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Sony SLT-A77 II First Impressions Review

May 2014 | By Richard Butler, Jeff Keller
Buy on GearShopFrom $1,098.00


Based on a pre-production SLT-A77 II running firmware 1.00

Sony has announced the SLT-A77 II which, as the name implies, is an overhaul of its semi-pro APS-C camera from 2011. The camera itself looks interesting, but so do some of the things it could be taken to signify.

Sony is not a company that could ever be accused of not trying. Eight years on from buying Konica Minolta's camera business, Sony has produced over forty interchangeable lens cameras based on at least three fundamental design approaches: conventional DSLRs, the fixed-mirror SLT system and the mirrorless E-mount models. Those cameras have continued to get better and the company has recently hit a particularly good run of form.

This success in terms of making very good, as well as very innovative, cameras starts to make sense of what has at times looked like a 'try lots of things, see what sticks' approach. The question is: once one of the designs really delivers on its promise, does it make sense to continue the other technologies in parallel?

Clearly Sony believes it does. Despite the leaps and bounds being made with the E-mount Alphas, both in terms of the on-sensor phase detection autofocus of the a6000 and the full frame sensors shoehorned into the A7 triplets, it has continued to develop its SLT cameras. The A77 Mark II features a new autofocus sensor, and it's much more than a refreshed version of an existing design. Instead the A77 II is built around the AF module with the most focus points of any camera on the market (79), covering an extremely wide area of the frame. It's also rated to work in lighting as low as -2EV. That doesn't necessarily make it quite as sophisticated at pro-grade DSLRs, since they have more cross and diagonal sensor elements, but it looks very impressive for a camera in this part of the market.

The autofocus capability combines with the camera's ability to shoot images at 12 frames per second to offer a compelling feature set. The A77 II also benefits from the autofocus tracking advances that have been included on recent Sony cameras, which use information from the main image sensor to identify and follow a given target.

Beyond that autofocus sensor, the A77 II gains an updated 24MP sensor (presumed to be a version of the sensor from the a6000, but without the on-chip sensor phase detection design) and all the benefits that the company introduced with its Bionz X processor. This means it gains three features: context-sensitive noise reduction, diffraction reduction technology and more-sophisticated sharpening.

Sony SLT-A77 II key specifications:

  • 24MP CMOS Sensor with gapless, offset microlenses
  • 12fps continuous shooting with autofocus (up to 60 JPEGs)
  • 79 point AF module with 15 cross-type AF points, covering 40% of frame
  • Increased control over AF behavior
  • 1080p60 movies with autofocus
  • Audio level monitoring during movie shooting
  • 2.4M dot OLED viewfinder
  • Pull-out three-hinge tilt/swivel 1.23m dot White Magic LCD screen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC
  • 1/8000th maximum shutter speed, shutter rated for 150,000 actuations
  • ISO 100 - 25,600 (Extendable down to 50, and up to 51,200 with multi-image combination)
  • Auto ISO customization
  • Optional, profile-based correction of vignetting, chromatic aberrations and geometric distortion
  • Top panel LCD
  • Stereo microphone and external mic socket
  • AF Micro Adjust

Focus advances

Although Sony stresses that the A77 II shouldn't be compared to pro-grade cameras (not least because it's much less expensive), it is starting to gain the kinds of paper specifications that suggest it could punch considerably above its weight. For instance, the improvements to the A77 II's autofocus system extend a long way beyond the focus sensor itself.

The Mark II gains a range of subject identifying technologies that Sony has introduced in recent models. As such, it offers Eye-AF, rather than just face detection. It also gains the most advanced version of 'Lock-On AF' that we've yet seen, which will use or allow you to specify an off-center starting AF point (previously most Sonys assumed your subject was the thing at the center of the frame, when you started tracking).

Unlike the A99, which used its on-sensor phase detection elements to track a subject's movement when it was between the focus sensor's focus points, the A77 II uses the focus points adjacent to the currently active point. In addition, the A77 II becomes the first Sony that lets you determine how doggedly the camera should stick with the current focus point - an option you'd usually only expect to find on very high level models. Better still, it lets you specify different values for video and stills shooting.

On top of this, the camera has an A99-style distance limiter that lets you specify the approximate range of focus distance over which you expect your subject to travel, to prevent the camera being distracted by near or distant subjects. Also added is an option to prioritise release or focus in continuous shooting, giving much greater control over the camera's continuous focus and shooting behavior. Overall, the A77 II represents a major step forward for Sony autofocus control.

What's in a name?

Interestingly, Sony's marketing implies that it is moving away from the 'Single Lens Translucent' name for the A77 II, instead adopting the phrase 'Translucent mirror DSLR.' This is a slightly unfortunate phrase to use, semantically, but only because the mirror is actually semi-transparent (translucence implies a diffuse image): the camera has all the elements implied by the term 'DSLR.'

The technology remains the same as before: a fixed, semi-transparent mirror redirects a portion of the light up to a dedicated autofocus sensor, while the majority passes through to the main imaging sensor. The light lost to the AF sensor has a slight cost in terms of high ISO image quality, but avoids the complexity of multiple moving mirrors, with the benefit that autofocus remains available at all times, including during video shooting.

SLT-A77 II vs. SLT-A77 key differences

 

Sony SLT-A77 II

Sony SLT-A77
Sensor New 24MP APS-C CMOS 24MP APS-C CMOS
Body construction Magnesium Alloy/Plastic Magnesium Alloy/Plastic
Viewfinder 2.4m dot OLED TruFinder 2.4m dot OLED TruFinder
Rear LCD 1.23m dot RGBW LCD 920k dot RGB LCD
AF Sensor 79 points (15 cross-type) 19 points (11 cross-type)
GPS No Yes
Wi-Fi Yes No
LCD Articulation Triple hinged (hinge/tilt/swivel) Triple hinged (hinge/tilt/swivel)
Custom settings recall on mode dial 3 1
Hotshoe type ISO standard with Multi-Interface connections Minolta-style
Maximum shooting rate 12fps 12fps
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000th 1/8000th
Video 1080p60 AVCHD 2.0 1080p60 AVCHD 2.0


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

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We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2014 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 599
123
DaytonR
By DaytonR (2 months ago)

Interesting camera , it seems Sony is hell bent on removing GPS from its cameras - sad ....

12 upvotes
Photoworks
By Photoworks (2 months ago)

Yes, so very sad. What is the world coming to?

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (2 months ago)

Wow, honestly people will always find something to complain about. Want GPS and don't want any of the other new features... Buy an A77. Really, really simple.

4 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

NO. It's NOT really really simple. The thing is people out there with A77 cameras and A65 cameras would LIKE to be able to upgrade to the new camera, which has the standard hot shoe, which they wish they had, but they won't do it, because they love the GPS feature. Sony is STUPID for not including GPS in this camera. THAT is what is really simple.

3 upvotes
photogalleryonline
By photogalleryonline (2 months ago)

Does it allow manual control of the Iris (Apetrure) during Video shooting? How does the 12 fps work compared to the A77 which had some terrible blackout (image review) while shooting at speed thus impossible to track/pan anything at speed?

1 upvote
SteveY80
By SteveY80 (2 months ago)

Whether there's still a slideshow when shooting at faster speeds is definitely one of the things I want to know.

I've been looking at various hand-on tests, and despite them talking about the high burst speed, none have made it clear whether this old SLT problem has been solved.

1 upvote
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

Have you ever used a Sony SLT camera? I had an A55, and at 10 fps it did not suffer "black-out" at all. It may have had a little lag, which meant you would have to lead the subject a little, but try shooting with a Canon 1Dx. I don't think you can even see through the viewfinder at all.

The A77 that I shot with didn't seem to have any "black-out" problem either. This mystery "black-out problem" seems to be a bunch of malarkey! Stop spreading rumors, unless you have first-hand experience with one of these cameras, and you can explain exactly what it does.

4 upvotes
pheanix
By pheanix (2 months ago)

The real question is, have you ever used an OVF camera to know the difference? I've used both and there IS a slide show effect when using fast burst and attempting to track with the A77 (I own one and the A700). It's only a mystery in your mind.

