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|
|Street Food 2017 by ziggyzag|
from Your City - Fast Food
|Running free by LassiM|
|Treacherous Land- "Dune " by Frank Herbert by Domenick Creaco|
from Sci-Fi or Fantasy Film Titles
|1969 Oldsmobile 442 Resto-Mod by J Warren|
from O is for...
A report from the National Endowment for the Arts shows that photography and photo-finishing services contributed $10.2 billion to the US economy in 2015.
According to unnamed sources, Google will acquire Lytro's technology and patents, with Lytro employees already having left the company.
Our review of the Sony a7 III is well underway and, as part of this, we're publishing our studio test scene. We'll be building out the review in the coming weeks as we test and shoot the camera in a series of situations.
The new ExaDrive offers a three times higher capacity than the previous largest SSD, a 30TB model by Samsung.
A pair of images show what may be the upcoming DJI Phantom 5 drone featuring an interchangeable lens camera. Update: Comparing this image to the size of previous DJI lens mounts, and noting the 3:2 aspect ratio of the sensor, we're confident the leaked image shows a 1"-type sensor
We were saddened to hear of the death last week of Chuck Westfall, a 35-year veteran of Canon USA, and a legend in the photography industry.
Nikon looks to be positioning its D850 as a serious video rig with today's announcement of its D850 Filmmaker's Kit. The kit includes the body, 20/35/85mm F1.8G lenses, an Atomos Ninja Flame external recorder, two microphones and an extra battery.
Photographers shopping around for Lightroom alternatives have likely encountered Alien Skin's Exposure X3. Here's an overview of its organization and editing controls, and how they differ from the competition.
Alien Skin has released a significant update for its Exposure X3 image editor, adding greater precision to adjustment tools and more printing capabilities, among other improvements.
The FAA has ordered helicopter pilots and operators to halt certain doors-off flights in the wake of a tragedy that killed five passengers.
Analysts TechInsights have torn down a Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus to have a closer look at the device's internal components and their cost.
Oppo's new high-end phones bear an uncanny resemblance to the iPhone X, with features like face unlock to a portrait lighting mode.
Recently we visited the 2018 CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan and as usual, we booked interviews with senior executives from several major manufacturers, including Sigma.
At this year's CP+ show in Yokohama, we sat down with senior executives from several major manufacturers, including Canon. Topics of conversation included Canon's ambitions for high-end mirrorless cameras, and the importance of responding to the demands of the smartphone generation.
We were recently able to follow local frame builder Max Kullaway as he created one of his AirLandSea bikes. Here are our picks of the photos we got, as the project progressed from bare tubes all the way to rideable bicycle.
On paper, the Sony a7 III is a tempting option for photographers who've been considering a switch to full-frame mirrorless. But how does its image quality stack up? We compare it to the Mark II and a few of its other peers.
Erez Marom shares the details behind this beautiful aurora photograph, captured on Haukland Beach in the Lofoten Islands, Arctic Norway, on a moonless evening.
Google Lens uses artificial intelligence and 'computer vision' to identify and provide information about businesses, landmarks and other objects using your phone's camera. And now it's available for iPhone users, too.
The company posted a record quarterly revenue of $2.08 billion for the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year. That represents incredibly healthy year-over-year growth of 24 percent.
In the job posting, the Times' describes this role as "one of the most important and high-profile jobs in visual journalism." If you're looking for a high profile job in photojournalism, you could do a lot worse than being Photo Director at The Gray Lady.
According to a recent report out of South Korea, Samsung is increasing production of its ISOCELL image sensors in a bid towards market leadership for image sensors. To reach this goal, Samsung will have to dethrone current market leader Sony... no small task.
In this video, large format photographer Ben Horne shows off the incredible resolving power of 8x10 slide film by pixel peeping a massive 709.6-megapixel drum scan of one of his landscape shots. And you thought 100MP medium format was big...
Photographer Wendy Teal tells the heart-breaking story of a wedding she shot at a hospital on just 24-hours notice. The mother of the bride had been given one week to live, and Wendy responded to the couple's desperate social media plea for someone to capture their special day.
This tiny little plug-and-play VR/AR camera for Android phones uses a pair of greater-than-180° FOV fisheye lenses to offer both 360° video/photo capture and 360° livestreaming at 1440p resolution.
Syrp has announced the Magic Carpet Pro: a slider that offers filmmakers an 'infinitely extendable' range thanks to built-in track levers that let you connect lengths of track without the use of tools.
At CP+ we sat down with executives from several major manufacturers. Among them was Kenji Tanaka, of Sony, who talked to us about the a7 III as well as its plans to attract more pro shooters – without ignoring APS-C and entry-level customers.
How do you shoot macro photography on an 18x24cm large format wet plate camera? You 'connect' two large format cameras together! That's how wet plate photographer Markus Hofstaetter did it, and you can read about the whole process in this article.
The Fujifilm X-H1 is a top-of-the-range 24MP mirrorless camera with in-body stabilization and the company's most advanced array of video capabilities. We've tested the X-T2's big brother extensively to see how it performs.
Motorsports photojournalist Jamey Price recently flew to Canada with Lamborghini for the car company's Winter Accademia 2018, where clients get to drive the latest Lamborghini supercars on snow and ice. Yes... it is exactly as awesome as it sounds.
For the Pixel 2 smartphone's Motion Photos feature, Google built on its existing Motion Stills technology by adding advanced stabilization that combines software and hardware capabilities to optimize trimming and stabilization.