Previous page Next page

Sony SLT-A77 II Review

April 2015 | By Dan Bracaglia, Rishi Sanyal
Buy on Amazon.com From $898.00


Based on a production SLT-A77 II running firmware 2.00

The Sony SLT-A77 II is - as the name implies - an overhaul of the original A77, from from 2011. 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 specifications that - at least on paper - suggest it could be capable of punching 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 prioritize 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 normally implies a diffuse image): the camera has all the elements implied by the term 'DSLR.'

Side-note - a lot of people think 'reflex' in 'Single Lens Reflex' refers to a reflexive movement (of the mirror) but this is false. In this context it means reflection so a camera like the A77 with a non-moving mirror is still technically an SLR.

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 1080/60p (XAVC S or AVCHD) 1080/60p AVCHD


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).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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 1998 - 2015 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

Previous page Next page
334
I own it
88
I want it
18
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 500
123
Trace AVP

I'm still very disappointed in DP for not doing the same video comparison with the A77mkII as they did with cameras like the Nikon D5500 and other cameras. WHERE IS THE VIDEO STILL shot so I can compare how it handles detail in comparison with other cameras? It's the only camera that I can't get that info on. PLEASE update the article with that test if you can. It would help immensely.

2 upvotes
THKPIC

I just bought the A77II and have the A7. Personally, I feel the A77II is the best ALL AROUND camera Sony makes right now- period. Image quality is fantastic, speed is superb, build..grip...matches great with bigger lenses, etc. The A7 can get the job done, but I feel like it's a massive step back in every other regard outside of IQ- and even that (given the lossy raw file issue) is subject to question.

I've tried the a6000 as well. No thanks man, no thanks. Feels cheap compared to the A77 and constant auto focusing is not as good. Yes, it's fast- but fast and accurate are two seperate things. Try mounting a bigger lens on the A6000 and it does not balance well at all. A77II IMO is not a deal...it is a complete STEAL given what it can do at its price point.

7 upvotes
Roman Korcek

Has "Center Lock-on AF" actually been tested?
It is a mode different from and incompatible with the standard "Lock-on AF" that needs to be enabled in the menu (Record menu, page 7) and upon pressing the joystick twice it locks onto whatever is in the center of the frame.

Also, what settings were used for "AF drive speed"? (N.b. that's a different setting from "AF Track Duration".)

1 upvote
cheo3011

I shoot at high ISO's all the time and I see no reason not to. First of all, I shoot exclusively in RAW and then there is a plethora of good RAW processing software out there that takes care of the noise. DXO optics pro is my choice and the folks at MacPhun software just issued Noisless Pro which I also purchased and is good.
The auto focus is a plus and focusing is not hit and run like they say. But anyhow this is my humble experience based on my own experience with this great camera.

1 upvote
Wubslin

I see that the usual crowd of self-appointed Internet Security Experts (tm) have all made the same predictable 'jokes' about 'rootkits'.

Let's put this to rest once and for all: there never was any 'Sony rootkit', and Sony have never been involved in any form of malicious software, ever. These persistent lies are rapidly becoming stale and tedious and have no value in any serious discourse on consumer electronics or network security.

One wonders if Sony are now planning legal action against those responsible for disseminating these vicious lies.

It would be interesting to see the people making these unfair, untrue and libellous allegations receive their comeuppance in a court of law. Or will they rapidly back down and retract their lies?

0 upvotes
K E Hoffman

I have seen none of this on the threads, maybe I missed one in 100 posts? And I have been tracking this since the day it was posted. Your post feels more like it is designed to instigate that topic pretending to be against it.

11 upvotes
Wubslin

@K E Hoffman: Classic denial syndrome. Just what I was expecting.

1 upvote
martinot

Sony's DRM Rootkit: The Real Story
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/11/sonys_drm_rootk.html

Sony rootkit scandal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BMG_copy_protection_rootkit_scandal

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Wubslin

@martinot: I notice that the SysInternals links in Bruce Schneier's article are broken, and that The Register's article does not explicitly say it is a rootkit.

So the cries of 'rootkit' are not as convincing as some people would like us to think.

0 upvotes
martinot

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/01/sony_rootkit_drm

http://www.msblog.org/2005/11/02/one-big-root-kit-post/

For a full list of links to backup the Wikipedia article about the Sony rootkit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BMG_copy_protection_rootkit_scandal#cite_note-1

0 upvotes
Wubslin

More anti-business paranoia and rabble-rousing, I see.

There never was any so-called 'Sony rootkit'. Everyone is getting fed up with the vicious slanders against this company.

0 upvotes
munro harrap

Seems OK to me in those shots that are not grossly underexposed- of which there are many. It compares very well with my D7100 results and has the advantage of that faster zoom, and in the basketball shots where the colour is iffy moaners can just adjust to suit anyway- and all cameras do this.

I might go back to using a Lunasix with a cone on to avoid underexposure too. Let's hope that to level the playing field somewhat, that DPr. does so too!!

0 upvotes
srados

Weird yellow skin tones, on those basketball games shots. One in the forest too of the girl.They look like someone drained their blood.

0 upvotes
Bas Veerkamp

Thanks K E hoffman.
for youre' answer.
I can totaly agree lens is stil the best investment,
I hope to see a d400 or 9300 and like the bionz tech of sony.

But i stil use my d7000 and stil cant forget my d700.

Greetings Bas from Purmerend City of the terror Oehoe

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Bas Veerkamp

Nice Review Compare samples that i can see of the d7200 to the SLT-A77 II i dont like the quality off the SLT-A77 II i thought it would be the same sensor must be different upload ore its something totally different.

0 upvotes
K E Hoffman

Anything towards the edge is a lens issue. Remember the A77M@ is a year older than the D7200.. which I agree as far as noise goes has really good output. Not sure if D7200 is using a Sony Sensor. Even when they do.. beware the myth of the same sensor. Nikon has its own sensor design patents and its own design ideas about the Bayer filter etc over the sensor.. IF you stay near the center where the lens issue was no in play say the top part of the Money shot or the Beatles patch the over all IQ is much closer. But I think even DXO gives a better rating to the D7200

3 upvotes
sans culotte

Thank you for your review. Could you please measure sensor performance of already tested cameras in Exposure Latitude test. This is very interesting & important for astrophotography & some other low light applications.

0 upvotes
Gangstar

I have owned the a55 a77mk1 I own the a99 and the a77ii The A55 was a brilliant camera and was my main reason for dropping canon. I have been very impressed with the sony range and the a77ii was purchased for wildlife action the extra compressed crop at the centre of frame 24mp was required for shooting smaller prey such as kingfishers. The af and extra reach on the a77ii are a welcome improvement although If an a99ii had been released with 36mp with same af system I would have opted for that..early days with the a77 I have a few pics on my flicker site using a range of sony cameras in real world.. https://www.flickr.com/photos/graylinghunter1/sets/

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
Velvet Man

But as a sport and wildlife camera, it is sad not to have access to Sigma big lens, 120-300 2.8 , 150-600 , etc.

Sony should pay Sigma to make them in A mount, but instead, my local Sony showroom choose to put all A mount into an dark corner, only focus on mirrorless camera. :(

0 upvotes
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!

2 upvotes
Jeadm

"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.

13 upvotes
K E Hoffman

You have square hands? How odd...how do you hold a glass?

14 upvotes
sierranvin

@ KE Hoffman thumbs up! I think it's just generalized squaresville you have detected, daddyo. lol

1 upvote
cmantx

I don't get this comment about the grip on this camera. I can grip this camera without any problem and it feels very secure in my hands. I haven't even put the strap on yet, and only use it with a large zoom, Tamron 150-600 lens.

4 upvotes
Rooru S

DPR Team. Any comparisons between the AF performance of the A77M2 and the A6000 both with their respective 70-200 G lenses??

2 upvotes
Velvet Man

This is the crucial factor to consider for going SLT or not.

0 upvotes
lhkjacky

I guess the AF performance will be similar if there is enough light.
But when the light level drop, A6000 will start hunting,
while A77ii can still keep focus.

3 upvotes
ESUELDO

I am using canon 70d with canon 300 mm f4 with tc for BF, I have sony a600 with 70-200 g and I liked both settings, I am wondering if I would buy the sony a77ii for wildlife, in that case with lens do you recommend , cost is important

0 upvotes
lhkjacky

I recommend Sony 70-400G2 or Tamron 150-600 for BOF
I had the 70-400G1 which is a great lens, now I am using Tamron 150-600.
The 70-400G2 will be AF faster & tracking better than G1

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
laurenzbaars

I would recommend the Sony 70-400G over the Sigma 150-600 any day of the week. Sigma lenses tend to have focusing issues and that can only be at its worst at 600mm where you are most likely to use the lens. The sony 70400G lenses are uncharacteristically sharp at the long end. It has less reach but in the end it is the quality you will enjoy.

One alternative to buy the version 1 of the lens, you may still find a few available. The difference between #1 and #2 is the lens coating which really is small considering the cost difference. The lens is fantastic and just because there is a version 2 out, does not mean version 1 is any less.

1 upvote
shitdontstink

@By laurenzbaars. Where was the sigma mentioned? he suggested Tamron! the sigma 150-600 is a very good lense that you have clearly never used.

