Sony Alpha 99 review

Metering

The Alpha 99 uses the same 1,200-zone evaluative metering system as that found in all Sony's SLT cameras, so it is a system we are very familiar with. Its evaluative mode is predictable, which is useful once one understands how it behaves. In high-contrast scenes where there is an equal share of light and shadow areas, the system leans towards a bright exposure, so it can be worth dialling in underexposure to ensure highlight detail is maintained. Otherwise, for predominantly dark or bright scenes, the evaluative mode can be relied upon.

For scenes that can trick the metering, such as a backlit portrait, the system is not quite as sophisticated as that found in the Nikon D800, which links functions such as face detection to the metering. With this in mind, spot metering can be useful to ensure an accurate exposure. It can be linked to the active AF point on the 19-point phase-detection AF sensor, which is unfortunately limited to a small central area of the frame, so recomposing may be necessary for off-centre subjects.