nachos: I've owned a few lacie ruggeds over the years. I still buy them because they're the least worst among the rugged sector. They will inevitably fail after awhile though. It's always been the connection circuitry and not the drive inside. You can open the case, remove the drive and attach a USB->SATA converter and keep using it.
I once kept a drive going for a year doing this.
Same here. The Rugged enclosure failed long ago, but the drive inside is still in use.
Had the same problem with a Seagate enclosure, and again that disk is still use via a SATA-to-USB converter. Enclosures I've never had any problems with are IOMega and a $20 no-name.
It's never been so easy to loose all your pictures.
sdh: To those who are making a fuss over the level gauge: WHY?
Activate the grid, pay attention to horizontal or vertical elements in the composition and visually align them to the grid.
In my experience a physically level camera yields an image that looks tilted, more often than not.
Having both is useful - grid & level is my default display. Sometimes perfectly level makes the composition look askew and sometimes there's not a convenient line in the composition to eyeball from. And seeing that the level gauge is off always reminds me to double check the overall composition in cases where i'm focusing a little too much on my subject.
Also, the 2-axis level is really helpful when taking pictures of boxes where I want to keep distortion to a minimum.
G1Houston: Is the lack of an external charger really a negative?
I have come to appreciate the fact that when I carry these cameras on a trip, I do not have to pack all the bulky chargers with them. I just have to bring a single USB cable that I already use to charge my phone and tablet. Is that really so difficult to charge a separate battery at night time in the camera? It is also possible to use those external batteries we have for the smartphone to quick charge the "camera" in the filed. I thus suggest Dpreview to reconsider calling the lack of external charger a "pro," to encourage companies to simply the accessary. It drives me mad that each one of my camera has a different battery with a different charger.
Outlets are usually at a premium in a hotel room. Another advantage of the USB charging is that I can use one of those plug-in gadgets that has 4 USB ports (and is still smaller than a standard battery charger) and charge my camera, iPad and iPhone all at the same time. The one I have has good output so the charging times aren't bad and excessive heating hasn't been a problem.
larrytusaz: Having shot with the NEX-6 before I would miss the level gauge. I can't shoot a level landscape without one if my life depended on it. There's always a Joby aftermarket spirit level, but then you can't see it if you're using the EVF. Why in the WORLD was this left off from the NEX-6?
However, I love what they'e done with having so many AF points covering so much of the frame. This is something that DSLR makers still don't seem to get--we don't want to have to "focus center and recompose," we want to compose as-is and then be able to place an AF point pretty much wherever on the screen with our current composition already accounted for. Even models like the D7100 don't provide enough coverage, to say nothing of the D3000 and D5000 series. Whenever you say "I want about 150 AF points covering the WHOLE screen" they look at you like you're asking for the moon or something. Sony proves that in fact you're not asking that at all.
Same with me. I'm quite proficient at getting crocked landscapes. I don't want to crop in post since that changes the composition I was going for.
razorfish: Make a smashing new camera with great performance, cripple some key features like the viewfinder and electronic level, now you've created an "upgrade path" to your essentially dinosaur "full frame" models. How do you still get a gold award? Underprice it a lot compared to competing brands, and even seasoned reviewers won't notice the crippling going on.
The level is baffling. For me that would be a deal breaker. I use the level all the time and Sony has such a nice 2-axis implementation.
I've been wowed by the AF speed in the store. It rivals my SLT. Wish my RX1 was that fast.
vscd: DXO should finally unbound old Cameras from the "Elite" Edition. I don't understand why I have to pay 299$ for my 9 years old Canon 5D. :-(
I'd consider upgrading my DxO (got it before ViewPoint came out) if they didn't charge such a premium for the privilege of using full frame.
Then again, my second camera is a Fuji X and I just remembered that DxO doesn't handle that.
topstuff: The A77 was always a decent camera. Handling really is lovely.
This seems a genuine improvement if the sensor is better.
The SLT really does not make a noticeable difference to IQ in real world use, it really doesn't, while the excellent AF and "always on" live view makes cameras like the Canon 70D (itself the best of traditional DSLR) seems clunky and hopeless.
I really enjoyed my time with the A77. I will take a look at the A77 II.
TrojMacReady : Frankly I could care less what your opinion is. It is MY camera and if I say that I can't use it for a specific purpose then that is all that matters to ME. Other's opinions may differ.
Everyone Else: If anyone reading this is considering the purchase of an SLT and plans to use it for low light then you may want to take a look at many samples and see if you like what you see. You should also consider if you shoot RAW or JPG. I shoot 99% JPG since I don't have the time to process a lot of RAW. High ISO RAW holds up better as RAW almost invariably does better at high ISO. You can also use Multi-Frame-Noise-Reduction for static subjects.
Honestly, the high ISO performance is the only complaint I have about the SLT family. I really like my a65 and the a77 / a77ii is a step above that has some additional features that I think would be useful as long as the extra size and weight isn't a problem for you.
