Summary Sony DSLR-A900

Prices Price
Body only Unknown With 70-300mm lens $3,873
all DSLR-A900 prices
Score Snapsort rank
Within its price range #n/a of 7 Among similar cameras #n/a of 8
details details
Specifications Key specs
Sensor size Help Full frame 35.9x24.0mm Screen resolution Help 921k dots
Megapixels Help 24.4 MP Movie format Help None
Screen size Help 3.0" Light sensitivity Help 1,600 ISO
see all specifications
Lenses Lenses
Browse all Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 lenses at LensHero
Sony Alpha DSLR-A900Sony Alpha DSLR-A900

Replacement

Sony has replaced the Alpha DSLR-A900 with the SLT-A99.

Sony SLT-A99
Sony SLT-A99 announced August, 2012
Live view Has live view
Autofocus Video autofocus
Movie format Shoots movies

Compare the new Sony SLT-A99 vs the DSLR-A900

Videos

Pros

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The Sony DSLR-A900 vs other recent DSLRs

Viewfinder size Large viewfinder Help
0.74x
True resolution High true resolution Help
24.4 MP
Sensor size Large sensor Help
Full frame 35.9x24.0mm
Storage slots More storage slots Help
2
Fastest shutter speed Fast shutter speed Help
1/8000 of a second
Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
Shoot in extreme weather
Shutter lag Short shutter lag Help
183 ms shutter lag
Viewfinder Doesn't use battery, see more detail Help
Pentaprism
Viewfinder coverage Above average viewfinder coverage Help
100%
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The Sony DSLR-A900 vs other recent pro DSLRs

Image stabilization Image stabilization Help
Sensor shift

Cons

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The Sony DSLR-A900 vs other recent DSLRs

Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
1,600 ISO
Live view No live view Help
Preview with viewfinder
Screen flips out Fixed screen Help
Less flexible
Autofocus Manual focus only Help
None
Lens availability Very few lenses available Help
82 lenses
Size Slightly large Help
Large 156x117x82 mm
GPS No GPS Help
Missing geo-tagging
Thickness Thick Help
3.2"
Movie format No movies Help
None
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR Help
You could do HDR manually
Announced Old Help
September, 2008
Weight Heavy Help
895 g
Lowest price Expensive Help
$3,873.44
Built-in flash No built-in flash Help
Professional
Popularity Not so popular Help
Among snapsort users
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The Sony DSLR-A900 vs other recent pro DSLRs

Low light performance Noisy at high ISO Help
1,431 ISO
Screen size Below average sized screen Help
3.0"
Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
5 fps
Focus points Fewer focus points Help
19
Built-in focus motor No focus motor Help
Won't autofocus with all lenses
Overall image quality Low overall image quality Help
79.0
Screen resolution Low resolution screen Help
921k dots
Cross type focus points Fewer cross-type focus points Help
1
Light sensitivity (boost) Low boost light sensitivity Help
6,400 ISO

dxomark

DXOMark

Appearance

front photo of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A900back photo of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A900angle photo of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A900

Discussion

Sony Alpha DSLR-A900
Alpha DSLR-A900
Sony

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Showing 7 comments

Avatar for Jorge Cruz Jorge Cruz (8:10 PM, May 08, 2013)
super camera muy eficiente fotos nítidas
 
Mulek (3:42 PM, November 18, 2012)
I've had Sony A900 since 2009. Over the time I managed to add following lenses to my old 24-70 f2.8 Sigma (more than 10 years old): Carl Zeiss 16-35 f2.8 and Sony 70-200 f.2.8 G. After a few years of moderate use I am still absolutely thrilled with this camera. First of all: a full frame and solid Sony quality did not break the bank. Yes, at the time of release it was offered at fantastic price! I still feel I hold something very special in my hands and the quality up to 640 ISO is breathtaking. I'm dreaming of art exhibition where I could blow some of my images to about 150cm by 200cm. It would still provide quality of 300dpi ! And please stop this lens marketing nonsense - vast majority of users will never need more than 3-4 lenses (try to carry more around!)