2 upvotes
photogalleryonline
By photogalleryonline (2 months ago)

Mate I have a A77, D300s a 6D and recently OMD, all cameras could shoot faster than the A77 consistently, the OMD got binned because its AF sucks in low light, but try shooting A77 at even as slow as 3fps in jpeg mode and its stuffed at 1.5 secs while the write speed catches up, all while you are watching this slow slide show of the images you shot, not looking at what you are shooting, don't get me wrong I love this camera but its not a sportsmens tool, its a great travel camera and thats what I use it for. The Nikon is awesome at sport, will shoot 3fps non stop until you run out of card or battery...neither of which will happen for min 500 shots.

1 upvote
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

If you can only shoot for 1.5 secs at 3 fps then there is something wrong with your A77. That camera has a large buffer for shooting raw which has a huge capacity for shooting JPEGs. I have shot with them, and I had NO PROBLEM shooting a lot more than 6 frames or even twice that, and I was normally shooting at about 8 fps, which is what the A77 shoots at when in M mode. I was shooting in RAW mode too! Here is a gallery of photos that PROVES that even the A65 can do a lot better than what you were talking about. (I was testing the focus ability, while shooting fast in dim light.) Just look at the EXIF data on these photos after downloading them, and you will see the time is the same for the first half-dozen, and the next second for the rest. This proves how fast the camera shoots and that you DON'T get stopped after shooting for just a few frames. The A77 is of course better, with a deeper buffer. Shooting raw at 12 fps is another matter.

http://ffphotos.zenfolio.com/sonya65

0 upvotes
Deliverator
By Deliverator (2 months ago)

Perhaps the slide show effect is the product of leaving image review on in the finder when shooting in burst mode? It's easy to see how this could be forgotten, and obvious how this would be a problem.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (2 months ago)

"How does the 12 fps work compared to the A77 which had some terrible blackout (image review) while shooting at speed thus impossible to track/pan anything at speed?"

If image review (which is not the same as blackout at all) is presented to you at 12fps, it is the same as using 12fps viewfinder with zero lag (because it offers to you the actual results of your tracking after the shots were taken, eliminating the difference between what you see in VF - no matter OVF or EVF - and what you actually get in your pictures).

0 upvotes
gwbert
By gwbert (2 months ago)

My A77 has done over 50k sports images (RAW only) in last 12 months, mainly motor sport & aerobatics. Mainly pan & track activity. Has been excellent, & the features that let me use old glass easily in manual mode have been a god-send with big, old, telephotos. No criticism of write-speed from me IF you get fast cards. Class 10 isn't good enough - write-speed must be rated at 40+ to make most of body.

0 upvotes
igor_s
By igor_s (2 months ago)

Is the A77II's IBIS configurable for work with non-chipped lenses of different FL?

0 upvotes
Axion
By Axion (2 months ago)

I don't believe that it is technically possible: the amount sensor movement required is partly determined by the focal length (similar to the movement we see through the VF with wide vs. tele lens).

0 upvotes
igor_s
By igor_s (2 months ago)

In Pentax SLRs you can set the lens FL via the menu. I assume the camera will apply a different amount of sensor shift depending on your setting. You can play with it to achieve the best results with every lens. In any case that is better than nothing. The A77 will lock at default 50 mm which makes its IBIS almost useless already for a 100 mm lens.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Eleson
By Eleson (2 months ago)

All a-mount lens must report a lens-id back to the camera.
3rd party with licenses get their own lens-id in the database, others resort to reusing a lens-id, preferrably a lens with similar focal length.

2 upvotes
EinsteinsGhost
By EinsteinsGhost (2 months ago)

I have used adapted lenses on my a55 via chipped adapters, which in turn is useful for IBIS (and the lens FL shows up in EXIF as well). I do like the Pentax solution better... allow users to plug in the FL, although, they would have to remember doing that every time.

0 upvotes
igor_s
By igor_s (2 months ago)

What adapter model did you use? I mean, it should be programmable for FL.

0 upvotes
Deliverator
By Deliverator (2 months ago)

It seems to me the SLT cameras should be better when it comes to vibrations from mirror slap. Does anyone have any insight to offer on this?

0 upvotes
K E Hoffman
By K E Hoffman (2 months ago)

There is no mirror slap.. mirror never moves..

7 upvotes
John-Nguyen
By John-Nguyen (2 months ago)

Oh no, I really dont want my image goes throu anything other than my len.

1 upvote
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

Compare the images in tests or do tests for yourself. The A77 compares favorably against the Nikon D5200. The Nikon D5300 and D7100 both have the missing anti-aliasing filter, so they are slightly sharper, but it is difficult to tell a difference. As far as the light traveling through another piece of glass, even if it is a mirror, the results in the photos prove that it does not matter.

7 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (2 months ago)

There have been tests done I believe that show mirror slap can be an issue with traditional DLSR's but not the SLT's.

The other bonus is the electronic first curtain shutter.

That reduces the chance of shutter vibrations affecting the results which can apparently effect the 36mp A7 which does not have this feature.

0 upvotes
Timbukto
By Timbukto (2 months ago)

It really is about time Dpreview stops focusing on making the same old everything looks exactly the same when resized to print studio shots, and do more tests on both autofocus and both mirror slap/shutter shock. Yes we get the point, all camera's are about the same at high ISO (or start to cheat at the ISO game).

The fact that they are so enamored with Fuji's baked in NR and inflated ISO scores seems to indicate to expect more of the same pointless ISO comparisons.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
Deliverator
By Deliverator (2 months ago)

Yes, I realize there is no mirror slap in an SLT. My thinking this should improve sharpness when compared to DSLRs.

I too would like to see more testing on AF performance (speed, accuracy), though I do find the high ISO tests to be informative for comparison purposes.

0 upvotes
Marco Fisico
By Marco Fisico (2 months ago)

I wish they would have added a touch screen. An OLED back screen. A phone app to remotely control your camera. The ability to PC tether and it would be interesting if they released a battery grip that had an additional SD card slot.

1 upvote
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (2 months ago)

Both PC tethering and control through a remote (phone, tablet) app will be possible IIRC.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

They have put a different back screen, which is even BETTER than an OLED back screen. Read about it. It has white pixels as well as red, green, and blue pixels. This makes it brighter and apparently it appears sharper. I'm looking forward to seeing the difference at the Sony store near me.

0 upvotes
theprehistorian
By theprehistorian (2 months ago)

Are there any decent lenses for these things? I have recollections of most of the standard primes being a bit below par compared with similar from Canikon...

0 upvotes
antares103
By antares103 (2 months ago)

Yeah, I think they only have those hack Zeiss branded lenses.

9 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (2 months ago)

.

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (2 months ago)

Or Sigma.

7 upvotes
Charrick
By Charrick (2 months ago)

Try the Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art. It's second only to the Zeiss Otus in image quality (but cheaper and has autofocus, thus making it a better buy for most people), and better than anything Canon or Nikon have at that focal length (although this lens is also for those systems).

2 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (2 months ago)

And as a bonus it will be stabilized, just lik every prime (or lens in general).

Comment edited 9 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
theprehistorian
By theprehistorian (2 months ago)

Ah yes, good point. I forgot those new Siggies are available for a-mount. I have to say this is an interesting camera - I suppose its high ISO performance will make it or break it, given that you're sure as hell going to find yourself needing higher sensitivities than on comparable cameras. (It'd better be good or you'll just buy a Pentax K3 won't you!)

0 upvotes
Olymore
By Olymore (2 months ago)

I believe the fixed mirror loses one third of a stop. Hardly an onerous amount which is not going to make much difference to your ISO settings.

3 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

Of course there are. The Sony 16-80mm f3.5-4.5 is a reference lens . . . the best in its class. The Sony 28-75mm f2.8 is spectacular! It produces image quality as good or better than the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L II or the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 G. Sony also has the amazing 24-70mm f2.8, which beats the Canon and Nikon competitors. What Sony needs to do is put their 36 MP sensor in the A99 body and call it the A99 II. They need to make an A79 with all the features of the A77, but with more buffer memory, two UHS2 memory card slots, built-in GPS, and a sensor with no anti-aliasing filter. 14 fps and 4K video capabilities would be nice too.

I'd like to see more new lenses for these babies too, like a kick-ass 600mm f4 or a class-leading 800mm f5.6 (not that I'll ever have the money to buy one).