0 upvotes
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.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
lhkjacky

Lots of us were upgraded from A77mk1 to A77mk2.
And I can honestly tell you that it is a significant improvement compare to A77mk1 & it definitely worth the upgrade.
So, if you are upgrade from A57, I am sure you will be happier than us.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
K E Hoffman

Ditto what he just said. The move from A77 to A772 was a bigger improvement than the name would infer. Its a great camera and if you did into the DPR review and some of the discussions you will see DPR testers are ranking AF Tracking this way
Nikon FF (750/810) $2200-3000+
Samsung APS Mirrorless NX1 $1200 (Kit $2700!)
Sony APS DSLT A77M2!! $900 (Kit $1500)
Canon APS DSLR 7DMKII $1700
Canon FF DSLR 5d MKIII $2400
Its a heck of value, even more so if you already have some lenses. But the new Focus system will be best with the 16-50mm F2.8 Zoom or any of the recent SSM GII Zooms.

4 upvotes
Jeadm

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.

4 upvotes
cmantx

I moved from A 57, and I really liked the A 57. I have really gotten my money's worth from it.

I shoot wildlife/birds, and was interested in the more sophisticated AF modes. It is more of a learning curve from the A 57. It's a slight improvement in Low light ISO. I like that I can up ISO in many more increments than I could with the A 57. FPS is a little faster. It's a better build IMO.
Of course it may depend on what type of photography you like, but for birds it's an improvement over the A 57. I think the A 77 II is a great value just as the A 57. Should you be bothered that the A 57 is a "Gold" and A 77 II a "Silver" I'd disregard that. The A 77 II is a step up.

0 upvotes
Cadmus7

I moved from the A700 to the A77ii, skipping the A77, and it was the best move yet. The A700 was an awesome DSLR, but the A77ii was miles ahead in pretty much every area except ease of use - or should I say ease of knowing how to use it! Much more complicated, but well worth it.

0 upvotes
Velvet Man

A77II owner for 6 months.
Pro:
It is the only flip screen (invaluable feature to me) SLR styled camera that can fast focus.
I tried Canon 70D before buying, under liveview mode, 70D focusing is amateur.
I have not tried 7DMKII , but hey without flipscreen and capable live view, it simply can't take interesting angle photo easily comparing to A77II

Crons:
- I was very reluctant to get A77II because of a lot of amazing , well priced lens from Sigma not avaialble in A-mount.
- Sony prime telephoto offer is way more expensive to her competitors, even without in lens stabiliser.

-I felt rather "sad" when I had my hand on a Sony A-6000 with its amazing focus ability, and start to wonder if there are still value to the SLT system and worry about the future of A-mount. At my local Sony showroom, A6000 is the star and they put A77II at a quiet corner. I asked the Sales people at Sony if A77II has any advantage over A6000 in terms of focusing , and they can't give a clear answer to me.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
EXX

I would not worry about the future of A-mount. There may come some point in time, when Sony will be able to produce an SLR shaped E-mount camera with an LEA adapter that can match the performance of a dedicated A-mount camera. From that point on, it makes no sense to produce any more A-mount camera's.

For A-mount users, when that time comes, it will have only advantages: all their A-mount stuff can still be used 100% (so no loss of investment), but they gain the advantages of the mirrorless E-mount (like the usage of all kinds of lenses via adapters).

2 upvotes
FencerPTS

Editorial question: why is in-body stabilization a green while in-lens stabilization a red? This seems more a design choice rather than a benefit.
AF: Are there any dual-cross sensors? Are the sensors rated for exposure, e.g. -3 EV?
What happened to the ISO and DR charts?
Noise invariance: is there a way to quantify and compare the noise level at each push? Can this be done for alternate ISO values besides 100?
IS performance: Was this test measured or was it subjective; is there a quantified standard of acceptability, e.g. lp/mm?

2 upvotes
VirtualMirage

The last dual cross AF sensor point I have seen on a Sony APS-C camera was the A77 and it was only for the center for lenses F/2.8 or faster.

Having said that, the A77II has 15 cross type AF points and the central AF point (which is a cross type as well) is F/2.8 sensitive for fast lenses.

The AF is rated to work as low as -2EV without an AF assist lamp. With the last firmware update, low light focusing was improved upon and users are claiming even better low light focusing than before. What this amounts to in EVs is unknown since no official word was released nor measurements taken.

0 upvotes
FencerPTS

Thank you! I find these little details often overlooked in reviews yet so incredibly useful in circumstances in which I find myself.

Any commentary about the ability to control the camera "eye in viewfinder," i.e. rapidly changing ISO, aperture, shutter speed, focus point selection, focus point mode, while keeping your eye in the viewfinder? How often do you have to menu hunt with your eyes on the screen rather than composing?

Does the camera have orientation-specific AF selections like the 7D?

0 upvotes
VirtualMirage

I love my viewfinder. The LCD stays shut most of the time. I can access everything from the viewfinder.

The A77II has many buttons, almost all of them can be customized. With the improved button feel, with a little practice, you can quickly change ISO, exposure compensation, white balance, shooting speed, etc. with a quick button press and spin of the rotary wheels.

The two rotary dials by the thumb and finger can be used to quickly adjust shutter speed or aperture, depending on the shooting mode you are in. They can also be customized as to how they function (ie, flip the functionality of the two).

You also have a custom function menu if you wish to do things via the display. This can be brought up by pressing the Fn button. It overlays across what you see, so you don't lose site of the subject. Here you can layout your most preferred options so you can quickly make your changes without having to hunt through the menus.

Very rarely do I have to use the full menus.

0 upvotes
Nikopol865

I own the camera 40 days and i have shot 5500 photos so far.
before i had a canon eos 70d for 2 months and a nikon d7100 for one week.

the sony a77 ii for the money and what is supossed to do its superior of any other .
the quality of the image depend from the lens you use and if you know what are you doing.
i disagree with the high iso noise , in real life its not visible up to 3200.
the quality of jpeg its suberp depending on photographer preferences and the setup in the menu , amazing creativity just right out of the camera.
neither canon or nikon have something like that.
i own 4 lenses Sony 16-105mm , Sony 35mm 1.8 , Minolta 100-300mm apo d, minolta 100-200mm f4.
about the cons in this review i disagree to all , none of them it is a problem for me . or a reason to looking for something else EXCEPT the Samsung NX1
but it cost i think 500 more .
i update my galery frequently...

2 upvotes
laurenzbaars

It would also be useful to know what settings and which lens(es) were used in the review. This really should be presented in the intro to give the entire review a context and some meaning. Again, feel free to use my recommendations and you're welcome. :)

1 upvote
Dan Bracaglia

The primary lenses used were the Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 DT SSM, Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM II, Sony 50mm f/1.4 Zeiss Planar T* ZA and the Sony 24mm f/2.0 Zeiss T*.

All of the images in the sample gallery have what lens was affixed and what exposure was used mentioned in the caption. All of the images in the physical review have exposure info in the captions.

You can also click to open and download any of the images, and check the metadata on your own.

3 upvotes
sierranvin

Hi Dan, vigorous pizza dude(great portrait btw!), several gallery images do NOT list the lens

0 upvotes
cmantx

I don't think the .jpeg images look very good either, plus I'm getting much better low light performance with my camera than I've seen in the examples. I wouldn't recommend shooting .jpeg in low light with this camera. I always shoot RAW no matter the light.

I have to note that shooting hummingbirds it has helped me that it was noted that Lock On AF hunts, and the reviewer turned it off. That has been my experience but I wasn't sure if it was the camera or the Lens. After reading the review I went out this morning even in cloudy conditions and there is a marked improvement with obtaining focus on hummingbirds with Lock On AF off.
So the review has helped me. I'm not so bothered by the "Silver Award" now.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Salutems

I agree totally i get less noise on an A200... Totally surprised by the samples posted! Also the ISO value chosen on certain cliches amazed me.

0 upvotes
tbcass

Salutems; Dream on. I used to own an A100, same sensor as the A200. I now own an A77 and A77ii both of which have much better high iso performance than the A200. I would say 2-3 stops better so you can fool yourself into thinking that your A200 has less noise but but in no way shape or manor is that true.

1 upvote
tpolakov

Actually, per pixel noise (100% screen) is really better with A200. The A77 and A77II are only better once normalized to the same lower resolution - see http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-SLT-Alpha-77-II-versus-Sony-SLT-Alpha-77-versus-Sony-Alpha-200___953_734_342

0 upvotes
cmantx

I started out with the A 200. There has been a steady progression of improved low light performance in the cameras I had A 200-A 500-A 57-A 77 II. Shooting Raw I can push to ISO 2000 for wildlife shots. I rarely could go to ISO 800 with the A 200. I'd be hard pressed to find a ISO 800 shot I saved with the A 200.

1 upvote
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.

6 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

The Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 isn't the sharpest lens around, and the only lens around this focal length we could find that was sharper was the Sigma 50mm Art, but that led to lower exposure and more noise.

Keep in mind you're comparing against other cameras that have very good ~50-85mm primes, so you're comparing against a high bar.

3 upvotes
tesch

So you blame the bad shots on the lens? Stop making excuses and learn to take good photos.

3 upvotes
Jeadm

@tesch, more here on lens issues:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-alpha-slt-a77ii?comment=1528765681

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.

3 upvotes
sensibill

More excuses for bad testing.

0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

Thanks Jeadm.

Others: Keep in mind that small differences are exaggerated in the studio scene b/c you're pixel-peeping under very controlled conditions. The a77II isn't far behind the Fuji APS-C cameras or the NX1 in fact, as you see here. Just not as good as Canon/Nikon b/c their primes are better in this regard.

