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The new Sony A77 is a semi-pro DSLR with 2nd generation translucent mirror technology. It features a 24.3Mp APS-C sensor for high-resolution images with up to 12 frames per second continuous mode for sports photography, as well as full-time phase-detection AF to keep up with your subject. Like previous Sony SLT-cameras, the A77 features an electronic viewfinder. This one has the 2359K OLED Viewfinder for full-time live view. There’s also a 3" 921k articulating LCD that can be used to compose images.
The A77 has an ISO range of 100-16,000 (expanded to 50 and 25,600). Much like other semi-pro DSLRs, the A77 features a top-mounted LCD for easy viewing settings, as well as a built-in flash (GN12) for easy fill. Carried on from previous Sony camera models, the A77 has auto HDR and sweep panorama built-in to the camera, along with SteadyShot inside. Rather than fooling with an external accessory, the A77 offers built-in GPS features, which is a welcome feature.
It doesn’t stop with still imaging. The A77 also offers HD video capabilities. Thanks to its AVCHD 2.0 format, you can record full 1080 at 60p, 60i, and 24p. Full-manual controls are available when using manual focus, while AF is available with AE-lock. It has HDMI output for HD viewing, as well as 1 SD and 1 MS-Duo slot for more storage capabilities.
Please note: While traditional SLR mirrors are extremely sensitive, think of the Sony translucent mirror as a super-duper extremely sensitive dust magnet. If it is touched with anything, it will scratch. Since we send the sensor and mirror clean, we suggest you ensure the lens you are about to mount is clean, then take the cap off the camera and quickly mount said lens. This will minimize the dust that enters the mirror box.
This camera is a huge step in the right direction. Sony took what they started with the A55 and made the necessary improvements to make a very nice semi-pro camera. Yes, the high ISO isn’t that great, but if you are shooting in decent light or in a studio, you will come away with some great files. However, I would suggest *not*shooting JPEGs with the A77, as there is a good bit of detail lost when doing so.
The camera feels great in your hand and has a nice button layout. As of firmware V1.05, the menu and button response is about as fast as most semi-pro DSLRs, which no longer holds potential sports shooters back. As you have probably already heard, the EVF is beautiful. If coming from a traditional DSLR with an optical viewfinder, it does take some getting used to though. If you are already invested in the Sony A-mount system, the A77 is great path to take. Slap some Sony-Zeiss on the front and you have a detail-hungry monster!
As a side-note, you will have some pretty big files, so that 5-year-old computer in your basement most likely won’t cut it. You might want to consider increasing hard drive space as well.
- Sony a77 camera body
- Body cap
- Manual or cheat sheet
- Camera bag
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