BTW, I forgot to include the 16-50mm f2.8 - that lens is amazing! It's incredibly sharp, and it's one of the few Sony lenses that is weather sealed.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Emacs23
By Emacs23 (2 months ago)

@scottelly fanboy detected
No test so far confirms this Sony Zeiss branded lens is better than Nikon or Canon. All test shows it is slightly behind the Nikon and Canon trounces them all. Just don't bee blind or stupid.

0 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

Thank you for making your comment Emacs23. I am correct about what I said . . . except where the new Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L II is concerned. THAT is the new king of the 24-70mm f2.8 lenses, from what I can tell. Just take a look at how sharp they all are:

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1181/cat/83
http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1121/cat/13
http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/143/cat/11
http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1494/cat/11

Here are some other people's opinions:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/860184

BTW, I AM indeed a Sony fanboy, becauase they make awesome stuff . . . though I am upset with them for taking out the GPS from the new A77 and not putting GPS or in-body stabilization in their mirrorless cameras. I'm also upset that they have not been introducing more, better lenses for the SLT cameras. I will get an A65 and possibly an A77, eventually.

1 upvote
fabio riccardi
By fabio riccardi (2 months ago)

To Richard Butler:

If you want fast autofocus in not so good light, you need a mirror of some sort.

The mirror, flipping or not, allows to use large, dedicated phase detection sensors, which work much more reliably in low light situations.

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Cheng Bao
By Cheng Bao (2 months ago)

What's your point? SLT is a kind of mirror.
And also, SLT or SLR, there is only a small part of light will be used on AF, the major part (~70%) of light have to be used on view finder, evf or optical.

w/o mirrors, all light could be used as AF and view finder in same time in theory, so in the end, on sensor af will be better than standalone AF

0 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (2 months ago)

Sony claims that A77II auto-focuses down to -2EV, which is much better than most of the competition with flipping mirror.

4 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (2 months ago)

The Panasonic gx7 I own actually focusses better in low light then my DSLR. -4ev. However tracking with contrast based systems is still terrible.

4 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (2 months ago)

"The mirror, flipping or not, allows to use large, dedicated phase detection sensors"

If they are that large, the focus they provide cannot be pixel-perfect.

0 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (2 months ago)

Three cameras, same price: $ 1199

Sony A77II: 12fps
Nikon D7100: 6fps
Canon 70D: 7fps

SLT rules, flipping mirror sucks!

6 upvotes
Cheng Bao
By Cheng Bao (2 months ago)

Pentax K-3: 8.3 fps
and D7100 can achieve 7.1 fps on 1.3x (over 1.5x sensor) crop mode

1 upvote
Juck
By Juck (2 months ago)

Umm, no Frank. Let's wait to see how well the AF tracking algorithm works before we get all excited. 12 FPS means ZIP if half the shots are OOF.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (2 months ago)

The maximum fps depends on mechanical limits of the mirror- shutter system, not on the performance of the AF system.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

Canon 1Dx is a full-frame camera and it has a flipping mirror. It shoots at 14 fps.

But it costs more than five times the price of the A77 II.

What is the limit? Huh?

The Nikon V3 shoots 18 MP photos at 20 fps while tracking subjects, and it can shoot 18 MP photos at up to 60 fps without tracking. Mirrors suck!

2 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (2 months ago)

Canon 1Dx shoots at 12 fps in high speed mode.
To achieve 14 fps the mirror must be locked up.

5 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (2 months ago)

you are talking prices instead of classes. The a77 is along side the old d300s and 7D both are on the verge of being replaced but will cost a bit more than the a77. sony has been trying to tempt buyers with low prices on cameras for quite some time now without huge gains. Low prices and high quality, high performance rarely go together.

0 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

The fact is these camera makers have been using old technology, making huge profits, for a long time now. The "new" Nikon D5300 is barely an upgrade. The so-called upgraded D7100, while better than the old D7000, has a sensor that is about the same as the old Sony A77 sensor from years ago. It is crippled by a tiny buffer, which is smaller than the much older, cheaper Sony A77. That is indeed PATHETIC . . . but Nikon knows that they are not offering anything better, so their customers will buy it. I am surprised more people do not buy the Sony A77, but I guess it comes down to marketing, which is something Sony seems to be dropping the ball on. For just a $300 million investment Sony could build 300 new stores across the World. Instead they are closing down their stores. Stupid. I will not buy a camera I can't see first, and Sony can not get into camera shops, because they use strong-arm tactics to try and force dealers to sell other Sony products, like televisions!

0 upvotes
Dimit
By Dimit (2 months ago)

I say Sony gives exams for its SLT technology.
It's an excellent evolution vs A77,wouldn't consider it as a revolution though.To stand over competition from Canicon (60D,7100) needs a bit more..a bit..

2 upvotes
Stephan Def
By Stephan Def (2 months ago)

waiting for some hard data.

1 upvote
DaddyG
By DaddyG (2 months ago)

12fps in jpeg. Anyone know what does it does in RAW & buffer size? thx

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (2 months ago)

12 fps in raw (25 or 28 frames buffer - seen different numbers on different sites)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (2 months ago)

26 RAW at 12 fps, 28 RAW at 8 fps.

5 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

So they DID increase the buffer size! Yay!

Now . . . did they increase the memory card slot write speed to UHS104 cards? (That's what people seem to call the fastest UHS-1 cards.) I'll choke if they put a couple of UHS2 card slots in this thing. That would be AWESOME.

0 upvotes
ImageAmateur
By ImageAmateur (2 months ago)

Well the Nikon D7100 does plenty JPEG continuous but only about 7 frames RAW buffer...

Lol.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Donnie G
By Donnie G (2 months ago)

I think Sony's SLT A77 II will be as good as any of the other enthusiast DSLRs out there, especially if the new AF module can deliver on the performance promised by the camera's 12fps burst rate. The problem is that the enthusiast DSLR market is over saturated with really good cameras from all of the DSLR makers. So, other than keeping the Sony SLT fans loyal to the brand, I don't see how the A77 II is going to attract enough attention to take marketshare from the other camera makers. What Sony really needs is a high end professional model that strengthens their brand identity by making them stand out from the crowd, similar to what the Pentax 645Z will do for that brand. And no, the SLT A99 is not it. Still, I think it's great that fans of EVF equipped cameras have a camera to choose that offers all of the advantages of a traditional DSLR. Nice update Sony!

1 upvote
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

The A99 II could be it. If Sony were to put the 36 MP sensor in that, increase the shooting speed in manual to full 10 fps, add wi-fi, bigger buffer, and upgraded auto-focusing capabilities, like this new A77 II has, it would kick-so much ass that just about EVERYONE would want to shoot with it. Where Sony REALLY needs to push is their line of lenses. They need to make a few kick-ass super-telephotos and tilt-shift lenses.

I would like to know why you think the A99 is not a high-end DSLR competitor. It's fully weather sealed. It has a full-frame sensor. It is 24 megapixel with excellent image quality as good as anything Canon has to offer and better than anything from Nikon except the D800 and D800e (matching the D600/610 and D3x). It has better high-ISO performance than the D800 and shoots faster than anything else under $5,000. In fact, it shoots faster than any full frame camera that captures 24 megapixels or more. It is the ONLY full frame camera with a fold-out screen.

1 upvote
igor_s
By igor_s (2 months ago)

I can not figure out why Sony refuses to add the on-chip PDAF feature to its A-mount models. For now, it seems the only way to make the AF ultimately correct while enough fast (like on the A6000). Now I see again that cr----- AF microadjust which means that the user won't be able to shoot reliably with fast lenses. If one needs 12 fps with tracking he can use the SLT system. But in a different situatuion he may be interested in the ultimate reliability of the AF system. Will see how fast the A77II's conventional CDAF system is.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
1 upvote
pew pew
By pew pew (2 months ago)

A mount lenses would not work in a mirrorless camera, the only solution would be to make a slt with the E mount, but still theres room for mirrorless and dslr \slt because they are better with moving objects.

