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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.

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Comments

Total comments: 351
12
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.

0 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
0 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

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
1 upvote
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.

0 upvotes
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.

1 upvote
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
0 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.

0 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

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
2 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

8 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
0 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.

3 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
5 upvotes
photogeek

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

6 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...

0 upvotes
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.

3 upvotes
FuhTeng

I would think so.

0 upvotes
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.

4 upvotes
codethought

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

2 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.

2 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
4 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
0 upvotes
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
5 upvotes
cgarrard

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

0 upvotes
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?

2 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.

6 upvotes
exapixel

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

1 upvote
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.

6 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.

3 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.

0 upvotes
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.

0 upvotes
K E Hoffman

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

1 upvote
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.

0 upvotes
pixelpushing

Prove it with RAW.

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
0 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.

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...

14 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.

0 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.

3 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.

2 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
12 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
16 upvotes
SmilerGrogan

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

2 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).

0 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
4 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
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
0 upvotes
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
PimK

I don't understand all the fuss about High ISO noise. When I was shooting analog film (Slides only because of the higher quality of film), I used 50 ISO, because of the fine grain (low noise). Negatives, I only shot in black & white at 100 and at times 200 ISO, for the same reason. There was hardly any film going higher than 400 ISO.
When I'm shooting now (with my Sony A 77 II) I'm even venturing ISO 1600, as the quality is way better than these films used to be at ISO 400 even at postcard format.
I bought this camera for many reasons and after reading many reviews (Which were on time, by the way) as it is a significant upgrade from an Olympus E500, which by the way received a gold award on this site...) I feel that this review is way after the fact, nearly a year after the introduction and thus in no way helpful anymore, either positive, or negative, as too many buyers have based their purchase on other reviews and opinions.

2 upvotes
pkosewski

Handling of even the cheapest currently offered family hatchback is way better than of most expensive cars few decades ago. It doesn't mean we can't compare them to a BMW.

Don't expect DPR to say: ISO 800 is fine and that's all most people need. Reviewing is not about saying "this camera works". Most cameras work. Most are better than anything you could buy 20 years ago.
It is about comparing things you can buy.

Simply put: most cameras sold today use Sony sensors, but Sony themselves are the worst in utilizing them. How ironic...

0 upvotes
Sean65

There's no way this camera can compete with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W710 on portability and colour

0 upvotes
lhkjacky

@Rishi..
Just want to clarify, the MFNR in A77ii does not just average 3~4 frames.
The Mutli-Frame Noise reduction in A77ii have two setting,
With setting MFNR (High) it average 12 frames of images.
while setting MFNR (Low) it average 4 frames of images.

In old A77 Mk1, there is only one setting in MFNR,
which average 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 3 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
En Trance

Sensor is the Heart and Soul of any DSLR. No matter the rating, this camera is the best value on the market and it delivers very high quality output and reliability.
You can buy a better tool but it is going to cost you. I am still quite disappointed in Sony for not going to a higher MP rating, so I wait with my a77 for the 40MP Sony Camera to appear out of the fog.
I will certainly purchase it if it builds on the design and ratings of the a77II. What is certainly true for Sony is that presently the a77II is their top DSLR with the a99 only offering goons a so called full frame sensor if they feel that dimension is somehow mystical and magical.

3 upvotes
K E Hoffman

What do you need 40MP for? Its just going to give you more noise. Samsung with some sensor design got 4 more MP you won't notice and with no mirror about the same ISO noise. 40 MP APS with current technology would be a noise fest even in low ISO. The A77m2 is a lot more than the sensor.. A great upgrade to the A77

7 upvotes
thx1138

Why do so many people feel slighted if dpreview doesn't come up with an answer they like. Do you need to vindication you made the right decision? Best reviews about actual performance come from users themselves. Formal reviews are good for some things like features and ergonomics etc, but things like AF prowess and tracking you need real world experience from people that know what they are doing.

4 upvotes
Stollen1234

hmm i thought Sony has the best sensors on the market?? then why this new camera is getting only 80%??!!

haha funny Sony

0 upvotes
hippo84

Camera is not only sensor, isn't it?

