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Sony Alpha A77 review

24Mp and a groundbreaking viewfinder, bring it on!

Sony alpha a77

The top spots in the semi-pro DSLR sector of the camera market have long been occupied by industry giants Canon and Nikon. While we wouldn't go so far as to say that Sony has produced a DSLR killer with the Sony Alpha A77, the manufacturer has succeeded in throwing something unique into the fray that certainly paves the way for future developments.

Aspects including the camera's 12fps Burst mode, Sweep Panorama feature, 3D shooting capability and the inclusion of a built-in GPS unit in the Sony Alpha A77's feature-set are what set it apart from rivals, albeit at the expense of battery life in the case of the latter.

In many respects the Sony Alpha A77 matches or betters its main rivals' specifications, although some of these models - such as the Nikon D300s - are overdue an upgrade, so the balance may shift once again if/when this happens.

We liked

The AF system is blisteringly quick and accurate, with the excellent Subject Tracking and 12fps continuous shooting modes enhancing the Sony Alpha A77's credentials when it comes to speed. Great build quality and handling, as well as superb image quality, are further aspects that score extra points.

We disliked

In spite of its speed of operation, the Sony Alpha A77 is a little slow to start up initially, plus there's a bit of a lag when switching between shooting with the camera's EVF and LCD. The impact of permanently shooting with one or the other activated also means that battery life is noticeably shorter than that of its rivals.

Verdict

Overall, there are only a few minor niggles to comment on with the Sony Alpha A77 - namely a bit of a sluggish start-up time, slight delay when switching between using the EVF and LCD for shooting and high ISO noise performance that, while still very good, doesn't quite match that of its major rivals.

That said, when weighing these up against a superb level of image quality when shooting in most conditions, great handling, good build quality, industry-leading EVF, quick full-time phase detection AF system and a comprehensive set of exposure modes, we have little trouble with recommending this excellent camera.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLT Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution24.3 Megapixel
GPSYes
USBYes
HDMIYes
Wide AngleYes
PictBridgeNo
Product Familyalpha A
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedMemory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Eye-Fi Card
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom3.1x
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameSony
FeaturesLive View, Self-timer, Face Detection, Smile Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, 3D Panorama
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4 AVC, AVCHD
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)653 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Minimum Focus Distance300 mm
Maximum Image Resolution6000 x 4000
Maximum Frame Rate50 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
Total Camera Resolution24.7 Megapixel
Camera AssemblyBody with Lens Kit
Battery Model SupportedNP-FM500H
Height104 mm
Width142.6 mm
Depth80.9 mm
Autofocus Points19
Product SeriesA
Focal Length16 mm to 50 mm (Lens 1)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW, MPO
Audio FormatsAC3, AAC
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelSLT-A77
Product NameA77 Translucent Mirror Interchangeable Lens Camera
Product Linealpha
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberSLTA77VQ.CEH
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Step up to new levels of imaging quality, performance and handling to meet the demands of serious photo enthusiasts. Capture flawless images and Full HD video, with class-leading responsiveness and immense creative control.

Battery Life530 Shot
Package Contents
  • A77 Translucent Mirror Interchangeable Lens Camera
  • BC-VM10A Battery Charger
  • Power Cord
  • Rechargeable Battery Pack NPFM500H
  • USB Cable
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Body Cap
  • Accessory Shoe Cap
  • Eyecup
  • CD-ROM
  • Instruction Manual
  • SAL-1650 Lens
  • Front Lens Cap
  • Rear Lens Cap
  • Lens Hood
Display Resolution921600 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker