Sony Alpha A99 II vs Nikon D850

  • Full frame
  • 42 megapixels
  • Sony/Minolta Alpha
  • 63
    Overall
  • 45
    Imaging
  • 69
    Features
  • 71
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • Full frame
  • 46 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 63
    Overall
  • 46
    Imaging
  • 85
    Features
  • 69
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Sony Alpha A99 II vs Nikon D850: a Complete Review and Comparison

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 - Sony and Nikon. Although Sony Alpha A99 II and Nikon D850 are both equipped with the same BSI-CMOS sensor, they boast of different resolution. Thus, Sony Alpha A99 II has a sensor with a resolution of 42.0 MP, while Nikon D850 has a different resolution of 46.0 MP.

To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Sony Alpha A99 II and Nikon D850 and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.

Sony Alpha A99 II Key Features:

  • 42.0 MP Full frame BSI-CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 25600 (Expands to 50 - 102400)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Fully articulated Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 12.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 143 x 104 x 76 mm
  • Weight: 849 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Sony A99.

Nikon D850 Key Features:

  • 46.0 MP Full frame BSI-CMOS sensor
  • ISO 64 - 25600 (Expands to 32 - 102400)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3.2″ Tilting Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 7.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 146 x 124 x 79 mm
  • Weight: 1015 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Nikon D810. Compare

Sony Alpha A99 II substituted Sony A99.

Why is Sony Alpha A99 II a better choice than Nikon D850

Sensor Area 861.6 mm2 vs 858.01 mm2 0.4% larger pixel area
Image Stabilization Yes vs No All lenses are stabilized
Continuous Shooting 12 fps vs 7 fps 5 fps faster
Number Of Focus Points 399 vs 153 246 more focus points
Weight 849 g vs 1015 g 166 g lighter
Viewfinder Magnification 0.78 vs 0.75 0.03 better magnification

What are the key reasons to pick Nikon D850 over Sony Alpha A99 II

Sensor Resolution 46.0 MP vs 42.0 MP 8.7% more pixels
Number Of Cross Focus Points 99 vs 79 20 more cross focus points
Screen Size 3.2″ vs 3″ 0.2" larger screen
Screen Resolution 2,359k dots vs 1,229k dots 47.9% higher resolution screen
Touch Screen Yes vs No Easy control of camera functions
Battery Life 1840 shots vs 490 shots 1350 more frames with a single charge
Dxo Color Depth 26.4 vs 25.4 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 14.8 vs 13.4 Better dynamic range
Dxo Low Light Iso 2660 vs 2317 Better High ISO performance

Key PROs of Sony Alpha A99 II and Nikon D850

Screen Size 3″ | 3.2″ Large display
Screen Resolution 1,229k dots | 2,359k dots High resolution screen
Viewfinder Electronic | Optical (pentaprism) Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
Sensor Resolution 42.0 MP | 46.0 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

Key CONs of Sony Alpha A99 II and Nikon D850

Built-In Flash No | No No built-in flash

Sony Alpha A99 II vs Nikon D850: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

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 Sony Alpha A99 II and Nikon D850 from the front view.

Sony Alpha A99 II
Nikon D850
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Sony Alpha A99 II
Nikon D850
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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 166g less than the Nikon D850. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Battery values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Sony Alpha A99 II — 490 shots
Nikon D850 — 1840 shots
Min: 390 shots
Average: 871 shots
Max: 1840 shots
Thickness values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Sony Alpha A99 II — 76 mm
Nikon D850 — 79 mm
Min: 64 mm
Average: 75 mm
Max: 86 mm
Weight values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Sony Alpha A99 II — 849 g
Nikon D850 — 1015 g
Min: 479 g
Average: 783 g
Max: 1074 g

Comparing Sony Alpha A99 II and Nikon D850 by the type of Sensor and Resolution

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 Sony Alpha A99 II and Nikon D850 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. Sony Alpha A99 II features a 42.0 MP Full frame sized BSI-CMOS sensor and boasts of a Bionz X processor . Nikon D850, in its turn, comes with a 46.0 MP Full frame sized BSI-CMOS sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Sony Alpha A99 II and Nikon D850 by the size of their sensors.