We even said we tried the Sigma Art, but couldn't use it due to extra noise from less light. And one of the primary uses of our studio scene is noise analysis, NOT image sharpness, which is conflated in our studio scene w/ lens sharpness.

So is it that we're making excuses, or that you don't like the results so are just trolling our site?

0 upvotes
tesch

Here's a quote from a very well trusted tester, Kurt Munger, in regard to the 50mm1.4 ZA "One expects the centers of all lenses to be very sharp now days, even at F/1.4, but the side, and corner performance of this lens is stunning!"

So after looking at your test shots of the corners, it leads me to believe that either you had a bad copy of the lens, are a bad photographer or did it on purpose. What is it?

0 upvotes
Jeadm

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.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/10/notes-on-lens-and-camera-variation

0 upvotes
tesch

I just find in curious that in the time the reviewer had to do this review (almost a year since the release of the camera) they couldn't find a reasonable lens to test with.

0 upvotes
Jeadm

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.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
tesch

@Rishi Sanyal, I hate to keep coming back to this but there is something very wrong in this statement you made in an earlier post. "The Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 isn't the sharpest lens around, and the only lens around this focal length we could find that was sharper was the Sigma 50mm Art, but that led to lower exposure and more noise."
Both lenses are f1.4 but the Sigma lets in less light? I really think you not only need to clairifacation this statement but also qualify your statment about the ZA not being the "sharpest lense around" Please feel free to post test results and not just personal opinions.

0 upvotes
Gary Dean Mercer Clark

Sony, PLEASE provide Sony play memories app compatibility with the Sony A77 MK II. Please provide open source code so third party app writers can add operational features to the Sony A77 via apps like those that are available for the Sony A7 II. Thank you.

0 upvotes
K E Hoffman

I use the PM App with the A77II.. have you downloaded the most recent version?

1 upvote
lem12

What is Color temp/filter in WB menu?

1 upvote
rls608s

I had the A77MII for about four months now. I don't typically do video, but I've found it actually does a better job with erratic bands with the Lock On feature. For photos, i've had better luck with it set to spot or from a distance in front of the action set to wide. I've also realized this isn't a camera that you can use anything other than an ultrasonic lens, otherwise just like the A77 you'll miss shots all day long.

2 upvotes
Akrais

Exactly the conclusion I said they would issue: "The A77ii is good camera- an improvement over the A77i, but buy a Canon...or a Samsung!" I wonder what kind of incentive Amazon gets from Canon and Samsung.

Sadly, the review has the most nonsensical rationale to NOT buy the A77ii: If you don't have a-mount lenses, you should buy something else. Isn't that argument applicable to every new camera that is released by every manufacturer? If you have thousands of dollars invested in Canon lenses, why on earth wouldn't you pass on the D7200 or the A77ii?

This review was a face-saving gesture and that is all. It should have happened months ago. As it is, this is only a feint to appear unbiased.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
pixelpushing

I don't think DPR's current review staff cares whether they appear biased or not. The over abundance of negative hyperbole (even down to the use I'd the term 'translucent') alone underscores this.

And if you point it out, prepare to get a dressing down by said staff writers.

7 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

You want our opinion, but if our opinion doesn't match yours, then we're automatically biased.

Seems to me like you can't win.

You're completely wrong about any apparent 'bias'. You're completely wrong about 'incentives' from Amazon - we have complete editorial independence.

Nonsensical rationale? We're trying to approach this from both sides: whether or you are or aren't an A-mount owner. Does that make our argument nonsensical? Of course not. In fact, even if you have thousands invested in glass for a particular mount, it's a specious argument to say you can't sell all that and switch, if the other system has significant advantages for your work.

And that's our job - to point out where there are advantages, and where there are disadvantages.

If you don't like our opinion, please move on. If you have solid evidence that any of our assessment is factually, objectively wrong, then please let us know.

Else you're just spewing opinion charading as fact.

13 upvotes
K E Hoffman

@rishi I don't agree with the harsh tone.. especially towards you and Dan who are very professional even under direct attack. But I do think there is a point about a built in Bias showing when "Doesn't support other makers lenses" is even listed as a concern. You come from the idea that its a switch move vs a first buy move etc. When I moved from my A700 to A77 I did a full brand evaluation, partly because I was an EVF skeptic. I would have sold and moved if I could get a better system for me, even if it cost me. Its like news networks one only labels some guests as "liberal" and another only labels guests as "conservative" because they assume the others are just "normal" like them. Canon Con: "can't use some of the great Zeiss optics released by Sony or lenses like the Great STF." Never ever going to see that in a review of a Canon but its as true as saying Sony can't use Canon both are facts.. but using them selectively adds some bias that is real if not intentional.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

K E Hoffman: Thanks. Btw, where do we list 'Doesn't support other makers lenses' as a concern?

I think my overall point is that it's the appearance of bias, not actual bias. The case you mention: just due to different reviewers writing different reviews, and editorial oversight not able to completely, perfectly control for everything all the time.

Btw, you don't have to convince me of the speciousness of the 'can't switch' argument. I myself have switched a number of times, and use different cameras for different purposes (Sony cameras, btw, are amongst ones I personally use). So I also try to approach reviews/opinions with the mindset of 'is this a system you should consider investing in, despite owning another system?'

Which is especially why you'll see me pushing for comparisons across systems/brands, not just internal comparisons. As a scientist, I want to know how my system stacks up against another, whether to consider switching, or confirm I'm shooting w/ the right system.

3 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

Also, I don't even understand the OP, or pixelpushing, or any harsh tone from any reader regarding this review, when you consider our line, from "The Final Word":

"Sports and wildlife shooters torn between the a77 II and DSLRs from other manufacturers should consider this: You'd have to spend A LOT more money to get a DSLR with a burst rate as fast as the a77 II's."

In fact, re-reading the last few paragraphs of this review, I can't imagine how we could be more unbiased. We frame the camera as a great choice, but try to make our readers aware that there are other options out there, all the while making it apparent that if X, Y, and Z are really important to you, that the a77 II is in fact a great choice.

Any more gushing and we'd just be biased for Sony, wouldn't we? And then even mentioned a different Sony camera as an alternative... the claims of bias are simply all over the place and, ironically, are themselves what's biased.

5 upvotes
Akrais

How am I being harsh? I just called into question the fact that the A77ii has finally been reviewed well into its production cycle, yet both Canon's and Samsung's offerings received their reviews when their respective cameras were new to the market...right-out-of-the-gate, so to speak. Why is this the case?

Subjectivity is what I love about photography, so differences of opinion are wonderful things, but I think one must concede that there is some reason why the A77ii review was so long in coming and the other APS-C reviews, even for the K3, appeared lightening quick. I am biased toward offerings from Sony, Nikon, and Olympus; I admit that, I just wish the reviewers here would just come right out and share theirs up front.

How refreshing it would be to read, "I shoot Canon; I love Canon, but I understand that not everyone does, so let's talk about the A77ii"?

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Akrais

I would also note that although the Conclusion of the review was overall very positive, both the 7Dii and NX-1 were named, specifically, as alternatives; yet in both of these cameras' conclusions they appear to have been judged by their own merits: No alternatives were named. It just feels like these two cameras are being pushed,

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

We've stated the reasons for the delay in comments and forums multiple times. I suppose you missed it. Perhaps we should've stated it in the review, thought it felt a bit weird to do so, admittedly.

What we have a problem with is this: because you didn't read the posts where we explained the reasoning, you immediately jumped to assumptions of brand bias on our part, because that's just the favorite thing biased readers jump to, & it's just so easy (and fun, apparently) to start off conversations with accusations of bias.

Rather than start the conversation with a genuine, honest question or concern.

It's sad, ultimately.

3 upvotes
Akrais

Not everyone has the time to search myriad posts for their answers.

I enjoy DP's full reviews, and I hope you understand why this matters. If I didn't respect your opinion or rely upon you in some way in making a final purchasing decision,it would be no big deal. Many people are of this same mind.

Not having consideration of these users is sad really,

Bias exists, everywhere. I just wish people would be up-front about it. My reason for using the word is stated in one of my replies: Why are specific alternatives named for one product and more or less compared to another product, while other products are judged, apparently, on their own merits?

Why did the 7Dii get the pass on "other choices" and the A77ii not?

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
JR458

Rishi great review, I love this camera and having so much fun with it, I am probably not as advanced with my DSLR skills as some of the other members, but as a newbie if you like it's awesome, I am running the 18-270mm PZD Tamron lens with it, love that to!!!!!

0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

Ah but on the conclusions page of the 7D2, we point out that subject tracking AF doesn't live up to Nikons, that low ISO DR doesn't live up to competition, etc. At that point, we hadn't reviewed the a77 II, so were not comfortable making comparisons to it. One valid complaint would be to say we should've mentioned the Sony a6000 as a competitor, and you'd be right on that.

But to say we didn't talk about other choices in the 7D Mark II review is disingenuous at best. Trust me I know we did, b/c we had a ton of backlash over such comparisons from brand loyalists.

Whether or not we have a specific paragraph devoted to this in the last section 'Final Word' of the review is something we leave up to the lead reviewer. We don't want to tie our editorial staff's hands behind their backs.

All we ask is that you don't then take differences between reviews up to the lead reviewer as indications of DPR bias. Any small discrepancies such as those you point out are very difficult to control for.

