Unraveling the Sony a99 II – 4K as Good as the a7 Line?

Sony a99 II side

We took a closer look at the video capabilities of the new Sony a99 II announced at Photokina 2016, and how it compares to the a7S II and a7R II.

This new flagship A-Mount camera is a high-spec performer in the photography world: it has a translucent mirror, a dedicated auto focus sensor, and Sony says it even performs better than the A7R II for stills. The camera was only announced a few days ago and here are all the video features at a glance:

Sony a99 II - cut open

The new Sony a99 II – cut open on display at Photokina 2016

Sony a99 II – Features at a Glance:

  • 42MP full frame CMOS sensor
  • A-Mount lens system
  • 4K UHD video recording in 24/25/30p @ 100mbps (XAVC S, MP4 and AVCHD formats).
  • 1080p HD recording up to 120fps @ 100mbps
  • 5-way sensor stabilization
  • ISO sensitivity of 100-25600 (expandable).
  • S-LOG 2 and S-LOG 3.

So, as Sony’s new flagship DSLR, we expect it to perform quite well for stills. But what about video? The image quality is almost the same as the a7R II as it uses the same image sensor with 4K at 25p with a full-pixel read out with no pixel binning. The s35 format is also available for video, oversampling the 15MP image to make the 4K image.

However, when comparing the Sony a99 II to that favourite among video shooters, the a7S II, things get a little different. The full frame read out of the a7S II produces a better image, but in s35 mode, the Sony a99 II with its 15MP oversampling can produce very sharp 4K video.

The camera will cost $3200 and is available for pre-order now.

cinema5D at Photokina 2016
Tilta Genustech Manfrotto Angelbird Blackmagic Design


$3,198 exc. VATNew Item - Coming Soon
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Rafael Odalis Castillo Reply
Rafael Odalis Castillo September 21, 2016

I would love to see a video comparison between a99II, my sony a7RII and a7SII….

Marq Riley Reply
Marq Riley September 21, 2016

Now those were excellent questions, Thanks Johnnie. I guess they decided not to put a touchscreen because of the AF video limitations. How silent are the A-mount lenses in Video AF I wonder?

Johnnie Behiri September 22, 2016

Marq, thanks for the thumbs up. Appreciated!.

Rest assure that we will communicate with Sony in regards to limiting the a99II AF performance and ask to improve that point.


 Beebee Lestr Reply
Beebee Lestr September 22, 2016

I think the Sony a7Sii is the most capable camera for full-frame video.

Its low light performance is better than any other camera on the market. That’s important.

Luke Wen September 22, 2016

Rolling shutter on A99 II is said to be reduced by half, thanks to the new LSI front-end processor.

Basil Kiwan September 22, 2016

Count me into that group of customers who REALLY wants to see video AF, while using manual exposure. I don’t understand handicapping the A99II. It won’t protect e-mount sales (A7RII and A6300), as there are other advantages to e-mount over a-mount, like adapting all kinds of lenses.

By cutting this out of the A99II, they are really handicapping the camera vis-a-vis the Canon DSLRs, especially the 5DIV and the IDX II, which have very nice video AF. Even the Nikon D5 has a rudimentary (unreliable) video AF.

I want to upgrade to this camera from my A77II, but this handicap is giving me pause

GELAX STUDIO September 24, 2016

Actually it is a DSLT (translucent mirror),not a DSLR. The AF can only be use in P mode,and the max aperture is 3.5