Digital Cameras

Sony A77: Review

The Sony in the field of APS-C is pointing openly on the translucent mirror technology, which allows you to keep active in the fast and accurate phase-detection auto focus while maintaining the sensor always be turned on live view. This proof of the facts allows high cadences of the gusts photographic and obviously running in continuous auto focus while shooting video. This feature has also prompted the company to eliminate the classic optical pentaprism viewfinder or pentamirror, replacing it with an electronic unit.

This technology has been combined with a back-illuminated CMOS sensor with 24 mega pixels on the new Sony A77, which presents itself as the professional body of the range APS-C. Rightly is offered in a kit along with the zoom Sony DT 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM, which combines compactness and brightness. Here are details of my impressions.

Sony A77: Design

The Sony A77 is big and heavy. But it is not a defect. It transmits a solid feel really reassuring. Also you grab tremendously well. Not since the days of the glorious Minolta Dynax 7D, Sony of which this is the distant heir, a camera that I do not fall so well in hand. The shape allows you to manage your weight with thumb and middle finger, avoiding tensions in the long tired out and make it hard to take especially when using heavy lenses and accessories.

Along the body, I counted no less than 23 buttons and dials control, so it’s really easy to control the camera functions without having to lose the menus. I particularly appreciated the keys to the way forward for the white balance to compensate for the ISO and immediately behind the shutter button: as the parameters that change more frequently that they are right at your fingertip’s index.

I find it unnecessary for monochrome display higher: the shooting data can be conveniently summarized on the rear display, where they are also easier to read. Just the LCD 3″ is one of the strengths of this camera: thanks to the double-jointed support may protrude above or below the camera. This allows you to easily create self-portraits as well as shots from above and from below.

In the gallery, you find two photos taken with my daughter without any problems using just the display. In reality, this camera also has a third display, namely that inside the viewfinder. While having a mirror, even if translucent, this is not used as in traditional reflex for the vision, but solely to operate the auto focus phase detection. The viewfinder, therefore is nothing more than a monitor which reproduces images in live view.

Sony A77 - Rear
Sony A77 – Rear

Despite being the best EVF, I’ve tried so far, we are still far from the performance of a pentaprism or even a good pentamirror. The vision is wide and crisp, but the video noise and light variations tend to distract. Working in the studio then you should be careful to turn to the voice ” effect Set ” under ” View Live View ” otherwise set 1/160s, f / 8 and ISO 100 with the only pilot lights on, corresponds to find the viewfinder black and unusable.

The standard setting makes sure that we have the preview image in the viewfinder will get that, but if we work in the light flash preview is a nice black rectangle. Always laying in the hall I then collided with the non-standard flash shoe. In order to edit Cactus V5 remotes that I use for my compacts, so I had to install the adapter Minolta FS-1100, fortunately in my possession.

Sony A77: Features and Functionality

Use the Sony A77 is a pleasure. Easy to use, easy to set up, easy to get good results. The auto focus is very fast and accurate. Light-years away from slow and inaccurate auto focus mounted on Sony A700 in 2007. The meter works well, although it tends to underexpose, especially in the shots in the dining pose. No problem outdoors, where of course, we can choose between reading multi-segment, mainly in the center and spot.

The Auto ISO is present and works well, even if you cannot decide the minimum shutter speed below which does not go down, nor set in relation to the focal length to maintain the classic safety time. The white balance is good for all lighting conditions. The stabilization system is based on the sensor works very well, as you can see in the test shots in the gallery, where I got a shot while being used by about 3 stops for the safety time.

Finally, an honorable mention at the Sony DT 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM: Zeiss will not be one, but he made a really good wide open, few distortions, excellent contrast. Really ideal for anyone who uses the lens APS-C cameras from Sony.

Sony A77
Sony A77

On the Sony A77 are all features that characterize the products of the Japanese, already tested by time is on the compact D-SLR and mirrorless. We then focus peaking, or the manual focus assisted by highlighting lines, panorama assists, HDR, twilight mode. We also have the GPS for geotagging of shots. Then we have the ability to shoot bursts of 12fps.

Obviously the video industry is very complete, being able to shoot Full HD 24p/50p video with stereo sound and with phase detection auto focus always active. There is no shortage external microphone input and HDMI output.

The JPG baked by Sony A77 are really good. You are no longer forced as a few years ago to shoot only in RAW to get results suitable for printing. Now the photographer the choice of whether to shoot in JPG files have beautiful and ready, or if you shoot in RAW for even finer detail work on.

Of detail then there is really too much. The resolution of 24 Megapixel rightly makes heavy storage: If you shoot in RAW JPEG find ourselves with about 30 MB for each image. All of this resolution allows us to make cut-outs only. If you look at the example of the gear, you see in the gallery that cut a 20 × 30cm at 300dpi without interpolation means take advantage of slightly more than half of the available resolution.


The Sony A77 is a camera mature and innovative at the same time. Combined with the excellent 16-50mm test returns results that satisfy both the amateur professional.

Where to Buy Sony A77

Sony Alpha SLT-A77 Translucent Mirror Digital SLR Camera - Body only (OLD MODEL)
  • 2nd Generation Translucent Mirror Technology camera
  • 24.3 MP for superb detail and amazing enlargements
  • World?s fastest up to 12 fps continuous shooting
  • World's first OLED viewfinder; big and bright
  • World's first HD Movie mode with AVCHD 60p/60i/24p

PROS : Ergonomics, Solidity, Display fully adjustable, Fast and precise autofocus, Image Quality, Optical test.

CONS : Electronic viewfinder, Effect of reduction in noise at medium / high sensitivity, High resolution, Non-standard flash shoe and adapter not included, One slot for memory cards.

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