2 upvotes
Fri13

Sensor is these days only 5% of the camera in hands of good photographer. Of a good camera 95% of benefits comes totally different things than sensor.

4 upvotes
hippo84

If You're looking for sensor-only comparison: http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Nikon-D7200-versus-Canon-EOS-7D-Mark-II-versus-Sony-SLT-Alpha-77-II___1020_977_953

1 upvote
lhkjacky

http://www.mattgranger.com/gear-talk/item/702-sony-a77ii-embarrasses-the-canon-7d-mark-ii

4 upvotes
neo_nights

You didn't bother reading ANYthing of the review, did you? If you had, you would've seen that the A77 loses about half stop of light due the translucent mirror. So, it's not a matter of the sensor being good or not.

3 upvotes
hippo84

neo_nights
I have A77,77-2 and A99 and know, that SLT may be the problem, only when the light is not enough. In most cases I can make shutter speed a little longer to redress light loss, that's all. SLT features(phase detect AF in video and LiveView, no mirror shake, 12fps, EVF and so on) are much more important for me.

1 upvote
neo_nights

@ hippo84 - Of course there are a lot of other things that one should take into account when looking for/using/reviewing a camera. Most of sensors today are "good enough" (even Canon ones, to be fair) so camera makers have to concentrate on a lot of other features, like the ones you mentioned.

But I've only talked about the sensor because the OP attacked Sony's sensors as being cr*p, which is not the case.

2 upvotes
vscd

@hippo84.
Your pronounced SLT features like phase detect AF in video and LiveView, no mirror shake, 12fps, EVF and so on are *all* gone by now. What resists is the loss of light. For example, Canon has the DPAF for phase detect AF all the time, has 12 fps and even the mirrors are getting better all the time (less noice, no vibration). EVF is a disadvantage for me, but if I *would* need one I use anything attached to the HDMI or look at the screen.

0 upvotes
hippo84

DP-AF is not "classic" PD module. If You try to compare it, You'll see it. Also, You have to move up mirror every time You want to use LiveView. And what camera has 12fps? If You talk about 7D-2, then why? 7D-2 costs like two A77-2's(or A77-2+16-50/2.8). Compare A77-2 to 70D.

0 upvotes
vscd

No, I compared the technology, not the price. The A77 II is 2/3 of the price for the Canon 7DM2 (not 50%) but the Autofocus is not on par with the the 7DM2 with only 15 crosspoints and the body is not near the quality of the 7DM2. It has even no Dual Slots... so you compare the price of a pro and a consumercamera. Canon tried SLT technology 15 years ago, there were no advantages. People see the advantage of the sensor on DXOMark, but not that 50% of the light got lost before it even reached the sensor ;)

0 upvotes
hippo84

SLT needs 20% of light, not 50. There are no advantages? Then why does Canon work in this direction?(http://www.canonwatch.com/canon-patent-translucent-mirror/). Are You sure about prices? B&H, Adorama and other shops sell A77-2 body for $900, Body+16-50/2.8 for 1600. 7D2 costs 1700 for body.

0 upvotes
pkosewski

@hippo84
Both Canon and Nikon (and other companies as well) used pellicle mirrors in the past and they all dumped this technology in favour of a moving mirror.

There is no point in arguing whether SLR or SLT is better, because it depends on situation and personal preferences of the user. SLT is not an evolution of SLR. It is a parallel solution. Eventually both will be replaced by mirrorless cameras.

Anyway, pellicle mirror has many other possible usages in digital photography (like separating light for better pixel efficiency).

1 upvote
kireto

Unfortunatelly I have to agree to huge extend with the summary at page 11. Autofocus. This is the first review in a year to finally narrow down why the lock on does not perform as expected - having multiple af points to choose confuses the camera.

Since I owned the camera before the 2.0 update I have the feeling, though, that this "jumping" in the af started after the update or got more visible. But I can confirm that having multiple points confuses the camera even in af-s, where I never use anything but single point or face detect with wide area focus.