1 upvote
sensibill

It seems that if you disagree with the writers or the review, you're HARSH but it's okay to accuse people of fanboyism, spewing opinion and using other harsh language. Seems to me the pot is calling the kettle black - anyone not agreeing with the article is automatically some dumb jerk without the ability to read.

2 upvotes
cplittleton

As a (mostly) landscape photographer, I'm disappointed that the GPS in the Mk I went away. Anyone?

(pros)
Doing landscapes, I have infrequent need for
- 12 fps burst with AF-C
- Continuous AF
- Face detection
- Ability to record video using XAVC S codec

Meanwhile, the MkI already has
- Good build quality and overall ergonomics
- SteadyShot
- Fully articulating LCD

(cons)
Doing RAW landscapes, I would not be bothered by
- poor Lock-on AF functionality
- Heavy noise reduction in JPEG
- limited 12 fps mode
- Only 15 cross-type AF points, limited to a central portion of the frame
- No way to quickly check focus in image review (both A77s have a clunky scroll option, but I'm used to it)
- Four-way controller is mushy (again, used to it)
- No headphone jack
- Buffer takes a long time to clear
- I could certainly use higher ISO performance, so noisy high ISO is another reason not to switch.

Sorry Sony, but I decided to keep my MkI long ago / until the next version with GPS.

CPLittleton

1 upvote
K E Hoffman

Its not coming back, though they should do an attachment. The MI shoe has many GPS signals in the design. Cameras with GPS have legal issues in some countries and making multiple versions costs money.

0 upvotes
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.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
pkosewski

Yes, you can. Camera is so much more than the sensor. You can compare AF, build quality, performance, features, handling.
People tend to overestimate the importance of sensor IQ in body comparisons.

Are you sure it would "cleaned up" Mid Range? I doubt that. It is a very good camera, but not exactly an enormous improvement over the previous model. And A77 was hardly a winner...

It is hard to neglect the fps, but Canon and Nikon still do quite a lot things better. And there are also some very interesting mirrorless options.

My general advice is: if you're a kind of photographer who likes to think about his camera, Sony is a nice choice (so is Pentax).
But if you prefer NOT to think about your camera too much, go C or N. They are much easier to live with.

1 upvote
Jeadm

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.

2 upvotes
pkosewski

@Jeadm
Your last paragraph is exactly what I meant.
If your a kind of person who cares about manufacturer being "innovative", Sony is an excellent choice.
Especially if your understanding of "innovative" is: more features.:)

For me a modern DSLR (like D750 or 5Dm3) is a perfectly good camera. I'd be very happy using something similar for next 50 years.
Of course I expect the sensor performance to improve over time. I guess it will loose the mirror and OVF at some point, but I don't care as long as the AF doesn't suffer. I hope 20 fps will become a standard in the next decade - I couldn't utilize more in typical situations.

Moreover, I don't think A77II is a very "innovative" camera.
Have you thought it over?
It looks and handles like most DSLRs. It takes pictures like most DSLRs.
Compared to available DSLRs it has a pellicle mirror, IBIS and EVF, but all are not exactly new or unique ideas...
Shooting speed is very good, but that's simply better performance - nothing innovative here.

0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

Glad you agreed with our classification, b/c we had a long conversation about it. It really does perform so well as to merit its classification in a higher class. That, in turn though, means it's compared against a higher bar.

"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."

@Jeadm - yeah, I can kind of tell, b/c your comments are very reasonable, instead of immediately jumping to accusations of bias. Thank you for members like you. :)

@pkosewski - thanks also for keeping the conversation very civil. Given how many times we have to deal with uncivil people, I feel we need to start crediting those members who are civil, reasonable, and a pleasure to have around...

Btw, we think the a77 II attempts to be innovative, for sure, just that it doesn't quite meet its own bar of innovation. SLT brought AF-C depth-tracking improvements, but still didn't meet the bar of Nikon's 3D tracking.

4 upvotes
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 !

3 upvotes
pkosewski

This has been explained many times, but maybe you missed all discussions and statements from DPR staff...

The quantitative score is based on some properties DPR evaluates while reviewing a camera.
These scores are relative and should not be compared between different DPR-defined segments.
70D and a77 are in "mid range" bin.
a77II went up to the "semi pro".
I hope this doesn't insult you in any way...

The expectations were different and as a result: a77 got 81%, but a77II is good for "just" 80%.

As for the recommendation ("medal") - it is subjective. It should be - that's what recommendations are about, aren't they?

In fact, A-mount is somehow hard to recommend at the moment because of the uncertain future. And the camera - while it has excellent specs - is not exactly polished.
Canon 70D is somehow more refined. It offers less, but with much more self-confidence. And it gives you access to Canon lens lineup, which is the main reason why anyone considers Canon bodies.:)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
K E Hoffman

A-mount has as uncertain a future DSLR format in general. Sony just released 2 new advanced zooms with updated focusing for FF .. where there is no FF A-mount that can really take advantage of that.. IE There are more cameras coming. Since 2006 "a-mount has been uncertain." Minolta Abandonment Syndrome lead people to assume Sony would just dump the mount. Now that Sony is a leader in mirrorless "Sibling Comparison Disorder" has people worried even though Sony continues to release about 30% of its lenses for A-mount each year. On Wallstreet Canon's massive failure in Mirrorless and Nikon's tiny sensor version has many wondering if one or both are heading the way of IBM in computers and BLackberry in Phones.. So look at a-mount and if you like buy.. there are 100+ lens options in stock at B&H for the mount more than anyone will ever need.

2 upvotes
Jeadm

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.

0 upvotes
Mike FL

@K E Hoffman;

"Minolta...Syndrome... Wallstreet ... IBM... BLackberry",

Tell us sth older as you are history.

0 upvotes
sirok

So True I to Remember when AutoFocus was introduced and the "Pros" dissed it . it was a gimmick right ?

2 upvotes
pkosewski

@K E Hoffman
First of all: this is really not important. I was giving an example why some people might not have enough confidence in A-mount to recommend it to others. The uncertain future is my reason, but DPR staff can have different ones (I suggest reading the "conclusions" of the review).

Second: correct me if I'm wrong.
The latest original lens design for A-mount (not a "II") was Sony CZ 50/1.4 in early 2013. In fact it was released at the same day as the latest all-new body: the A58.

I know people were talking about the end of A-mount for a long time, but it was always something like "it will never get the popularity of Canon and Nikon" (and it didn't).
But this time it is about the manufacturer itself. It looks like Sony stopped developing this system. It doesn't mean they will stop manufacturing lenses, but clearly at this point it is mostly for people who are fine with the current lineup, as new things might never come.

2 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

@sirok: Yup, that's exactly how we feel when we talk about subject tracking (X-Y plane), only to be told by users of systems with poor subjec tracking that we should just manually select our AF point, or that a test that stresses a system by both having the subject and background move is somehow in invalid proxy for real-world subject tracking.

Ironically, we never hear such an argument from users of Nikon FF cameras that, just incidentally of course, happen to have industry-leading subject tracking... :)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Jeadm

@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 ;)

0 upvotes
Dré de Man

I shot with F3 and F2 in those years. I once tried a friends Minolta and it was at least 3x slower in autofcous than I was focusing manually - if it could focus at all that is to say. The technology (which Minolta bought from Leitz btw) was simply not ready then. It only had advantages for beginning photographers with no focusing skills and for people with inferior eye sight.

Comment edited 9 seconds after posting
1 upvote
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.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
K E Hoffman

BTW the effect of the SLT is already in any tests so you don't get to add it in twice.. Its got better DR than the 7DII I would trade that any day for a bit more noise at ISO 6400 I find noise easier to manage than blown highlights

16 upvotes
Mike FL

@K E Hoffman;

You DO know what you are talking about for "I find noise easier to manage than blown highlights".

A while ago, one told me "Walking is easier than Talking". I believed that now.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

While it's true that the a77 II has more DR than the 7D2, there's something odd about SLT that makes it kind of hard to make use of this extra DR. We didn't talk about it in the review b/c it'd just get too long-winded, but I'll try to address it here.

The extra half-stop light cost isn't compensated for by the camera's meter trying to give the camera an extra half-stop of light. Instead, the Raw-->Jpeg mapping is just changed. In other words, relative to another camera, there's just more Jpeg brightening happening.

Since the camera's histogram/clipping preview is based on the Jpeg, this means the camera overestimates the overall brightness of the image, & therefore pushed everything on the histogram further to the right, relative to the Raw, compared to other cameras. This means that the Jpeg/histogram is even a worse indicator of the Raw file than traditional cameras, so it's even harder to ETTR.

So, to get the advantages of that extra DR, you'll have to remember to overexpose...

5 upvotes
Jeadm

@Rishi, that's interesting. Thanks for sharing that insight.

2 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

Sure. Another way to state it is this: there's even more highlight headroom in your Raw than you might expect from your JPEG, b/c the Raw was underexposed to begin with, due to the light loss of the mirror.

Now if manufacturers offered histograms based off of Raw... you could still ETTR effectively. As it is, though, the Jpeg is an even worse indicator than usual for Raw highlight headroom, for the aforementioned reasons.

4 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

For clarity, my comment was about the a77 II, not Sony sensors in general, and how the Jpeg is a worse proxy for the Raw compared to other, non-SLT cameras. All the DR of the sensor is actually still there.

My explanation is actually part of the reason we didn't include the ISO-invariance results in the review, precisely b/c of the confusion I can already see it generating.

