DXOMark: Pentax K-1 and Nikon D800E Sensors Outdo Sony a99 II

The Sony a99 II has pretty much the same sensor that’s inside the Sony a7r II, but for some odd reason cameras with older sensors appear to outdo it according to the latest DXOMark scores. While Sony clearly beats out Phase One and Canon, both Pentax and Nikon outdo the a99 II’s sensor. The Sony a99 II has a 43.6MP sensor while both the Nikon and Pentax house what’s likely the same 36MP full frame sensor. All of the sensors are honestly good, but it’s a bit insane the newer sensor isn’t outdoing the old. Maybe it’s the processor.

In terms of pure image quality, this means that your older camera is surely holding up in the case of the Nikon. But when you consider Pentax, you’re also getting the same results. Where Sony is most likely to take the cake though is with the new autofocusing system. When we joined other journalists and bloggers out on a press trip to Austin, Texas we found the Sony a99 II to be incredibly fast to focus. We also gave it a bit of a torture test at Photokina earlier this year and even with an f1.4 lens, it was able to accurately track a moving subject.


Photographers that have been wanting to get into Sony’s camera system but that shoot really fast moving subjects may want to go for the Sony a99 II. But when it comes to pure image quality, it’s questionable whether or not the Sony a99 II is really what you need depending on the type of subject matter you’re shooting.

All of this though brings up an even bigger question: did Sony really need to create this camera? It’s very clear that DSLRs are on their way out and lots of bloggers and journalists complained about how large and weighty the cameras and kits were. Mirrorless cameras like the company’s Sony a7r II are becoming more and more standard overall at least amongst high end enthusiasts and semi-professionals. Lots of people don’t need the craziest, fastest autofocusing out there. They just need to be able to get the subject most of the time in fair lighting. As it is, the Sony a7r II and the Sony a7s II have very good autofocus capabilities. With that said though, we’re sure that the Sony a99 II is going to be quite a workhorse for many photographers out there.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.