If this gets fixed(this seems fixable) the camera will be the best.

Btw, I don't agree with the pros and cons - some of the cons are not really problems to be mentioned. We don't see cons on the big buffer, how light actually this camera is and other stuff that the reviewers liked a lot in the review but missed in the conclusion.

1 upvote
Photoman

Would a A6000 w/70-200mm f4 G be a better sports combo than this?

0 upvotes
GoneMirrorless

A6000 PDAF gets worse and eventually quits with less light. A77ii has better F/2.8 zooms and many lenses over 200mm.

3 upvotes
lhkjacky

A6000 is a nice camera, but not for indoor sport.

For A77ii, I use 70-200 2.8 most of the time and it focus great at in door. With 1 stop faster aperture, you get shallower DOF & lower noise.

For outdoor sport, I use 70-400G, or 150-600 for birding.
Which is not available in e-mount & it will be poor balance if use with adapter.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Photoman

@lhkjacky I have a Canon 100-400L w/adapter and I fine this quite good for outdoor light. I need to test my A6000 under low light though.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Jokica

For years we have wanted AF just to be fast and accurate. Now, we are unhappy cos AF can not predict where will our subject move?

0 upvotes
Fri13

Yes, DSLR is limited technology by tracking as they don't have the software benefits like DSLM has. In next few generations the DSLM tracking is so good that photographer job really is just to keep subject in frame and camera tracks subject trough any situation (behind or front of obstacles).

0 upvotes
pkosewski

Maybe Sony users wanted AF to be fast and accurate. SLR users considered it a minimal decency... :]

DSLR bodies incorporated predictive autofocus for at least a decade. And yes, photographers benefit from this technology.

0 upvotes
craig66

I don't understand this in the list of Cons:

"No way to quickly check focus in image review, since only center of image is magnified"

You can move the magnified region around with the joystick and zoom in/out with the rear wheel. I don't see what else it could do.

1 upvote
Mike FL

Move the camera.

0 upvotes
craig66

Moving the camera is not going to change anything in image review, is it?

1 upvote
Mike FL

Move/point the camera to the object you like to focus on, and move back...

BTW: People do this for years for locking AE and/or AF for example.

Again, people are different, I saw people use "joystick" or 4 way buttons for AF, but I do not.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
craig66

Image review is reviewing the shot that you have just taken.

2 upvotes
Mike FL

Sorry.

For that case, I have to agree with Dan Bracaglia and Rishi Sanyal.

May be SONY need to make a camera/LCD like a smart phone, we can magnify image freely and move image around easily...

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

Mike FL - I think you're confusing what we're talking about.

craig66- in our shooting experience, we clarified this: "Earlier on in the shooting experience, we say: "And speaking of that joystick - it feels intuitive to me to press it inward to magnify the image after a shot to quickly check focus. Instead, the center joystick button is assigned to 'zoom out', and I have to use the dedicated magnify button (higher up, to the right) to magnify the image in playback. That means I have to move my thumb back and forth between two buttons to magnify and unmagnify the image - never ergonomically desirable. Even worse, the magnify button only magnifies the center of the image, not the area of the image under the focus point that was used, after which you have to use the mushy 4-way contoller to scroll over to your AF point. Many competitors offer a one-touch method to quickly check focus at the focus point used, & it's a shame to see that Sony doesn't offer this in any of their cameras yet."

1 upvote
craig66

Well, actually no, because a touch screen wont help you when you are reviewing the image in the viewfinder which is far better than using the rear screen in bright sunlight. It's a definite plus for EVFs.

0 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

The point is, pros often want a one-button focus check, b/c in fast-paced shooting scenarios, you quickly want to check if you got the shot, then move on. It takes orders of magnitude less time to press one button to zoom in to 100% to check focus at the focus point used compared to pressing one button to zoom in, then moving your thumb over to a separate joystick to then scroll all the way over to where you intended to focus on. With only X & Y movement with that joystick, to make things worse, since it's only 4-way.