2 upvotes
lorenzo de medici

If you're old enough to remember TLRs, or twin lens reflex cameras, you will recall the upper lens used a stationary mirror to reflect the image onto the screen on top of the camera, and the lower lens had the shutter mechanism and put the image onto the film. So yes, "R" in DSLR doesn't refer to movement of the mirror, it refers to the action of using a mirror to reflect the image.

4 upvotes
Azurael

I've just traded in my a99, a55, NEX-5N and RX100 for an a7II, a6000 and RX1000 III. As a committed MF user (well, sometimes I use AF, but usually just the centre point) I'm probably not the intended market for this camera. It looks like an impressive bit of kit though!

I don't know if I'm using them wrong, but I've never had much luck with 'wide' (the default) AF mode on modern Sony cameras, and it seems to replicate some of the testing issues you guys had with lock-on mode. I would frequently end up with the background in focus even if the subject filled 80% of the frame. I even had this issue with AF-D mode, which is supposed to use distance-to-subject information to guess the correct point. I've never had any issues with a manually selected AF point though, so I guess they just aren't so great at subject detection as the other brands.

I can't help wondering why Sony didn't put their fancy new 5-axis IS system in the a77II, but perhaps it was in development before the a7II?

0 upvotes
lhkjacky

@DPreview,
On Page 7.Operation & Controls -> Auto ISO
The MFNR you described is not correct.
In A77ii it does not just combining 3 frames of images.
The Mutli-Frame Noise reduction in A77ii have two setting,
With setting MFNR (High) it combine 12 frames of images.
while setting MFNR (Low) it combine 4 frames of images.

In old A77 Mk1, there was only one setting in MFNR,
which combine 6 frames of images.

You can check the "sequence length" value in EXIF data of the image

With the help of the faster processor Bionzx in A77ii, the MFNR processing time has been shorten a lots as well.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

Thanks. For the record, I said it averages 3-4 frames by default, I just couldn't tell if it was 3 or 4 from the sound of the shutter. So it's 4.

That's nice that it can average 12 - that'll give a much more noticeable rise in performance.

But as I've already said - it's a known. It's known that if you average 12 shots, you get a SNR increase of sqrt(12), or approx. somewhere between 3 to 4 EV better ISO performance. You can do this w/ any camera by averaging yourself, but it's nice that the Sony does this for you. Not so nice that it doesn't do it in Raw.

There's really nothing to test here, though you could argue that we could add what I just said above to the review... would that help?

2 upvotes
photogeek

Sweet mother of cheerleading, I'm having trouble focusing on the text.

7 upvotes
Cadmus7

It took a long time, but this was a thorough and well-done review, thanks guys! I think there are some things left out, like the focus limiter, and the focussing didn't seem to cover everything quite as well as I'd hoped, but all up a really good and unbiased review. Maybe the next firmware will address some of the focussing issues brought up - if we're lucky enough to get another one...

1 upvote
Trace AVP

Dpreview please if you have it show your usual results for camera dynamic range at various picture styles, ISO etc. I have been using that info to compare cameras for Years.

Also for other cameras you did a comparison still of the video to show sharpness etc. I have it for lots of other cameras you reviewed.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
thoth22

I'm liking that forest photo on the shooting experience page. It does seem a tad noisier than other cameras at 3200 iso and higher. This looks like a good replacement for the a6000.

0 upvotes
FuhTeng

I want to rent it to see if I want to add it to my a6000. I'm only considering that because I'm frustrated by the telephoto options for my a6000 and there's not a whole lot of hope soon (and I need the IBIS). I think it'll be a fun rental anyway.

1 upvote
felix from the suburbs

Is there a relationship between market share and timeliness of a review. I notice that the Nikon 5500 was reviewed prior to the Sony Alpha 77ii. and the Sony has been out much longer. My local camera store actually had the Nikon on a "pre-order" status when the Nikon review came out. Just asking.

4 upvotes
FuhTeng

I would think so.

1 upvote
monsieurlumiere

Like the Canon 7D2, it's only SILVER AWARD . . . but with only 80%

1 upvote
craig66

Unless I've missed it, the camera focus range limiter does not seem to be mentioned. This is a seriously useful feature with long focal length lenses or lenses that have a long focus throw such as macro lenses. It works with just about all lenses, not just D-type lenses that report focus distance to the camera. Right back to the first Minolta A-mount lenses. It's more flexible than the range limiter provided on some lenses, but can also be used in conjunction with an in-lens limiter.

Full marks for this in supporting the existing A-mount user base.

7 upvotes
codethought

Thank you for FINALLY doing a review, DP...

6 upvotes
ASAphoto

I don't know, after the camera is on the market for a year it feels like an insult. They pretty much had to do the review but taking so long to do it is not cool.

3 upvotes
cgarrard

ASAphoto, do you know the reasons why they took so long, or are you just speculating why? I vote the latter.

Believe it, or don't.. but there are many variables that determine how fast a review is published. Maybe, just maybe it's not DPR's fault.

3 upvotes
tbcass

cgarrard

In the Sony forum DPR stated that they lacked the time and manpower so the review was delayed. That doesn't explain why cameras that have been on the market for a much shorter time were reviewed first however.

I would also like to add that ASAphoto made no speculation as to why the camera review was delayed that I could see.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
cgarrard

tbcass- For him to say that its not cool to do it after all this time is making the assumption right off the bat they are guilty- I shouldn't even have to explain that to you.

And since they lacked the manpower at the time, plus we know there was a major firmware upgrade- we have two good reasons right there (rishi stated that) alone that would cause a MAJOR delay in getting the review out.

Bottom line here is that people are too critical of DPR here in general without knowing or considering the facts. I see it all the time .None of those who are criticizing are in DPR's shoes.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Dave Oddie

Well I recall DPR posting something at some point about they were having to give a lot of consideration to the new AF features of the A77II and this was given as a reason for the delay.

However, whatever the reason, the review took too long.

"Bottom line here is that people are too critical of DPR here in general without knowing or considering the facts."

Nonsense.

There have been numerous other in-depth reviews of several other DSRL's since the A77II came out. How is that for a fact? Why work on those non-trivial reviews and put the A77II one aside (as they most certainly did)?

It is obvious DPR chose to devote their resources to these reviews rather than complete the A77II review.

Well not unless you think some poor sole on the DPR staff has been reviewing it every week for over a year 40 hours a week.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
8 upvotes
cgarrard

We'll I didn't make a dent. No worries though. Moving on! :)

1 upvote
Rishi Sanyal

"In the Sony forum DPR stated that they lacked the time and manpower so the review was delayed. That doesn't explain why cameras that have been on the market for a much shorter time were reviewed first however."

Actually, yes it does. For the same reason the Nikon D810 review isn't out yet.

We'd lost half our editorial team when these cameras came out. Once we started to get our footing back, new cameras were introduced. At that point, we had the choice of finishing the older reviews (D810, a77 II, etc.), which'd push back reviews of the new cameras also to a point of time where the reviews would be irrelevant.

Or, we could review the newer ones first, while they were still relevant, considering the reviews for the previous cameras were already so late as to be somewhat irrelevant.

So, at that point- do we get caught in this vicious cycle of making every camera review late, b/c of a down-time in staff? Or the more sensible thing- newer ones 1st; older ones when we have time?

3 upvotes
codethought

Rishi -

psh.. pay me enough and *I'll* come work for you guys on the editorial staff... :D

0 upvotes
cgarrard

Apply on the next round of DPR hirings- see if you make the cut.

1 upvote
exapixel

I probably missed it in the review, but does this Sony has a lossless RAW file output option? If not, does it exhibit the same artifacts along vertical edges in high-contrast regions as do the E-mount cameras with only lossy RAW?

3 upvotes
K E Hoffman

Keep in mind this is a review of a year old camera. So no Sony is not doing a lossless RAW in the camera. and yes you can find or create places where you can get artifacts. It does need to be fixed.. but at least half the posts are with people PP files in a way you would never in normal circumstances to show the issue. .. the artifacts are an issue. I agree. The whole "lossless" discussion seems to take place in an academic POV that ignores that there is no Lossless system for turning RAW into images.

9 upvotes
exapixel

How is it relevant that this review is of a year-old camera?

2 upvotes
hippo84

exapixel - I've made >250 000 shots with A77, 305 000 with A99 and 15 000 with A77-2 and have never seen artefacts They talked about. I'm sure, We can find them if We want it, but in normal conditioins cRAW is not problem at all.

8 upvotes
K E Hoffman

There have been 5 Sony cameras that also support Sony RAW since this camera was released that didn't have new lossless RAW format. So why would one look for it it in the older camera?

3 upvotes
pkosewski

@hippo84
I've used digital cameras for a decade and I've never seen any moire in my photos. Does this mean that moire doesn't exist?

There is no such thing as "normal conditions". If you're not affected by the cRAW issues - be a happy Sony user and don't care about other people's problems.

4 upvotes
exapixel

K E Hoffman: "So why would one look for it it in the older camera?"

Because I didn't know whether or not the camera supported lossless RAW output or not, and because the review didn't say. It was a simple yes/no question and I'm sorry that it offended you.

1 upvote
tbcass

pkosewski; I think many people are more bothered by the idea of cRAW than any reality of it's effects on the final photo. One guy did a test and found that under certain conditions he could find some artifacts that were visible at 200% + magnification with cRAW that were not visible with uncompressed RAW.

Personally I find such obsessive compulsive behavior abnormal and odd but that's just me.

