the camera.
The A99 incorporates Sony's new Multi Interface Shoe, which uses some extra custom connectors on the inside in addition to ISO standard hardware. Sony will offer an adapter so that you can use your old Konica Minolta flashes with the new shoe. The extra connectors make add-ons like the XLR Adaptor kit possible.