When you combine this w/ usable subject tracking that ensures the proper AF point is automatically selected to be the one over your subject of interest, & you always have a way of quickly checking your subject at 100% right after you took the shot to check if it's in focus.

After using a camera this way, any other method for checking focus after you've taken a shot is simply cumbersome. Which is why pros are sticklers for the 'OK' button on Nikons to function this way.

2 upvotes
Fri13

@Mike FL

Focus&Recompose has never been the best way, it has been just override to limited focus points etc.

Example: The Reasons Why Gary Fong Switched From Canon and…: http://youtu.be/0T-3yp1nW3I

Yes, fanboy a much, paid such now but point stands...

0 upvotes
Mike FL

Every time I saw the name, I could not stop to thinking about years ago, I bought full set of Lightsphere Collapsible after watching Gary Fong's video.

I only used it once after I bought.

He is good, but I do not know why I do not like/use Lightsphere in the real world.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
SnakePlissken

Wow, Mike FL, if you don't understand what image review is, I am not sure I can trust anything you say since you are so opinionated.

As far as I am aware, all cameras allow you to zoom into an image and you can scroll around to check focus etc. I do agree that pressing a single button to zoom 100% is nice though - D750 has one making it really quick to check focus (provided it is central)

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
K E Hoffman

@Craig66 Its a valid point, though that it made the con list tells you how good the camera is. Problem with the Con list is the wording is bad "Suggested better wording" in my review of review on Sony A-mount forum. Instead of saying "only magnifies the center" should say "always starts magnifying in center"
@Rishi Chimping the previous shot is done a lot less with regular EVF users.. we chimp reality. Use focus magnification live, but that also suffers from starting in the middle too. So I think its a valid point.

1 upvote
Mike FL

@Fri13;

I watched the SONY video you suggested. I think you/he are/is right about "Focus&Recompose".

BTW, I'm looking for two cameras, one small body system camera for replacing my FF camera, and one P&S for replacing my LX7.

I like to wait/see the said to be released a7000 (has IBIS) with new Zeiss kit zoom, and both are weather sealed, and add UW (zoom) lens late.

I have Tube + WA + Tele adapter for LX7. So far I could not find LX7 replacement yet b/c LX100 can have Tube added on, but no one found a suitable WA adapter yet.

Anyway good video about "Focus&Recompose", I will try SONY a6000 in the local store first.

0 upvotes
Mike FL

SnakePlissken;

+1 for "Wow, Mike FL, if you don't understand what image review is, I am not sure I can trust anything you say since you are so opinionated.".

But do let me know if Lightsphere works for you, or there are other better options b/c I should miss sth even I tried most of the flash (small size) accessories.

0 upvotes
Jeadm

I think that's valid. Going directly to a/the focus point on review to check focus (post-shot) is absolutely sensible, and should at least be an option to tick on/off (wouldn't be much help on focus recompose).

That said, I think K E Hoffman hit the nail on the head. With these EVF type cameras. for me anyway, all the chimping happens prior to the shot. This is so much true that image review on my cameras are always off by default. Check & magnify can be easily done while composing it for critical focus. No time for that and need to get the shot? As long as I'm reasonably confident I'm on the right focus point, firing a short burst (+/- 3 shots) is usually more than adequate to guarantee focus on those shots you need to rush. In fact, more often than not I end up with an ideal choice of every burst shot, all perfectly focused. Shooting with an EVF/LCD full time, in order to capitalize on all the benefits of the new tools, fundamentally (but positively) changes your technique.

0 upvotes
Jeadm

(continued) Using an OVF you were used to chimping and (hopefully quickly) making adjustments on the fly, post shot. EVF/LCD live view all-the-time disrupts that workflow. Is there still post shot review? Of course, if you want to, but this time it often occurs much later. But for OVF users who have never really experienced the benefits of using a modern EVF/LCD real time live view to set up ALL their shots, as your confidence in the system grows you'll find you rely much less on the post shot review. In turn, this gives you more time to focus on just making the next shot. For that alone, from a versatility and usability standpoint, I can't see myself ever going back to the OVF.

