Review Sony Alpha Slt A77
Sony SLT-A77 In-depth Review
After a four-year wait, Sony has returned to the enthusiast / semi-pro end of the DSLR market. Having made little impact in that market with the A700 that very closely resembled the conventional DSLRs made by Canon and Nikon, Sony has spent the intervening time developing something a bit different. The A77 builds on the company’s ‘translucent mirror’ technology, and uses an electronic rather than optical viewfinder. The final result is a product that may look traditional, but is able to promise the unconventional.
Spec-wise the A77 is impressive: it features a new 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor, 12fps full-resolution shooting and the highest resolution EVF we’ve ever encountered (a 2.4M dot OLED finder). It also uses a new 19-point AF sensor, 11 points of which are cross-type (sensitive to detail in both the vertical and horizontal axis). Clever use of the main sensor’s live view allows the A77 to track objects as they move across the frame, enabling the camera to have a better understanding of which AF point it should be using at any given time.
Last year’s SLT-A55 gave some clues about how Sony hoped to bring its electronics know-how to bear in a high-end camera. Its fixed, semi-transparent mirror design meant Sony could do away with a conventional optical viewfinder and use an electronic display. It also meant that the phase-detection autofocus that gives DSLRs much of their immediacy could be used all the time. The result was a camera that could shoot at an impressive 10fps, could focus quickly in mode and offered full-time live view with consistent DSLR-like behavior in a way that no camera had really managed before.
Unsurprisingly the A77 takes all these capabilities a lot further than the consumer-level A55. It combines the latest processor with an electronic first curtain shutter to offer the level of responsiveness the more demanding enthusiast / semi-pro users will expect. The A77’s massively improved viewfinder is also key to ensuring the A77 can hold its own against the very stiff competition it faces from the likes of Canon’s 7D. (You don’t have to read particularly far between the lines to conclude it was this feature Sony wanted to perfect before launching an SLT into this market.)
And, as with the A55 and a handful of other recent Sony cameras, the A77 offers in-camera GPS. It can be a really useful feature for organizing and retrieving images, as allowing tagged images to be geo-located on sites such as Flickr.
In addition to the technological advances, Sony has clearly been listening to its audience when developing the camera’s firmware. The A77 is not just the most customizable Sony we’ve ever encountered, but it includes a full quota of high-end features. This includes the ability to fine-adjust the AF tuning, and to define the upper and lower extremes that the Auto ISO system will use. Features we’ve not seen on a Sony camera since the DSLR-A850.
Α77 II APS-C A-mount DSLR
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Body Powerful 18-135mm zoom lens
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Α77 II APS-C A-mount DSLR α77 II APS-C A-mount DSLR
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Unique moments are now forever captured with the α77II with 79-point AF, 12fps burst shooting and 24.3MP Exmor CMOS sensor.
Advanced sensor with gap-free integral lens design for low noise in Full HD and 4K photography.
Efficient processing of large amounts of data from a full-frame sensor delivers fast shooting speeds with incredibly low noise.
Effective shooting in the natural rhythm of life
The α77II’s advanced AF system utilizes a record 79 phase-detection AF points (including 15 cross-type sensors) for accurate AF tracking at 12fps continuous shooting.
4D FOCUS technology delivers unrivaled AF performance in four dimensions: wide coverage (2 dimensions horizontal and vertical), AF speed (3rd dimension, depth) and predictive AF tracking (4th dimension, timing).
Revolutionary 79-point phase-detection AF system
Translucent mirror technology ensures accurate phase-detection AF in Live View and Shooting modes. Ultra-reliable autofocus performance with 79 high-density AF points, including 15 cross-type sensors.
Capture unique, magical moments with incredible clarity, even when shooting fast-moving subjects with continuous AF. Enjoy 24.3-megapixel resolution and up to 60 frames per burst in burst shooting.
Sony’s advanced real-time metering algorithm delivers the perfect balance of image speed and stability to keep your main subject in focus at all times without switching to other subjects in the frame.
The α77II camera allows you to fully reveal the beauty of the world around you, to capture scenes of any complexity as vividly and realistically as the eye sees. See examples of shots with incredible depth and detail.
70-200mm f / 2.8 (SAL7200G2), M mode, 1/1600, f / 3.5, ISO 400, auto white balance
300mm f / 2.8 (SAL300F28G2), M mode, 1/1250, f / 5.6, ISO 200, auto white balance
300mm f / 2.8 (SAL300F28G2), M mode, 1/320, f / 5.0, ISO 400, auto white balance
300mm f / 2.8 (SAL300F28G2), M mode, 1/1000, f / 6.3, ISO 200, auto white balance
70-200mm f / 2.8 (SAL7200G2), M mode, 1/200, f / 8.0, ISO 200, auto white balance
Breathtaking image quality is now yours. Optimal gap-free placement of integral lenses increases the amount of light captured, providing an incredible ISO sensitivity range from 100 (downscaled to ISO 50) to 25600.
The unique processor technology delivers incredibly accurate texture and detail through ultra-fast processing. Perfectly crisp transitions and contours, low noise and stunning sharpness.
Built-in image stabilization is now supported on all compatible lenses at any focal length. Also, the camera implements image stabilization in the viewfinder when you press the shutter button halfway to focus.
The illuminated XGA OLED Tru-Finder provides accurate preview of any frame before shooting based on exposure settings. The viewfinder offers 100% image coverage and 33˚ viewing angle, among other professional features.
Unrivaled 1228K-dot 3-angle LCD
The screen is created using WhiteMagic technology, which doubles the brightness and allows you to convey the finest details of any frame. Smooth tilt angle adjustment for easy vertical framing and effective angles.
Fully dust and water resistant design for shooting in the field
The α77II is highly resistant to all kinds of dust and moisture, which includes, among other things, a hermetic seal around the buttons and control dials, and a two-layer protective structure that tightly connects panels and components.
Full HD 60p / 24p
Every shooting opportunity is now at your fingertips with Powerful Phase-Detection AF Tracking. Get creative freedom with precise AF tracking and instant focus on fast-moving subjects.
Transfer photos ands with one touch to Android smartphones and tablets. Simply touch the α77 II to your device for instant transfers with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC support.
Expand your creative horizons with our extensive line of premium lenses. The α77II lets you take full advantage of the incredible professional optics from Sony and Zeiss.
Capture high-quality photos with Imaging Edge applications: Remote function allows you to remotely control shooting and monitor the process in real time from the PC screen; Viewer lets you view, rate and select images from extensive libraries; in Edit you can create high quality photos from RAW files.
Capture One Express is free software that lets you work with RAW data as well as powerful editing tools. Paid Capture One Pro software includes even more tools and the ability to shoot directly to your computer.
Introduction to Sony SLT-A77, SLT A-65, NEX-5N and NEX-7 Cameras
The flagship SLR camera with a translucent mirror is the SLT-A77. Its simpler and more affordable option is the SLT-A65. Well, in company with them, Sony releases two system cameras: Sony NEX-7 and Sony NEX-5N.
Before starting our acquaintance with the new products, let us take the liberty of making a small digression and recall that until recently (relatively recently), Sony did not have its own production of professional cameras. But after the takeover of Konica-Minolta, it got its hands on the technology and production capacity. In general, Canon and Nikon, long-standing and recognized leaders of the photo market, faced extremely aggressive and tough competition. Now the main interest of Sony is maximum expansion into the photo market, the company strives to occupy all segments from simple compact cameras to powerful full-frame DSLR cameras.
Without a doubt, the most interesting novelty is the flagship Alpha cameras with an APS-C sensor. Model SLT-A77. This camera came to replace Sony Alpha A700, presented back in 2007. It is clear that the company could not make the A77 model a “checkpoint”. The discussion of the new item began two weeks before the official announcement, since there were plenty of leaked product photos this time too.
Sony Alpha SLT-A77. Front view
The expectations of the brand’s fans came true one hundred percent, and the SLT-A77 in many respects can be considered the best not only in its class, but in general among all current DSLRs.
Main technical characteristics of Sony Alpha SLT-A77
- APS-C CMOS sensor Exmor HD, 24.3 MP;
- Continuous shooting at 12 frames per second;
- Built-in stabilization system SteadyShot INSIDE;
- Support for lenses Sony A, Konica-Minolta AF;
- 3-inch TruBlack 921,000-pixel swivel display;
- OLED viewfinder with 2,400,000 pixels;
- Practiced extracts: 1 / 8000-30 s;
- ISO 50-16000;
- Built-in GPS-receiver, stereo microphone;
- Full HD 60p shooting, AVCHD 2.0;
- Micro-correction of autofocus;
- Support for SD / SDHC / SDXC memory cards;
- Dimensions: 143x104x81 mm;
- Weight with battery and memory card. 732 g.
We talked about translucent mirror technology in previous materials. However, it does not hurt to brush up on the key features, since in the case of the A77 this is one of the main “chips”. The translucent mirror does not rise during shooting, which gives the A77 unique capabilities: high burst rate (12 fps) and fast phase detection autofocus with on-screen sight. In addition, the model is not equipped with an optical viewfinder, so it also weighs less than competitors.
But this technology also has disadvantages. The main one is that the mirror “cuts off” 30% of the light for the needs of electronic sensors, and the remaining 70% reach the sensor without hindrance. That is, other things being equal, shutter speeds when shooting on the A77 will be slightly longer than in the case of a traditional DSLR.
The camera uses a brand new 24MP Exmor HD CMOS sensor manufactured by Sony. The number of pixels that fit on the area of the APS-C sensor (which is 23.5×15.6 mm) is an absolutely record-breaking.
In addition to the sensor, the update also affected the BIONZ processor, it was replaced by a more modern analogue. The combination of a fast processor and a translucent mirror makes the A77 the absolute leader among professional cameras in terms of shooting frequency. Judge for yourself, 12 x 24 = 288 Megapixels per second! Unfortunately, the burst buffer is limited to only 13 shots at maximum resolution, so a full replacement for expensive DSLRs did not work, the Nikon D3 / D3s and Canon EOS 1D Mark III / IV will still be the choice of photo correspondents.
Sony A77 is aimed at professional photographers, suitable for both studio and reportage photography. The body is made of magnesium alloy, and all joints and buttons are protected by rubber gaskets. Confident protection against dust and moisture getting inside.
Sony Alpha SLT-A77. Rear view
The design of the A77 is smoother and rounder when compared to the A700. Although the ergonomics have changed slightly. Still, the most significant changes took place inside. For example, here’s a recording. First, the camera writes Full HD. Secondly, it does it in the latest AVCHD 2.0 format. Thirdly, the maximum frame rate is 60. Another important thing is that during the shooting you can control all the key parameters: aperture, shutter speed and sensitivity. And, of course, the dedicated record key is already a mandatory attribute for any camera.
Sony Alpha SLT-A77. A new type of rotating display
The hinge design of the display is unique and Sony appears to have taken inspiration from one of its flashes with a similar tilt head mechanism.
Sony Alpha SLT-A77 with rotary flash attached
When shooting, phase detection autofocus is also a unique phenomenon. The lightning-fast operation of 19 AF points will be appreciated when shooting sports and any dynamics. It should be noted that in two years Sony has turned from an outsider of the DSLR market into its potential leader, although it is too early to assert this with confidence.
The clips shot with the SLT-A77 look better than those of other cameras. The hateful effects of aliasing, rolling shutter and moiré are barely visible. Although the control of audio recording is still scanty. Apparently, the Japanese corporation does not want the A77 to interfere with sales of the new VG-20 NEX camcorder.
