The A77 is the long-awaited replacement for the A700, and spec-wise it's impressive: the A77 features a new 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor, 12fps full-resolution shooting and the highest resolution EVF we've ever encountered (a 2.4M dot OLED finder). It also uses a new 19-point AF sensor, 11 points of which are cross-type (sensitive to detail in both the vertical and horizontal axis). Clever use of the main sensor's live view allows the A77 to track objects as they move across the frame, enabling the camera to have a better understanding of which AF point it should be using at any given time.
The A77 isn't perfect, but we're pretty confident though that whatever your level of expectations and expertise, its rugged and well thought-out ergonomics, innovative full-time live view and AF systems and exceptionally good EVF will keep you very happy indeed. However, the somewhat mushy JPEG image quality, high noise levels and slightly laggy operation stop the A77 from getting a gold award.
|Body type||Mid-size SLR|
|Max resolution||6000 x 4000|
|Effective pixels||24.3 megapixels|
|Sensor size||APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)|
|ISO||Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 16000 (50, 25600 with boost)|
|Lens mount||Sony/Minolta Alpha mount|
|Focal length mult.||1.5×|
|Articulated LCD||Fully articulated|
|Min shutter speed||30 sec|
|Max shutter speed||1/8000 sec|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||732 g (1.61 lb / 25.82 oz)|
|Dimensions||143 x 104 x 81 mm (5.63 x 4.09 x 3.19″)|
The A77 is a well-designed camera which spans the mid-range and semi-professional categories. Its headline features - high pixel count and blazingly fast continuous shooting - will attract a lot of interest, but of greater utility in day to day use are its effective ergonomics, reliable systems and excellent full-time live view system and full-time AF.
Good for: Everyday stills and video work in a wide range of situations, and casual sports and action photography.
Not so good for: High ISO available light photography, and 'serious' sports and action work.