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
refillable

Two possibilities. Either that DPR hates A-Mount for some strange reason (which is unlikely), or (if all the things said in the review are objectively true) this is a very good explanation for the abandoning of A-Mount by Sony. The D7200 is much better in many ways based on this review.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
1 upvote
ThePhilips

The D7200 doesn't have articulated LCD. All other differences are pretty negligible to me.

I still can't believe that a camera manufacturer would still release today an upper level body without tilt-able/articulated LCD.

Have seen few threads with images of photographers in unusual poses. If I didn't know better, I would have thought they played the twister. But nope, they were simply trying to compose a shot on the fixed LCD (or OVF).

0 upvotes
lhkjacky

This review does not cover all the function of A77mk2.

IMO, The advantage of EVF is huge.
You can display histogram, zebra pattern, MF peaking, shooting video, reviewing image in the EVF.

Also, a lots of functions are not included in the review.
Such as, Multi-Frame noise reduction, HDR, DRO, swing-panorama, zebra pattern, peaking, clear zoom, smart-teleconverter, custom Range-limiter, etc.

Also, the 12fps & 8fps mode in A77ii is very useful for shooting fast action.

NX1 does have EVF, but the Auto-Focus speed & reliability at indoor or low light environment is never close A77ii.

A77ii SLT camera have the advantage of both world,
EVF from mirrorless & AF speed of DSLR.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
Mike FL

"I still can't believe that a camera manufacturer would still release today an upper level body without tilt-able/articulated LCD.".

Samsung NX1 has no fully articulated LCD.

BTW: NX1 is the only camera Sam has while others has more models to chose.

NX500 has no EVF for saving an argument.

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

Mistake and mistake for Samsung and a leftover geezer attitude that tilt LCD is another break point. BS. They are tools for composition and accuracy.

0 upvotes
K E Hoffman

The fact that the D7200 NX-1 and 7DII don't have an articulated screen speaks to them still being OLD FASHIONED design. In the case of the 7DII/D7200 its an OVF camera with the Liveview being crippled mode. But still even a good tilt up or tilt down is very useful.. That an EVF camera doesn't do this and costs as much as the NX1 tells me Samsung is still behind.. in overall design. the sensor is nice from what I see and being early to 4K in DSLR format (even mirrorless) gives them a few month edge. The A77MII is a joy to shoot. And its lower cost so unless you need that 12800 ISO where the noise is hard to process out OR you need 4K OR you need Canon System.. there are no real weaknesses to the camera. The Silver is just because it is competing against a strong and newer set of cameras which is good.

0 upvotes
refillable

Like I said... Based on this review The D7200 is better in many ways, however I am not sure whether this review is a complete one or not. Thanks for sharing guys, I feel like there's no need for this camera when I have my a6000 already. Even though this camera is still quite nice.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Jeadm

@lhkjacky, your observation is right on and gets overlooked by the traditional DSLR crowd that has never tried to use such a beast, at least for an amount of time necessary to make a fair and honest comparison. I would add the ability to pre-chimp and critically check focus and exposure before the shot as part of the normal shooting routine. It isn't just a simple pivot from OVF to EVF, it actually changes the way you shoot in some very positive ways.

0 upvotes
QuarryCat

the best thing is the tilt-able monitor.
The worst are the lenses... not a single one is equal to Canon or even Nikon, prices are much higher, most lens-constructions are old.
For me it seems a camera without lenses... there is not one single lens from Sony Alpha that I would like to have.

Sony should better invest all the power in one aps-c mirrorless-camera with big grip and fast action - a body like the Alpha 3000 with technic from Alpha 77 II and better sensor and less noise.... maybe even with 12-16 MP

3 upvotes
AlphaTikal

Did you ever try the Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM? It is the best lens I own and the price is very attractive for such a good lens.

