The  Sony A99II is launching in North America next week, and what better way to kick it off than to have some fun and do a way-too-early specs comparisons between the Sony A99II, Nikon D810, and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Here’s a short primer on all three, followed by a direct comparison chart and more.

Sony A99II

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The new Sony A99II SLT camera features 399 point 4D FOCUS with 79 hybrid cross AF points, shoots an astonishing 12 fps continuous shooting, and is equipped with a 42.4MP Full Frame back-illuminated dual sensor BionZ X Image Processor, and Front-End LSI sensors that output 14-bit raw files. With the A99II, Sony is debuting a revamped 5-axis in-body image stabilization system with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, and the full HD video qualities of the Sony A99II include 1080p/120fps super-slow motion, S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log-3 and S-Gamut3/S-Log3 and internal UHD up to 30p.

Nikon D810

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The Nikon D810 features a Sony-made but Nikon-tweaked 36.3MP FX-format CMOS sensor sans an Optical Low Pass Filter, and Nikon’s EXPEED 4 Image Processor, ISO performance and speed are near class leading. Continuous shooting speed in FX format is a respectable 5 fps with a slight bump to 7 fps in DX format, and the Nikon D810 can capture uncompressed video via HDMI at 1080p up to 60fps.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

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The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR camera features a completely redeveloped 30.4MP Full-Frame CMOS sensor, 3.2″ 1.62m-Dot highly functional touchscreen interface including selection of AF area, can do 7fps with the new DIGIC 6+ image processor, 61-Point High Density Reticular AF with 41 cross-points, DCI 4K MJPEG video at full HD up to 60p and HD up to 120p, 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, Dual Pixel RAW, Dual Pixel CMOS AF & Movie Servo AF, built-in Wi-Fi and NFC.

Sony A99II vs Nikon 810 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Features Sony A99II Nikon D810 Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Resolution 42.4 MP 36.3 MP 30 MP
AA Filter No No Yes
Image Size 7952×5304 7360×4912 6720×4480
VF Type Electronic Optical Optical
VF/Mag. 100%-.78x 100%-.71x 100%-.70x
Con.FPS 12FPS 5FPS 7FPS
S.Speed 1/8000 1/8000 1/8000
Shutter 300K 200K 150K
Storage SD CF/SD CF/SD
Metering 1200 zones 91K RGB 150K-RGB+IR
ISO 100-25600 64-12800 100-32000
AF System **399/79 51/15 61/41
Video *XAVCS,AVCHD MPEG-4 ***Motion JPEG
Video Res. 3840 x 2160 1920 x 1080 4096 x 2160
Cont.. 30p,24p,25p Up to 60p 30p,24p,25p
HDMI Out YES NO YES
LCD Size 3″ Tilting 3.2″ 3.2″
LCD Res. 1,228,800 1,620,000 1,229,000
Touch LCD NO NO YES
Exp. Comp. +5 +5 +5
Flash NO YES NO
Wi-Fi/NFC YES/YES NO/NO YES/YES
Weight 849g 880g 890g
Price $3,198 $2,797 $3,499


*Sony A99II (full frame + Super 35 4K with no pixel binning.)
**Sony A99II (Depends on Hybrid Phase Detection AF lens compatibility – See List.)

*Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (1.74x crop in 4K)

The Rundown

The Sony A99 II‘s best features include a 42MP full frame sensor, uncropped full-frame 4K video and Super 35, a responsive 399 point hybrid AF system, 12fps continuous shooting, a 5-axis stabilizer, 14-bit RAW output and what looks like class leading ISO performance. It’s a veritable powerhouse camera on paper. The catch, you have to use the just revived A-Mount lens catalog. Don’t get me wrong, the Sony A-Mount lens catalog has some gems to choose from, it’s just not as complete or as up-to-date as what you’d get from Canon, Nikon, or even Sony’s own E-Mount.

The Nikon D810, launched in July 2014, is getting a little long in the tooth compared to the Sony A99II and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, but it’s up to $700 cheaper for a new body and even greater savings in the pre-owned market. The Nikon D810‘s combination of resolution and dynamic range might still outperform the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV at lower ISO’s and will no doubt still be in the mix with Sony.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is full of innovative new features like Dual Pixel Raw, Auto WB (White Priority), and Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and what you’re really going to love about the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is its highly capable touchscreen and much improved lens performance with any Canon lens no matter the age – In terms of still photography, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is the most substantial jump in IQ and performance we’ve ever seen on a 5D series. With Canon’s choice of Motion JPEG for video and heavily cropped output, so long as you don’t purchase this new Canon camera primarily for video camera you won’t be disappointed.

[REWIND: SONY A99II HANDS ON | THE A99II AF COULD BE IN THE SAME LEAGUE AS THE NIKON D5 & CANON 1DX MARK II]

Conclusion

There is more to a camera than just specs. Our brief list of head to head specifications for these cameras should not be used as a deciding factor of which camera to move to, as for the most part, the system that you already own top glass for should get most of your consideration. If you are still considering changing systems to upgrade, just know that it can be a very expensive process so be sure to rent before you buy. Most photographers who’ve wanted the Nikon D810 have already purchased it and are happy with it. For Sony A99 and Canon EOS 5D III users who are considering an in-system upgrade, the newest offerings although pricey, are definitely worth a look.

If you’re looking to switch systems or upgrade, which one would get your money?