Sony A9 vs A99 II
The Sony Alpha A9 and the Sony Alpha ALT-A99 II are two professional cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2017 and September 2016. The A9 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the A99 II is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with a full frame sensor. The A9 has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the A99 II provides 42.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Sony A9||Sony A99 II|
|Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Sony E mount lenses||Sony A mount lenses|
|24 MP, Full Frame Sensor||42.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-51200 (50-204800)||ISO 100-25600|
|Electronic viewfinder (3686k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (2400k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1440k dots||3.0" LCD, 1229k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Fully flexible screen (no touchscreen)|
|20 shutter flaps per second||12 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|650 shots per battery charge||490 shots per battery charge|
|127 x 96 x 63 mm, 673 g||143 x 104 x 76 mm, 849 g|
Body comparison: Sony A9 vs A99 II
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony A9 and the Sony A99 II. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the A9 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A99 II is notably larger (22 percent) than the Sony A9. Moreover, the A99 II is markedly heavier (26 percent) than the A9. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Sony A9»||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.5 in||23.7 oz||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499||Sony A9|
|Sony A99 II«||5.6 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||29.9 oz||490||Y||Sep 2016||3,199||Sony A99 II|
|Canon 5DS« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||32.8 oz||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||5.3 in||3.6 in||2.6 in||20.2 oz||440||Y||Sep 2016||1,999||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Panasonic GH5« »||5.5 in||3.9 in||3.4 in||25.6 oz||410||Y||Jan 2017||1,999||Panasonic GH5|
|Sony A7 III« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||22.9 oz||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||22.9 oz||650||Y||Oct 2017||3,199||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A6500« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||2.1 in||16.0 oz||350||Y||Oct 2016||1,399||Sony A6500|
|Sony A7R II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||22.0 oz||290||Y||Jun 2015||3,199||-||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||22.1 oz||370||Y||Sep 2015||2,999||Sony A7S II|
|Sony A7 II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||21.1 oz||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999||-||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A99« »||5.8 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||28.6 oz||500||Y||Sep 2012||2,799||-||Sony A99|
|Sony A77« »||5.6 in||4.1 in||3.2 in||25.8 oz||470||Y||Aug 2011||1,999||-||Sony A77|
|Sony A900« »||6.1 in||4.6 in||3.2 in||31.6 oz||880||Y||Sep 2008||2,999||-||Sony A900|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The A99 II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 29 percent) than the A9, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
Sensor comparison: Sony A9 vs A99 II
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the A99 II is 2 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 42.2MP, the A99 II offers a higher resolution than the A9 (24MP), but the A99 II has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.52μm versus 5.94μm for the A9). It is noteworthy in this context that the A9 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the A99 II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the A99 II has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Sony Alpha A9 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-204800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha ALT-A99 II are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-25600..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Sony A9»||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92||Sony A9|
|Sony A99 II«||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||25.4||13.4||2317||92||Sony A99 II|
|Canon 5DS« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.7||12.4||2381||87||Canon 5DS|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.7||12.8||1312||80||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Panasonic GH5« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.9||13.0||807||77||Panasonic GH5|
|Sony A7 III« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III« »||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||14.7||3523||100||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A6500« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.5||13.7||1405||85||Sony A6500|
|Sony A7R II« »||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||13.9||3434||98||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II« »||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||4K/30p||23.6||13.3||2993||85||Sony A7S II|
|Sony A7 II« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A99« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||14.0||1555||89||Sony A99|
|Sony A77« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.2||801||78||Sony A77|
|Sony A900« »||Full Frame||24.4||6048||4032||-||23.7||12.3||1431||79||Sony A900|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Feature comparison: Sony A9 vs A99 II
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the A9 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the A99 II (3686k vs 2400k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony A9, the Sony A99 II, and comparable cameras.