PROS:
1. Full frame sensor at brilliant price. 2. Excellent image quality up to 640 ISO (with massive enlargement options) and still sound quality up to 1000 ISO with A3 - A4 enlargements (after processing). 3. Excellent choice of finest quality lenses (Carl Zeiss, Sony G). 4. Robust, solid body quality - build like a tank (and weather sealed). 5. Two memory slots (they do add storage space). 6. Brightest viefinder I ever seen (and doesn't drain battery). 6. Very clear, intuitive menu. 7. Very logic placement of buttons. 8. Remote control/trigger included. 9. Good range of quality speedlights 10. So many useful options in the manu that I have problems remembering them all (mirror lock-up, digital range optimiser, rear curtain flash sync etc.). 11. Anti-shake protection inside of the body.

CONS:

1. Heavy, even heavier with quality lens attached. 2. Not reccomended for use from 1200 ISO. 3. Fairly narrow placement of autofocus points (however once you're in the range they work brilliant). 4. No live view (not a problem with press photography. 5. Range of third party multi-flash triggers limited compared to competition (but then you really need one working correctly).

6. Dust have to be manually blown from the sensor from time to time (maximum once before the day of heavy shooting). 7. Sony software provided with camera has useful options but is too slow to be practical (Lightroom is brilliant for processing). 8. Processor has to be fairly strong for comfortable processing of large amount of RAW files (35MB each). I would start from 3GHz Dual Core (I have 2,33 GHz Dual Core).

I hope I added some balance to previous statements about A 900.
 
Avatar for Bullitt597 Bullitt597 (9:25 PM, July 24, 2011)
Keep in mind that Sony Makes the SENSOR in your, and say my D7000, much beloved camera's, heres a shocker but i am not sure how "true" they're claims are, but look what Pentax has done with the sony sensor found in the Nikon D7000, and the Pentax K-5, just to name two there are others, Pentax actually beats the Nikon in a couple of areas, and i believe if its true it was in how they "used" the Sony Sensor in different ways, now I am not pushing the K-5, I didn't buy one and I knew of the "bloated" specs, so if they make the heart, eventually they will make a better and better way to utilize it, and someday they just might be the shit, the bad thing is they so proprietary i can't stand them period, ever since the magic gate and sonic studio software debacle and what they did to my music collection and left a class action lawsuit over it, go on someone from sony say it didn't happen, ok, ok sorry just saying eventually they will make a buyable camera IMHO.
 
Julien (10:58 AM, March 28, 2011)
Hi Jeff,

Snapsort image quality data are taken from the DxoMark, which funnily has also been accused of "infatuating" alpha cameras. It turns out that recent sony sensors simply outperform the offerings from other manufacturers (especially canon) by a significant margin. For instance you'll find nikon D7000, pentax K5 and sony A580 very high in both dxomark and snapsort's ranking simply because they share the same sony 16.2 MP sensor which is arguably the best APS-C sensor ever made. Being the manufacturer of that sensor, it's not surprising that sony is able to propose bodies around this sensor for a very competitive price, another good point in snapsort's books.

The sensor of the A900 is another story - it's an older tech which performs very well because of the high pixel count, which offsets noise, improves dynamic range an color sensitivity. People were not aware of that when the A900 came out, again the dxomark made this clear.

 
Gustavo (7:50 PM, February 02, 2011)
Hi Jeff and Snapsort,

First of all, forgive me for my english faults. I am writing from Spain and I know that I have to improve my languages skills so much. Apart of that, I am late to the party but I only could read this nice article right now.
I am a very happy user of an A850, a similar model but with some A900 options "cut". I think maybe, as a real user, I could give some different, or not, point of view related to some issues you talked about based on the day by day experience.
A camera as any tool is good or not depending on the job you will carry out. The Nikon D700 is a great tool, but for Studio or Landscapes I do not have any doubt to choose the Canon 5D MkII or the Sony A900/A850 instead. On the other hand, I wont buy an A900 to shoot birds flying or fast sports.

1- It is absolutely this way. ;-)

2 - If I am not wrong the real camera that should compete with the A900 is the Canon 5D MkII, and it is has a lower FPS rate. The Nikon D3X has the same rate and it not so bad, and not so affordable. The A900 grip is the most complete in the market until now and the very precise and independent control of the batteries level is fantastic.

3 - The Nikon's AF system is really amazing. On the other hand, as far as I know, the 5D MkII does not have a better AF performance comparing to the A900...