0 upvotes
igor_s
By igor_s (2 months ago)

Why won't the A-mount lenses work in a mirrorless camera? The Canon 70D has the on-chip PDAF detectors and uses the same EF/EFS lenses adapted for the standalone PDAF detector.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
1 upvote
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (2 months ago)

Even with a dedicated STM lens, the 70D is about 5 times slower to focus than the old A77. With the non optimized lenses that difference can grow even further.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
igor_s
By igor_s (2 months ago)

For me, the only question is, whether the on-chip PDAF would be faster than the CDAF (btw, does the A77II really have at least CDAF?)

If it would, Sony should have added it. I do not care about the SLT in this respect.

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

TrojMacReady I think you are mistaken. I have not used the 70 D yet, but I have seen it demonstrated, and it appears to focus VERY quickly, like as fast as my A55 could focus.

As far as using A-mount lenses on the mirrorless bodies goes . . .

YES YOU CAN.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1008166-REG/sony_laea4_a_mount_to_e_mount_lens.html

2 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (2 months ago)

Controlled measurements done by IR showed over 0.6 seconds with an STM lens in LV mode. Not what I would call fast when an A77 takes little over 0.1 seconds for the same exercise. But it is faster than previous iterations which could take 1 to several seconds to focus.

2 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

One of the main reasons I switched to Sony was the fast focusing, while shooting with the fold-out screen. What matters is real-world use. Canon seems to have fixed their slow live-view focusing. Unfortunately Nikon has not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beXzpeixvhE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGktCLL6-Lo

From what I see in those tests, it appears that low light focusing speed is an issue with the Canon. I KNOW from using my Sony A55 that low-light focusing is NOT an issue on the Sony SLT cameras.

1 upvote
Jurka
By Jurka (2 months ago)

AVCHD is sooo yesterday...

2 upvotes
pew pew
By pew pew (2 months ago)

now its AVCHD2 and its pretty decent, look at videos from the a6000 they look identical to the nikon 5300.

5 upvotes
Henrik Herranen
By Henrik Herranen (2 months ago)

Hmh.
I know I sound like a broken record, but how is sensor size not worthy to be on the list of "Key specifications"? Isn't that pretty much the #1 specification of a camera without a fixed lens, even much more important than the number of megapixels?

Really, please, don't assume everyone remembers the sensor size of every camera series of every manufacturer. Yes, some of the nerds know (almost) all of them by heart, but not everyone, not by a long shot..

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
DStudio
By DStudio (2 months ago)

It must take a lot of effort to look slightly down the page at the first chart in the article, or at the full specifications that immediately follow it on the next page.

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (2 months ago)

APS-C sensor size isn't something to boast about. If it's an FF camera that information will be shown prominently at the top, otherwise it will be buried somewhere.

2 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

I agree. If "Top panel LCD" deserves to be on the list then "Sensor size - APS-C (1.5 x crop factor)" does too.

0 upvotes
Hawaii-geek
By Hawaii-geek (2 months ago)

No two(2) card slots?

1 upvote
samhain
By samhain (2 months ago)

Do hobbyists/enthusiasts really need 2 slots? That's more of a pro feature me thinks...

0 upvotes
antares103
By antares103 (2 months ago)

Sony's implementation of 2 card slots has been rather pointless anyway. I would love to see it happen.

0 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (2 months ago)

I had a card failure or 2. These things happen and all your shots are gone. Dual SD is a must at this level both the k3 and d7100 have it.

1 upvote
Eleson
By Eleson (2 months ago)

Yes, two slots. One SD and one Memorystick.

0 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

Two multi-card slots would be better. The one slot they have now is a multi-card slot. Why not just put in another one like that?

1 upvote
pwilly
By pwilly (2 months ago)

With the engineering folks from KM, there is a lot of talent for extending the legacy technologies. Add that to the bright folks at Sony Imaging that think in terms of electronics anyway. How is it surprising that there are multiple forks in the Alpha line?
I say more power to them. They need to scare Canon and Nikon to death. Competition is a good thing!

9 upvotes
Hawaii-geek
By Hawaii-geek (2 months ago)

Minimum Shutter Speed in Auto ISO would have been nice. and a Stainless Steel Mount like the a7s ?

1 upvote
Cartagena Photo
By Cartagena Photo (2 months ago)

Why does everyone want stainless steel. If only you knew. Stainless steel are softer and not as hard as the steel you otherwise would use for the mount. It is therefore not as durable as normal steel.

1 upvote
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

Wrong. It is the chrome plating of the regular mount that is hard . . . not the regular steel. Stainless steel is VERY hard . . . unless the high-carbon steel is hardened steel, and I seriously doubt that is the case, since it is coated with chrome anyway. Titanium would be best. That stuff is harder than almost anything! Actually, if they were to make it out of carbon 64 nano-tubules they would have the ULTIMATE mount - stronger than steel, lighter than titanium, and harder than diamonds! ;)

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Tonkotsu Ramen
By Tonkotsu Ramen (2 months ago)

While I don't necessarily need the AF assist lamp on all the time, i'm a bit disappointed by it's removal.

Is the af sensor good enough to work in nearly no light?

How intrusive is using the flash as an af assist light?

I know some of the newer canon compacts switched to white LED's for their assist lamps, just wondering how it will work with the A77II

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (2 months ago)

The new AF sensor is rated to work as low as -2EV, which is pretty impressive. We can't really test it with a pre-production unit, though.

9 upvotes
tagomilonga
By tagomilonga (2 months ago)

You mean you can't publish results, surely you can test it, can't you?

0 upvotes
macclesfieldman
By macclesfieldman (2 months ago)

I agree... also for the IQ in RAW...

0 upvotes
Lab D
By Lab D (2 months ago)

Is the aperture during video (and AF) still fixed at F/3.5 or widest available?

1 upvote
pew pew
By pew pew (2 months ago)

I would like to know that too.

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (2 months ago)

I've checked and yes, it is: the camera needs to hold the aperture open in order to ensure the AF sensor is illuminated. It's a requirement of the SLT system.

2 upvotes
Azurael
By Azurael (2 months ago)

It's not the fact I can't stop down and have AF in video, I understand why that is - but my a99 uses f/3.5 even on a larger aperture lens...

1 upvote
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

That's pretty stupid, huh? Why can't you use f2.8 or f1.4 and still have auto-focus?

0 upvotes
Candle11
By Candle11 (2 months ago)

What is the future of Sony A-Mount System? are there anymore lenses and equipment coming out?

1 upvote
Eleson
By Eleson (2 months ago)

Focus have for sure been to establish the FF e-mount for a while. But the new AF module send signals of long term commitment.
Time will tell.

2 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (2 months ago)

And FF A, and APSC E? Sony has a lot of balls in the air right now... Wonder if they are just gonna let the market decide.

0 upvotes
antares103
By antares103 (2 months ago)

I hear they have an A77 replacement coming.

6 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

I'd like to see an A79 . . . but sold as a step up from the A77. Faster shooting speed and some other upgrades maybe . . . dual card slots, bigger buffer, no anti-aliasing filter, built-in GPS, better viewfinder, 10 fps in manual shooting mode, 4K video, etc. They could probably sell something like that for $1,499 all day long.

0 upvotes
xlabsmedan
By xlabsmedan (2 months ago)

in this class of camera, speed and the accuracy of focus is number 1, i hope a77 ii can prove the SLT system worth to still production :)

4 upvotes
Akpinxit
By Akpinxit (2 months ago)

on paper it miles ahead of Canon 7D (which suppose to have best AF system in class) , but we should wait for RAW samples , there can be "strange" (if not nasty) surprises : compressed RAW data , CA or oversharp edges and small details artifacts

2 upvotes
repdetect
By repdetect (2 months ago)

Looks like it's still crippled by a lack of audio controls for video.

I am wrong, Sony page says it does. How about that!

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
buratino
By buratino (2 months ago)

at least for original a77: not only lack of controls, but any monitoring as well: plug an external mic and you get no indication if sound works!

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (2 months ago)

No weather sealing?

0 upvotes
WetCoast
By WetCoast (2 months ago)

I assume weather-sealed, since the a77 is.

1 upvote
antares103
By antares103 (2 months ago)

in the "specifications" it lists "environmentally sealed" and "yes" right next to it.

9 upvotes
Marvol
By Marvol (2 months ago)

@antares: yes, but is it WEATHER-sealed :p?

1 upvote
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

It obviously isn't B.S. sealed.

0 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (2 months ago)

All fine except the naming.

I don't get the "II" name? This and the RX100 II seem to be suggesting Sony's doing something new with the naming. The A7/A7R/A7S set is also a different naming scheme. And of course they dropped the NEX names. To add further to the confusion, long after announcing that all full-frame E-mount will be called FE, Sony's own web site uses phrases like "full-frame E-mount."

You'd think a company able to so cleanly engineer complex new camera systems would be able to come up with a better naming convention for them.... ;-)

1 upvote
AlphaTikal
By AlphaTikal (2 months ago)

Yeah, I don't understand the naming scheme. But who cares? I mean, if the naming is the only issue you have, it is the perfect camera. To me. This is true, besides it does not have GPS anymore.

2 upvotes
RandyPD
By RandyPD (2 months ago)

Well. II is the Roman numeral for '2'. Does the Canon system of naming a newer camera after a guy (Mark) makes sense also?

3 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (2 months ago)

Canon has bigger problems than dumb names. ;-)

The A77II would be a great upgrade from my A55... except I have my NEX-7 and A7 with LA-EA1/2/4 adapters for that. All I'm really missing is the sensor-movement anti-shake and the pivot on the LCD. In trade for that, I get the ability to use tons of lenses that can't be adapted to A-mount. Good trade for me.

0 upvotes
FRANCISCO ARAGAO
By FRANCISCO ARAGAO (2 months ago)

How about low light performance. How does it compare with the "old" A77?

0 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (2 months ago)

We know it when there will be RAW support and cameras with final firmware

3 upvotes
pacnwhobbyist
By pacnwhobbyist (2 months ago)

At least they brought the price down from the original model. It should have better high ISO performance that its predecessor too.

0 upvotes
Marcelobtp
By Marcelobtp (2 months ago)

This A77II is a near perfect camera for most things i've been doing.
But there are some quirks that i just don't understand why sony is delaing it so much.
Why no touchscreen?
Why no ISO info on the top LCD?
Why use the same battery from the A700 times?(A new battery is an urgent upgrade, to make it more competitive, my D7000, i can shoot more then 1000 shot per battery easily and was launched 4 years ago)
Other than that i really don't understand the order of AF mode MF, C, A, S?

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (2 months ago)

The only way to up battery life for these cameras is a larger battery, which would mean it's no longer backwards compatible and will require a larger body.

The same battery has a >1000 CIPA rating in an old A500 too, but that's because OVF cameras simply require a lot less battery juice. Set a D7000 to LV all the time and the battery life will be cut in half (or more) too.

4 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (2 months ago)

I've done more than 220000 shots with my A77. In real life A77 usually does 700-1200 shots per 1 battery, and it's very acceptable result for camera with EVF

4 upvotes
Prognathous
By Prognathous (2 months ago)

Another good way to improve batter life is to stop chimping and turn off automatic postview. In a way it's similar to using the camera a film camera. I only use postview if you have a very good reason to (e.g. checking critical exposure). That's what I'm doing with my A77 and I find it to be a very liberating experience.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Marcelobtp
By Marcelobtp (2 months ago)

Yes, but the technology evolves, and i assure you that batterys now can last longer with the same physical size, and this type of cameras that relys on evfs and lcds need to have a proportional bigger battery power, not having an ovf its not an excuse for less shots.
Backwars compatibility in this case is kind of a dumb thing because its diferent tech used, wich needs much more battery life to be competitive.
Looking at the specs, 79 AF with FASTER and more RESPONSIVE af, should need more juice from the batterys, much more processor intesive calculations, even when the processor is probably a much more energy eficient. The lens has to move at a faster pace and for that only making a much lighter lens.
Lenses are for lifetime people don't change lenses as they change cameras, so i guess a new battery is needed.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Marcelobtp
By Marcelobtp (2 months ago)

Well, 700 to 1200 thats waaaay more than what they claim, i have to verify that

0 upvotes
Marcelobtp
By Marcelobtp (2 months ago)

I only chimp, (i think chimp is to look at the photo review on the lcd)
when i change exposure (in a dificult light situation), WB or take a photo with very thin DPOF, i guess theres no need to chimp on evf, you are realtime chimping.

0 upvotes
TheVoid
By TheVoid (2 months ago)

The backwards compatibility is an attractive feature, not a limitation in my opinion. If they introduced a new battery for this camera you'd be reading the complaints of folks who regularly carry multiple bodies and really like having them share the same battery, charger, etc. The vertical grip is recommended for those who need extra life, and lots of us carry spare batteries too when travelling...it's something we live with these days.

2 upvotes
Marvol
By Marvol (2 months ago)

I think the benefits of keeping the old battery, so that most people have easy access to a couple of spares accumulated over the years or gotten cheaply off Tinterwebs, greatly outweigh the benefits of introducing an entire new battery.

But in the end this being Sony they'd get slated whichever way they choose :|.

2 upvotes
Marcelobtp
By Marcelobtp (2 months ago)

Well, i have an assumpition that sony have two missions, get more newbies on its system, and catch pros from the other systems.
For the newbies case, my first interchangeable sony was nex 3, was a very very bad choice, the system was very imature and much worse than my d60 that i hated because of its size and bulkiness, in the end d60 was a much better performer, mostly because it was much more reliable, much more in focus picks, much more easily acessible buttons, faster auto-focus, battery life...
Well, i sold my nex3 and hoped to someday get back to sony, but some works needed more lenses and the thing goes on now i'm with nikon, my d7000 has some problems, with AF, when in live view for some time or long shoot the screen gets crazy and the camera locks. This is increasing, i guess i got faulty camera but as i live in Brasil nikon has a terrible repair service here...

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Marcelobtp
By Marcelobtp (2 months ago)

Then, now as i work as semi-pro photographer and make money with it, to change to another system i need to re-sell everything that i have, buy new expensive products, learn the equipment and everything, its a burden. So expect sony, or other manufacture to bring a system much better than the one i have. I want less problems, not more.
One of the things i really like with D7000 is the great DR, good high iso perf, "Good AF", and battery life. I have grip and 2 batterys, never had a necessity to have more then 2 batterys for a day of shooting, in the worst case the first battery was charged beffore the second one was discharged.
So i want the same experience on this side of things and better experience on the others. Long time sony users are not a huge consumer base. So i can't see a new battery as something that would hurt sony, i guess this would be beneficial. For them, to continue this pursuit to be in the market, and maybe became a market leader.

0 upvotes
SteveJnerChicago
By SteveJnerChicago (2 months ago)

Have used A77 since November 2012. Glad Sony kept old Battery. I shoot Birds. Always in Continuous AF mode and always get at least 2000 and have gotten up to 3050 images on one battery.To get the most out of Battery...
Keep LCD turned into body. (Only use when needed.)
Turn on Eye Start EVF
Turn off GPS (An almost useless feature. Unless you're lost)

0 upvotes
Marvol
By Marvol (2 months ago)

And Gary Friedman advises to NOT switch the camera off/on repeatedly but instead set the power save to its shortest setting.

The rationale (which makes sense) being that every power off/on makes the camera go through the entire power off/start up protocol including sensor shake etc.

0 upvotes
En Trance
By En Trance (2 months ago)

Certainly not going to make me replace my A77. This one seams to be focused on the noise issues for the A77. I don't need the GPS or WiFi, I have a Cell Phone, Duh! Sony really has not convinced me that they are loyal to my A-Mount either, with this "Nothing Upgrade". I am glad that my A77 still has 2 years of life left for me. After that time, Sony better have 36 MP covered or I may consider a switch. Disappointed!

0 upvotes
Sammy the Seal
By Sammy the Seal (2 months ago)

I've been a A77 user for a year and a half. Learning about the loss of GPS and AF assist lamp dampened my enthusiasm somewhat but I'm still very interested to see how they've addressed viewfinder brightness and high ISO noise. Although there is intrusive noise on the A77 starting around ISO 1600 (isn't that true of most APS-C cameras?) I have found that with the 16-50 f/2.8 lens it's not a major problem. If the new sensor/processor combination provides noise improvement as they claim it will be a welcome update, as will be a brighter and sharper viewfinder. To the people who dismiss these cameras out of hand because of ISO noise charts: In side by side tests with my Canon 60D I found that using the same aperture and shutter speed, I was able to get the same exposure on the A77 (based on the histograms) at an ISO setting a stop lower than that of the 60D, and the resulting pictures on the A77 were much better to boot. I hope they've also addressed the underexposure problem.