Sony Alpha A99 II
Nikon D850
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Sony Alpha A99 II and Nikon D850 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.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Sony Alpha A99 II and Nikon D850 Suitable?

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 Sony Alpha A99 II and Nikon D850 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 Sony Alpha A99 II Nikon D850
Portrait Photography
99%
94%
Street Photography
95%
88%
Sports Photography
100%
99%
Daily Photography
68%
68%
Landscape Photography
99%
100%

Sony Alpha A99 II for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (42 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Nikon D850 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (46 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Sony Alpha A99 II for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large Full frame(35.9 x 24 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (143 x 104 x 76 mm)

Nikon D850 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(35.9 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (1840 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (146 x 124 x 79 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Sony Alpha A99 II for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Continuous Shooting (12.0 fps)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (399)
  • Big Number of CrossFocus Points (79)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2317)
  • Big size (143 x 104 x 76 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Small battery life (490 shots)

Nikon D850 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (153)
  • Big Number of CrossFocus Points (99)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2660)
  • Big battery life (1840 shots)
  • Big size (146 x 124 x 79 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (7.0 fps)

Sony Alpha A99 II for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (849 g)
  • Big size (143 x 104 x 76 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Nikon D850 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (1015 g)
  • Big size (146 x 124 x 79 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Sony Alpha A99 II for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (42 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.4)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2317)

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Nikon D850 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (46 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (14.8)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2660)

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Comparison of Sony Alpha A99 II vs Nikon D850: Final Verdict

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, Sony Alpha A99 II or Nikon D850, 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 Sony Alpha A99 II and Nikon D850 here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Nikon D850 deserves a higher Total Score than the Sony Alpha A99 II. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Sony Alpha A99 II vs Nikon D850 Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Sony Alpha A99 II Nikon D850
General
Brand Sony Nikon
Model Alpha A99 II D850
Announced Sep 19, 2016 Aug 24, 2017
Body Type Mid-size SLR Mid-size SLR
Sensor
Sensor Type BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
Sensor Size Full frame Full frame
Sensor Dimensions 35.9 x 24 mm 35.9 x 23.9 mm
Sensor Area 861.60 mm2 858.01 mm2
Sensor Resolution 42.0 MP 46.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 7952 x 5304 8256 x 5504
Max Native ISO 25,600 25,600
Max Boosted ISO 102,400 102,400
Min Native ISO 100 64
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Sony/Minolta Alpha Nikon F
Number of Lenses 141 287
Focal Length Multiplier 1x 1x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No Yes
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking Yes Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center Yes Yes
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection Yes Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 399 153
Number of Cross Focus Points 79 99
Screen
Screen Type Fully articulated Tilting
Screen Size 3″ 3.2″
Screen Resolution 1,229k dots 2,359k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen No Yes
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Electronic Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 2,359k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.78 0.75
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 12.0 fps 7.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization Yes No
Built-in Flash No No
Flash Range 0 0
Flash Modes auto, fill, slow sync, redeye reduction, rear sync, high-speed sync, wireless Front-curtain sync (normal), Rear-curtain sync, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction with slow sync, Slow sync
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing Yes Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average Yes Yes
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No Yes
AF-Area No Yes
Center Weighted No Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 92 100
DxO Color Depth 25.4 26.4
DxO Dynamic Range 13.4 14.8
DxO Low Light ISO 2317 2660
Video Features
Video Resolutions n/a 3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
Max Video Resolution 3840 x 2160 3840 x 2160
Video Formats MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S MPEG-4
Microphone Port Yes Yes
Headphone Port Yes Yes
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 3.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 849 g 1015 g
Physical Dimensions 143 x 104 x 76 mm 146 x 124 x 79 mm
Battery Life 490 shots 1840 shots
Battery Type NP-FM500H lithium-ion battery & charger Battery Pack
Battery Model n/a EN-EL15a
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes Yes
GPS
Storage Type Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC/MS Duo slots SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II supported) + XQD
Storage Slots 2 2

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