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Reviews, reviews.
After getting some time to get acquainted with the Sony , our 3 trial users are ready to give you their verdict of the camera. Read on to see what sort of impressions the Sony left on them.
OVERVIEW
The Sony is much lighter compared to the Sony A900 and A850, and is also the lightest among other high end full-frame DSLRs. Its rounded, ergonomic design gives it a different look compared to the traditional look of the other models from the alpha series. The outer rim of the bayonet is anodized in Alpha Orange colour; making it look more appealing with a touch of class and also makes it more visible when dismounting the lens in the dark. The camera has a firm and solid grip.

Overall, the Sony is very user friendly and a few days were all it took me to get used to the buttons and features. You will find 2 slots for SDHC /Sony Memory Stick card holder on the right of the camera and on the left side are the connection for remote, HDMI and other connections to other sources.
It comes with a set of directional microphones and the rotatable EVF LCD screen is so versatile; so far one of the best I have seen. The EVF LCD screen is great for very low or high angle architecture photography or close-up Macro at a very low angle where space is constrained.

The camera is sturdy and its weather resistant proofing makes shooting under light rain possible. As a regular trekker, I head outdoors quite frequently and always bring my gear along, and this camera sure can take a lot bump and abuse.

FEATURES
24.3-megapixel 35mm Full Frame Exmor™ CMOS Imaging Sensor
With the new 24.3 Megapixel Exmor Sensor Full Frame, photos captured in Raw (ISO 50) and Night Scene mode were superb with close to no noise at all even at 100 % magnification.

Advanced BIONZ™ Image Processing Engine
The performance of the advanced BIONZ Image Processing engine is really remarkable compared to previous Sony models. It took a while for the RAW file to be written to the Sony SDXC1 64GB card when the camera is set to AE Mode (HI continuous 10 FPS), but in S Mode (single shot) a writing speed of as fast as 1.7 seconds in Full 14 bit Raw File can be achieved. Perfect for shooting birds in flight or very fast moving objects!

Dual AF System
The focusing system that comes with the latest Dual AF System is truly remarkable. It can accurately and automatically track and lock the focus on fast moving objects like birds or insects. Those who like to use autofocus and have a habit of recomposing the objects will appreciate the ease that the AF-D mode brings.

CONCLUSION
My 2 weeks on the field with the Sony left me with nothing much bad to say except that the battery life is definitely not the most long-lasting one around. This camera really has superb image quality and details, with well-controlled colour temperatures. Its autofocus system is truly first class in different lighting conditions with hardly any hunting at all even with the older Minolta and Sony Lenses without SSM.

Getting the chance to use this very well built, well designed full frame DSLR was a good experience and I salute Sony for coming out with such a superb product.

Lens used in this trial : Sony Zeiss 16-35 F2.8 , Sony Zeiss 24-70mm F2.8 , Sony G Lens 300mm F2.8 , Sony 70-400mm G lens , Minolta G Lens 200mm F 4.5 Macro, Sony Macro 50mm F2.8 , Sony 1.4 and 2.0 Teleconverters.

ABOUT THE TRIAL USER:
Name: Mr. C.L Kim Gary
HWZ Username: Mr. kim gary
Age: 50+
Occupation: Semi-Retired / Senior Board Advisor

The Sony Alpha 99 () is, as most of us might know by now, recognized as Sony's flagship model aimed at enthusiasts looking to tickle their full-frame taste buds. I barely scratched the tip of the iceberg with the 's many features in the short two weeks I had with it, but overall came away impressed, except for a few niggles.
The sealed metal-bodied has a nice heft to it, feels solidly built and was comfortable to hold. The many buttons were within easy reach and the very-useful AF Range (limiting) button was just a thumb-flick away. Being a Canon EOS 5D and 7D user, I was pleased to find dual memory card slots, albeit SD ones, on the . The stereo microphones are also a nice feature to have onboard, and prove useful for the odd videography session one might have. The 's design is notably sleeker and more pleasing to the eye (well, to my eye, anyway) than its four year old predecessor, the A900. Looks aside, this is the only full-frame camera that features an articulated LCD screen, and is great to have, especially when shooting from really challenging contortionist-only angles. This is something that other brands have yet to pick up on for their full-frame offerings.

