I thought I would post some of my experiences using the A99 - it may or may not be of interest for potential A99 buyers. As prices continue to fall it still has some appeal for bargain FF A mount users. I will add to this over time
David's article on the A99 is here:http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2012/12/2 ... n-dilemma/
I agree with much of it - not sure what DK is using now, as he rarely makes an appearance on the forums.
As I purchased s/h here from a forum member, take that into account. The initial price was around £2500 - a fairly heft investment and one I would likely not have made at that time, purely because I felt as DK pointed out in his article, the price was above maybe lesser cameras... however Sony never offered a more affordable full frame body - and that is a mistake I believe they made some time ago.
Onto the camera the first obvious difference with the slightly larger body from the A77, is that the EVF is much less noisy in low light. The speckled noise patterns could be distracting on the APS-C camera. The shadows are also much less blocked up, showing more detail in these areas. So whilst they might have the same spec on paper, they are quite different in use. Of course it's not an OVF for clarity, still a good improvement on the A77 EVF.
Shutter release is different to the A57 with a notable feel with that cheaper camera, the A77 a bit less but you can still feel the actuation point. Less so on the A99, have to be careful not to half press too hard to avoid accidentally taking a picture.
Overall build as you would expect is very good, and quite comfortable. I prefer a slightly smaller body myself - and in comparison to say a 5dMkIII, the a99 is a fair bit lighter.
When I first got the camera I thought the endurance was terrible it ran down quickly. However after the usual playing around for a few days, tweaking things - I don't think it's so bad. Doing a few experiments I am not entirely convinced the GPS is the only culprit. That back LCD sucks down the power quite a lot (this is the white magic one v the A77 which isn't), I now use the power saving mode to turn it off after 20 seconds, I assume this also cuts out the GPS searching. 10 sec is an option too for even more results, both are working well enough to say I'm not unhappy with the battery life. Not as good as the A77 or A57 (which is the best so far, the newer cheaper models are said to be even better probably the lower res display/smaller EVF)
DK covered this in detail - and I agree at that time, and at this price point it is puzzling why they transplanted the A77's AF system into a FF body. On the crop sensor the 19 points are fairly well spread out, much less so on full frame body where they fail to get to rule of third marks (a bit less). I would have expected more side AF points. However in use they seem to be a bit more accurate v the A77 in lower light. I was never unhappy with the A77 for AF static or tracking, but learnt for many subjects the group mode is the way to go (too easy to lose the AF point on a specific area ie runners etc where I have been using all 3 cameras more.
I have all of one lens that supports this (at the moment). The Minolta 100mm F2.8 Macro D
The other AF points cover more top/bottom and not much extra on the sides. They can hold focus if the subject moves outside the normal phase detect array. To me it's not that useful - perhaps it might be if I get more lenses that do. Either way it seems like they crippled the feature, with most A mount lenses not supporting it. Maybe it's a technical reason, I suspect it isn't as the A99II also has limited support for some lenses with it's hybrid AF. If you have third party lenses which share the supported lens ID (ie Tamron 90mm etc) - then they also allow it to work, I'm not sure if they are accurate the 90mm seemed OK.
This was the first body to have this function and it can be very useful to have for many types of shooting. I need to use it more, but obvious candidates are action sports and macro allows more fine tuning of the AF v the limiter on the lens.
Part II coming soon ... ;-D