2 upvotes
Miwok

16-50, 16-80 Zeiss, 70-200 & 70-400 G, 135 STF, 24, 50, 85 & 135 Zeiss, even 35 & 50 SAM.
All too crapy lenses for Sir QuarryCat...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
lhkjacky

Have you tried the 16-50 2.8 SSM ?
70-300G2, 70-400G2, 85 1.4 ZA, 135 1.8 ZA, 135 2.8 STF?
And you can use Sigma 18-35 F1.8 with IBIS.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Mike Riach

I use both the 70-200 f2.8G and 70-400G on A99 and A77. Both excellent lenses. It's taken the competition a long time to catch the latter model as Nikon and Canon had to updrade their 80-400 and 100-400 lenses. Have to admit the new Canon looks very good indeed though.

1 upvote
QuarryCat

I know most of the Sony lenses, I used Minolta lenses for a long time. They were always good but never professional in my sense of meaning.
The AF ist still not on the level of Nikon or even Canon.
IBIS is cool but by far not good enough anymore.
I tried even 2,8/300 and the new 4,0/500 mm - expensive and not as sharp and as fast as the same lenses from Canon, so why pay more for Sony?
They have just begun with a professional service, 15 years to late... service is one of the major differences between Canon an all other camera makers and in some countries Nikon is still very good too.
The Zeiss 1,4/85 mm and 1,8/135 mm are so slowly in AF and not even optical really great.
Sigma? Maybe now they make something right for Sony, but for Canon, they are still worse.

0 upvotes
QuarryCat

I am not against Sony, I don't think any camera maker has just perfect cameras or lenses, I am not interested in names - I just look for the best possible equipment for my kind of photography.
4,0/16-35 mm or 4,0/11-24 mm Superwide
no real good standard-zoom - so 2,8/24-70 mm L II
2,8/70-200 mm L IS II
Tamron 6,3/150-600 mm
3,5/17 mm TSE
2,0/24 mm L IS
no need for a fifty
1,2/85 mm L II or 1,4/85 mm Nikon
2,8/300 mm L IS II
4,0/500 mm L IS II

0 upvotes
Mike Riach

QuarryCat, I'm also a legacy Minolta man (MD mount vintage). Have to agree, the choices are more limited for Sony and with third party lenses you pay the same or more but they leave out the OS/VC system. Frustrating!!! I want to choose which antishake I use. Sony SSS is good for wide-short tele but in lens seems significantly better for long lenses which I use a lot. The 70-400G is my most used lens by a long way. Do you use the Tamron 150-600? I'm interested in performance feedback.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
sierranvin

Thanks for catching up the workload and reviewing this, fellas. I learned a lot from your work that I will both test and apply to my own shooting with this quality niche camera. I've been among the howlers about this missing review and I definitely appreciate it's completion!

Dare one ask for a "BIF Shootout" among your staff w/ each tester using the Canon, Sony, Nikon and yes, the new Samsung body, passing them around, each body w/ appropriate long zoom attached? IMO that would make for a great head to head comparison in a very important real-world use for crop sensor cameras. There are a lot of us who buy APS-C just to get the crop factor (plus enhanced portability) for long zoom work...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
parallaxproblem

+1 on the BIF Shootout idea!

I bought my A77II and upgraded my 70-400G to the 'mk2' version for specifically this purpose and am currently a bit frustrated (but it may be my own poor technique)

It would be really nice to see how the 7DII+100-400 and D7200+80-400 (and maybe Pentax K3II with that new 150-450 zoom when it is released) compare with the A77II+70-400 in this role. Preferably when used by an experienced wildlife photographer

Baseball players are all very nice but they are a very different subject from birds/wildlife (for example my A77II seems to 'track' the subject fine when shooting birds but I'm still having problems getting the sort of pin-sharp results the lens is capable of at 400mm, though that may well be my own fault)

I'm guessing a lot of people are buying these mid-range body/lens combo's for precisely this purpose as the high-end bodies with an 500/4 are unrealistic for most and the lower-end bodies and zooms offer neither the performance nor the IQ necessary

0 upvotes
Mike Riach

One of my mates uses the 7DII + 100-400 MkII for aviation photography and is raving about it. He had a 100-400 Mk1 and the MkII is apparently much better.
I use a Sony 70-400G plus A77 and A99 and I am very happy with the IQ. Only gripe is what appears to be less effective SSS at long focal lengths.
Quite a few aviation guys are opting for the new Sigma 150-600 S with 7D/5D models for longer reach.

