A65 vs. A77 vs. A99

Started Feb 13, 2013 | Discussions
DM1DM
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A65 vs. A77 vs. A99
Feb 13, 2013

Here's maybe a crazy question...ALL things considered (cost, quality, etc) which would you recommend, the A99, A77, or A65 (or other)?

I currently own the A100.  It is almost 6 years old.  I'm ready for an upgrade.

My current equipment is...Minolta AF 50/1.8, Tamron 70-300/4-5.6 Di (which I do not think works with a full-frame sensor),  and Sigma 24-60/2.8 EX DG D (which, again, I do not think works with a full-frame sensor).  My flash is a Minolta 3600 HS.

I like the "idea" of the full-frame sensor because of lower pixel density/noise/etc., but this may not be the best option for me considering my equipment.  I do not like noise, and my A100 has noise in low light at ISO 400 and above.

Of course, cost is always a major consideration.  I just wanted to poll the group and get your thoughts.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Sony SLT-A65 Sony SLT-A77 Sony SLT-A99
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Marco Cinnirella
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Re: A65 vs. A77 vs. A99
In reply to DM1DM, Feb 13, 2013

DM1DM wrote:

Here's maybe a crazy question...ALL things considered (cost, quality, etc) which would you recommend, the A99, A77, or A65 (or other)?

I currently own the A100. It is almost 6 years old. I'm ready for an upgrade.

My current equipment is...Minolta AF 50/1.8, Tamron 70-300/4-5.6 Di (which I do not think works with a full-frame sensor), and Sigma 24-60/2.8 EX DG D (which, again, I do not think works with a full-frame sensor). My flash is a Minolta 3600 HS.

I like the "idea" of the full-frame sensor because of lower pixel density/noise/etc., but this may not be the best option for me considering my equipment. I do not like noise, and my A100 has noise in low light at ISO 400 and above.

Of course, cost is always a major consideration. I just wanted to poll the group and get your thoughts.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

This is a very hard question to answer unless you say a bit more about your style of photography, whether you also intend to invest in new lenses, and so on. All the cameras on your list are very good and have their fans. The a57 is very good as well, by the way.

If you do not intend to buy any further lenses I would suggest an a57 for now so you can see how you get on with the Sony SLT models. Or wait 6 months and get one of the new SLTs coming out later in the year.

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LSHorwitz1
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Re: A65 vs. A77 vs. A99
In reply to Marco Cinnirella, Feb 13, 2013

I went from the a55 to the a77 and found a wonderful improvement in a lot of features including the much improved electronic viewfinder, faster speed, way better autofocus, etc. I also have a collection of lenses which do not work as full frame and would be forced to replace a lot of excellent glass if I had gone to the a99.

Therefore, my advice would be to go for the a77, a really superb camera. Unless you are able to spend a lot more money without any concerns and are willing to upgrade lenses, the a77 offers a really compelling balance of price and performance compared to the 99. The cost difference even without lens replacement is quite large, $2800 versus $1100 here in the U.S.

Larry

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Alphabart
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Re: A65 vs. A77 vs. A99 - Good news
In reply to DM1DM, Feb 13, 2013

All the lenses you mentioned are Full Frame so that is not a problem

The A65 cost 1/3 of a A99 and the A77 is in between.
It's all about your preferences. If money is no issue you have a fine selection.
- IQ:  all three are the same in good light delivering stunning resolutions with the 24mp, but the A99 excells in low light.

- Build: A65 us very well build, but lacks magnesium body and weather sealing. A77 and the A99 have magnesium body's and weather sealing, and the A99 has a expected shutter life time of 200.000 clicks, so that's were some part of the money goes. Life expectency and durability.

- Features: All the same except A99 has AF-D, standard hotshoe and advanced Video features

I've had the A77 and I was blown away with the performance and quality, but I really love low light photography and this is not the A77/A65 strong point, now I have A99 and images are amazing in low light. I think the A99 is an ever better build better quality then the A77 but its hard to tell from the outside.
The prices of the A77 and A65 are leveled out and are money for value, The A99 is new so you always pay a bit more. Since I'm more like an after early adapter I'm used to price drops, but I wont expect a huge drop on the A99 since it's stuffed with high quality equipment.

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Alan_S
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Re: A65 vs. A77 vs. A99 - Good news
In reply to Alphabart, Feb 13, 2013

Alphabart wrote:

All the lenses you mentioned are Full Frame so that is not a problem

The A65 cost 1/3 of a A99 and the A77 is in between.
It's all about your preferences. If money is no issue you have a fine selection.
- IQ: all three are the same in good light delivering stunning resolutions with the 24mp, but the A99 excells in low light.

- Build: A65 us very well build, but lacks magnesium body and weather sealing. A77 and the A99 have magnesium body's and weather sealing, and the A99 has a expected shutter life time of 200.000 clicks, so that's were some part of the money goes. Life expectency and durability.

- Features: All the same except A99 has AF-D, standard hotshoe and advanced Video features

I've had the A77 and I was blown away with the performance and quality, but I really love low light photography and this is not the A77/A65 strong point, now I have A99 and images are amazing in low light. I think the A99 is an ever better build better quality then the A77 but its hard to tell from the outside.
The prices of the A77 and A65 are leveled out and are money for value, The A99 is new so you always pay a bit more. Since I'm more like an after early adapter I'm used to price drops, but I wont expect a huge drop on the A99 since it's stuffed with high quality equipment.

Agree 100% with Alphabart.. would just like to add the the clean high-ISO quality of the a99 is not limited to "low light," but even in mediocre light, if you're using that 300mm lens of yours and want to raise the shutter speed to shoot wildlife on a cloudy day, in the shadows, or stop sports action indoors or at night under mediocre light, you can gain at least 2 stops with the cleaner high ISO of the a99 over the others. I'm finding it makes my 70-400G usable handheld in such conditions where, with the a77, I had to choose between slower shutter (more motion blur), noisier high ISO, or nothing at all.

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Marco Cinnirella
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Re: A65 vs. A77 vs. A99 - Good news
In reply to Alan_S, Feb 13, 2013

Alan_S wrote:

Alphabart wrote:

All the lenses you mentioned are Full Frame so that is not a problem

The A65 cost 1/3 of a A99 and the A77 is in between.
It's all about your preferences. If money is no issue you have a fine selection.
- IQ: all three are the same in good light delivering stunning resolutions with the 24mp, but the A99 excells in low light.

- Build: A65 us very well build, but lacks magnesium body and weather sealing. A77 and the A99 have magnesium body's and weather sealing, and the A99 has a expected shutter life time of 200.000 clicks, so that's were some part of the money goes. Life expectency and durability.

- Features: All the same except A99 has AF-D, standard hotshoe and advanced Video features

I've had the A77 and I was blown away with the performance and quality, but I really love low light photography and this is not the A77/A65 strong point, now I have A99 and images are amazing in low light. I think the A99 is an ever better build better quality then the A77 but its hard to tell from the outside.
The prices of the A77 and A65 are leveled out and are money for value, The A99 is new so you always pay a bit more. Since I'm more like an after early adapter I'm used to price drops, but I wont expect a huge drop on the A99 since it's stuffed with high quality equipment.

Agree 100% with Alphabart.. would just like to add the the clean high-ISO quality of the a99 is not limited to "low light," but even in mediocre light, if you're using that 300mm lens of yours and want to raise the shutter speed to shoot wildlife on a cloudy day, in the shadows, or stop sports action indoors or at night under mediocre light, you can gain at least 2 stops with the cleaner high ISO of the a99 over the others. I'm finding it makes my 70-400G usable handheld in such conditions where, with the a77, I had to choose between slower shutter (more motion blur), noisier high ISO, or nothing at all.

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- AlanS

I don't think anyone will deny that the a99 is the best Sony SLT so far.

BUT - the OP says this "Of course, cost is always a major consideration. "

The a99 is by far the most expensive SLT isn't it.

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Stflbn
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Re: A65 vs. A77 vs. A99
In reply to DM1DM, Feb 13, 2013

A77 and A65 will perform identically under low light conditions.   Only different is additional options, functions and  Micro Adjustment that the A77 brings.

A99 is better in Low Light.   Just depends what you consider low light.   Personally,  I've invested in good fast glass and am very happy with how my A77 performs.   As opposed to an A99 using slower glass and a higher ISO.

