Headline: "DxOMark: EOS 5DS/R sensor is highest-ranked Canon sensor yet"
Technically 100% accurate. Also 200% diplomatic.
Lan: I still can't understand why they've launched this lens. There are a lot of 100mm 1:1 macro lenses out there already, and many of those are quite affordable too... Those competitors often include auto apertures, autofocus, and image stabilizers.
A 2:1 macro lens would have been interesting, but this is just perplexing.
I'll concede that the geared version might make some sense for macro videographers, but how many of those are there?!
Well you wouldn't want to be chasing a basketball game with it, but that's obvious as they have a different market in mind. Looks like these are running $550-600 in the U.S. Both Lan and fmian have good points. It seems hard to throw out all the benefits of AF/OS for not much more if much of your time isn't spent on the meticulous setup needed to use one of these. If you have the time and your shooting revolves around this type of lens, many of those advantages get mitigated.
I'll bet these are a joy to work with on EVFs like the Sony A and E/EF mounts.
Gary Dean Mercer Clark: I looked at the studio scene shots and the .jpeg and .raw images from the Sony A77 MK II look soft. Why is that? I've not seen any images shot raw out of my A77 mK II that look this soft and lousy. I find the quality of the images posted in the studio scene to be questionable. The quality should be better.
Fair enough. I was critical of the untimeliness of the review myself. They gave their explanation, a good one, for the delay (massive staff overhaul), but nonetheless still produced a 'better late than never' review. If they failed to review it entirely there would be different criticisms leveled (and they were already happening). Can't change the past, it's history now, and it's a no-win situation to be overly critical about it at this point.
When they posted their first set of (since abandoned) test shots they were done with the standard cheap 50 f1.8 DT. I had lamented why do they always go to that lens when Canon/Nikon competitors always got the more expensive, stepped up 50 f1.4. When they did the reshoot at least they tried two different lenses, the Zeiss and Sigma 50 f1.4 (the standard old Sony 50 f1.4 is notoriously soft). So credit where it is due.
That's kind of the photographic equivalent of the loaded question "have you stopped beating your wife?"... You're expecting the answer to be either "B" or "C", and if it's not you won't be satisfied. Is it entirely possible there are Zeiss 50's out there that are tack sharp corner to corner? Absolutely. But you ask as if you've never heard of lens variation. I've had lenses that were dogs and never lived up to their hype, and lenses that were every bit as good as advertised. It happens.
@tesch, more here on lens issues:
There doesn't seem to be any argument on this point, they were upfront about this issue from the beginning, so either you haven't read through all the comments or just decided to argue something nobody else is.
cheetah43: What a hideous piece of a camera! Apart from that, with all the round bodywork how does it stay secure being held? Sony, Sony!
"The right hand grip feels 'just right' and gives easy access to the most important controls on the camera..."
"...ergonomically speaking its well-designed, with a nice grip and logically place controls..."
"The a77 II's grip is just the right size, giving it a secure feel in your hand..."
And all on the same page too, for nice and easy reference: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-alpha-slt-a77ii/3
Please tell me that your comment wasn't based on two dimensional webpage pictures, and that you actually held it for yourself before sharing that informed opinion.
TxDad25: We've been using the SLT A57 since early 2013. We use it primarily to take photos of my son's basketball games. While we're generally happy, it does have some minor issues. That said, I'm pretty heavily invested into a-type lenses.
I'm ready (I think) to move to something more current. I'm curious if it makes sense to upgrade to something like the A77II, or to divest myself of the a mounts and move on to mirrorless. If I should upgrade in the DSLR space, is the A77II a significant enough improvement on the A57 to justify the cost? I've also considered jumping to Nikon, though I'm not sure if I'd gain anything there.
All thoughts or opinions are appreciated.
I made the exact same move (A57 to A77II). I am a big fan of the A57, it's an excellent performer that's well balanced model between your typical entry level and something more advanced, and I would have bought it again if I had to do it all over. The A77II is definitely a more advanced camera that, as long as you're comfortable familiarizing yourself with the many different modes and options, you'll appreciate the upgrade and find it worthwhile. It's easily the best value on the market for DSLRs right now, fighting in a weight class cameras that are almost double in price. Mirrorless like the A6000 are impressive but can get expensive fast when you're talking E-mount native lens solutions, particularly versus comparable A-mount lenses. I suggest you go to DPR's Sony SLR/SLT A-mount Talk forum http://www.dpreview.com/forums/1037 and post your question there (and what other gear accompanies your A57) for a more detailed analysis.