0 upvotes
vermaden

I sense that IF that review would be done shortly after the camera release date, then it would be GOLD reward ... seems we will never be able to verify that.

5 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

Probably not, considering the firmware update really helped the a77 II.

2 upvotes
ozgoldman

Rarely do I read a review on DPR that I can completely agree with. This review is about as close to my own assessments as it gets.
Having used the A77 Mk 2 for several months now and finding exactly the same problems with the 12 fps with focus following, I must say the review is spot on.
Perhaps initially I expected too much from a relatively inexpensive camera, but with a little bit of effort I am now getting much better performance from the 12fps and with most images now in focus.
Congrats on an excellent review.

3 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

If you don't mind sharing, we'd love to hear what helped you get better AF performance out of the camera. Thanks in advance.

4 upvotes
TriezeA72

Nice machine, ugly body!

1 upvote
Henrik Herranen

To the good folks of DPreview:
Could you add sensor size to the "key specifications" part on Page 1 in your reviews? Quite honestly, as much as I try to follow all manufacturers' camera models, I cannot remember every camera's sensor size by heart, and I believe that's true for many other people, too. Now I had to wade to "SLT-A77 II vs. SLT-A77 key differences" at the end of the first page before getting the information.

Couldn't you just replace the first "key specification" line from:
- 24MP CMOS Sensor with gapless, offset microlenses
to
- 24MP APS-C (24x16 mm) CMOS Sensor with gapless, offset microlenses
and then do this for all new reviews?

It's not like it's a big difference. Plus, if sensor size isn't a key specification, I don't know what is.

Please?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
12 upvotes
josseee

seems like A mount users are waaay more mature than E mounters.

0 upvotes
hippo84

Those who compare A77-2 with 7D-2, don't forget, that 77-2 with great 16-50/2.8 costs less than 7DII body.

13 upvotes
lhkjacky

Yes, the review should also consider the price difference.
A77ii + 16-50 F2.8 = $1,498 <-- sliver award
NX1 + 16-50 F2-2.8 = $2,799 <-- gold award in the same category

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
D Webb

Hand on heart, I think most Sonystas are not surprised by this review, It does seem balanced almost to the point of forgiving. However, 80% is a pretty fair score only if one accepts the premise of the review. I think Sony [or was it everyone else?] were wrong in highlighting it's sportier aspects. I think many people tend to disregard just how quickly SLT bodies lock on to a subject in single shot mode and how accurate that AF performance tends to be. Also, the kit lens that comes with it is a huge part of the draw for those mulling over their potential purchase. The reasonable price of a capable, high spec, weather-sealed body PLUS a wonderful lens make this far more than a mediocre attempt at a sports machine. I accept DPR's assessment of the lock-on AF in continuous burst, but feel this has been given too much prominence in both the review and the comments below. For 90% of shooting, this is a very good camera, with a fine lens, at a very reasonable price.

12 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

The feeling of prominence might be b/c it takes more to demonstrate a problem than to say something like "Continuous shooting with a single selected AF point, though, is right up there with the best of the competition, which means the a77 II can take on cameras well outside of its class and price range in this regard. That's pretty noteworthy, especially considering it can continuously AF at such a high burst speed (12fps)."

In other words, we gave credit where it's due, but we dove deep to look into the issues with Lock-on AF, especially b/c that's something that SLT is supposed to bring to the table, w/ its constant readout of its hi-res imaging sensor.

On top of that, we did show a 12fps run w/ good continuous AF performance. So, if anything, we were simply trying to be thorough & comprehensive on AF performance in general, b/c we think that's an important performance consideration for those looking to buy this camera.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
1 upvote
D Webb

Fair enough.