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Alan_S
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Re: A65 vs. A77 vs. A99 - Good news
In reply to Marco Cinnirella, Feb 13, 2013

Marco Cinnirella wrote:

Alan_S wrote:

Alphabart wrote:

All the lenses you mentioned are Full Frame so that is not a problem

The A65 cost 1/3 of a A99 and the A77 is in between.
It's all about your preferences. If money is no issue you have a fine selection.
- IQ: all three are the same in good light delivering stunning resolutions with the 24mp, but the A99 excells in low light.

- Build: A65 us very well build, but lacks magnesium body and weather sealing. A77 and the A99 have magnesium body's and weather sealing, and the A99 has a expected shutter life time of 200.000 clicks, so that's were some part of the money goes. Life expectency and durability.

- Features: All the same except A99 has AF-D, standard hotshoe and advanced Video features

I've had the A77 and I was blown away with the performance and quality, but I really love low light photography and this is not the A77/A65 strong point, now I have A99 and images are amazing in low light. I think the A99 is an ever better build better quality then the A77 but its hard to tell from the outside.
The prices of the A77 and A65 are leveled out and are money for value, The A99 is new so you always pay a bit more. Since I'm more like an after early adapter I'm used to price drops, but I wont expect a huge drop on the A99 since it's stuffed with high quality equipment.

Agree 100% with Alphabart.. would just like to add the the clean high-ISO quality of the a99 is not limited to "low light," but even in mediocre light, if you're using that 300mm lens of yours and want to raise the shutter speed to shoot wildlife on a cloudy day, in the shadows, or stop sports action indoors or at night under mediocre light, you can gain at least 2 stops with the cleaner high ISO of the a99 over the others. I'm finding it makes my 70-400G usable handheld in such conditions where, with the a77, I had to choose between slower shutter (more motion blur), noisier high ISO, or nothing at all.

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- AlanS

I don't think anyone will deny that the a99 is the best Sony SLT so far.

BUT - the OP says this "Of course, cost is always a major consideration. "

The a99 is by far the most expensive SLT isn't it.

Yep, as with high-end lenses, the "upward price curve" rises at an accelerated rate compared to the "upward quality curve." It is up to the individual at what point the higher price exceeds the worth of the quality purchased. Every decision in photography is a compromise; price vs quality is no exception.

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- AlanS

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RJH1981
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Re: A65 vs. A77 vs. A99
In reply to DM1DM, Feb 13, 2013

Based one what I have read from everyone else, and my personal experience in having both the a77 and a99, I don't think you would be unhappy or displeased if you took the middle ground and got the a77.  While the a77 and the a65 are very, very similar cameras, the weather sealing to me was the difference that got me to take the a77.  The 11 fps is also fantastic for sports usages, but I didn't see that in your list of shooting activities.  I use the a99 for portriats and low-light.  It is an excellent camera IF YOU NEED A FF.  That is a huge if and it has a large price tag associated with it.  I am still in love with my a77.  If I'm going anywhere, it is the one I grab unless I absolutely know I need my a99.

All in all, I think, and I think most would agree if jumping from an 100, you really won't go wrong with the a77....or a78 in the later part of this year.

Rhett

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Michael Fritzen
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Re: A65 vs. A77 vs. A99
In reply to DM1DM, Feb 13, 2013

Hi,

I'd suggest to rule out the A65 because it doesn't have MFA which I consider very important to have on such high resolution sensors. Everything more simple than the A77 would be absolutely fine if the A65 had MFA. Had it first on my A850 and learned what a difference it makes "before and after" thorough MFA of my lenses.

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Allan Olesen
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Re: A65 vs. A77 vs. A99 - Good news
In reply to Alphabart, Feb 13, 2013

Alphabart wrote:

- Features: All the same except A99 has AF-D, standard hotshoe and advanced Video features

The a99 has one major feature which the two others lack: Auto ISO in Manual. That feature alone will probably send me in a99's direction when I replace my a77 (if this difference between a9x and a7x still exists at that point in the future).

The range limiter is also unique for the a99, but can perhaps be considered as a part of AF-D (it was designed because it was needed internally for AF-D, but it is not limited to AF-D compatible lenses).

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DM1DM
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Re: A65 vs. A77 vs. A99
In reply to Michael Fritzen, Feb 13, 2013

Thank you for all of the responses and information.  This forum is amazing to learn and get help.

