Photography News Issue 41

Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

Camera test 49

Performance: exposure latitude

-1EV

Overall, the a99 II’s Raws performed well considering the exposure abuse they received

A +/-4EV bracket was made in manual exposure mode with the base ISO 100 needing an exposure of 1/160sec at f/8. The Raw images were then recovered in Lightroom with the exposure corrected by the same degree of the original under or overexposure. Pushing the -4EV shot to correct exposure worked well while extra editing was needed to get back contrast to a good level and the colour balance right. The low amount of noise present in the shadows was more than acceptable. The -3EV shot was even better while the -2EV looked almost identical to the correctly exposed picture. Overexposure was well handled too. The +2EV Raw had a very similar level of noise to the correct exposure, although the files did need a curves tweak to recover the same level of contrast. The +3EV sample was impressive too and while there was aminor colour shift, the amount of noise looked the same as the +2EV exposure. The colour shift with the +4EV shot was even greater but the shot didn’t look terrible and noise levels were again low considering the gross overexposure. Overall, the A99 II’s Raws performed well considering the exposure abuse they received.

-2EV

0EV

Original image

-3EV

-4EV

+1EV

+3EV

+4EV

+2EV

This set of ISO shots was taken using a tripod-mounted A99 II fitted with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. The base exposure was 1sec at f/8 at ISO 100. Any in- camera noise reduction was switched off. Raws and JPEGs were shot and the images here were Raws processed in Lightroomwith no noise reduction. ISO performance was impressive with low noise levels even at the higher ISO settings. Contrast, saturation, detail rendition, depth of blacks and noise were excellent up to ISO 1600 and beyond. In fact I’d have no hesitation shooting at 6400 if the conditions meant I had no other option for critical results. With some noise reduction in software the results would still suit big enlargements. Performance: ISO

Original image

Verdict

Features The a99 II has a long impressive spec list for stills and video use Performance Very good all round Handling Some aspects very slick, some slightly fussy but good overall Value formoney Respectable for the tech-leading features list Overall Pros AF system, in-body image stabilisation, image quality, feels good Cons Menu structure, touchscreen is de rigueur nowadays 95/100 You get a great deal of camera for your money 25/25 24/25 23/25 23/25 Sony has packed a great deal into the A99 II including plenty for video shooters, and being able to shoot 42-megapixel stills at 12fps is impressive, whether you need it or not. On pure figures, Canon and Nikon have nothing close but then I can’t see existing Canon and Nikon users ditching their systems in favour of the A99 II The A99 II is not a one-trick pony, though. It is a flagship DSLR with plenty to enjoy and its results, even at high ISOs, are very good.

ISO 400

ISO 800

Above An available light scene shot at Mercedes-Benz World in Surrey. The A99 II fitted with the 50mm f/1.4 lens did a great job of recording all the intricate detail of the front grille.

ISO 1600

ISO 2500

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

ISO 12,800

ISO 25,600

ISO 51,200

ISO 102,400

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