Davey1978: The reviewer did a lot of things completely wrong.
For example, he shot a non-moving focus target in AF-C Lock-on AF mode. First of all, doesn't everyone know to shoot non-moving targets in AF-S? Secondly, the algorithm for Lock-on AF is specifically looking for motion so this is going to confuse the camera. Additionally, his AF Track Duration should have been dialed back to "1" since the subject was not moving, and who knows where he left it.
Furthermore, the cyclist riding towards him should have been shot using AF Area: "Zone" with AF Track Duration set to "1" or "2" -- this mode is specifically designed to prioritize depth tracking for on-coming motion. Great for cars, cyclists, runners, etc.
The basketball game should have been shot in Continuous Priority 12 FPS in AF Area "Wide" or "Lock-on AF: Expand Flexible Spot" with AF Track Duration set to "2" or "3". He also should have turned Smile/Face Detection "Off" to avoid confusing the sensor and set AF Priority to "AF".
@Alan_S, DPR's Dan Bracaglia alludes to their Track Duration settings in this comment elsewhere http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-alpha-slt-a77ii?comment=5103275947 . Rishi also speaks to it a little bit down in the same thread.
andy1331: I think DPReview is a bit too regaled/pampered/spoiled (*) from the products that Sony came up with during the last years and had very very high expectation. Because if you just review the facts and compare with comparable competition it should have eailiry a gold reward. For example I tested (and finally bought) this a77II and also tested a EOS 70D. The a77II was far better in almost every aspect (or at least similar) but he 70D gets a higher score from dpreview. I think that the expectation were a bit to high. It's not that ultimate miracle wapon that beats a 4DS or 1DX for 15% of the price but compared to other 1000 € APS-C bodies out there it is very very exicting.I love it !
@sirok, that's exactly right, and it was also the reason why if you were a pro you shot Nikon F3 or you weren't taken seriously. At the time I was new to the sport, young and ignorant to the nonsense that surrounded me, and that clearly my new Minolta gear was inferior. But it wasn't too long before I saw through the misinformation. A few years later the F4 was released, and all of a sudden autofocus was ready for prime time.
@Rishi, impressive video. Maybe it's presumptuous of me, but I expect that kind of performance from a $2K+ flagship brand model. I always thought they excelled very well at that, and getting the most out of their sensors (often Sony made - figured I had to throw that in there just for a good return dig ;)
While I admittedly laughed at the stuffed cat mockery, I did assume that it was just a simple way to demonstrate whatever was occurring in real world testing. Thanks for confirming that. There seems to be the unfair false impression among some that this was the extent and highlight of your AF testing, I don't know where that came from.
Mike FL: Very informative that:
1. "The a77II's performance appears to be more than 1EV behind the best of its peers" while A77.2 has new 24MP CMOS Sensor.
2. "1/2EV cost of its semi-transparent mirror"
1+2 = at least 1.5 stop if not 2 stop "behind the best of its peers".
There is nothing SONY can do for "1/2EV cost of its semi-transparent mirror", but SONY has to start to thinking to buy SENSOR from others for better low-light performance just like NIKON buys SONY sensors for the very same reason in the past.
@Rishi, that's interesting. Thanks for sharing that insight.
To clarify, the A-mount future has been "uncertain" since 1985, way back when no self respecting photographer would be caught dead shooting autofocus. But having heard this for 30 years now, it's really nothing new.
Jeadm: I switched on "compare mode" to see how it fares against the Canon 70D, a camera in a similar price range to the Sony A77II (body only Canon 70D is $1000, Sony $900). Lo and behold, they don't compare. DPR categorizes the 70D as "Mid Range...DSLR", the A77II as "Semi-professional...DSLR".
So when you see 80% Silver Award, just remember they're scoring it against cameras way above its price class and fighting weight. The 7DII body only is $1700, a body they compare to the A77II. I suspect if they taged it as a "Mid Range" body, it would have scored higher and really cleaned up that category. Still, kudos for classifying the A77II in the category it deserves to be in, and not just looking at price tags to establish that.
That said, I'm not sure what to make of DPR's classifications, particularly when they put full frame and APS-C cameras in the same category. Comparisons are certainly interesting, but on this one big detail alone (sensor size) you simply can't compare them.