2 upvotes
VirtualMirage

Without getting into the details and showing examples like they did in past reviews, DPR did mention throughout the review that they noticed some of the shortcomings brought on by Sony's compressed RAW. So, yes, it shares the same weak link.

In response to Hipo84, just because you never experienced them doesn't mean they don't exist. I think the impact is more noticeable on the cameras that are shooting in 14-bit than the ones that shoot in 12-bit. The A77 is 12-bit only and the A99 is only 14-bit in single shot mode.

With my A77II, I've been able to produce anomalies in specific situations that I was unable to reproduce with my A77. These characteristics, in my mind, are possibly attributed to the compression done on the 14-bit images. Don't think of it as the same kind of compression that is done to JPEGs, where image quality goes to mush. It is usually noticeable when pushing/pulling an exposure, causing harsh color shifts in the blacks, banding, etc. in high contrast areas.

1 upvote
K E Hoffman

Meaning when you beat the hell out of the RAW it showed damage?

2 upvotes
VirtualMirage

Nope, some of them didn't take much editing to show the problems. Now the examples I posted in the past I pushed further to make the problems easier to see for those that don't have very good monitors, which I even mentioned.

As mentioned before the problem is noticeable in high contrast scenes, close to black and white. The easiest example, take a black sheet of paper and cut a square in it. Place it on a window that gets a lot of light that has a screen. Focus on the screen and expose miso for the black and screen, this should cause the background to be bright, near blown out but not. Just minor tinkering to a photo like this quick reproduce a colored mesh pattern on the black in horizontal fashion across the image, matching the screen in the cutout. Blacks will start pushing to different colors quickly too. My gallery had examples of this. Put the lens cap on and do the same exposure or even and you get no such discoloration nor patterns. The A77 in a similar test does not do this.

1 upvote
pixelpushing

Prove it with RAW.

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
1 upvote
tbcass

VirtualMirage; For my feelings on such obsessiveness please read my previous post. I'm sure you consider yourself more discerning but I think one man's discerning is another man's obsessiveness. We just have a different outlook on life.

1 upvote
pkosewski

@tbcass
"I think many people are more bothered by the idea of cRAW than any reality of it's effects on the final photo. "

I think many people are more bothered by the results of synthetic DR tests than any real effects on the final photo.
In fact this is the main argument for Sony's sensors compared to those designed by Canon and Panasonic, isn't it? :)

1 upvote
tbcass

pkosewski; I agree. Many of my Sony brethren argue that we should go FF for the greater DR. I counter that I see a lot of great photos and professionals making lots of money with Canon cameras with less DR. It's gotten to the point that cameras produce such great photos people are resorting to minute differences to justify their purchases.

1 upvote
VirtualMirage

@pixelpushing: I only shoot raw and all my examples were from raw files edited in Lightroom. I even took the same files and worked them in Capture One as well as Sony's editor to make sure it wasn't an editor problem.

As an A77II owner who has owned it since June of last year, why would I lie? I am very happy with my camera, I would just be happier for a proper explanation as to the flaws I have found and the reintroduction of uncompressed RAW.

So, better yet, prove me wrong. I at least put the work in to show what can happen. How much work did you put into it to say that it isn't? Or are you just couch judging?

1 upvote
VirtualMirage

@TBCass: Just because some choose to live life where ignorance is bliss doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Just because it doesn't affect you doesn't mean it doesn't affect others.

As for obsessiveness, it really isn't the case. I spend more time enjoying my camera than I do nitpicking it. My work and experiments have already been done, it doesn't take much work to reference it when others (including DPR) ask about the effects of compressed RAW.

The A77II isn't flawless and shouldn't be put on a pedestal, but it is still an excellent camera nonetheless. It's still by far the best camera I have owned so far and congratulate Sony on the number of improvements made over the very good A77. I only ask for one simple request, one I have asked for since 2011, and I feel I shouldn't have to quiet down because someone else just doesn't care.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
tbcass

VirtualMirage said
"@TBCass: Just because some choose to live life where ignorance is bliss doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Just because it doesn't affect you doesn't mean it doesn't affect others"

That isn't fair because I never suggested the camera is perfect. I only say people like yourself are your own worse enemies always seeming to find something to complain about. The difference between us is I can appreciate the positives without letting a few negatives bring me down. I really do feel sorry for people like you who always think the glass is half full. It's all about having a positive outlook. I bet you look hard for things that are wrong.

2 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

"It's gotten to the point that cameras produce such great photos people are resorting to minute differences to justify their purchases."

That may be true, but it also discounts the people who are effectively using those technological differences to help their art. And they probably don't talk about it much anymore b/c of the vehement, often ad hominem backlash even from objective statements of the potential benefits of the technologies they use.

Also, VirtualMirage may be being his worst enemy, as you state, but those who'd rather not talk about problems are being their own enemies as well - b/c staying silent about an issue means the manufacturer doesn't hear about the complaint. And then they say 'we haven't heard this is an issue from our customers.'

We've literally experienced that first-hand.

And how is that helping the product line you love and own?

4 upvotes
tbcass

Rishi Sanyal; You can be fully aware of deficiencies in a product without being so negative about it. The camera companies will continue to improve their products because that is the only way they have to sell new ones but unless there is some type of technological breakthrough there will not be nor have there been significant improvements in IQ which is the main thing I'm talking about. I fail to see how these tiny improvements are helping any body's "art". What does art have to do with finding artifacts due to using cRAW rather than RAW that are nearly impossible to see. That is not "art".

When people resort to 100% pixel peeping to find differences or put excessive importance in high ISO performance then you leave the realm of photography and enter the realm of gear for gears sake. Rather than trying to squeeze a tiny bit more IQ camera manufacturers should concentrate on performance, functionality and ergonomics IMO.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
tbcass

It's like the extreme audiophile who looks for the finest possible equipment even if the difference in sound is almost inaudible. They care more about the sound of the equipment more than the actual music. I know about that because I used to be one of those compulsive audiophiles.

1 upvote
VirtualMirage

@TBCass: I never stated you thought the camera is perfect, but you certainly seem to prefer to turn a blind eye to flaws in a product and expect everyone else should do the same.

You make it sound like I am unhappy with my A77II, far from it. If I wasn't happy with it, I wouldn't own it. This little flaw is one of the very few chinks in this camera's armor. Not too shabby.

I am not a negative person and generally find myself as fairly positive. But I present myself as an optimistic realist.

As for trying hard to find things that are wrong, I didn't seek this out, it found me. It reared its head during one of my everyday shoots. Curious why it happened, I decided to seek answers online. When no one had answers, or cared, I decided to perform experiments of my own to figure out if it is a defective sensor or a design issue. DPR later confirmed the problem with other models. So what is wrong with making this known? If no one says anything, then nothing will ever get fixed.

3 upvotes
VirtualMirage

@TBCass: Continued...
As for feeling sorry for "people" like me, that was half hearted at best and rude. It implies something that I and like minded people are not and presents itself as if you think you are better than others. Well, you are not and a comment as such doesn't belong here.

1 upvote
VirtualMirage

@Rishi: Thank you for seeing both sides of the coin on here. It is true that one can be their worst enemy when looking for problems, or especially ones you get lost in it and forget to see everything else that is good in the product. I am not that person.

I very much love my A77II and do feel it is the best camera I have owned so far. But it isn't perfect. My only suggestion of improvement is something I have been asking for from the very beginning when they got rid of uncompressed RAW back in 2011.

When people ask with concerns about compressed RAW or experience, I will give them my answer based on my experience. I see nothing wrong with that and I don't feel I should have to be quiet because some people don't want to hear it. But don't let that detract from enjoying the camera.

1 upvote
Rishi Sanyal

Yes, I see both sides of the argument, but what I don't appreciate it is ad hominem attacks just b/c someone doesn't think that one thing a person thinks is a problem, is a problem.

VirtualMirage said it best: 'I didn't seek this out, it found me'

There are use-cases for which this particular issue is an issue, & not talking about the issue is (1) not educating people for which it might be an issue, and (2) not letting manufacturers know it's a problem so they can iterate on it. Which, like I said, I've seen happen - sometimes manufacturers are just itching for a problem to just 'disappear', much less go actively looking for it if no one points it out. Sometimes, not always, sometimes (so please don't take that as a dig at manufacturers, in general).

Ultimately, tbcass, it seems to me that b/c you don't think it's an issue, only a 'compulsive audiophile/gearhead' would think it an issue, and that's just false.

You can think it's not an issue, while VirtualMirage does. No harm.

4 upvotes
exapixel

I think that the concern about Sony's only remaining "raw" format being one with lossy compression leading to visible artifacts bothers people at two levels. One, it can cause visible artifacts in images. Two, it's just so weird that Sony ISN'T FIXING an issue like this, but continues instead to market the cameras as having "14-bit RAW output" when it's really 12-bit or 13-bit data squished into an 11-bit nonlinear tone curve and then an 8-bit-mean-per-pixel block encoding.

3 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

Yup, exactly. For some people, it really affects their work. For others, it's that photo you find every now and then where you're like: "I chose this over a similar costing DSLR that offers real Raw output... why should I have to deal with this? What if it happens to pop up in an image that I actually would like to print large?"

It just seems pretty silly that Nikon should get better image quality out of a Sony sensor than Sony, for example...

OTOH, it is important though that the compression not be misunderstood. AFAIK, it doesn't actually affect tonality all that much, b/c proper encoding uses shot noise as a means of compression, which should be lossless. To your knowledge, is this look-up table also flawed for Sony cRAW?

