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a900 to a99ii upgrade worth it?

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carusoswi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote carusoswi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: a900 to a99ii upgrade worth it?
    Posted: 26 June 2019 at 08:43
I am very pleased with my a900, intrigued by the a99ii. I am curious to know what others have to say about whether an upgrade would make sense. I find myself put off by EVF, but, OTOH, shoot video when EVF is the preferred setup.

Absence of an anti-alias filter on the a99ii may be a blessing or a curse. What do you all say?

Video is of no consequence to me, nor is the articulating preview screen or live view. However, I am certain that, provided those features, I would find a use for them.

42 vs 24 MP is tempting.

Long battery life on the a900 is a pleasure, but halving that would not be a deal breaker.

My full-frame lenses are mostly legacy Minolta/Sony screw-driven. If I wanted to scrap that line-up, I might be tempted by Sony's A9 or others. I am not interested in replacing my lenses.

I, frankly, have not investigated the focusing setup on the a99ii, but know from using video cameras that feature it, that 'recognition focus' can be a huge advantage, something that intrigues me very much.

I have shot BIF and air shows with some success. How much better would I do with a camera with more sophisticated AF?

My GAS is in remission, but ever-present.

Can you comment objectively re the merits/demerits of moving from my trusted A900 to the A99ii?

Thanks.

Caruso
A1/7//900/Sony1870/Sig50mmf2 .8DGMacro/Tam1118 DII/Tam200500/Tam60mDIIIF2Macro/F56AM/Viv283/Max9000/Minolta4000/Min3570/Max9/Min1002.8 D/Sony50m1.4/Min85 1.4/MinAF35105/Min AF500F8
 



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Sönke Henning View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sönke Henning Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 June 2019 at 11:27
YES!!!

1. much (!) better high ISO
2. dual card slots
3. faster AF, more possible adjustments
4. marvellous eye AF
5. EVF (I was sceptical in the beginning, now I see it as a big plus; I would wish the OVF back only in bright sunshine)
6. back screen tiltable in almost all directions
7. connection with smartphone -> send a picture quickly via wifi or mobile
8. more megapixels -> cropping easier
9. I can confirm for many old Minolta lenses (20,2.8/24,2.8/35,2.0/50,1.4/85,1.4/200,2.0/28-135 that probably due to the missing AA-filter images are much sharper (if you pixel-peep).
10. video (even if I don't use it much)
11. It seems as if the sensor doesn't collect dust as quickly.
12. a900 = 5 frames/sec., a99ii = 8 or 12 (better to limit to 8)
13. Af-distance limiter
and probably many more.

Note that I came from the a850, but that shouldn't make a difference.
My only gripe with the a99ii is the new hotshoe. I bought a converter as I have a big Sony flash which I didn't want to sell. The combo is wobbly; luckily I don't use flash much.

Greetings,
Henning
http://www.caucasus-pictures.blogspot.com
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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 June 2019 at 11:39
I went from the A900 to the A99m2 and it has been great.

EVF: I love it. Period. YMMV.

No AA filter: I don't have a problem with moire.

Articulating screen: if you have it, you will use it - for low angle shots, high angle shots, profile pictures and what else. Not a dealbreaker, but certainly a nice to have.

42mp: It basically also is a 20mp APS-C camera If you decide in post the framing is better in portrait then landscape, you still have a decent amount of pixels.

Battery life: I have no problems with it.

Legacy lenses: They do not use the on-sensor PDAF, only the dedicated PDAF. Though it is quite central in the viewfinder, it still is very use able and good. See below as well.

How much better AF: That is a tricky one as the double cross central AF point in the A900 is great. It is a pity they did not bring that one to the A99m2. I use "AF Expand" and it uses the eight focus points next to the chosen one to get focus and that works just as well as the double cross on the A900. Tracking is much better (though the A900 was quite good as long as you kept the central focuspoint on your subject). With Sony lenses the AF is still better, but it is also really good with legacy lenses. There will be a learning curve!

