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Upgrading main body for better ISO- a99 or 99II?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote kapuschinsky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Upgrading main body for better ISO- a99 or 99II?
    Posted: 20 December 2019 at 20:27
I currently use the A900 with vintage Minolta glass as my main work camera but I really need something with better ISO and am wondering, would the a99 be a sufficient enough upgrade or should I get the 99II? The 42mp is tempting but not necessary; I just need something better in low light without the need of a flash. Not being able to put my a900 above ISO 1200,even 1000 at 2.8 is really becoming a hindrance and affecting the quality of my client work. Thoughts? I'm not looking to switch to E Mount since I'm already invested in the A Mount.
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2019 at 20:39
I'd go with A99II if you can afford it. It's ISO performance is still almost on the level of the latest and greatest. You'll save more money this way than if you were to go via. buying and selling A99.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fred_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2019 at 21:09
I can confirm that from own experience with both cameras. The A99ii is a good step forward on the A99, not only on ISO,but also on AF performance.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 2manycamera Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2019 at 21:59
If you have the budget for it, definitely go for the ii. I had to go with the original, no way I could budget the difference, but absolutely would if I could have.



Edited by 2manycamera - 20 December 2019 at 22:02
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2019 at 22:09
Originally posted by kapuschinsky kapuschinsky wrote:

I just need something better in low light without the need of a flash. Not being able to put my a900 above ISO 1200,even 1000 at 2.8 is really becoming a hindrance and affecting the quality of my client work. Thoughts?

Has someone turned out the lights and everything is being done by candle light now?
The a850 is a touch better than the a900 for ISO performance. The a99 is theoretically good to ISO 25600 but for most practical terms is only good to ISO 3200-8000 depending on colour and contrast. B&W no problem to 12000 in most instances. I don't have an a99II to wax poetically about, I simply can't justify the expense. Quite frankly the a99 was a bit of a disappointment coming from an a850 / a77 combo. If you wish to future proof yourself in the photography arms race and can swallow the hefty buy in go for the a99II, there's one for sale at a reasonable price here on the form, by mambo from Canada.

Edited by LAbernethy - 20 December 2019 at 22:30
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kapuschinsky View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kapuschinsky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2019 at 23:47
Originally posted by LAbernethy LAbernethy wrote:

Originally posted by kapuschinsky kapuschinsky wrote:

I just need something better in low light without the need of a flash. Not being able to put my a900 above ISO 1200,even 1000 at 2.8 is really becoming a hindrance and affecting the quality of my client work. Thoughts?

Has someone turned out the lights and everything is being done by candle light now?
The a850 is a touch better than the a900 for ISO performance. The a99 is theoretically good to ISO 25600 but for most practical terms is only good to ISO 3200-8000 depending on colour and contrast. B&W no problem to 12000 in most instances. I don't have an a99II to wax poetically about, I simply can't justify the expense. Quite frankly the a99 was a bit of a disappointment coming from an a850 / a77 combo. If you wish to future proof yourself in the photography arms race and can swallow the hefty buy in go for the a99II, there's one for sale at a reasonable price here on the form, by mambo from Canada.


I am a fine art lifestyle and portrait photographer that predominantly works with natural light so I need something that is versatile and does well in low light. The a900 is amazing except for low light. I do have an OCF, but that's not practical for candid situations. Plus the problem I have with my current flash (f56-am) is that it is not consistent in TTL mode but if I get a better flash like the Profoto A1, I blow all the money I need for a backup body on a flash so I might as well just put that money toward a better camera since I need a second body anyway lol.
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2019 at 00:17
I would stretch to the a99ii if at all possible.
The a99 is good to ISO3200, but the a99ii is good to ISO 6400+, has a far more advanced sensor and processor, better focus algorithms, dynamic range, and lots of other advancements.
However, if the a99 is your budget limit, you won't be disappointed.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2019 at 01:51
Originally posted by kapuschinsky kapuschinsky wrote:

Originally posted by LAbernethy LAbernethy wrote:

Originally posted by kapuschinsky kapuschinsky wrote:

I just need something better in low light without the need of a flash. Not being able to put my a900 above ISO 1200,even 1000 at 2.8 is really becoming a hindrance and affecting the quality of my client work. Thoughts?

Has someone turned out the lights and everything is being done by candle light now?
The a850 is a touch better than the a900 for ISO performance. The a99 is theoretically good to ISO 25600 but for most practical terms is only good to ISO 3200-8000 depending on colour and contrast. B&W no problem to 12000 in most instances. I don't have an a99II to wax poetically about, I simply can't justify the expense. Quite frankly the a99 was a bit of a disappointment coming from an a850 / a77 combo. If you wish to future proof yourself in the photography arms race and can swallow the hefty buy in go for the a99II, there's one for sale at a reasonable price here on the form, by mambo from Canada.


I am a fine art lifestyle and portrait photographer that predominantly works with natural light so I need something that is versatile and does well in low light. The a900 is amazing except for low light. I do have an OCF, but that's not practical for candid situations. Plus the problem I have with my current flash (f56-am) is that it is not consistent in TTL mode but if I get a better flash like the Profoto A1, I blow all the money I need for a backup body on a flash so I might as well just put that money toward a better camera since I need a second body anyway lol.