0 upvotes
Thudd

The sometimes-erratic subject tracking appears to be a common criticism in A77II reviews, and I tend to agree: given the access to image data that the camera has it should be able to slay traditional DSLRs, yet it mostly is "as good as" at best. So the question is: is Sony able to improve just the software so that subject tracking becomes class-leading, and if so, would that be the killer app they need?

3 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

Yes, thanks for understanding exactly our perspective on SLT & subject tracking. That's initially why I was very excited by the prospect of SLT, especially with a completely new, revamped PDAF module.

What amazes me, then, is how Nikon can implement orders of magnitude better subject tracking with a measly 91,000-pixel secondary (metering) sensor. Or why Canon, with a 150,000-pixel secondary sensor falls behind both the Nikon & Sony SLT w/ respect to subject tracking (as does Pentax w/ its 86k-pixel sensor).

It must come down mainly to the algorithms. Perhaps there's even an issue with 'too much' data; Nikon may've hit a sweet spot w/ being able to analyze just enough data fast enough to make subject tracking work remarkably well w/ just a 91k-pixel sensor (for not-too-small subjects, they even make it work uncannily well w/ a 2016-pixel sensor).

Worth mentioning that Samsung NX1 w/ newest firmware has uncannily accurate, sticky subject tracking as well, but buried in a hidden mode.

3 upvotes
Rishi Sanyal

As for fixing w/ a firmware update - it might be possible. But I don't know how much of this is down to the processor capabilities and how processor intensive subject tracking is.

Sony's algorithms for subject tracking can be hit-or-miss: something we pointed out both in this, and the a7 II review. With the a6000/5100, sometimes subject tracking can be incredibly accurate; other times, the box that tries to outline and understand and track your subject seems a bit overengineered - constantly trying to reshape itself to stick with what it thinks is your subject. Sometimes this leads to the box eventually wandering off your subject. When the camera switches to a flurry of PDAF points that try to stick to your subject, though, it's uncannily good.

So there's some incarnation of subject tracking in the a6000/5100 that's very accurate, & very fast, & we'd like to see that particular implementation/behavior more widespread in Sony continuous AF across their cameras.

0 upvotes
Richard Kwon

I think a77 II is a great machine with a lot of features. BUT I think the most important thing with a camera is image quality. I am disappointed with the high iso with this camera... The a6000 has a better image quality compare to the a77 II in high iso. I use Sony equipment and love them, so don't think I am anti-Sony. I'm also thinking of selling my Canon gear to switch completely to Sony when they come out with more lens. I just saying what I see. The high iso reminds me of the Canon 7D, and that is why I sold it. I'm very disappointed with this one.

0 upvotes
RichRMA

Maybe I'm missing something about how this camera works (translucent mirror) but you will never get class-leading high ISO (or any other leading ISO) as long as part of the light is lost because of the mirror. IMO, I'm amazed they get even acceptable ISO out of it.

2 upvotes
K E Hoffman

There can only be on "Class leading" anything.. The High ISO is fine. the noise bleed ISO might be more noisy but face it the pixel peepers already checked out at 3200 to 6400. As a tool that is a pleasure to shoot.. and work with it is Class leading as Class leading Veiwfinder class leading "Live View" that's not a crippled mode. Class leading video that can be used for sports and tracking because you don't lose the viewfinder when you shoot. It comes down to what helps you get the shots you want. More than just a sensor.. 7DII no movement on the LCD so its no good for some of what I like to shoot.. I gave up the put the camera in the air and hope you can crop later shooting etc. No EVF small APS viewfinder not for me. A little bit more noise at ISOs I never shoot.. not a bad trade

6 upvotes
EwanMC

Thank you Dpreview, Dan Bracaglia, and Rishi Sanyal for publishing this review.
A long time has passed since the A77 II's initial release and newer flashier cameras have been released since then and Dpreview could be forgiven in quietly burying A77 II's review, especially as the target audience may have shrunk substantially since its initial release. Kudos for your persistence in following through Dpreview! IMO the autofocus is still streets ahead of most mirrorless cameras, including the A7 II and A6000 siblings.

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9 upvotes
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