Sony fitted out the Alpha 99 with a 24.3MP sensor and BIONZ image processing engine. Together, they work hand in hand to produce some of the most vibrant and brilliant, straight-out-of-cam, low noise photos I've had the pleasure of taking so far. I took a close-up shot of a butterfly with the 70-200mm F2.8 lens, settings: Aperture Priority, ISO 125, F2.8, 1/250 seconds and I think it turned out pretty perfect.


According to Sony, the is the world's first full-frame interchangeable lens digital camera to feature two phase detection sensors. To me, this meant that it would focus fast, especially when the need arises for the street and macro genres where I would need to have focus locked down quick to get the shot. The auto-focus (AF) works well enough, although I would have preferred the selection of AF points to be a lot faster, as I switch between AF points very often and demand speed in this area.

AF niggles aside, I found the to be superb with taking videos. The AF is fast, and the Face tracking feature works like a dream! The 's AF Range limiter was also excellent for making adjustments on the fly to prevent the camera from focusing behind your intended subject. The articulated screen was of course very useful, and is definitely a huge plus on a full frame camera! The in-camera SteadyShot, coupled with some steady hands, helped prevent a wedding video I took from appearing like another installment of the Blair Witch Project. Make no mistake; the is a camera which a novice can use to make pretty good videos, right off the bat! The comparatively low weight of the camera body also made it less taxing to handle when fitted with the 24-70mm F2.8 lens.

After two weeks, I came away impressed with the fantastic image quality, the AF speed (especially for video work) and the plethora of features that I have yet to explore and fully utilize. If I really had to nit-pick from my short experience with the , I would say the menu could be more intuitive in its layout or the way it is organized. Would I pick up the , especially if I already have my existing Canon systems? The answer would be a resounding yes, especially for use in videography where I'd want and need ease of use, fast AF, excellent noise control and brilliant picture quality.

ABOUT THE TRIAL USER:
Name: Theo De Roza
HWZ Username: TheoDR
Age: 30+
I have been really curious about the Sony Alpha since it was announced last year because Sony seemed to have packed so many features into this camera! The list includes super high ISO multiple shot that allows a noise free high ISO image, in-camera panorama, built in Geo tagging, just to name a few. Bundled with the bright and sharp f2.8 kit lens, the high ISO capability is really useful and allowed me to shoot in situations that weren't possible with my previous camera.

The 24.3-megapixel 35mm full-frame Exmor CMOS Imaging Sensor captures finely detailed images with low noise which is very useful in low light situations or a scene with wide dynamic range.

The Advanced BIONZ Image Processing Engine, with its powerful 14-bit processing, allows for high speed continuous shooting even when I was shooting at RAW + JPEG. Images are also clear with low noise while the 14-bit RAW output is delivered with exceptional quality and ultra-rich gradient.
When shooting fast moving subjects, the dual AF system that employs the 2 phase detection sensors enables it to be in focus even when it is moving towards or away from the camera.

My first impression when handling the Sony was that it's lighter than I had imagined. Its deep grip allows one-handed shooting when coupled with a light prime lens. There are also many customizable buttons allowing quick and easy access to the important features that I need - especially the front knob, which can be customized for speedy control of ISO, focusing mode, metering and many more.

Of course, not everything is perfect. Sometimes when shooting, the will try to focus on the background instead of the subject which is a little weird. Also the battery life could be better for a full frame camera; I was really expecting a bit more from the battery. However, with the many features provided and beautifully rendered skin tones and detailed images this camera is capable of producing, you can't really complain much about it.

Overall, it has been a pleasure and joy to be able to try out the Sony Alpha for these 2 weeks and I would consider purchasing one myself in the near future.

ABOUT THE TRIAL USER:
Name: Lam Wen Jie
HWZ Username: karlos
Age: 20+
Occupation: Creative Executive in an IT based company.