I had no intention to upgrade my A900 until I picked up an A77m2 for a safari in Kenya. I noticed that the AF was really nice and the liveview in EVF and screen was really useful. For a while I considered going APS-C with the A77m2 until I picked up the A99m2.

The sensor is much, much better. I would not use my A900 above 1200 iso, with the A99m2 I can live with 3200 iso, that is a huge improvement!

Or did you want arguments against the purchase But that would be much harder. The biggest drawback is the price I think.
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stiuskr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stiuskr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 June 2019 at 13:22
The only other things I can add is that it's a good bit smaller although the weight is the same, customizable button layout, EFSC for virtually shake free single shots, and with the Imaging Edge Remote software you can remotely tether and control camera settings from a PC.
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carusoswi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote carusoswi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2019 at 08:49
Sönke Henning:

Your point #2 dual card slots:
the A900 has two card slots, although you can write to only one at a time, and the camera does not switch to the opposite slot when one card is full. Does the setup in the A99ii differ in this respect?

Your point #4:
Do you find that you make errors when using eye AF? I can see myself throwing it off by checking around the viewfinder for settings, etc. I will probably have to stop by a camera store to test this out. Sounds fascinating if it would work for me.

Your point #5:
Bright sunshine has always been one of the issues that has caused me to avoid EVF until now (I am glad that I didn’t purchase an EVF camera sooner, as, likely, EVFs are much better in today’s cameras, and the cameras have improved in other ways.

Your point #7: I can see where this feature might be handy, but I never printed from cameras that allowed direct printing, and, as a RAW shooter, doubt I would ever send a file directly from the camera. This would have been very useful when I was working, as often, I would be requested to skip the “better” photo with my DSLR and shoot something with my cell phone to save time. I am retired now.

Your point #9: Glad to hear that the A99ii gets along well with legacy glass. The deletion of the AA filter intrigues me very much.

Your point #13: How does the AF distance limiter work?

My ‘56AM’ flash wobbles a bit when mounted on my A700, not so much on the A900. Even though that flash is old, it still serves my purposes very well, and I would not be looking to replace it.


addy landzaat:
42mp intrigues me, and I had given no thought to the mp advantage when shooting in APSC.
Also, thanks for your comment on how the A99ii AF interacts with legacy lenses.

Stiuskr:
I had to look up EFSC. Thanks for pointing out that feature.

Thanks to you all for your most helpful replies.
I may have to rent this camera for a few days to give it a fair tryout (if I can find a dealer who leases it out).

Caruso
A1/7//900/Sony1870/Sig50mmf2 .8DGMacro/Tam1118 DII/Tam200500/Tam60mDIIIF2Macro/F56AM/Viv283/Max9000/Minolta4000/Min3570/Max9/Min1002.8 D/Sony50m1.4/Min85 1.4/MinAF35105/Min AF500F8
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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2019 at 09:14
I am not Sönke, but owning the A99m2 means I can answer some questions you have:

Dual card slots: I use it to write my RAWs to one and my JPEGs to another card. But you can also write to both.

Eye AF: Eye AF focusses on the eye of the subject. What you describe is Canon's Eye AF they used in their film cameras but never brought to their digital cameras. The eye focus in the A99m2 is the same as in the A7 cameras.

Wifi: it is very useful to use it to share pictures with family and friends quickly - through mail, whatsapp/messenger or Facebook. Also, the app can be used to control the camera. It is really useful in many ways.

As you are in the USA, both LensRentals and BorrowLenses will rent the Sony A99m2 to you.
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Roger Rex View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Roger Rex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2019 at 15:52
First, I am not a tech geek; it's the basics that are important to me. I switched from the a900 to the a99ii for three primary, related reasons: much improved high ISO performance, much improved image stabilization and much improved high dynamic range. I wanted to greatly reduce the use of a tripod and wanted to be able to shoot in low light situations and use slower shutter speeds. In this regard the a99ii has delivered immensely. As to EVF, I am VERY old school and thought this would be quite a challenge - it was/is no problem at all, adjustment made with ease. The camera does have its quirks and I was initially frustrated with having to re-learn some stuff and use menus more frequently than with the a900. Is the change worth it? Highly personal and largely dependent on your disposable income. To a millionaire, no problem; for me, I'd probably do it again but it is not a slam dunk "yes" - again, highly personal.