|Sony A9»||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||8000||20.0||n||Y||Sony A9|
|Sony A99 II«||2400||Y||3.0||1229||full-flex||n||8000||12.0||n||Y||Sony A99 II|
|Canon 5DS« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Canon 5DS|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||8000||18.0||n||Y||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Panasonic GH5« »||3680||n||3.2||1620||swivel||Y||8000||12.0||n||Y||Panasonic GH5|
|Sony A7 III« »||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III« »||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A6500« »||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||4000||11.0||Y||Y||Sony A6500|
|Sony A7R II« »||2400||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II« »||2400||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7S II|
|Sony A7 II« »||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A99« »||2359||Y||3.0||1229||full-flex||n||8000||6.0||n||Y||Sony A99|
|Sony A77« »||2359||Y||3.0||921||full-flex||n||8000||12.0||Y||Y||Sony A77|
|Sony A900« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||Y||Sony A900|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The A9 has a touchscreen, while the A99 II has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The A99 II has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the A9 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the A9 features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A9 and the A99 II write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.
Connectivity comparison: Sony A9 vs A99 II
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Alpha A9 and Sony Alpha ALT-A99 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony A9»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A9|
|Sony A99 II«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A99 II|
|Canon 5DS« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 5DS|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Panasonic GH5« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y||Panasonic GH5|
|Sony A7 III« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A6500« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6500|
|Sony A7R II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7S II|
|Sony A7 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A99« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A99|
|Sony A77« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A77|
|Sony A900« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A900|
Both the A9 and the A99 II are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. Neither of the two has a direct predecessor, so perhaps they will constitute the origins of new camera lines for Sony.
Review summary: Sony A9 vs A99 II
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony A9 and the Sony A99 II? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A9:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (3686k vs 2400k dots).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 1229k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 12 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (127x96mm vs 143x104mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 176g or 21 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (650 versus 490) on a single battery charge.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the A99 II).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha ALT-A99 II:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (42.2 vs 24MP), which boosts linear resolution by 33%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- More flexible LCD: Has full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (29 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2016).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A9 is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 7 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the A9 or the A99 II handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
Expert reviews: Sony A9 vs A99 II
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Sony A9»||HiRec||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Apr 2017||4,499||Sony A9|
|Sony A99 II«||-||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||3,199||Sony A99 II|
|Canon 5DS« »||Rec||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||1,999||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Panasonic GH5« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2017||1,999||Panasonic GH5|
|Sony A7 III« »||HiRec||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III« »||HiRec||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2017||3,199||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A6500« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||1,399||Sony A6500|
|Sony A7R II« »||HiRec||90/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jun 2015||3,199||-||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Sep 2015||2,999||Sony A7S II|
|Sony A7 II« »||Rec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Nov 2014||1,999||-||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A99« »||-||84/100||4.5/5||rev||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799||-||Sony A99|
|Sony A77« »||91/100||81/100||-||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,999||-||Sony A77|
|Sony A900« »||HiRec||HiRec||4.5/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2008||2,999||-||Sony A900|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
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- Fujifilm X10 vs Olympus E-PL3
- Nikon D700 vs Pentax 645Z
- Nikon Df vs Panasonic ZS100
- Nikon P1000 vs Canon 5D
- Olympus E-M10 II vs Panasonic G3
- Panasonic G80 vs Leica X-U Typ 113
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Specifications: Sony A9 vs Sony A99 II
|Camera Model||Sony A9||Sony A99 II|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses||Sony A mount lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2017||September 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 4499||USD 3199|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.6 x 23.8 mm||35.9 x 23.8 mm|
|MP Resolution||24 Megapixels||42.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||7952 x 5304 pixels|
|Pixel Size||5.94 μm||4.52 μm|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-51200 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50-204800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3686k dots||2400k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1440k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fully flexible screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||20 shutter flaps/s||12 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||NP-FZ100 power pack||NP-FM500H power pack|
|Battery Life||650 shots per charge||490 shots per charge|
127 x 96 x 63 mm
(5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in)
143 x 104 x 76 mm
(5.6 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||673 g (23.7 oz)||849 g (29.9 oz)|
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