Thanks in advance.

1 upvote
exapixel

@Rishi: My perspective is that if I've taken the effort to travel to a once-in-a-lifetime destination with the highest-quality camera that I can afford, I want to bring home as many bits as the instrument was able to capture. Don't reduce data in the field. So I use 14-bit lossless RAW even though I understand the physics of noise and the nonlinear response of the human visual system -- I just want to get the bits back to my computer. Data compression that exploits redundancy is of course completely fine, data compression that loses the right bits is okay if optional. I could live with a tone curve, but the 16px interleaved blocks in ARW is unacceptable (minimum and maximum values in 11 bits, 14 intermediates in 7 bits).

To your specific Sony ARW question: I don't like the 2:1 slope in the darkest zone and would prefer 1:1, but it seems otherwise okay. It hasn't prevented me from buying the cameras. The 16px block encoding mess *has* (and the meta-issue of letting it persist).

1 upvote
Rishi Sanyal

@exapixel - Forgot about that: every 2 increments in input maps to 1 increment in the digital file, which presumably can lead to quantization error for darker tones? I'd expect that to have an impact on dynamic range, then, though? The D800 does appear to have slightly more dynamic range; I wonder if that has anything to do with it.

0 upvotes
exapixel

@Rishi - We talk about the cameras as if they take 14-bit ADC outputs and encode them with a tone curve that never has a slope less than 2:1, but of course this may be just a convenient mental model. Maybe the ADCs only emit 13-bit data anyway (12-bit in many modes), giving up a bit of precision in order to be clocked faster.

0 upvotes
sierranvin

@ tb cass your comments re. the manufacturers needing to compete and that will take care of improvements flies in the face of my experience buying heavily into Canon four years ago and over the last 12 mos. replacing all of it with Sony. The financial loss hurt and the part that aggravated me the most was reading an interview in the financial press with a Canon exec who blithely observed profit margins in digital cameras are down so we're putting more investment into security camera video now. Voila - a maturing, unexciting sensor line and lots of aggravation personally for me as I researched then transitioned brands. I think you exhibit some hubris with the "market as panacea for improvement" style of comment.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

@exapixel - if they did that, though, we'd never measure > 13EV dynamic range at the pixel level in sensors like the D810.

Actually, for a number of recent high performance sensors, it's my opinion that the ADC is starting to limit the dynamic range... which can happen if full-well capacity / read noise (at base ISO) is greater than 14 EV. Or even approaching 14 EV, since there can be some rounding errors introduced.

I actually wonder if some of the increase in extrapolated 'downstream' read noise we see at base ISO is, at least in part, due to the ADC and its limited bit-depth that requires that not every photoelectron is counted at base ISO, b/c of the high FWC (higher than 16,384, that is).

Any idea if this is true? I'll try and remember to ask over in PST.

1 upvote
exapixel

@Rishi - even if the same sensor part is being used in two cameras, don't assume that the ADCs are being clocked at the same rate. We know that the rate is adjustable by the fact that Sony cameras drop to 12 bits of precision in many shooting modes. Dropping a bit of precision halves the read-out time.

1 upvote
Rishi Sanyal

Right. Thanks for the info @exapixel. Conversations like this are very helpful and are much appreciated.

2 upvotes
Igor Adamovic

Image stabilization in this Sony is very nice thing to have. If you pair it with Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 without VC you have very professional gear for weddings cheaply. I do not see drawback to buying this translucent mirror digital SLR, but only if you already do not have bunch of lenses with image stabilization from Nikon or Canon.

5 upvotes
craig66

I don't have that lens, but you may find that the in-camera focus range limiter at least partially mitigates AF issues that seem to be the biggest complaint about that lens.

1 upvote
KentG

All Sony DSLRs or SLTs have IBIS because Minolta was the first company to make it work all the way back to their first DSLR the 7D. And you can use ILIS lenses on IBIS cameras as long as you turn one or the other off. Sometimes one is better than the other. Obviously if you own Canon or Nikon lenses of any type you won't be buying this camera. Unless you want to go dual system.

1 upvote
tbcass

craig66 I own the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 USD and don't experience any AF issues with it. In fact it's one of the most accurate fastest focusing lenses I have.

0 upvotes
craig66

The OP is talking about the older screw drive Tamron.

0 upvotes
photosen

Good review, looks like a nice camera.

2 upvotes
lawamainn

Motion blur??

0 upvotes
PedroMZ

is it just me , the studio tests seem to show that the A77 produces noticeably softer images than the Canon and the A6000 even at low iso? I am puzzled by DP reviewer's comments that the images are very good at low iso,they certainly do not appear to be close to that of the above mentioned cameras. Just take a look at the Raws at iso 800. The A6000 beats it hands down. Either that or I need an optician's appointment.

0 upvotes
steelhead3

DP is blaming the lens used for the test

5 upvotes
lhkjacky

They have explain it, it was the lens which made the difference.

5 upvotes
mgrum

I hate to say it again, but really what is the point of publishing a review a whole year after a camera is released? It's common elsewhere to have reviews written before a product hits the shelves. A year later and everyone who is seriously interested would either have bought it based on other reviews or decided to get something else.

It's a good job dpreview don't review films...

17 upvotes
lhkjacky

Although it is a little bit late.
But I think dpreview has done a good review.
They have tested & mention some good point, which is not included/tested in other review site.

2 upvotes
K E Hoffman

As someone who as pointed about the delay for months. The shelf life of movie in theaters is 4-20 weeks. A camera is 24-36 months.

4 upvotes
msaltz

I just want to add my voice to the complaints about the length of time it has taken to review this camera. There no justifiable reason for the delays in this and the reviews of other cameras. It really is disgraceful.

Dpreview has spent a lot of time diversifying what it does but it seems to think that by increasing its areas of coverage it can reduce the coverage of what is, arguably, its most important function: the reviewing of cameras. It is really annoying.

3 upvotes
Rob

I have to agree. The number one reason people come to dpreview is for the REVIEWS--it's even in the name of the website! All major camera releases should have the review done within a short few months as a rule, otherwise what's the point? By the time the review comes out so late, it's already half a generation later.

3 upvotes
Sammy the Seal

I've taken many thousands of photos with the original a77, many of them at twilight and even at night, with good results. But I use all fairly bright lenses, the 16-50mm f/2.8, a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, and both of the inexpensive Sony primes, the 35mm and 50mm, both f/1.8. None of these lenses are stabilized, and neither are most of the corresponding lenses in the competitors' lineups, but with Sony's in-body IS ALL of my lenses are stabilized, and this along with the EVF are the real differentiation between this line of cameras and the others.
I'm not really into sports photography, so I don't need and never use ISOs greater than 1600. With the a77 I take handheld shots all the time at 1/6 and 1/8 second and they frequently (not always) come out without shake blur. I own a Nikon d7100 as well but I consider the Sony to be my low-light camera in spite of DxO's stats. In-body IS is a game changer for me.
But if you do sports photos you may be barking up the wrong tree with SLT cameras.

0 upvotes
tbcass

One thing they failed to mention about the EVF is, while it's the same resolution as the A77 it simply looks a lot more natural without the overly contrasty look the old EVF had. It almost looks like an OVF.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
13 upvotes
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".

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
21 upvotes
SmilerGrogan

His ex-wife says the exact same things about him. Have you two been talking?

4 upvotes
pkosewski

No. Many people only use AF-C. Look up: back button focusing.
It works in other cameras, so why not point it out in Sony's body review?
Back button focusing is especially popular among nature and sport photographers - people who are supposed to be the target segment for this camera...

BTW:
Lets suppose you are shooting in AF-C. Sport event or whatever.
Suddenly you want to shoot something stationary. Do you always switch to AF-S for a single exposure? Really? :)

0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

A good AF system should not get confused by a stationary target just b/c you turn on some form of automatic AF point selection with subject tracking.

That was the whole point of doing that test with AF-C on a stationary target.

You are correct that turning AF Track Duration all the way down to 1 can help, but this comes at the cost of slower tracking of an already somewhat laggy subject tracking system (compared to class-leaders in this regard).

2 upvotes
JunzInc

@Rishi, When you say class leaders do you mean among all the available cameras or just in the same class of camera's that A77 II belongs to.

0 upvotes
Cadmus7

He could have done it a better way, sure, and the way he used it wasn't the best way, but one of the issues I've found is that it is confusing to know exactly which is the best focus method for a particular scenario, and to switch to it when you need to (admittedly, for a review you have time!). This is why Sony created this, which I'm yet to 100% commit to memory. http://www.sony.net/Products/di/common/images/products/g2sw/ILCA-77M2_4DFOCUS_Camera_Settings_Guide.pdf

Maybe he can read this and try again??

0 upvotes
K E Hoffman

@rishi When will you be adding the stuffed cat tracking test to the 7DII review? IT makes it hard to compare the systems. Also if you want people to start taking this test seriously you need standardize the motions etc. The still life tracking test video for the NX1 and the A77II use total different types of motion and distance. Also lets be honest no one at A camera company is prioritizing object tracking for still life shots taken by drunk photographers. Other sites track soccer players IE where the objects unique motion against background is part of the object detection. when you remove unique motion you disable HALF of the info used to track object and rely on the supplemental color info So I now know the A77M2 is not a great tool for tracking fast moving stuffed animals.. I can tell you from REAL experience shooting kids at the start of a 50 runner cross country race keeping my team's kid in focus even as others pass in front it does a GREAT job.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
pixelpushing

I no longer believe Rishi is impartial with his Sony evaluations. Too much defensiveness, hyperbole and apparent refusal to address testing questions.

