a77 mII + 70-200mm f2.8 G2 First Impressions

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a77 mII + 70-200mm f2.8 G2 First Impressions
4 months ago

SONY a77 mII First Impressions.

Took out the a77 mII + 70-200mm f2.8 G2 out tonight in Waikiki.
f2.8 , 1/320 would be about 20,000 ISO. Night with street lights.

I will be shooting it this weekend out in the Ocean , Molokai (to Oahu) World Championships.

Will shoot "also" this month a Runway Fashion Show ... and then IronMan 70.3 in KONA  (it's the warm up for the World Championships latter this year)

* First thing I noticed was the start up was Fast. Probably the fastest of ANY Sony camera I have yet tried.

* The Quiet shutter at 12 fps (default setting of e-Front Curtain Shut.) ... feels smooth and Fast, and quiet. softer than the a99.

* When you bring up the EVF to your eye (I wear glasses) the response seems faster than the a7r and a99.

* From Infinity to AF on the 70-200mm f2.8 G2 is slower than the Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VRII. It's the speed of the lens not the a77 mII. Because when I put on the 50mm f1.4 ZA SSM , put it to infinity and AF it Blazes to the AF point. (in a similar way as the Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VRII) SO, it's NOT the a77 mII. It is Fast. ... * the Sony 70-200mm f2.8 G2 FW is "Strangely" ver. 01 ? *

The problem with it's slower speed from a blurred out Infinity is you don't know where you are when you quickly bring it up to your eye and try to take a quick shot of a moving object. Again, this "might" have to do with the LENS FW.

* I "only" use "Flexible Spot" , So, I LOVED the config of Flexible Spot Points = 15 Points. This gives just enough AF points in "Expanded Flexible Spot" to get to AF points on ALL the 1/3 Crossing points FAST !

* I personally like the Joy stick controller "feel" better vs the a99. Not sure why , but I think the knob is Lower. And because the 15 AF points is spread over more of the Frame , you can MOVE the AF quicker and cover more ground faster, with less clicks.

* tonight , I only shot RAW + JPG to a 64gb Sandisk Extreme PRO 95 mb/s SD. and it looked like it could take 25-27 shots @12fps, before slowing down to maybe 1 fps.

* shot a few cars and bikes going down the street at 10pm f2.8, 1/320, iso 20,000. Once I got a Lock on say a Licence plate I could get all 25 shots in Focus. For sure 12. The most I got out of focus was probably 2 out of 25 shots.

** The 70-200mm f2.8 G2 FW ver.01 might have something to do with it's slow Infinity to AF ... which if the lens was out to infinity would be slow to lock. and because of it being out of focus hard to get a- Pull it up to your eye , Panic shot. Note, this is at Night , with only street lights.

* In Low Light / Low Contrast ... the a77 mII + 70-200mm (and 50mm f1.4 ZA SSM) clearly was easier to AF vs the a99. and would AF when the a99 could not. And was also as good as a Nikon D700+70-200mm f2.8 VRII but just "slightly" slower. and that might have to do with the FW on the G2 LENS.
But, interestingly the faster 50mm f1.4 ZA SSM could not improve on the G2 AF speed in very Low Light / Low Contrast target.
The impressive part is that it was close.

I am planning on taking the a77 mII and the D700 out during the day and do some side by side 8fps AF-C tests.
But, what I have seen tonight I think they will be evenly matched on a sports shoot during the day. BUT, the a77 mII can do 12fps. and it's seems the shutter is quieter than the D700.

On Targets coming straight at you ... at 12fps or 8 fps ... I am really impressed !!! I do not remember the a99 doing as well.
I feel REALLY confident in this combo on a SPORTS / ACTION shoot.
Because of what it did tonight in low light.

* I also need to say ... when you are shooting in very low light my D700 OVF is pretty dark ... the EVF on the a77 mII you can clearly see the Target you are trying to AF on. There is a benefit there.

Let me see if I can get a real "Sprinter" to run at me ... and then do a a77 mII vs D700 + Grip test.
I am pretty confident this a77 mII is the BEST Sports shooter SONY has currently. and probably as GOOD as my D700 ... and that is saying something.

p.s. I was thinking of bringing at least one Nikon on my Molokai (to Oahu) World Championships shoot this weekend. at least as a back up. But, now I am thinking = NOT !

and THAT , Bottom Line ... is saying something.
As a hard core Nikon Sports shooter. maybe less now.

* When SONY sent me this a77 mII , they must have already Known, it was "that" good !
Because I also have the IronMan KONA 70.3 latter this month , and a Fashion Show. and there is no "Do-Overs" on events.

Hope this helps someone,

HG

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