Edited by Roger Rex - 29 June 2019 at 09:25
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momech View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote momech Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2019 at 17:23
The distance limiter allows you to set minimum and maximum focus distance for any lens - it's just an in camera focus limiter. Very easy to use - press dedicated button to activate, turn front control dial to adjust max limit, rear control dial to adjust min distance, and you're there.
Much easier for me to use MF with the EVF because you can magnify your subject and the focus peaking function shows you where maximum contrast is - and this should be your sharpest focus.
You can use your older flash with the proper hot shoe adapter, and there are several 3rd party ones out there. Not too expensive and mine fit well.
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travelshots View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote travelshots Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 June 2019 at 08:06
Most has been said and I can underline that image quality is a big leap forward. I love the 42MP and I enjoy the high ISO capabilities, I would say it is a different world in image quality. The higher dynamik range is a very welcome addition:
http://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR.htm#Sony%20DSLR-A900,Sony%20ILCA-99M2

The individual shape of each button makes it controlable without viewing. The fully customizable FN Menu gives fast access to all menu items that I frequently need. Hint: In normal operation I have turned the back screen to the camera and I have also turned off the auto review. Full camera control and operation through the viewfinder without moving it away from the eye. For the older ones: No need to put on or off glasses in opposite when using the back screen. For sun protection, I usually wear a baseball cap and that gives also shadow to the EVF. No issues with EVF. Honestly: I am an EVF fan, it is phantastic for MF and night phtography.

Do you want to frame your image easily in darkness? Put the function "bright monitoring" on a customizable button (I use the one on the front side" push it and wait a second. The EVF refresh rate drops and the viewfinder brightens up and you see details an colours that are invisible by the naked eye bcause of the darkness. The darker it is, the more visible is the effect. You might not notice it siginificantly in a well illuminated city center at night.

When using Sony lenses (CZ 24-70 and 70-400G are my most frenqently used lenses at daytime) it is a joy to have AF-Points spread over most of the frame. You can switch the visibility of of the points to all, 63 and 15 points. I am using 63 to faster jump to a different focus point location.

With Minolta lenses, the AF area is smaller (the area covered by the dedicated AF sensor), but larger than on A900 and my 2.8/200 APO HS G is fast like a rocket.

Just to mention: Continuous shooting with A99II is much faster!

Firmware update 1.01 is available now.

I fully recommend switching to A99II, afterwards you will be sorry for every day you havent had it before
A99II A99 A7s, Mi7000 Samyang8 3.5, 14 2.8, 24 1.4, 35 1.4 CZ24 2 CZ24-70 2.8 So50 1.4 Mi100 2 Cos100 3.5Ma Mi200 2.8 Sig500 4.5 Mi28-135 Mi100-300APO So70-400 TC So+Kenko 1.4+2x
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Sönke Henning View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sönke Henning Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2019 at 23:44
Sorry I missed the ongoing discussion. Much has already been said; so I will focus on your questions that haven't been answered yet:

Your point #2 dual card slots:
the A900 has two card slots, although you can write to only one at a time, and the camera does not switch to the opposite slot when one card is full. Does the setup in the A99ii differ in this respect?

As an exclusive RAW-shooter, I use 2 identical cards to record on both simultaniously if pictures are precious. You might as well record RAW on one and JPEG on the other, pictures on one and videos on the other etc.
As my second card usually stays in the camera, I never forget to take a card with me. :-)


Your point #4:
Do you find that you make errors when using eye AF? I can see myself throwing it off by checking around the viewfinder for settings, etc. I will probably have to stop by a camera store to test this out. Sounds fascinating if it would work for me.

I'm pretty sure it will. Eye AF works very well. If it finds the "wrong" eye just press the button again. But that happens rarely.


Your point #5:
- Thanks for the advice, Reisefoto / Travelshooter!