4 - Are you sure that Minolta's "G" lenses were not good enough?! It is not what lots of Reviews tells. What about the Zeiss ZA lenses? I suppose the lens make up does not affect the image quality and does not matter when somebody spends that amount of money in a prime lense. The pro level Nikkors or Canons "L" lenses are not a bargain as well. The cheaper ones are similar, some nice, others not.
It is true that Sony has a shorter range of lenses than Nikon or Canon, mainly the long ones. And won't be easy to find Sony photo devices for rent.

5 - Yes, Sony has a lot to improve here. The Sony technical service, at least in Spain, in general is very good.

6 - Sony updated the A900/A850 firmware few time ago, anyway, if that cameras have a very good performance comparing with other ones that uses newer technologies it is not a bad thing. As a consumer, I like when the product I bought continues giving me excelent results with the pass of time and it is not an obsolete device. It should be considered as a good point.

7 - Flash sync speed of 1/250 sec with all flashes or 1/8000 sec with dedicated units are not good enough? Sorry, the Minolta Dynax/Maxxum 9 (film) were faster (1/300 and 1/12000 of a second...). Built in flash in a pro-level camera does not make sense for a lot of people. Yes, the A900 does not have video, nor live view. The "inteligent preview" works fine and it is very useful. The ISO range and noise level could be better, but it is not that bad.

To finish, I would like to tell that I am not married with any brand, I only use what I need with the more tight budget possible.
 
Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (3:34 PM, August 17, 2010)
Hi Jeff, you have some good points there that Snapsort doesn't take into account, but might one day. I'm curious, what led you to say that Snapsort has an infatuation with the Alpha cameras? Snapsort recommends the Nikon D700 for example in its comparison of the D700 vs A900.

1. Availability and service - definitely important, and a big reason I imagine people tend to buy Canon and Nikon. Snapsort includes camera popularity in its comparisons which likely takes into account some issues like these.

2. Slow frame rate - Snapsort does compare FPS between cameras, but doesn't take into account any increase you could get with a battery grip. Based on some searching I'd guess that the grip for the A900 doesn't increase the maximum frame rate.

3. AF speed/sensitivity - you're absolutely right, focus capabilities are incredibly important. The Nikon D700 has 51 focus points, 15 of which detect vertical and horizontal contrast, much more than the A900. Personally I focus and recompose most of the time, sticking with a single center focus point :)

4. Snapsort has started to take lenses into account, currently it has rough numbers on availability, hopefully in the future it will offer even more insight into lense availability for interchangeable lens cameras.

5. Support, again, I imagine Nikon and Canon are popular for this reason.

6. Age - Snapsort doesn't take age into account in its evaluation of the camera, but its definitely something you should consider.

7. Snapsort does compare ISO speeds and video capabilities, and built-in flash, and even better than ISO speeds Snapsort pulls in measurements of image quality at high ISO from DxOMark. Flash sync speed and accessories sound like good criteria for Snapsort to consider in the future.
 
Jeff (2:25 PM, August 17, 2010)
I'm having trouble understanding Snapsort's infatuation with these Alpha cameras. I admit up front I have not used one (good luck finding a high-end model in any store), but I think the Snapsort criteria misses a number of key drawbacks:
1.) Availability and service -- from what little I can find on the web, there's not much of either, at least for the 900 and 850.
2.) Slow frame rate -- 5 fps doesn't cut it for a serious prosumer body. Sony's web site did show grips in its accessories section, but I can't find any data on if or how much they increase the frame rate. And they're expensive.
3.) AF speed/sensitivity -- the 900 has only a 9-point AF detection system, less than half what competing models offer. And I can't find any comparisons of the AF speed to those of competing models, which makes me suspect it's slow.
4.) Lens design, price and availability -- The lenses look crudely designed; even the non-Zeiss models are very pricey, and Konica-Minolta hasn't been known for its lens quality; and good luck finding used or rental lenses when you want to expand your toolkit.
5.) Support issues? -- If Sony's lame web site for these cameras and lenses is any indication, good luck. You'll need it.
6.) Age and obsolescence -- These are not new models, and the fact that only lower-end units have been issued recently, and they're hitting the Wal-Mart market hard, makes me wonder if Sony is going to abandon the high-end market.
7.) Other features (or the lack thereof) -- The ISO range is limited compared to competing models; the flash sync speeds are slow and antiquated; there is no built-in flash or video capability; and the range of accessories is very limited.