In addition to the display, sighting is carried out through an electronic viewfinder. It has a resolution of 1024×768 pixels and 2,400,000 subpixels. Sony is calling the innovation TruFinder, a very large OLED viewfinder with crisp, slick images. In addition, this is the first viewfinder in our memory with more power consumption than a display. With the viewfinder on the screen on the A77, you can take 480 photos, and through the viewfinder. Only 430. The difference is not so great, but very significant. Now let’s take a look at the test images taken with the SLT-A77.
Sony SLT-A77 review
Plus continuous tracking autofocus. There’s almost nothing to add to this. Sony has put it all to the test with a series of watersports, and the autofocus is really impressive. In order to correctly “grab” the subject, you need to adjust a little to the A77 and be sure to keep it close to the center (in the focusing point area) in the initial segment, but there are no questions either about the capture speed or about holding.
In addition, the A77 can shoot at 12 frames per second (but up to a maximum of 18 frames in a row). The novelty is perfect for shooting dynamics.
The new camera also has a 1080p high definition shooting mode at 60 or 24 frames per second. The recorded material is saved in the AVCHD 2.0 format. When shooting, the user can select one of the manual recording modes. P / A / S / M (preset mode, aperture priority, shutter priority, full manual mode).
Sony SLT-A77 received a TruBlack LCD display with a resolution of 921 thousand points. For easy shooting, the display can be tilted away from the camera body, with three degrees of freedom available. The electronic viewfinder uses a 3 million-dot OLED sensor. As conceived by Sony, the transition to a viewfinder of this level, with a resolution of 2.4 million pixels, 100% viewing angle and a picture as close to reality as possible should solve the problems associated with the impossibility of placing an optical viewfinder in “translucent” models. Indeed, in combination with the huge refresh rate of the screen, all this gives a picture as close as possible to reality. The key words here are “as close as possible”. The difference with the optical viewfinder is still noticeable, although minimized. For the orthodox, this can become an obstacle.
Although the prospects for moving away from the old solution no longer seem so hazy, but with the ability to display all sorts of information about shooting on the viewfinder, from the grid and parameters to the virtual horizon, as well as the ability to “highlight” a too dark image, which is simply impossible to do on the optical viewfinder.
By the way, I note that the power consumption when using the OLED viewfinder and the LCD screen compares favorably in favor of the latter. Due to the huge resolution, the small window “eats” more than a three-inch screen. Let me remind you that due to the technology of the translucent mirror, the Live View mode becomes much more useful, the “lag” is minimal.
The camera sits perfectly in the hand, the number and selection of controls typical for a professional camera does not raise questions. But their location and insufficient selection in shape or size (especially the record button, which does not differ from the neighboring keys and the rear wheel, which does not protrude enough above the body), did not please me too much. The five-way navigation joystick also seemed too sensitive. In general, the control of the A77 requires getting used to, but does not cause rejection.
Along with the camera was introduced the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM (24-75mm equivalent focal length) zoom lens, which is included in the new camera, as well as the VG-C77AM battery grip.
The camera weighs 732 grams with battery. The novelty will appear on sale in October this year. The price for the camera itself without the lens will be 1,400. Complete with a Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens, the new camera will cost 2,000. The lens can also be purchased separately for 700. A battery grip will also be available for sale, it will cost 300.
World’s Fastest Burst Shooting
Continuous shooting of images in full resolution at up to 12 frames per second allows you to capture the most fleeting moments. No other consumer APS-C interchangeable lens digital camera shoots at this rate (as of August 2011).
Full control over the image
With just the touch of your finger, you can take beautiful pictures with even more confidence by operating basic functions and dedicated buttons. Rear and front dials make quick settings easy. Additional screen displays information about shutter speed and other parameters.
Shoot smooth and clear in Full HD with Precise AF for Moving Subjects and Phase Detection. Create photos with beautifully blurred backgrounds and manually adjust exposure and focus modes. Achieve cinematic quality with Progressive Shooting Mode.
- 24.3 effective MP. Ultra-high-definition Exmor ™ APS HD CMOS sensor and 2-stage noise reduction: for high-quality and low-noise HD photography
- Advanced BIONZ processor. An advanced image processor processes large amounts of data from the image sensor to deliver high-speed shooting and high-quality, low-noise photography
- Translucent mirror technology. The translucent mirror replaces the movable mirror of DSLR cameras: it achieves surprisingly fast response speed and accurate phase detection AF
- Fastest shutter lag in its class. An ultra-fast shutter lag of just 50 ms puts this camera on a par with professional cameras: ideal for capturing fast-moving subjects
lens DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM. Includes a high quality versatile telephoto zoom lens ideal for everyday shooting
- Super fast burst shooting. Shoot action-packed scenes with ultra-fast shooting up to 12 frames per second and continuous AF for sharp shots when shooting moving subjects
Quick AF Full HD. Shoot at 1920 x 1080 resolution while tracking moving subjects with autofocus, which now lets you create cinematic quality when shooting at 24p / 50p (progressive mode)
- Creative settings for shooting in Full HD. Create stunning background blur (bokeh) effects in HD shooting using manual focus; PASM exposure modes give you total freedom
- Improved Quick AF Live View. Live view on high-definition LCD screen or viewfinder from main sensor with accurate and fast phase difference detection autofocus
- Subject Tracking AF. Stay focused on faces and other subjects, even if moving objects appear in the frame, creating slight interference
- Sweep Panorama function with 3D Sweep Panorama. Press the shutter button and sweep the camera in the air for ultra-wide panoramic images: also capture 3D panoramic images for viewing on a 3D TV screen
- Wide range of sensitivity: ISO 50-16000. High maximum sensitivity allows natural, low-noise photos even in low light: in Advanced mode, sensitivity can be lowered to ISO 50
- 19 point phase detection autofocus. New 11 cross-type AF system ensures accurate and continuous autofocusing when shooting through the viewfinder or Live View shooting through the LCD
- Xtra Fine 7.5 cm (3.0 “) tilting LCD with three tilting angles. Wide high-resolution 921k-dot tilting LCD: with TruBlack technology for high detail and contrast
- XGA OLED TruFinder ™ viewfinder. Precision electronic viewfinder with high contrast and 100% image coverage allows you to compose the frame with great accuracy, use manual autofocus and see the result
- High definition information screen. Adjusting digital level, shooting parameters, grid lines and graphic exposure screen
- Smart Teleconverter. Digital zoom enlarges the center of the image for 12MP high-resolution images with 1.4x or 2x magnification
- Viewing the shooting result. With the press of a button, you can see how your aperture, shutter and ARD adjustments affect depth of field, motion blur and dynamic range
- AUTO mode. Automatically recognizes the scene and shooting conditions, and adjusts settings for perfect shooting results every time
- Face detection and face detection. Recognize up to 8 faces per frame, adjust for optimal exposure, white balance, flash, and more for perfect portraits
- Smile Shutter function. The shutter is automatically released when the subject smiles. Customizable smile sensitivity
- Image effects. Apply image effects (posterization, partial color filters, HDR painting, soft focus, miniature) without a computer
- Improved auto HDR mode. Automatically stitches three consecutive frames to create a single wide dynamic range, wider than film
- Multi-Frame Noise Reduction System. Auto-join 6 frames in high-speed burst mode to create one low-noise frame in low light
- Handheld photography at dusk. Automatically merges six frames in high-speed burst mode to create a single frame with reduced blur and noise in low light
- GPS for easy geotagging. Assigning location information automatically: viewing travel maps on a BRAVIA TV with Photo Map using PMB
- Artistic styles. Choose from 6 image processing styles to suit your situation, plus customizable styles for even more creative freedom
- Dynamic range optimizer. Analyzes images in real time, adjusts brightness and contrast to expose backlit photos more naturally and evenly
- Universal drive modes. Modes include continuous shooting, self-timer, AE bracketing and white balance
- Front and back dials, shooting information LCD. Rotary dials at the front and rear of the handle make quick settings easy by showing shutter speed and other settings on-screen