A follow up question...What will be the likely new features of the next general A77?  Anticipated price?  Release date?

Much appreciation!

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RichV
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I'm suggesting the A99 ...
In reply to DM1DM, Feb 13, 2013

You put the A99 in your list of possibilities, so I'm figuring you're willing to pay the price if it seems like the right choice. Some thoughts:

  • You've got an A100; it's a good camera in its sweet zone, but this tells me (1) you tend to hold on to a camera for a while, (2) you're not used to hyper-fast fps rates and (3) you're used to 10 MP images.
  • The A99 will use all of your current lenses - with your APS-C lenses you can get images roughly the size of the A100's, but with many times the noise performance.
  • The A99 has features and advantages the other two bodies don't.
  • If you go for an A65/A77 it might just be a stepping stone to the FF anyway (that's up to you, but you probably know right now whether you eventually want FF or not) - regardless, its Achilles heel when compared to the A99 will always be noise.

So if I were open to paying the A99's price, that's where I'd go (and save myself the cost of multiple APS-C bodies along the way). It's got the best noise footprint in the line, and has years and years of room for growth.

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benholdeman
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Re: A65 vs. A77 vs. A99
In reply to DM1DM, Feb 13, 2013

I was able to get an a77 on ebay, almost brand new, for $925. That is not much more than the a65, but the additional features of the a77 far outweigh the additional cost.

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tbcass
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Re: A65 vs. A77 vs. A99
In reply to DM1DM, Feb 13, 2013

Ah the age old question. It all depends on your finances. The A65 is the best bang for the buck. The A77 offers better build quality and a lot of advanced features but it cost quite a bit more. The A99 may have slightly better IQ but gives the least bang for the buck. It really depends on you and your finances. My finances for photography are limited and I don't crave top end so I went with the A65. I am very happy with the camera and don't long for something "better".

BTW, I too used to own an A100 and all 3 of those cameras offer major improvements in AF speed, viewfinder and IQ (esp at higher iso) so you can't go wrong.

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HansB951
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Re: A65 vs. A77 vs. A99
In reply to DM1DM, Feb 13, 2013

I had a similar choise some months ago.

A65 vs A77 for me was handling. A have big hands, and the A65 felt like a toy, the A77 fit like a glove. I would think if you would give them both a try, you would feel withch one is right for you.

A77 vs A99 is mainly price. If you make a calculation of lenses with an equivalent crop factor, the difference in cost is 200-300%. Having said this, i do try to invest mailny in lenses that would also work FF. Changing later is then allw\ys an option.

Good luck with your choice!

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dlkeller
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Re: A65 vs. A77 vs. A99
In reply to DM1DM, Feb 13, 2013

No mention of A77 successor or even rumors so I wouldn't plan on it anytime soon or delay decision to upgrade based on successor.  There will always be a newer model coming up so if you wait for the latest it never really comes.

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Dave

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garykohs
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We really need to know what you will be shooting ...
In reply to DM1DM, Feb 13, 2013

Without that knowledge all these ideas about what is best are pretty meaningless.

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DM1DM
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Re: We really need to know what you will be shooting ...
In reply to garykohs, Feb 14, 2013

garykohs wrote:

Without that knowledge all these ideas about what is best are pretty meaningless.

Thanks for asking.  I think I shoot a little of everything.  Most is general shooting, but also enjoy portraits, action/sports, low-light.  I am like most...I want the best image quality (which specifically included low noise which gets a bit bad on the A100 at ISO 400 and up) for the buck.  I am graduating medical school and can perhaps make the argument for a $2500+ investment in the A99, but if the A77 and A65 are really THAT good, then I am all the happier to save that money for one of these.

Thanks again everyone!  

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perfectix
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Re: A65 vs. A77 vs. A99
In reply to DM1DM, Feb 14, 2013

i have a65 with sal35f18 for about a year, mainly for shooting baby pic, recently also bought rx100 for its pocketability. after trying out both, i cant stand rx100's slow af speed. a65's speed is good, somehow i feel that the photo quality still isn't that great, so i am also considering a99, due to its full frame sensor, and supposedly better af system.

anyone has comparison photos of a65 vs a99 to see if it justify the costs? especially for fast moving babies/kids

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