3 upvotes
bawboh86
By bawboh86 (2 months ago)

Hmmmmm... I'm still using my OG A77 and see no real reason to upgrade. Maybe if they fix some of the ISO performance so I can feel more comfortable shooting above 1200 without drowning in so much noise (most of which can be easily removed post-processing, but that's an extra step in editing that I'd like to skip). That was the only complaint I've ever had with the SLT version of the Alpha series. Again, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my A77. :)

0 upvotes
SteveJnerChicago
By SteveJnerChicago (2 months ago)

While it certainly could be better ( High ISO noise ) I've found that setting the "High ISO Noise Reduction" setting to "Low" gives a much improved noise reduction in camera. The normal and high settings actually induce amplifier noise. Still not great but much better. I love my A77 also but the II version has some nice specs. Still, will wait to see real world image samples and test results before I buy one.

0 upvotes
HaroldC3
By HaroldC3 (2 months ago)

Curious how this compares to the AF system in the A6000.

0 upvotes
123Mike
By 123Mike (2 months ago)

People that want the A77ii to be better are making claims that it is better, and they're claiming the A6000 can not be as good unless backed by evidence. And then every bit of evidence that the A6000 is downplayed. In other words, a lot of wishful thinking.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Marcelobtp
By Marcelobtp (2 months ago)

For the people missing the assisting lamp please read the entire first impressions, the flash now has, somehow, the funcion of it, so people stop complaining, and about the gps, NFC and smartphone, if use an iphone, i don't know if apple is addept or will add NFC in the future, but is a fairly common feature of the last 2 years smartphones or so, use it for GPS. Its a better choice in my humble opnion, uses less batery for the tool while not consuming too much from the phone either and probably with accurately results in any country of the world because GPS is not the standard for all the countrys and because cell phones can use "triangulation" with the phone companies.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Prognathous
By Prognathous (2 months ago)

The flash is not a good replacement for the AF Assist lamp as it's very distracting and far less effective (as it does not project patterned light). It's really a terrible option if you're shooting using ambient light you don't want to blind your subjects with the flash.

Apple does not and says that it will not support NFC.

Using the phone GPS is not confirmed to be supported by the A77, but in any case it'll use *more power* as the camera and phone need to constantly communicate, where they don't if the camera has a built in GPS.

GPS is not country-dependant. It uses satellites and is available all over the world. Where did you even come up with the notion that it's not?

8 upvotes
Ben Ramsey
By Ben Ramsey (2 months ago)

Built in flash has been used as an af assist on many models for many years now and has always been the less desirable option. In lower light it's even more unpleasant to have a flash of white light hit you than a beam of red light. Besides annoying/blinding your subjects, it also is acts somewhat as a false trigger and can tell your subject you've already taken the picture when, in fact, you haven't. Hopefully the camera will focus well enough in low light that af assist can just be turned off.

3 upvotes
Marcelobtp
By Marcelobtp (2 months ago)

Well, i probably missread about the GPS, Glonass, was the "GPS" in Russia, where the implemantion is not in cameras, only in smartphones, but other than that, you don't have to constantly, and you will not do that with NFC, using the GPS, when you want or have to, you will conect to the phone and make mark. And probably, if sony already dont have an app to make it, some third party app probably has.
OBS: NFC uses very low energy, so even doing this will consume less.
Phones are faster and easier to recharge, and you don't have to wait until it recharges 100% to get it off, neither cameras but is prefereable to wait auntil its fully charged.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Prognathous
By Prognathous (2 months ago)

Marcelobtp, there's no way in hell I'm manually using NFC to transfer location after each picture. The only valid option is for the phone and camera talk in the background. Anything that require me to be an active part in this communication (other than a single one-time pairing) is not an option.

3 upvotes
Marcelobtp
By Marcelobtp (2 months ago)

Well Prognathous, for me is, but maybe i'm not the normal type of GPS user. My process is, i've changed the location, i make a mark and start shooting. It's not like i'm travelling at 100km/h, and shooting at the same time. When i'm trekking, i just map the way. Generaly my phone don't map correctly on places that are not well populated, like forests and mountains.
If this kind of conection, like touch the camera to phone and auto mark my gps location (and aditional info) i would be very pleased.

0 upvotes
Deicide
By Deicide (2 months ago)

Steve Jobs was opposed on putting HDMI on devices excluding Apple TV for obvious reasons, but look where we are now, every MacBook has a HDMI output port.

0 upvotes
ppapageorgiou
By ppapageorgiou (2 months ago)

This camera is at a point on the product line that's now pointless. Who needs a high-end APS-C camera? They should discontinue the A77, revise the A65 instead, and maybe introduce a cheaper full frame like an A85.

0 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (2 months ago)

Why is it pointless? A77II with 16-50/2.8 costs like cheapest FF. Are 7D and D7100 pointless too?

17 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (2 months ago)

If you need reach, APS-C has a real advantage.

7 upvotes
SteveY80
By SteveY80 (2 months ago)

APS-C definitely has an advantage for wildlife photography.

Even with a long lens it's often necessary to heavily crop when shooting a bird in flight or a skittish little creature.

At the same distance, with the same lens, a 24mp APS-C sensor will provide a much higher resolution cropped image than a 24mp full frame like the A99.

2 upvotes
SteveJnerChicago
By SteveJnerChicago (2 months ago)

Ditto! APS-C is a must for Bird Photography.

1 upvote
Tetraodon
By Tetraodon (2 months ago)

@ppapageorgiou: The irony-tags are missing ;-)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
a Michael
By a Michael (2 months ago)

Do they not let you raise the mirror if you want to just use contrast detection auto focus to increase IQ for high ISO? That would be an awesome feature. You get the best of both worlds, depending on your needs.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
1 upvote
tjwaggoner
By tjwaggoner (2 months ago)

These cameras dont have contrast detection AF systems. PDAF only. The a99 being somewhat of an exception but still only uses PDAF but it has the dedicated module as well as on-chip. You can pop the mirror out and the cameras work just fine, just no AF so you have to use the focus peaking to manual focus. Plenty of tests done on this with crops posted and there is such a tiny amount of difference that it would be insignificant for most peoples use. Somebody who prefers to manually focus or just uses MF lenses, can take it out not lose anything though. Still kind of the best of both worlds

4 upvotes
theprehistorian
By theprehistorian (2 months ago)

@ a Michael - I agree, that would seem to be the way forward. Although it'll take some design work - see Kai Wong's review of the previous version of this camera on YouTube - if you raise the mirror it protrudes through the flange...

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Juck
By Juck (2 months ago)

MAybe I missed it,,, What's the burst/buffer depth for RAW,, anyone know?

0 upvotes
Jeff Keller
By Jeff Keller (2 months ago)

It's around 25 shots.

1 upvote
Juck
By Juck (2 months ago)

Thx,, not bad,, about the same as a 7D and only a couple less than a 1D mk IV.

2 upvotes
cplunk
By cplunk (2 months ago)

Also depending on the write speed of the card, if the buffer is able to clear fast enough it will add at least a few more shots to the ultimate number you are able to get into a burst.

1 upvote
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (2 months ago)

26 RAW at 12 fps, 28 RAW at 8 fps.

2 upvotes
Juck
By Juck (2 months ago)

impressive,, let's hope the AF tracking algorithm is up to the task.

2 upvotes
ArturK
By ArturK (2 months ago)

I just don't get it. If it has an EVF then why the translucent mirror? Can't the image from the sensor go directly into the EVF?

0 upvotes
theprehistorian
By theprehistorian (2 months ago)

The mirror feeds the autofocus module not the EVF. (Focusing using the sensor is very accurate but slow.)

7 upvotes
a Michael
By a Michael (2 months ago)

The mirror is for the Phase detection auto focus.

1 upvote
BeeJee
By BeeJee (2 months ago)

It does.
The translucent mirror is for directing some light onto the separate phase detection AF sensor (which still offers faster AF than on-main-sensor AF pixels).