- Customizable buttons. AEL (auto exposure lock), ISO (sensitivity to light) and AF / MF (autofocus / manual focus) buttons can be set to one of 24 functions
- Steadyshot INSIDE. Built-in IS provides 2.5-4.0 stops of shutter speed compensation with interchangeable A-mount lenses from Sony or Konica Minolta
- Shadow and aberration compensation. Intelligent correction of vignetting (peripheral shading), lateral chromatic aberration and distortion on each A-mount lens
- Durable magnesium housing. Robust chassis and body panels offer excellent durability; main buttons and controls are protected from dust and moisture
- Double dust protection system. Reduces the accumulation of dust on the sensor when changing lenses
- HDMI® output. HD connector for viewing photos on HD-TV (requires additional cable). Phototv HD mode enhances photo viewing on compatible BRAVIA® TVs
- Synchronization BRAVIA® Sync. This function allows you to control the picture playback functions with the BRAVIA® TV remote control
- Supplied software. Included software: Image Data Converter SR, Image Data Lightbox SR and Picture Motion Browser
The shooting quality of the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 is fully consistent with the declared class. One can argue for a long time regarding color rendering and dynamic range, but objectively speaking, it is more than a real competitor for the same Canon 7D or Pentax K-5. Only a much faster and more technologically advanced competitor. A very flexible and powerful camera that you can make a minimum of claims. Not just a decent, but an excellent successor to the DSLR-A700.
The undoubted advantages of the A77 include a sensor with a resolution of 24 million pixels; the best among competitors by this indicator are the Canon models, 18 million pixels. And despite the high resolution, the A77 delivers 8 fps with metering and AF before each frame, or 12 fps with one-shot metering of the subject distance.
None of the competing models have built-in GPS. Only the Pentax and Olympus models have sensor stabilization. The A77 is the only model that has a display with three degrees of freedom. In addition, none of the other brands’ models allow you to shoot in 1920 × 1080 resolution at 60 fps.
Electronic viewfinder delivers both large and bright images, comparable to the optical viewfinder of full-frame cameras.
The SLT-A77 is the lightest model in its class (732g). It is lighter than the Canon EOS 60D (755g) and the noticeably more compact Pentax K-5 (740g).
The disadvantages include the fact that due to the high resolution of the sensor, the number of shots that can be obtained in burst mode is not large even when shooting in JPEG. At 8 or 12 frames per second, only 13 JPEG images (best quality) can be captured. For comparison, the Pentax K-5 allows you to take 24 shots, Nikon D7000. 22, Canon and Olympus. Unlimited. Number of shots per burst in RAW and RAW JPEG (13 and 11, respectively), comparable to competitors.
In addition, the A77 has the shortest battery life (470 CIPA shots when using the EVF and 530 shots when using the LCD). This is significantly less than competitors: from 800 for Canon EOS 7D and above (1100 for Canon EOS 60D).
The sensor stabilization system does not work during shooting, unlike the optical stabilization.
Menu and control
Those who know what Sony cameras are will hardly notice the difference in control. It is carried out using the multi selector and other buttons. All keys are located mostly on the right side, and it is more or less convenient to reach all of them without letting go of the handle. When correcting diopters, I touched the shooting button so that the camera began to record, this is the only moment that confused me. To change the shutter speed, ISO and aperture values, use the control wheels.
The menu itself consists of five items. It is quite simple and easy to understand. Either the control wheel or the multi selector can be used for navigation. The first item is devoted to the photography mode and the second to the camera settings. The third reveals all the secrets of Wi-Fi, the fourth. To control the viewing mode, and the fifth. These are other parameters.
Information display provides essential information. Image quality, f-number, shutter speed, white balance and battery power.
The electronic viewfinder has a resolution of 2.36 million dots. Among other things, the viewfinder does not distort colors and completely covers the entire frame. The 3-inch display has a resolution of 1.23 million dots. It is very comfortable with a swivel mechanism, so you get great selfies. Switching from display to viewfinder or vice versa is very quick, both in automatic mode and in manual mode.
The mode selector has 12 sections: PASM (Manual, Program, Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority), Shooting, Continuous Shooting (12 fps), Panorama, Scenes “And” Auto “. In the “Scene” mode, the user can access the following: “Portrait”, “Night portrait”, “Handheld”, “Night”, “Sunset”, “Landscape”, “Macro” and “Sports”.
Wireless interfaces, according to the latest fashion and technology, are presented in the form of Wi-Fi and NFC. On the case, you will find notes where you should attach your device for data transfer. Communication is fast, without delays. The taken photos can not only be transferred to a mobile device, but also uploaded to social networks.
Design and ergonomics
The camera almost completely repeats the body of the older sister Sony SLT-A77 with small, but still sensitive changes. To begin with, the weight has dropped significantly from 732g to 647g.
The hot shoe that was used in the first version was non-standard, but now the manufacturers have returned to the usual version.
On the front panel, the autofocus lamp has disappeared, which in the first model was covered with a red plastic filter. Now it does not exist at all, and this is due to improved autofocus performance.
The shape of the camera and the grip remain the same, the device is quite comfortable to hold. As for me, its dimensions are still too big for small hands, it will perfectly “fit” in the palms of a man with large hands.
The body of the SLT-77 II is made of magnesium alloy and will work in any weather. The handle for the grip is rubberized and has an infrared port in the recess, and a control wheel looks out at the top.
On the top there is a mode selector with a central lock button, a stereo microphone grill, a hot shoe, a built-in flash, a Display / Viewfinder switch, an information display, a burst / timer button, a white balance, exposure, ISO button, a power lever combined with a button shutter release button, and the information panel backlight.
On the right side there is a slot for an SD memory card and an NFC tag.
Opposite. Microphone jack, Wi-Fi sensor, flash sync jack, Remote, loudspeaker, DC IN, microHDMI and microUSB.
All interfaces are very securely hidden under tight caps and are rather tight to open. Also on the side faces there are ears for the neck strap.
On the bottom there is a battery compartment and a tripod socket.
On the back there is a rotary display, Menu, Movie, exposure lock, autofocus / manual focus, multi selector, Fn, Disp, “smart teleconverter”, playback and a dedicated button / delete, as well as a viewfinder with diopter adjustment and a control wheel.
Externally, the camera practically does not differ from its predecessor, but internally it has reincarnated quite strongly. The main changes relate to the autofocus system and speed.
The camera uses a 24.3-megapixel APS-C type Exmor CMOS sensor (23.5 x 15.6 mm). It uses gapless microlens technology to dramatically improve image quality, reduce noise, and expand the range of available ISOs.
BIONZ X is used as image processor, which also provides 12fps continuous shooting.
Focusing has 79 points, 15 of which are cross-shaped. This can be confidently called a record among similar systems. Autofocus works instantly. If there is no AF-assist illuminator, the built-in flash performs this function when required. Eye AF is also a new feature.
This model uses a built-in IS that does not interfere with the optical performance of the lens being used. Additionally, stabilization is implemented in the viewfinder, which is activated when you press the shutter button halfway. ISO range is 50-256000 and shutter speed is 1 / 8000-30 sec.
Pictures can be taken in JPEG, RAW, RAWJPEG format with a maximum size of 6000 x 4000 pixels. Can be recorded in AVCHD 2.0 or MP4 formats with a maximum resolution of 1920×1080 and 60p frame rate.
The resulting pictures are pleasing with their saturation and clarity. In automatic mode, the camera selected the parameters very adequately, so there are no complaints about its operation. The quality is very good, it does not drop much when scaling, but noticeable artifacts appear. At night, noises are added to them. Focusing works with a bang, macro photography is also pleasing.
Examples of photos:
There are three trim levels, and the items vary by country. We received the ILCA-77M2M model, which comes with a DT 18-135 mm lens, as well as a charger, power cable, battery, microUSB cable, neck strap, protective covers and user manual.
