Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!
In this review, we are going to provide a detailed evaluation and comparison of two different camera models that fall into the same category - Semi-Pro DSLR. Although these cameras are from the same category, they were introduced by different brands - Nikon and Sony. Models we are reviewing in this article have different types of sensors, Thus, Nikon D800 is equipped with a 36.0 MP CMOS sensor. Sony Alpha A99 II, on the contrary, features BSI-CMOS sensor with a resolution of 42.0 MP.
To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Nikon D800 and Sony Alpha A99 II and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.
Nikon D800 Key Features:
Sony Alpha A99 II Key Features:
|Built-In Flash||Yes vs No||All the lenses are stabilized|
|Flash Range||12 vs No||12 better flash range|
|Screen Size||3.2″ vs 3″||0.2" larger screen|
|Battery Life||900 shots vs 490 shots||410 more frames with a single charge|
|Dxo Dynamic Range||14.4 vs 13.4||Better dynamic range|
|Dxo Low Light Iso||2853 vs 2317||Better High ISO performance|
|Wireless Connectivity||Built-In vs No||Better connectivity|
|NFC||Yes vs No||Easy wireless connectivity with compatible devices|
|Bluetooth||Yes vs No||Connect your camera to other devices via Bluetooth|
|Sensor Resolution||42.0 MP vs 36.0 MP||14.3% more pixels|
|Image Stabilization||Yes vs No||All lenses are stabilized|
|Continuous Shooting||12 fps vs 4 fps||8 fps faster|
|Number Of Focus Points||399 vs 51||348 more focus points|
|Number Of Cross Focus Points||79 vs 15||64 more cross focus points|
|Screen Resolution||1,229k dots vs 921k dots||25.1% higher resolution screen|
|Weight||849 g vs 900 g||51 g lighter|
|Max Video Resolution||3840 x 2160 vs 1920 x 1080||Higher Resolution Video|
|Dxo Color Depth||25.4 vs 25.3||Better color depth|
|Viewfinder Magnification||0.78 vs 0.7||0.08 better magnification|
|Screen Size||3.2″ | 3″||Large display|
|Viewfinder||Optical (pentaprism) | Electronic||Better framing and control|
|Raw Support||Yes | Yes||Better image quality|
|Sensor Resolution||36.0 MP | 42.0 MP||Bigger prints and more details|
|AutoFocus Face Detection||Yes | Yes||Very handy for portraits|
|Microphone Port||Yes | Yes||High quality audio recording option|
|Headphone Port||Yes | Yes||Better video control|
|Timelapse Recording||Yes | Yes||Creative shooting|
|Storage Slots||2 slots | 2 slots||Extra Storage Slots|
|Bracketing||Yes | Yes||Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR|
|Flash Sync Port||Yes | Yes||Port for Flash Sync|
|Environmental Sealing||Yes | Yes||Shoot at tough conditions|
|Touch Screen||No | No||No touch screen|
|Screen Type||Fixed Type | Fully articulated||No flexible viewing angles|
Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Nikon D800 and Sony Alpha A99 II from the front view.
Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.
After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.
Speaking of weight, Sony Alpha A99 II is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 51g less than the Nikon D800. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.
Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.
Are Nikon D800 and Sony Alpha A99 II any different in terms of sensor type?
In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Nikon D800 features a 36.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor . Sony Alpha A99 II, in its turn, comes with a 42.0 MP Full frame sized BSI-CMOS sensor and Bionz X processor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.
Take a look below to find the comparison of Nikon D800 and Sony Alpha A99 II by the size of their sensors.
Nikon D800 and Sony Alpha A99 II are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.
If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.
This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Nikon D800 and Sony Alpha A99 II in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.
|Photography Type||Nikon D800||Sony Alpha A99 II|
Disadvantages:No Significant Disadvantages
Disadvantages:No Significant Disadvantages
Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Nikon D800 or Sony Alpha A99 II, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.
What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Nikon D800 and Sony Alpha A99 II here is what we can say in conclusion:
According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Sony Alpha A99 II deserves a higher Total Score than the Nikon D800. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.
For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:
|Nikon D800||Sony Alpha A99 II|
|Model||D800||Alpha A99 II|
|Announced||Jun 11, 2012||Sep 19, 2016|
|Body Type||Mid-size SLR||Mid-size SLR|
|Sensor Size||Full frame||Full frame|
|Sensor Dimensions||35.9 x 24 mm||35.9 x 24 mm|
|Sensor Area||861.60 mm2||861.60 mm2|
|Sensor Resolution||36.0 MP||42.0 MP|
|Max Image Resolution||7360 x 4912||7952 x 5304|
|Max Native ISO||6,400||25,600|
|Max Boosted ISO||25,600||102,400|
|Min Native ISO||100||100|
|Lens Mount||Nikon F||Sony/Minolta Alpha|
|Number of Lenses||287||141|
|Focal Length Multiplier||1x||1x|
|Macro Focus Range|
|AF Multi Area|
|AF Live View|
|AF Face Detection|
|AF Contrast Detection|
|AF Phase Detection|
|Number of Focus Points||51||399|
|Number of Cross Focus Points||15||79|
|Screen Type||Fixed Type||Fully articulated|
|Screen Resolution||921k dots||1,229k dots|
|ViewFinder Resolution||0k dots||2,359k dots|
|Min Shutter Speed||30 s||30 s|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/8000 s||1/8000 s|
|Continuous Shooting||4.0 fps||12.0 fps|
|Manual Exposure Mode|
|Custom White Balance|
|Flash Modes||Auto, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain, High-speed sync||auto, fill, slow sync, redeye reduction, rear sync, high-speed sync, wireless|
|DxO Sensor Scores|
|DxO Sensor Score||95||92|
|DxO Color Depth||25.3||25.4|
|DxO Dynamic Range||14.4||13.4|
|DxO Low Light ISO||2853||2317|
|Video Resolutions||1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps)||n/a|
|Max Video Resolution||1920 x 1080||3840 x 2160|
|Video Formats||MPEG-4, H.264||MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S|
|USB||USB 3.0||USB 2.0|
|Weight||900 g||849 g|
|Physical Dimensions||146 x 123 x 82 mm||143 x 104 x 76 mm|
|Battery Life||900 shots||490 shots|
|Battery Type||Battery Pack||NP-FM500H lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Storage Type||Compact Flash (Type I), SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-I compliant||Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC/MS Duo slots|