2 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (2 months ago)

It does, the AF sensor needs the mirror deviation, the sensing module being on the top. You look through the sensor, but AF doesn't. In mirrorless ILS, sensor with pdaf AF sensing that AF module is not needed. Here you need one for phase detection. I do not know if future A mount cameras will have PDAF only like mirrorless, it would be a big step forward and the mirror would disappear.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
EXX
By EXX (2 months ago)

The image from the sensor does go to the EVF directly. The translucent mirror is just a beam splitter that splits off 30% of the incoming light to the AF module. The remainder goes to the sensor.

0 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (2 months ago)

Dis hear po' guy lyke Sony, but tink da a65 iz mo' beddah bung fa buck.

0 upvotes
Claudio NC
By Claudio NC (2 months ago)

Very well said!

8 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (2 months ago)

Yes - jkoch2 makes more sense than many people on here.. :)

1 upvote
Claudio NC
By Claudio NC (2 months ago)

Yes, and I hope at least jkoch2 is not one of those that helps to "improve" Google translate.

0 upvotes
Claudio NC
By Claudio NC (2 months ago)

The most NEW, attractive feature is ... are the 3 slots dedicated to the custom white balance!

0 upvotes
thebustos
By thebustos (2 months ago)

Do you mean the memory recall slots?

0 upvotes
Claudio NC
By Claudio NC (2 months ago)

Yes, exactly.
I think that it is a typo.
My English say 'settings', not slots that are hardware things, ports, etc.
Is it right?

0 upvotes
EvilOne
By EvilOne (2 months ago)

Not enough bang, for me to be interested. My A77 still wows me.

2 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (2 months ago)

Canon and Nikon better take a real hard look at this camera and figure out how to duplicate it for less money.

13 upvotes
Marvol
By Marvol (2 months ago)

CaNikon are going to release overpriced rehashed old models, that due to having a 1/3 stop better noise performance at ISO 25600, a 3 frame deeper buffer size or built-in GPS will still be hailed as better cameras by the critics (and hence, the buying public).

2 upvotes
Ben O Connor
By Ben O Connor (2 months ago)

Its a great camera. It ONLY lacks a true OVF as in pentax K-3.
End of the day its a DSLR then why electric VF ????? Apart from that its a perfect... But perfection is not anything being "apart" from a single elementh right ? ;)

0 upvotes
Ben O Connor
By Ben O Connor (2 months ago)

I got the point (Kind of) any mirrorless range finder cam has no OVF coz there is no mirror !!! (Well they have a bigger screen that EVF on the back but anyway :) there it is ; the 2nd one!)
But why, I have to carry something huge (has a mirror inside) and still has no OVF ? would it getting any bigger by the ovf ? Seriously ??

0 upvotes
Azurael
By Azurael (2 months ago)

Because Sony think (and I happen to agree, although I accept that many don't) that a high-quality EVF is superior to an OVF because it allows you to see exactly what the sensor sees and records, plus the ability to zoom in and have focus peaking makes MF a helluva lot easier than an OVF with no split prism or similar... Although if they've fixed the inter-frame blackout when shooting continuous on the A77 II I will be very happy.

7 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (2 months ago)

An OVF would be dimmer in a DSLR with a fixed semi-transparent mirror, since it would receive less light. An EVF shows you the live view feed from the imaging sensor.

1 upvote
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (2 months ago)

The SLT design is better for video - both having the EVF and allowing a full PDAF sensor to be used during recording.

Not having a mirror also means less vibrations and potentially faster shot to shot times for stills to.

If you want a TTL OVF then you should get a DSLR, SLT has a different set of advantages/disadvantages over reflex cameras.

1 upvote
Heaven is for real
By Heaven is for real (2 months ago)

OVF is old news...

4 upvotes
theprehistorian
By theprehistorian (2 months ago)

"rarely visually significant, image quality costs of keeping that mirror in the optical path"

I don't think it'd be too hard to spot the effect, you're talking about significantly higher ISOs to get the same shutter speed as an equivalent camera without the translucent mirror. Unless you really need all those frames per second - and do you REALLY? - it has all the appearance of a bad idea...

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (2 months ago)

Since when has 1/3rd of a stop been "significantly higher"? You think you could tell the difference between ISO1250 and ISO1600?

8 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (2 months ago)

Precisely - even then people ignore that ISO1200 in one camera is NOT ISO1200 in another. It seems that the ISO lable is not the same between manufacturers.. All I know is that in real world use the SLT makes no discernible difference..

7 upvotes
PK24X36NOW
By PK24X36NOW (2 months ago)

False: "the camera has all the elements implied by the term 'DSLR.'"

Nope! It's missing the "Reflex" part. It's name is therefore moronic in more than one respect. It's mirror is not "translucent" (as you pointed out) AND it is not a "Reflex" camera.

I guess they should call it "DSLST" for Digital Single Lens Semi-Transparent...

Or maybe they should just make DSLRs again, and then they could call them what they are.

0 upvotes
MAubrey
By MAubrey (2 months ago)

Uhm...Okay.

1 upvote
Eleson
By Eleson (2 months ago)

Hilarious that a person with that username starts a discussion about how meaningful a name is.

Whatever, if SLT is wrong but BionzX and Digic etc makes sense, than I'm happy for you.

8 upvotes
Azurael
By Azurael (2 months ago)

Calling it an SLR is more appropriate than calling it an SLT... Translucent doesn't mean what Sony think it does, and while it may not have a mirror for the viewfinder, it still relies on a reflex action (reflection) for the AF sensor...

3 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (2 months ago)

"It's missing the "Reflex" part. It's name is therefore moronic in more than one respect. It's mirror is not "translucent" (as you pointed out) AND it is not a "Reflex" camera."

If it has a mirror it is a reflex camera. Period.

5 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (2 months ago)

'Reflex' means that it has a reflecting mirror, not that it has a moving mirror. A reflex movement is an involuntary movement in response to an external stimulus. That's not what the R in DSLR stands for. I find it incredible that this mistake is made so often.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (2 months ago)

Reflex in a DSLR or SLR refers to the movement of the mirror. It always has.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (2 months ago)

No, it refers to the fact that there's a mirror reflecting light. The mirror movement is not a reflex movement.

2 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (2 months ago)

'Reflex' does not refer to the movement of the mirror at all, and never has. Consider the old Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) design exemplified by the Rolleiflex, which used a secondary viewing lens with a fixed mirror.

9 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (2 months ago)

Mirror lenses are sometimes referred to as mirror reflex lenses. It's the same usage of the word 'reflex' as in SLR.

Edit: I see that Andy Westlake gave a much better reply while I was typing.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
sandy b
By sandy b (2 months ago)

I stand corrected and educated. Thanks.

1 upvote
PK24X36NOW
By PK24X36NOW (2 months ago)

In response to the firestorm below, I will say two things:

1. I didn't say "reflex" meant a moving mirror.

2. I don't consider a camera with an EVF and a fixed mirror used for nothing but autofocus to be a "reflex;" "Reflex" implies a mirror used for viewing the image, in one respect or another. These cameras merely use it for AF.

P.S. You can focus the camera manually, right? Where is the "reflex" function being employed then?

0 upvotes
Charrick
By Charrick (2 months ago)

@PK24X36NOW "You can focus the camera manually, right? Where is the "reflex" function being employed then?"

You do know that when you take a picture with an SLR, that the mirror is completely out of the way and not reflecting the image, right? So if an SLR is a camera that always employs a "reflex" function, then an SLR is not an SLR, according to your own words.

1 upvote
Bob Janes
By Bob Janes (2 months ago)

That wider focus area will be much appreciated on an a99 MkII..

0 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (2 months ago)

It isn't much wider, will still be tiny on A99 II comparatively (assuming they use the same module between the two again).

0 upvotes
Azurael
By Azurael (2 months ago)

I wish camera manufacturers would stop using shoddy APS-C AF modules on FF cameras (and I'm not just talking about Sony here...)

4 upvotes
Karl Gnter Wnsch
By Karl Gnter Wnsch (2 months ago)

@Azurael,
it's the other way around, the basic design of the AF module is geared up for full frame cameras, the same modules in a APS-C just makes better use of the same area coverage - and it covers as much area as is physically possible if you don't want to restrain the lens speed to be better than f/4 or even f/2.8 for the AF to work at all... So if you want to have lenses with a best aperture of f/5.6 to be able to use AF then you will have to live with that kind of area covery you got today...