Your point #7: I can see where this feature might be handy, but I never printed from cameras that allowed direct printing, and, as a RAW shooter, doubt I would ever send a file directly from the camera. This would have been very useful when I was working, as often, I would be requested to skip the “better” photo with my DSLR and shoot something with my cell phone to save time. I am retired now.

I never print from cameras either. But this feature does come handy if people ask you for a quick copy. As a RAW-shooter I would usually say: Wait till I come home and find the time to work on the file. Now I might transfer the image to my mobile within a few seconds and perhaps do a few adjustments there. Fine enough for group pictures and so on. In low light, the FF-a99ii does a much better job than any mobile.


Greetings,
Henning

http://www.caucasus-pictures.blogspot.com
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Eclipse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 October 2019 at 11:34
I'd say yes, worth it. I haven't used the A99ii as much as I'd have liked since I got it due to other circumstances, but the IQ is fantastic when I do. For work, I often have to use a small section of a frame even with a 400 lens, and compared to the A900s I use(d) for years there is so much more information there it's incredible.
I thought the A900 might be getting all my lenses could provide in the way of image, but far from it.

Did a particularly impressive job focusing on falcons in flight against a sky, something which (mostly due to my incompetence no doubt, I basically just tried to focus and hoped) the dear old A900s did struggle with. The A99ii got the exposures pretty much spot-on when left to do it itself, a far higher strike rate for focusing despite my incompetence, and an IQ which amazed me.

However- I loathe the EVF. I chanced it that I might get used to it, people told me I would, I thought I would, but no, I still hate it. Slow to start up, sluggish in response, and rather too contrasty- sometimes the display looks not so good but the actual shot come out very good (I suppose better that way than the reverse). And not really wysiwyg either when it comes to exposure. Shots can be further out in exposure than the display suggests (I can see why, partly due to adjustment and partly due to it coping with ambient light, but it does mean you can't rely on it all that much more than an OVF).

Still, overall, no regrets that I got it, even though I couldn't really afford it. It has made the difference between getting 'easily usable' shots and 'barely usable to unusable' shots in tricky work situations, which is my definition of 'worth the money'.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Eclipse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 October 2019 at 11:42
I forgot to mention this, the dual slot is great, it always infuriated me that the A900 didn't allow you to write to both cards at once. Even though JPEGs are good, I usually do JPEG/RAW, especially in difficult lighting conditions, so if any shots end up iffy in exposure I have a chance of rescuing them. Sometimes, if I'm sure I won't need RAWs, I will duplicate JPEGs- if a job is critically important I then have an insurance policy against a card failure.
What does annoy me is you can't do the very finest JPEGs if you're doing RAWs as well. Hence me doing dual JPEGs if I'm sure I won't need RAWs, because the JPEGs can then be superfine rather than just fine.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Alphafan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 October 2019 at 21:24
It is absolutely worth to upgrade to A99II!

I did it after 6 years marriage with A900 and herewith the non-technical impressions from first couple of weeks

(+)
- really fast!
- more quiet
- mirror movement do not hit your nose ;-)
- focusing and preview on the LCD (articulating screen I do not touched yet, it is a gadget in my opinion)
- quick preview zoom x 8 to see the exact focus settings
- post-editing in the viewfinder regardless the ambient light - full sun is not the problem anymore
- almost each button can be assigned to custom function
- EV correction can be assigned to rear control wheel in P, A, S modes
- precise light metering
- battery life-time is comparable or longer; maybe just because i have old accu in A900...
- and lot of small nice options

(-)
- long turn-on time
- very sensitive shutter button
- joystick less precise then in A900
- no back light of rear side buttons. A900 is the same, but it would be nice to have such feature

Edited by Alphafan - 30 October 2019 at 21:28
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TomV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 November 2019 at 23:16
Eclipse,

Yours is the first review I have seen that has "loathe" as a descriptor for the EVF. I do not have such issues with mine. I suggest the OP read other reviews concerning the EVF before being swayed too much by yours alone.
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