0 upvotes
K E Hoffman

@pixelpushing.. I disagree. I have read enough of Rishi and Dan's comments and read the review. They are sincerely trying to do a fair job. The Like any human, one tends to defend one's own work. I am very sure there was a sincere desire to create a test that could be done in a controlled way for autofocus tracking. But one of my technical jobs was as a software tester for several years. Controlled / Lab creates a testing case that is not what any camera is designed for. They are designed to aid in uncontrolled motion over an area where the area is not moving. One of the great tracking devices is Xbox Kinect. Part of how it works is spotting the motion against the background if I pick it up and wave it.. It will not work. The stuffed cat test is flawed. I know from experience it is flawed and the summary "Not good if you need reliable tracking" is flawed. "Not good if you need tracking while drunk shooting stuffed animals" is all that was proven.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Rishi Sanyal

What comments like this fail to take into account is that before we presented the 'drunken stuffed cat' test, both Dan and I spent many, many hours on many different days over the span of weeks to months using the a77 II, or whatever camera a given reviewer is reviewing, testing the camera in many real-world scenarios.

The studio test in the lab is only there as a proxy of what we experienced in the real world, b/c it's easy to go in there & record the video out or the OVF to place in a review.

If this test does not reflect our real-world usage, we wouldn't put it in the review.

Furthermore, you left out any mention of all our other examples, tracking on a bike in the real world w/ a telephoto lens, e.g., or Dan's mention of his experience shooting basketball indoors.

It's difficult to design one test, & so we presented results from a # of scenarios. That said, the 'stuffed cat' test demonstrates what we experienced in actual shooting: slow & often inaccurate.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

You are correct in stating that it's difficult to compare without having similar tests from other cameras, & we're working on this. We will post the 7D2 results with this same test; for now, b/c of time, we just mentioned our results: that it is even worse than the a77 II, but both cameras are well behind Nikon's 3D tracking.

Incidentally, have you used Nikon's latest incarnations of subject tracking?

One thing we'd encourage you to keep in mind is that we're constantly testing all cameras against one another. Individual reader perspectives that one thing or another works is fine, but our perspective is based off of directly comparing cameras/systems to one another, in a variety of scenarios.

It's not lost upon us that comparative, controlled tests should be presented across cameras, & that's exactly what we're working toward. But before we have that test fully designed, we still have to publish reviews... so we present what we can, as long as reflects real-world experience.

2 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

Also, we read that document you refer to, and actually studied the a77 II in-depth well before Sony even published that document.

'He could've done that test better' -- fails to acknowledge we tested the camera in many, many other situations, often spending entire days/weekends at a time using only that camera. Multiple reviewers spending time with the cameras as well.

What's frankly surprising is that when one negative or flaw is pointed out, there are those who immediately jump to reviewer bias.

There's an analogue of, e.g. pixelpushing, for every brand. Say one negative thing about Canon, and the pitchforks come out from such users. Rather than stepping back & realizing that, actually, we try to present an overall unbiased assessment, and that it'd actually be biased if we refrained from ever pointing out negatives.

Those who've followed my a77 II comments in the forums over the past few months or more know just how careful I was before saying anything about its AF. Bias? No.

2 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

Finally, the 'drunken striped cat test' (mind if we steal that from you?) is absolutely a valid test that represents real-world subject tracking performance. But actually, for clarity, it's usually the eye of the mannequin that we're actually trying to track.

As we're developing real-world AF tests, we're trying to cover opposite ends of the spectrum for subject tracking: long telephoto vs. short distance fast wide subject tracking. The long telephoto tests were covered using the bike tests - here actually many cameras perform all right, either b/c they can use depth information for a well isolated subject against its background, or b/c usually the DOF is expansive enough relative to subject travel along the Z-axis that it's not terribly challenging.

Tracking the eye of the mannequin against a moving background OTOH is very tough, b/c like K E Hoffman said, the camera has to deal w/ the entire scene, not just subject, movement.

...

2 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

But that's exactly what a baby or wedding photographer, or a sports photographer that's trying to follow action, is dealing with.

It surprises me that people think a stationary background is more relevant. When I'm shooting, I'm always moving the camera around, reframing based on subject movement and the composition I want.

The bigger point here is that there are cameras that can isolate the subject despite subject and background movement.

So that's the bar. It's been raised, by Sony itself (so much for my anti-Sony bias) in the a6000/5100, e.g. Good subject tracking despite both subject & camera movement opens a world of possibilities for parents shooting their kids, & for wedding & event photographers who want to nail focus using fast (f/1.4) primes in the middle of action. Cameras like the a6000, the D750, & the NX1 after firmware update etc. allow exactly this.

Btw, NX1 test was even more challenging, given our speed of movement.

2 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

To sum up: we're very interested in designing controlled tests, but it's extremely difficult. Manufacturers themselves struggle to design relevant tests in order to iterate their own equipment's systems/algorithms. In a conversation we once had with a particular brand, they said they developed an entire test, fine tuned the camera to work for that test, then took it into the real world and found the camera just didn't work, despite nailing the test. This sent them back to the drawing board.

Therefore, we're trying to approach this the other way around. Spend days/weeks with a camera, understand how it performs relative to other cameras in terms of AF tracking, then bring those cameras into the lab & try & set up a test that differentiates the cameras based on our real world experiences w/ them.

We only then show results of this test in the lab if it reflects camera performance in the real world.

Hopefully in time we'll have a lab test that models real-world performance.

2 upvotes
Jeadm

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.

2 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

Me neither. If you read the review, it's pretty apparent we tested the camera under many situations, over many months, with many lenses, with many settings, etc.

In other words, we don't take our jobs as lightly as many assume we do.

2 upvotes
Alan_S

Davey1978 makes an excellent point, that Track Duration has to be set to a Level 1 or 2 to get the best steadfast subject tracking. The review is highly critical of moving subject tracking yet there is no indication that the camera was set properly to demonstrate that capability. Rishi stated above "You are correct that turning AF Track Duration all the way down to 1 can help, but this comes at the cost of slower tracking of an already somewhat laggy subject tracking system" ... Wow, you're acknowledging that the review didn't use the recommended setting for best subject tracking, and dismissing it without trying it??

0 upvotes
pkosewski

@Alan_S

Just to clarify something, because I don't know Sony cameras that well: how long does it take to change the Track Duration?
I'm asking about both number of operations in menu and approximate time needed for someone who knows where this option is.

0 upvotes
Jeadm

@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.

0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

Alan_S: see my extensive response in the forums. The 'recommended setting for best subject tracking'? Where is that explicitly stated? Because for fast, erratic subjects, slowing down the system for more accuracy doesn't lead to more accuracy if your system is so behind that it can't even keep up with your moving subject.

In other words, trading off speed for accuracy can often come at the cost of accuracy itself.

Which is why, when we repeated our tests with Track Duration set to 1, we didn't get much better results than our demonstrations using a setting of '3'.

A good camera with good subject tracking (read: D750, D810, etc.) does not show any worse actual X-Y subject tracking based on this setting. W/ the a77 II, OTOH, w/ a Track Duration setting of 1, you literally have to wait for the camera's tracking algorithm to catch up - hardly what you want to be doing when shooting moving subjects using AF-C.

2 upvotes
SnakePlissken

It's a superficial thing, but why are Sony DSLRs so ugly? I had an A700 and it was very smart looking. I think Canon makes the smartest, most ergonomic looking DSLRs, Nikon cameras are also immediately identifiable by their styling and red flash on the grip, Pentax K3 cameras look very elegant and well made too. In contrast, Sony's DLSRs in the last few years look like they have melted in the sun and are just too lumpen.

I am sure they are fine to use of course and for all the bashing that goes on here, as usual, the classic, legendary photographers of yore (other than large format photographers) would die for any of the digital cameras on the market today and I am sure would not care a jot about offset microlenses and the like that seem to consume people on DPReview.

Comment edited 58 seconds after posting
1 upvote
lhkjacky

I think different people have different sense of beauty
IMO, A77, A77II looks much much better than A700.

http://camerasize.com/compare/#201,552

5 upvotes
Gionni Dorelli

I have the ugliest of the Alpha: the a900, I also had the second ugliest which you also had: the a700.
A 58, A77 and a99 fine looking cameras and look better than canon and especially nikon.
Pentax has always been the ugliest second to none.
of course is all
subjective....

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Ralf B

Want to read up on the concept of "ugly is beautiful"?
Arthur Hailey: Wheels

0 upvotes
martinot

I currently shoot Nikon (D750), but I think Leica and Fuji makes the best looking cameras.

Canon and Nikon are both good looking/acceptable (even if I shoot Nikon I think Canon is a little bit better/nicer looking).

I think both Sony (DSLRs) and Pentax are a little but on the directly ugly/fugly side.

My first SLR 35 years ago was a cheap, but great to start with, manual focus camera from Minolta. I still think it looks better than the modern digital Minolta/Sony DSLRs.

http://www.rokkorfiles.com/photos/XG-1n-image.jpg
http://www.lomography.com/magazine/242130-minolta-xg-1-n-slr-a-fast-firing-street-shooter

Hopefully Sony can get back some of Minoltas old design ethos and make some more butiful DSLRs again.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 500
123