The Nex-7 has the same sensor which provides a good indication of the effect of the mirror - and I do indeed see a difference. Also, this thingy in my head called an eyeball also reveals the effect to me just by looking at the mirror. Photography is about capturing light so any loss of light will indeed have an effect.
The bottom line is that IQ is subjective and I find that I can't use this camera above ISO800 so I turn to other gear in those cases (some of which is also from Sony).
I've been using an a65 since the day it was released and I have to disagree about the mirror not degrading the image quality. I've found that I must limit my shooting to no more than ISO 800 otherwise the result will be too noisy.
The SLT technology makes a great outdoors action shooter.
Xentrax: GPS was a unique feature in a cheap A65. Pricier A77M2 does not have GPS.
And no dedicated AF assist red lamp! Hopefully they give 50% discount...
The a65 is still my favorite camera for fast focus / fast shooting in good light. Love the GPS (when it is able to lock). Comes in handy for place like a large zoo or Disney World where a general location isn't as helpful as a more specific location.
In my opinion, the SLT technology suffers in low light. Anything above ISO 800 is too noisy due to the additional light loss of the mirror.
BGM: Thanks for the English lesson. Get a life
No problem, Mr. Bgm.
Matt Random: Can I vote twice? I have the Sony RX1 and FujiFilm X100S. Both are excellent cameras and each has their merits.
The RX1 seems to be better for things. The DR range is excellent for landscapes and sunsets. The sharpness of the RX1 is excellent for catalogue style shots of cameras and such. The LCD on the RX1 is beautiful and I've never had a problem using it outdoors. The RX1, like the Sony a65 I also use, can oversaturate reds. This will often affect skin tones. Using a hotshoe flash does clear this up and results in excellent portraits.
The X100S seems to be better for people. Skin tones are great. Focus is often faster and I tend to get less motion blur even when all other things are equal - at least according to the numbers. The X100S is more portable so I tend to take it with me more often. The X100S does tend to miss focus more often, but that may just be my learning curve.
Both cameras will remain in my arsenal and both will probably be my main workhorses since I'm finding I really like the 35mm FL.
Can I vote twice? I have the Sony RX1 and FujiFilm X100S. Both are excellent cameras and each has their merits.
huyzer: What's up with people voting "I had it", when this is a brand new camera. Darn haters.
Thought it says 'I hate it'?
sirok: Sony's moving forward while others are still stuck in the last century with their flapping mirrors. Its a digital future ..The Mirror is gone and the mechanical shutter will go next. Just a matter of time before the processing power is available, affordable.This tech is already used on small compacts.(electronic shutter). And why are these posters jealous that Zeiss has aligned themselves with Sony. Cause Zeiss can see the future too.
What I like about EVF is the addition of information. I use an in-camera level a lot. I also like to have a live histogram available.
OVFs have traditionally lacked in this area. I wondered for years why a camera manufacturer doesn't put an LCD overlay on an OVF. Fuji eventually did just that, but I don't want a compact camera style OVF w/ parallax and no depth of field preview. I prefer TTL. Maybe one of these days someone will do it, but by then there will be even more advantages to constantly reading the data out of the sensor which is something that just isn't possible with a TTL OVF.
Abhijith Kannankavil: the title of the article says what's the problem with Sony. they just keep bringing new things every six months n forget what they were selling to us six months ago.
Agreed. I've been an SLR user for over 20 years but never had more than 3 lenses for any camera. It's just how I prefer it. When it came time to replace my Canon 30D I looked to Sony since I saw a lot of innovation. I opted to go for the SLT line over the NEX since I wasn't sure if the NEX line would go anywhere and I could easily get the handful of lenses I wanted in the Alpha line. Guess that was a good move since I'm not sure if the NEX line ever got the lenses that I like to use the most.
I've been happy with the a65 so I opted to get an RX1 instead of a corvette to sate my midlife crisis. I love it and use it more than the a65 now due to portability, but I'm surprised that there hasn't been a single firmware update. The camera functions well enough as it is, but I had expected a few updates since that seemed like the norm for the SLT and NEX lines (not referring to the frequent lens compatibility updates).
Standards are rarely future proof - especially in technology. So it is good to see that Sony is willing to diverge from the A-Mount as we move into an era where an enormous cavity for a mirror is no longer required. Time will tell how much forethought Sony has put into the E-Mount. The fact the EF is possible seems to indicate that there was at least some forethought.
I'll be watching this technology to see if it becomes suitable to replace my a65 at some point. For now it is hard to beat the AF speed, burst speed, IBIS and GPS (really enjoy that) all in a fairly compact body. I do really enjoy the DR and usable ISO range of the RX1 so I could see myself wanting to go to a full frame system camera at some point. When that time comes I suspect that there may not be a lot of advantages to sticking with a larger DSLR or SLT (which seems like it may now be dead).
I should also mention that I'm not a Sony fanboy. I used Canon much longer than Sony and always have my eye on Fuji.
I would consider this if they let me, but I don't have PS.
Shangri La: Add VR to the lens and an articulated 3' screen, this will be a perfect pocket camera.
You've got some big pockets!