As an illustrator / painter / photographer from the "old school" (pre-digital) I'm always interested when someone mentions "natural light", are we talking "north light" "ambient lighting" "available lighting", I find all light is modified or manipulated in some way or what it falls upon is modified or manipulated. The Profoto A1 is a glorified speedlight with a shunken Gery Fong lightsphere. You're probably better off with the camera upgrade.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rosspa29 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2019 at 06:30
HI kapuschinsky
I agree with the suggestions to go for the A99 2. I think you will find for candid situations the improved auto focus will be more beneficial than the improved high ISO.
I donít have the mark two but have the mark one and have taken many photos at ISO 12800. While if you pixel peep there is a lot of colour noise it is not always a problem and can be removed without much problem with modern software leaving plenty of detail.
I have been let down in low situations more often with the A99 failing to auto focus in low light (and sometimes not that low) while trying to take candid shots of people.
By the time focus is achieved the people have moved on.
I gather that the mark 2 has much better AF.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jonas A-R Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2019 at 07:20
Originally posted by kapuschinsky kapuschinsky wrote:

Originally posted by LAbernethy LAbernethy wrote:

Originally posted by kapuschinsky kapuschinsky wrote:

I just need something better in low light without the need of a flash. Not being able to put my a900 above ISO 1200,even 1000 at 2.8 is really becoming a hindrance and affecting the quality of my client work. Thoughts?

Has someone turned out the lights and everything is being done by candle light now?
The a850 is a touch better than the a900 for ISO performance. The a99 is theoretically good to ISO 25600 but for most practical terms is only good to ISO 3200-8000 depending on colour and contrast. B&W no problem to 12000 in most instances. I don't have an a99II to wax poetically about, I simply can't justify the expense. Quite frankly the a99 was a bit of a disappointment coming from an a850 / a77 combo. If you wish to future proof yourself in the photography arms race and can swallow the hefty buy in go for the a99II, there's one for sale at a reasonable price here on the form, by mambo from Canada.


I am a fine art lifestyle and portrait photographer that predominantly works with natural light so I need something that is versatile and does well in low light. The a900 is amazing except for low light. I do have an OCF, but that's not practical for candid situations. Plus the problem I have with my current flash (f56-am) is that it is not consistent in TTL mode but if I get a better flash like the Profoto A1, I blow all the money I need for a backup body on a flash so I might as well just put that money toward a better camera since I need a second body anyway lol.

Maybe consider the Godox V1 if money is a concern.
I used to have the LA-EA4 adapter which, if I remember correctly, has the same AF module as the a99? I would agree with some of the posts above: try to get the a99ii with its much superior AF system if you can afford it.

P.s.: the a99 will gain you around a stop improvement in low light shooting whereas the a99ii will give two stops.
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Edited by Jonas A-R - 21 December 2019 at 08:35
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2019 at 10:42
Let's talk about the cameras, not candle lights

Let me tell you about my experience. I used the A900 as my main camera for years. I really like the double cross AF point, to me one of the reasons not to upgrade to the A99. At one point I added the A77m2 for an African safari and I was impressed by the AF system of that camera. I also noticed the high ISO of the A77m2 was better then of the A900 - I do not use my A900 over 1200 ISO and try to keep it below 1000, the A77m2 I used gladly at 1600 ISO. At one point I considered going APS-C. Come in the A99m2. With Sony lenses you have AF points all over the sensor that is very, very good, and still good AF if you use Minolta lenses with a decent spread. The A99m2 is a stop better then the A77m2, so, I am fine using it at 3200 ISO.

This might be important for your kind of photography: the A99m2 has eyefocus.

I never felt the A99 was a real upgrade over the A900, but the A99m2 gives you so much. It is basically an A-mount A7r3 (less the animal eye AF) - it might even be a little better. Also, the body feels great in the hand.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2019 at 11:23
I don't think A99II is quite as good as A7RIII at the same time it is better than the A7Rii. It's AF implementation and algorithms is closer to A7RII than A7RIII.
Also I believe it has the same older processor as A7RII. A7RIII and A7RIV share the same newer processor.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2019 at 12:19
Well, I never used the A7r3, but the A99m2 is a camera that is clearly better in then the A7r2 that I do own. It is much quicker in every respect. It is lacking the Real-time autofocus (like my A6400 has) but the AF is quite good and much better then the A7r2.

The A99m2 has the same BIONZ X with LSI processor as the A9. I do not know what processor the A7r3 and A7r4 have, but it seems they have the same one.

Why do you consider the A99m2 closer to the A7r2 then the A7r3?

Edited by addy landzaat - 21 December 2019 at 12:28
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2019 at 13:01
I don't mean the performance is closer to A7RII. I am sure the whole performance is lot closer to A7RIII.
I just mean the AF tracking algorithms are closer to A7RII than A7RIII because the latter has had a number of updates which A99II hasn't had.
I can't speak for everything but I have tried the eyeAF a fair bit on A99II & I'd say the A7RIII is stickier and has better responsiveness. Might also be because lenses are better designed for this than say screwdriven or SAM lenses.

Edit:

Dpr on the other hand feels the AF isn't much better than A7RII:
"Compared to its little brother, the a7R II, the a99 II has it beat in both control and speed, thanks to that joystick and higher burst rates. Unfortunately, though, not necessarily always in terms of focus."

Edited by nandbytes - 21 December 2019 at 13:07
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