Well to clarify they score cameras against one another on the basis of comparison between other cameras in the same category. So an 83% scored 70D isn't "1% less" compared to the 84% scored 7DmkII because that's not how DPR calculates score (they're considered different categories of beast).
The only reasons I sought out the comparison in the first place is because the 70D is similarly priced to an A77II (certainly more so than the 7DmkII), and because I've also shot Canon for many years (and still own/shoot Canon gear).
Having shot both Canon and Sony extensively, I speak with confidence of my knowledge on the two platforms, and the pros/cons of each. Like most smart people who use the tools of their trade, I make decisions based strictly on whatever works best for my particular style and skills. Branding has little bearing on that. If any particular brand wanted to sit on their laurels and stop innovating, I could choose to live with it and ride on reputation alone. Or not.
mpgxsvcd: I understand why this camera didn't get the Gold award. It isn't quite the camera that the NX1 is. However, isn't it great that a camera with so many great features with this price point is not considered to be exceptional?
The cameras of today are very good compared to what our options were just a few short years ago.
deep7, Dyxum lists about 18 "current" constant f2.8 (or faster) zooms for A-mount, over 50 if you count older/discontinued models. This is just zooms mind you, not counting primes.
craig66: I don't understand this in the list of Cons:
"No way to quickly check focus in image review, since only center of image is magnified"
You can move the magnified region around with the joystick and zoom in/out with the rear wheel. I don't see what else it could do.
(continued) Using an OVF you were used to chimping and (hopefully quickly) making adjustments on the fly, post shot. EVF/LCD live view all-the-time disrupts that workflow. Is there still post shot review? Of course, if you want to, but this time it often occurs much later. But for OVF users who have never really experienced the benefits of using a modern EVF/LCD real time live view to set up ALL their shots, as your confidence in the system grows you'll find you rely much less on the post shot review. In turn, this gives you more time to focus on just making the next shot. For that alone, from a versatility and usability standpoint, I can't see myself ever going back to the OVF.
I think that's valid. Going directly to a/the focus point on review to check focus (post-shot) is absolutely sensible, and should at least be an option to tick on/off (wouldn't be much help on focus recompose).
That said, I think K E Hoffman hit the nail on the head. With these EVF type cameras. for me anyway, all the chimping happens prior to the shot. This is so much true that image review on my cameras are always off by default. Check & magnify can be easily done while composing it for critical focus. No time for that and need to get the shot? As long as I'm reasonably confident I'm on the right focus point, firing a short burst (+/- 3 shots) is usually more than adequate to guarantee focus on those shots you need to rush. In fact, more often than not I end up with an ideal choice of every burst shot, all perfectly focused. Shooting with an EVF/LCD full time, in order to capitalize on all the benefits of the new tools, fundamentally (but positively) changes your technique.
I switched on "compare mode" to see how it fares against the Canon 70D, a camera in a similar price range to the Sony A77II (body only Canon 70D is $1000, Sony $900). Lo and behold, they don't compare. DPR categorizes the 70D as "Mid Range...DSLR", the A77II as "Semi-professional...DSLR".
Nikolai Vassiliev: Fine review, but where is usual Performance page with buffer fill speed and other important things?
My observation, entirely unscientific as it is: Having shot the A77II RAW+JPEG for a few months, and having not yet reached a buffer full scenario, perhaps it gets (a bit unfairly) overlooked, simply because it was never a problem. We can tend to take for granted those things that don't impede us.
refillable: Two possibilities. Either that DPR hates A-Mount for some strange reason (which is unlikely), or (if all the things said in the review are objectively true) this is a very good explanation for the abandoning of A-Mount by Sony. The D7200 is much better in many ways based on this review.
@lhkjacky, your observation is right on and gets overlooked by the traditional DSLR crowd that has never tried to use such a beast, at least for an amount of time necessary to make a fair and honest comparison. I would add the ability to pre-chimp and critically check focus and exposure before the shot as part of the normal shooting routine. It isn't just a simple pivot from OVF to EVF, it actually changes the way you shoot in some very positive ways.
Among the questions that would be nice to have answered in the review:
Does it read and copy SDXC card properly? Does it read and copy exFAT formatted cards properly?What card formats does it support?
Some Sony ILCs with cards >=64GB require these card specs, and several standalone devices made in recent years aren't up to the job.