Sony SLT-A77 In-depth Review
Hand-held Twilight Mode
Handheld Twilight mode isn't a new function, but it is one which we have found very useful, in the SLT-A77 and other recent Sony cameras, both compact and interchangeable lens models. In this mode, accessible through the 'Scene' menu on the exposure mode dial, the camera takes several exposures at its highest framerate, then blends them together in-camera to reduce the impact of high ISO noise. Although pixel-level sharpness isn't great, handheld twilight mode is a quick, easy and (usually) effective way of grabbing a smooth and colorful shot in conditions where normally you'd need to use either a high ISO sensitivity setting or a tripod. Compare the areas of plain tone in this scene, below, captured hand-held at ISO 800 and again in handheld twilight mode.
|ISO 800, f/4.5, 1/100sec||100%|
|Handheld Twilight mode||100%|
The SLT-A77 includes an automatic sweep panorama mode that allows you to create large, high-resolution panoramas in-camera. The auto-stitch mode does a very good job of hiding stitches and in general creates consistent tones, as long as there is no significant subject movement for the duration of the pan.
In common with our experience of this mode in other recent Sony cameras Sweep Panorama works very well, and creates usefully high-resolution files compared to the same function in Sony's Cyber-shot models, which stitches panoramas together from the camera's video feed. The ease of use and automated stitching come at a price however. Stitching errors can be an issue (look at the ship on the horizon towards the left-hand side of our twilight shot, above).
When creating a panorama of a scene with a large dynamic range it is best to start the shot in the darkest area. The exposure is retained from the first shutter press and if the first image is too bright, the panorama tends to not complete at all, especially if the sweeping motion is too fast or inconsistent.
DRO and HDR
Dynamic range optimization (DRO) is creating a single image containing a large range of brightness in a way that looks natural to the human eye. DRO applies a series of tone curves to each area of similar local brightness within a single image, in an attempt to balance details in the shadows while maintaining local contrast. For a more in-depth explanation of how the system works please take a look at our 2009 article about the technology behind DRO.
Auto HDR is only available in JPEG mode, and allows automatic exposure bracketing up to 6EV. The final HDR images are achieved by combining multiple exposures (one normally exposed, one over exposed and one under exposed.) This allows for a larger dynamic range to be recorded than the sensor is capable of capturing alone. When shooting in HDR mode the camera saves the HDR image along with the normally exposed image. Sony's HDR and DRO features are covered in more detail in our NEX-C3 review.
|DRO Off||50% crop|
|DRO Auto||50% crop|
|HDR - Level 6||50% crop|
Oct 21, 2014
Oct 16, 2014
Oct 20, 2014
Oct 18, 2014
|Smile by Olymguy|
from Ultra Asian Indian Female Faces
|Space Shuttle Cockpit- by vbuhay|
from Aircraft Control Stick
Tamron has announced the longest all-in-one zoom lens currently available, the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. Designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor cameras, the lens will be available in July.
When you're ready to step-up to full-frame from an entry-level or midrange camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Find out which models came out on top in our $1200-2000 enthusiast ILC roundup.
Just a guy wearing a VR headset, smashing invisible Goombas in Central Park.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this gorgeous aerial photo of the Martian landscape. And if you look really close, you can actually see the Mars Curiosity rover in the very middle.
The city of Laguna Beach, California has provided some clarification around the kinds of photography permits it offers.
Later this year, a VR180 camera will be Joining Yi's Halo and 360 VR cameras, which will offer stereo 3D capture, yet be as easy to use and compact as a 2D camera.
Caltech researchers have developed an 'optical phased array' chip that uses time delays instead of a lens to focus the incoming light.
Pricing and shipping have finally been revealed for two highly anticipated lenses from Sigma, announced in February.
These macro photos of clouds of paint billowing through clear water might look like high-quality CGI, but they're real photographs. And photographer Alberto Seveso told us how they were made.
Facebook is testing a feature that prevents people from saving, sharing, or even taking a screenshot of your profile picture.
We've reshot the Sony a9 in our studio. The short story: it's sharper! The long story... well you can read it all here.
The collection will be officially launched during the Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017 crowdsourcing event which will be held on 22 and 23 June at the Berlin State Library.
Light gives us some insight into the preparations for the launch of the pre-order shipments of its much anticipated L16 multi-lens camera.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has confirmed in a tweet that the second lens on the back of the OnePlus 5 uses a 1.6x optical zoom and that digital zoom is used to reach the claimed 2x zoom factor.
Fujifilm recently unveiled the second in its series of affordable cine lenses, the MK50-135mm T2.9. We got our hands on it for a couple days and took it for a spin.
Leica's first attempt at an M-series digital rangefinder was rough around the edges, but set a pattern for all of the cameras that came after it. In this week's Throwback Thursday article, Barney remembers the M8.
No stranger to extreme situations, legendary climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin talks to Outside Magazine about his career, and the challenge of filming Alex Honnold's rope-free solo climb of El Capitain.
A company backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin is attempting to make video conferencing less terrible.
Rangefinder magazine asked five professional portrait and wedding photographers about posting on Instagram; no surprise, they got five different answers.
This captivating stop motion film was created by stripping away one layer of wood at a time. It's hard to look away.
It will enable users to simulate the presence of the sun, moon and Milky Way and see how they interact with an area's topography.
Since its introduction in November last year Instagram's live streaming feature has been used by millions, but videos could not be archived for watching at a later stage. A new update has now added the capability.
CopyTrack's study also found that the second most-stolen image is a woman wearing painted jeans. That's apparently a thing.
Forget expensive lenses with fancy coatings and special lens elements – photographer Robin de Puy took these portraits using just a water drop for a lens.
Adobe reports a record quarterly revenue of $1.77 billion for the second quarter fiscal year 2017 ended June 2, 2017.
Zeiss says its new lens is particularly suited for portrait photography but also a good all-rounder and can be used in video applications.
We present to you the top photos from the Kennel Club's 2017 Dog Photographer of the Year photo contest – take a look at 10 of the award-winning puppers.
In case you were looking for any more inspiration to go fly one.
Following a couple of successful Kickstarter campaigns, Videre 35mm's creator has re-tooled the camera with sturdier components and a simpler user assembly process.
The two hour long video covers everything an aspiring drone pilot needs to know.