There’s no end to what professional cameras can do to a picture. A lowdown on the latest in the market.
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It has been some time since we last looked at professional cameras. This is a mature market and innovation is not as rapid as in the mobile phones segment. Nikon and Canon are the two dominant players and most professional photographers are in one of these camps. However, since last year, Sony has been attempting to break the duopoly with its digital single-lens translucent (DSLT) cameras. In the meantime, Canon and Nikon have launched digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras with WiFi connectivity. Here is how they performed.
Sony A99 is the company’s first full-frame DSLT camera. It is sturdy and well-designed. DSLT cameras are generally on the heavier side and anyone upgrading from a compact camera will take some time to get used to the weight. The A99 body weighs 730 g, but it felt heavy after attaching the lens that came with the review unit: Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70 mm F2.8. The lens weighs almost 1kg, taking the total weight of the A99 to 1.7kg.
The controls are well-placed on the A99. The two dials — one near the shutter button and the other on the back panel — help you quickly adjust shutter speed, aperture or ISO (light sensitivity). The back panel has a 3-inch LCD screen that can tilt and swivel, making it useful for low-angle photographs. A joystick next to the screen allows you to scroll between options and pictures, which is far better than the scroll buttons in most cameras.
Sony’s DSLT cameras have an electronic viewfinder (EVF), which cannot be used when the camera is switched off. But the advantage is that the EVF shows you aperture, shutter speed and exposure values and informs you if the photo is tilting. The EVF is a major step forward in the full-frame camera market.
The image quality on the 24-megapixel A99 was very good, especially when shooting in low light. If you are comfortable with its weight, the camera is