Review of digital camera Sony Alpha A77 II
Sony’s photo division has been generous with announcements over the past two years. There were also the new A5000-A6000 mirrorless cameras, which replaced the popular NEX family, and the “pseudo-mirror” A3000, and QX series camera lenses, and fresh compacts and ultrazoom. And only DSLRs seemed to have been completely forgotten. And the release of the full-frame A7 and several of its modifications did look like a death sentence to the mirror. But it is too early to bury it, which was confirmed by the release of the updated SLT-A77 II (according to the new designation system. ILCA-77M2).
Actually, the company no longer produces classic SLR cameras (with a lifting mirror). The latest such models were the A580 and A560, released in 2010. Their place was taken by cameras with a translucent fixed mirror, around which disputes are still ongoing on specialized forums.
A translucent mirror (PPM) is just that “new” one, which is actually a “well forgotten old”. It was used 50 years ago in the dedicated sports camera Canon Pellix, and provided continuous shooting at 4 to 9 frames per second. Then there was no autofocus, no light sensors, no electronic viewfinders, and the light stream was divided by a mirror between the film and the viewfinder in a 65/35 ratio. Probably, it was not very convenient to shoot with such a camera. Just imagine focusing manually through the viewfinder, which hits just over a third of the light. Modern Sony SLT cameras have an electronic viewfinder, 70% of the light goes to the matrix, the rest 30%. On the autofocus sensors. This design has several advantages over both classic SLR cameras and mirrorless cameras.
In cameras with PPZ, autofocus sensors work continuously, even with the shutter closed, which makes possible not only a record rate of fire, but also with focusing separately for each frame. Continuous phase detection AF during recording provides much faster refocusing than contrast or hybrid Live View on DSLRs. For metering exposure, as well as face / eye / smile detection and object tracking, a matrix is used, from which a picture is taken for the viewfinder. Since the mirror does not rise before the shutter opens, the shutter release is faster and quieter, and with the electronic shutter the camera can be completely silent. But the fully electronic shutter is not suitable for shooting action scenes, so in the Sony A77M2 it is mechanical (as an option. With an electronic front curtain). Still a fixed mirror better protects the matrix from dust.
Now about the disadvantages. Incomplete transmission of light to the matrix makes it necessary to increase its sensitivity, which affects the noise level. Unlike classic DSLRs, where dust on the mirror is visible only in the viewfinder, here it enters the frame (but it’s still easier to clean the mirror than the sensor). Exposure metering by the matrix works with a small delay, which under normal conditions is not at all critical, but under rapidly changing lighting conditions it can cause an error. And, finally, the main drawback. Since sighting is carried out via a display or an electronic viewfinder (which is also a display), the battery life of such cameras, like that of mirrorless cameras, is relatively short. If not for this nuance, then the electronic viewfinder (EVF) could be safely attributed to the advantages. High resolution, 100% frame coverage, the ability to see the exposure and color rendition of the finished image even before shooting, moreover, together with service information and artistic filters. All this compensates for the display lag, which is almost invisible thanks to powerful processors. Eye fatigue during long-term work with modern EVFs has also significantly decreased due to the increased refresh rate, and in terms of image size and brightness, the best of them are comparable to the viewfinders of full-frame SLR cameras and definitely win comparison with small and dark OVIs of cropped DSLR.
Appearance, ergonomics, management
The novelty looks almost the same as its predecessor. The same light-alloy metal body with a very comfortable grip, the same controls in the same places. Only the autofocus lamp has disappeared, the shooting mode selector has been slightly redesigned, and the old external flash connector inherited from Minolta cameras has been replaced by the modern Multiinterface Shoe. The same as in the A7, A5100 / 6000 and RX100M2 / M3. This connector is a modification of the standard “hot shoe” with a central contact, which makes the A77M2 compatible with both Sony branded accessories and with flashes and radio synchronizers of other systems (naturally, in manual mode). However, along with TTL, the camera still supports ADI flash mode based on distance-to-focus measurement. To install Minolta Dynax flashes on a new connector and vice versa, there are adapters (both branded and third-party) with full functionality.