A99 vs. A900 vs. A77 (part I)

I am a slacker. I admit it. I haven’t posted anything of real substance this week. I will say I did complete my A77-A99-A900 testing and I am currently sorting through over 1000 jpg photos all of the same subject to get apples-to-apples comparisons of all three at various ISO values and two different F-stops with the same lens. I ended up shooting the A77 at 100mm and A99/A900 at 150mm using the same 70-300 G lens with the tripod posted at the same spot. Here is a sample of the subject, which was approximately eight feet away.


This was a shot from the A99. I used 4500K as the white balance value. I set up all three bodies to have Spot-Focus, Steady-Shot off, Spot metering, and I shot at f/5.6 and f/8 at ISO 50 and doubled up to 25600 for the A99, 50-12800 for the A77, and 100-6400 for the A900. The rook’s helmet was the center focus point. The photos are fairly close in size, with slight deviations in angle due to small movements in the tripod and positioning of the ball head. The tests did accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. The glasses have different tones of violet, yellow, oranges, browns and greens with the color names from the labels nearly in line with the focal plane. The paintbrush has fine bristles, just outside the depth of field at f/5.6 and on the outside edge of the depth of field at f/8. The chess pieces show the differences as depth of field increases and decreases. And four basic colors, green, red, blue, and yellow are represented by the markers. The wood grain on the old radio is also a detail not to be overlooked. This is a representation of one of the final outcomes.


Notice there is a fiber or two around the purple crayons. Details like these may determine the winner or loser.

There will be some differences. The Depth of Field for the A77 at f/5.6 is about 5 inches and at f/8 is about 7 inches. For the A99 and A900 at f/5.6 the depth of field is a little over 3 inches and at f/8 is slightly under 5 inches. So the A77 will have more depth of field.

Can you tell which one is the A77 shot?


There is a small fiber on the knight’s head. One shows up quite a bit better than the other two. The color is better on one of the three, in my opinion. The contrast between browns and yellows is also up for debate.

I shot at least 2 shots at each ISO value at f/5.6 and f/8 and for some of the values there were up to 6 different shots if I felt like something went wrong. I then took 5 different sections of the subject and selected the best of the candidates for each section, as well as a best all-around.

None of the shots have been altered in Lightroom for color, exposure, or noise. Some straightening was done based on the bottom of the chess board, but not enough to really matter. This ISO 12800 shot came from either the A77 or the A99. It looks like a chalk drawing.


I hope to display all I need to display in 3-4 posts. My next comparison post will be the tale of the tape. It will compare the metered shutter speeds and jpeg export sizes for the values.

I am going to the Denver Broncos/Carolina Panthers American Football game today, I hope to post about that as well as what I learned this week shooting a waterfall with Neutral Density filters.


7 comments on “A99 vs. A900 vs. A77 (part I)

  1. […] Frank Doorhof posted some new A99 portrait pics and likes the A99 so much that he just ordered a complete Alpha set! He is particularly impressed by the Dynamic Range. Note…he usually uses the Canon 5DmarkIII. Sony A99 blog and test by Amit Zinman. An A99 wedding video on youtube. A99 video performance test by Fredrik on youtube. Sony A99 tested for sports by Martin Gamper. A99 vs. A900 vs. A77 by Stealthmodephoto. […]

  2. Leif Stryger says:

    I think, the last one is fra A77. The two others looks similar, therefore they must be with the FF-sensor!

  3. Sky_walker says:

    Here are my bets:

    As for 3 shots:
    1st: A99, 2nd: A900, 3rd: A77.
    The noise sample is probably also A77.

  4. Eugenio says:

    Sorry but I don’t understand. I see three pics, the last is from A77 because of less DOF. For the first two pics I’d like to know which is A99 and wich is A900, which ISO setting have been used in this pic for A99 and A900.


    • The DoF for the A99/A900 is actually shallower than the A77 according to online DoF calculators. Remember, the A99/A900 is at 150mm, where the A77 is at 100mm. The three I posted were at ISO 200. The top photo came from the A99, second from the A900, third from the A77.

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