A99 worthy over A77?

Started Jan 17, 2013 | Questions thread
William Porter
William Porter Senior Member • Posts: 1,730
A99 vs A77, pros and cons

It's not an easy decision. The A99 is a great camera. But so is the A77, indeed, what makes this particular binary choice so difficult is the fact that the A77 is so darned good. I'm struggling with this issue myself and here's my listing of the pros and cons each way.

About my lists

These are my personal pros and cons, that is, the things that matter to me. This isn't meant to be an "objective" list. I don't include in the lists some distinctions between the cameras that don't matter to me at all, like the slight difference between the bodies in size and weight. Same thing with autofocus speed: The A99 is supposed to be better but I don't see a big difference, and I do a lot of manual focus work anyway. The autofocus limited doesn't matter a lot to me, but might to someone else.

Finally, I don't list issues twice. I'm trying as much as possible to look at the matter positively, so something that is a pro for one camera gets listed as such and does not get listed a second time as a con for the other camera. Example: The better low-light, high-ISO performance of the A99 is a pro for it, not a con for the A77. The A77's low-light performance, in its weight class, is really quite remarkable. The A99 is better, but the A77 is not bad.

A99 pros

  1. Noticeably better image quality. Under this heading I'm thinking especially of better color but there seems to be more to it than that. 
  2. Better low-light, high ISO performance (1-2 stops better in my rough test usage)
  3. Greater dynamic range (about 1 stop?).
  4. Shallower depth of field, other things being as equal as possible. (But this has its downside, too, see below.)
  5. 2 card slots instead of just 1 (matters to me).
  6. Improved EVF experience. (You kind of need to have both cameras side by side to see the difference.)
  7. Slightly better rear display.
  8. Improvements in the ergonomics, especially if you like to customize things. In other words, it's a better shooting tool.

A77 pros

     William Porter's gear list:William Porter's gear list
    Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Olympus PEN-F Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +10 more
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