0 upvotes
Azurael
By Azurael (2 months ago)

Nonsense. There are FF dSLRs with far larger AF coverage than the A99, D600, 6D, 5D/2, etc, etc. They already compromise speed, build quality, etc to produce the 'cheaper' FF cameras, why make the AF feel like a bargain basement toy SLR from the pre-digital era?

0 upvotes
Zoron
By Zoron (2 months ago)

This camera has all the the 3 things i wanted in my next camera that my D300 doesn't have.....1. IBIS 2. Articulated Screen 3. Movie capture......and still having built-in flash. I realize what Sony lacking is the software side especially noise reduction....way behind nikon...so let's see if it is better this time.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (2 months ago)

Seems to me that you have never had one of the recent Sony cameras in your hands. The Sony Bionz from D300 times is a ghost of the past.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Zoron
By Zoron (2 months ago)

Yap I am not one of those guys who buy new camera every year....i figure 1 DSLR and 1 compact is really all I need....and D300 is built like a tank....it can literally last forever...the sensor is definitely not ghost of the past...may be in 20 years.....but not 2014

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
thebustos
By thebustos (2 months ago)

Well the current A77 has a strong build, so imagine that will be a plus for you as well.

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (2 months ago)

Bummer, no dedicated AF assist lamp. That's kind of a big thing to me that I always appreciate. Can live without but, why take it off, did it really cost that much to keep it on Sony? These little nagging decisions just p$ss off enthusiasts for the A-Mount. Sorry.

3 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (2 months ago)

As a previous A77 shooter I wouldn't miss it, the AF assist lamp was rarely illuminating what I wanted to be in focus anyway. It's alignment was 'off' so illuminated next to what I was trying to focus on and don't believe this was just a fault with mine, but a fault with the design.

Anyway, focuses down to -2ev now, previously was from memory either 0ev or +1ev.

2 upvotes
Tonkotsu Ramen
By Tonkotsu Ramen (2 months ago)

the flash takes it's place

so instead of shining an amber light at someones face, you'll now be shining the flash on low power at their face

works the same imo

1 upvote
SteveY80
By SteveY80 (2 months ago)

My A57 uses the flash in that way too. In my experience it doesn't work very well.

It seems strange to me that my £100 compact has this feature but a £1000 semi-pro camera like the A77II doesn't...

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (2 months ago)

-2 ev isn't much different than -1 ev. The lamp is definitely useful, or it wouldn't have been put on so many cameras or the A77 either. Flash is very overkill for that task and much worse than a low powered red zebra pattern LED light source. It was a cost saving move, not much more to say than that. It will be missed by some, including myself. Good though that some wont miss it like the first two that replied, good for you! But for those that want it, it sucks!

0 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (2 months ago)

Canon has been doing this flash assist for ages.

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (2 months ago)

Yes they have and its totally annoying.

1 upvote
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (2 months ago)

A7 triplets?

I only count two...

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (2 months ago)

A7, A7R, A7s
http://www.dpreview.com/products/sony/cameras?subcategoryId=cameras

5 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (2 months ago)

Forgot about the "s"! :)

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (2 months ago)

How could you.... its the best of the 3!!! :)

1 upvote
jackf00
By jackf00 (2 months ago)

Still neither Final review nor First impression review of the already shipping GH4 flagship from Panasonic.
Shame on DPReview !!
While most of competitor site of DPReview have already posted at least a long Preview or a Review, DPReview still don't go further than a single short and poor half page "quick summary" of the GH4 new Panasonic's flagship , three month after annoucement and now after it is released and shipping.
What a pity !

Not first time for Panasonic products, as DPReview provided the final Review of GH3 only 7 monthes after announcement and 5 monthes after release !
Same for GX7 and generally speaking for every Panasonic product !

What's the reason ? Come on DP Review, be more professional !

3 upvotes
AlpCns2
By AlpCns2 (2 months ago)

Maybe you should offer to help out to ease the workload? Maintaining a FREE service like this in a busy market is not easy, nor is it cheap. I'm sure they're working on it.

Quality takes time. Which is a very professional attitude.

12 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (2 months ago)

If they won't I will.

0 upvotes
Ryan_Valiente
By Ryan_Valiente (2 months ago)

lol GH4

2 upvotes
bluejaguar
By bluejaguar (2 months ago)

dpreview never final reviewed Panasonic DMC-G5, a decent M4/3 camera. dpreview never did final review on DMC-G6 either, a much better camera. dpreview seem to be mildy prejudiced against Panasonic.

Panasonic has their own supply chain issues in retail. You don't find Panasonic M4/3 in Best Buy, Target, or even other local camera stores like Ritz, etc. I can find Fuji X (at local specialty camera stores) before I can find Pany's.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (2 months ago)

Full reviews are not cost-efficient. They draw no more "hits" than the previews, or even a copy of the manufacturers' announcements. At best, they merely attract a handful of owners who complain the review is not positive enough, or trolls who "diss" the brand altogether.

3 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (2 months ago)

DPR doesn't like Pana cameras. I'm not sure why you wait for their review. IQ of GH4 would be very very close to that of GX7 and GM1. Video too isn't DPRs strong point. The minor Pana features, not present in CaNikons, would be as always downplayed or ignored. The minor problems or differences to CaNikon would be slightly exaggerated and given negative connotation. All in all, the review would imply that it is a good cam but, but, but, but, but, but. Lots of "but"s.

0 upvotes
HaroldC3
By HaroldC3 (2 months ago)

The weather is nice in Seattle, they are out taking pics for reviews I'm sure.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (2 months ago)

The GH4 is on our list of cameras to be reviewed - we hope to get to it very soon.

2 upvotes
xmeda
By xmeda (2 months ago)

Poor Sony users, still no formidable DSLR..

1 upvote
whtchocla7e
By whtchocla7e (2 months ago)

In case you don't read the latest news - there will never be a formidable Sony DSLR. Sony is out of the mirror market.

4 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (2 months ago)

How many frames can the D7100 do in a burst again?

4 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (2 months ago)

As a presently non Sony user, this camera for its price looks very formidable.

6 upvotes
antares103
By antares103 (2 months ago)

Sez the Pentax shooter (OP)

1 upvote
awaldram
By awaldram (2 months ago)

Whats with dropping the minolta flash mount.

Hardly mentioned but seems to biggest 'News' in this camera obsoleting all Sony flashes.

Does the ISO hot shoe support any kind of TTL as it looks like single pin , so is there data fed over it to support TTL

Come on Dpreview inquiring minds want to know.!

AF hold and fps/af priory are old hat being on previous cameras at this level , You've even reviewed one recently (k3) it's not new and you should be reporting it as expected/required rather than new tech.

1 upvote
paul_kew
By paul_kew (2 months ago)

The new flash mount was introduced some time ago (A99?), it has a row of connectors along the front edge.

7 upvotes
awaldram
By awaldram (2 months ago)

cool thanks

0 upvotes
tbcass
By tbcass (2 months ago)

Sony dropped the old flash mount over a year ago. Old flashes are compatible with the new mount by using an inexpensive adapter. Yes it supports TTL, there are now several pins not visible in the photo making the new mount a versatile accessory shoe.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
AV Janus
By AV Janus (2 months ago)

Sony has flashes?

0 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (2 months ago)

The new hotshoe is really old news.

3 upvotes
antares103
By antares103 (2 months ago)

Brrrrrring! Brrrrrrrring! Hello? just a minute.

Its for you, it's 2012. It says there are more pins on the front of the hotshoe. Also, adapters are available for this hotshoe, and the older flashes are still supported wirelessly (BTW, there is a "new" wireless protocol, too).

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (2 months ago)

@awaldram - the inside front lip of Sony's 'Multi-Interface Shoe' has contacts for TTL flash.

0 upvotes
thebustos
By thebustos (2 months ago)

The new hot shoe was introduced with the A99 and is also on the A58. It's also the shoe that is on the latest E-mount bodies, and high end cybershots like the RX1, RX10, and RX100.

There are currently 3 flashes available for the new shoe: 20M, 43M, and 60M. The older flashes can be used with an adapter which I believe was included with the A99.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 599
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