Got my new A77 - Here are some first thoughts and neutral opinions

Started Dec 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
Flat view
kartikjayaraman Contributing Member • Posts: 563
Got my new A77 - Here are some first thoughts and neutral opinions

First of all, thanks to everyone in this forum who provided inputs on selecting between the A57/A58/A65/A77. For those who are looking for a short answer on whether the A77 is right choice for a $800 body and even better choice at $1400 with the 16-80 lens - the answer is YES! I couldn't be happier ordering the A77 and the 16-50 f/2.8 lens.

Upgrading from an A500 - here are my opinions:

- Its a great, solidly built camera and is not 'Large' as you might expect, it quite perfectly fits in my hands. It was actually smaller than I had expected.

- Build quality is solid. But its too solid in some areas e.g.: The lens attachment needs a bit of pressure (the A500 had a smoother fit). This is good in a way, though as it makes the lens "feel" more secure

- The thing that amazed me most was the camera shooting speed. Its like a machine gun going off at the press of the shutter...the speed is still limited by the speed of storage (obviously) but is significantly faster than my A500.

- The EVF is a pleasure to use, with some caveats: See below

- The AF IQ is very much improved. You will get a lot more "keepers"

- Video recording is great. I was amazed at the quality (color/contrast) of the video. The motion wasn't smooth as my Panny camcorder but still very good.

Now for some issues/cons:

- The EVF works great in all conditions and settings - except one - In M mode with the external flash attached, the VF appears very dark. The final photo of course will be well exposed after the flash fires, however the EVF doesn't reflect what you are seeing. This is probably the only scenario where an OVF might be better than an EVF. This doesn't apply to A/S modes with Auto ISO (unfortunately M mode does not have Auto ISO enabled on the A77)

- (Pixel peepers welcome) - The million dollar concern for the A77 is noise. Let me put that to rest with my opinion - this might differ from yours depending on what you want. I am not DXOMARK, I am not a microscope, I am just a human being who wants to get the best out of the camera: Only RAWs are in consideration:

Hand held shots start getting some noisy smearing at ISO 1600. However at ISO1600 indoors or with flash, the issue is marginal, if at all. Artifact/Noise is also present at ISO 100. To prove it, shoot a blue sky on a sunny day, open the RAW file in Sony Image Data Converter. It will have Noise Removal at "Auto" by default. Zoom in 100% and Turn the Noise reduction ON and OFF and you will know what I am seeing. Now is this an issue? Not really. Maybe other cameras have it too. I don't see this amplified on my A500 photos but that is because its only 12 MP. At 24 Mp you are going to see a lot more detail and a lot more "artifacts" or "noise" - not sure what to call it. This is not really a bad thing. And the noise can easily be removed via Lightroom/Camera RAW and Topaz Denoise 5 (my favorite). My A500 also had some of this noise, but its only when you zoom at 100% and pixel peep. So everyone who sees this issue should either use a denoiser or just not view those at the pixel level. In short, the NOISE issue is over-hyped for the A77. Unless you are pixel peeping, forget about this issue.

A note about DRO: I had forgotten to turn off DRO as suggested. I will be doing some more tests after turning it OFF. I thought DRO affects only JPEGS but it does affect RAWs as well. Sony IDC will allow you to turn off DRO in processing RAWs. I think Lightroom and Camera Raw don't understand that setting. My question to you A77 shooters: Do you export 16 bit TIFFs from Sony IDC and process them? To me, that seems to be the best way to get maximum details out of the RAW but compromising the powerful conversion functions of Lightroom/Camera RAW. Your thoughts?

-- hide signature --

A good photo is 1% equipment and 99% the person behind the lens
My most interesting photos on FlickRiver:
My Flickr page:

 kartikjayaraman's gear list:kartikjayaraman's gear list
Sony Alpha a7 Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS
Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 Sony SLT-A57 Sony SLT-A77
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Flat view
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow