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Sony SLTA77V.CEH Translucent Mirror Interchangeable Lens Camera (24.3MP) 3.0 inch LCD (discontinued by manufacturer)
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- 24.3 megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS, Full HD AVCHD, 25/50p, 12fps, 7.5cm 3-way LCD, GPS. Body only.
- 24.3MP Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor
- XGA Tru-Finder OLED viewfinder
- Up to 12fps continuous shooting
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|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Amazon.co.uk||brand toys||bargain express|
|Display Size||3 inches||2.7 inches||3 inches||3 inches|
|Effective Still Resolution||24.3 megapixels||24.2 megapixels||24.2||18|
|Has Image Stabilization||Yes||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||8.09 x 14.26 x 10.4 cm||1.43 m x 8.28 cm x 1.04 m||16 x 22 x 14 cm||7.87 x 7.87 x 7.87 cm|
|Item Weight||0.65 kg||0.6 kg||0.7 kg||440 grams|
|Lithium Battery Energy Content||11.8 Watt Hours||11.5 Watt Hours||1,100 Watt Hours||1,200 Watt Hours|
|How is the Lithium Battery packaged?||batteries_packed_with_equipment||batteries_packed_with_equipment||batteries_packed_with_equipment||batteries_packed_with_equipment|
|Max Focal Length||0 mm||55 mm||55 mm||55 mm|
|Min Focal Length||0 mm||18 mm||18 mm||18 mm|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||23.4 megapixels||24 megapixels||24.7||18.7 megapixels|
|Removable Memory||Secure Digital card; Secure Digital card; Memory Stick||Secure Digital card; Secure Digital card; Memory Stick||Secure Digital card; Secure Digital card||Secure Digital card; Secure Digital card|
|Special Feature||3D||Serial Shot Mode^Shutter Priority^Aperture Priority||Shutter Priority; Aperture Priority||Shutter Priority^Aperture Priority|
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Sony SLT-A77 Translucent Mirror Interchangeable Lens Camera
Maximise Your Creative Vision
You’re an enthusiast, looking for a camera that will help fulfil your vision. A camera with higher resolution, colour reproduction and sensitivity plus the speed to capture the moment in exceptional detail. The SLT-A77 puts creative shooting in your hands with advanced Translucent Mirror Technology, interchangeable lenses, fast continuous shooting up to 12 frames per second and extremely high 24.3 megapixel resolution. All the high performance features you need in a body that’s ready to go anywhere thanks to its dust and water-resistant seals.
Rapid Response with Translucent Mirror Technology
Translucent Mirror Technology provides high precision, SLR quality performance for both still image capture and Full HD movies. By replacing the mirror box used in conventional SLR cameras with mirror box containing a fixed translucent mirror that does not need to be raised and lowered each time the shutter is released, this innovative technology gives ultra high-speed continuous shooting and auto focusing. Perfect for catching spontaneous moments in the best possible quality.
With improved sensitivity, you’ll shoot higher quality photos at high-sensitivity settings. TMT allows both viewfinder shooting and live-view shooting using the LCD monitor on the back of the camera while providing Full-time “always on” Continuous AF during both photo and movie shooting.
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Continuous Shooting at 12fps (Frames Per Second)*
The SLT-A77 offers the speed and precision you need to 'focus between the moments' and shoot high speed continuous action at up to 12fps. Catch the decisive moment with full-time continuous AF. Tele-Zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE zooms in with around 1.4x or 2x magnification to keep your subject in precise focus in every frame – ideal for capturing sports action and facial expressions.
Sophisticated 19-point AF system
The SLT-A77 features a 19-point AF system with 11 cross sensors for higher autofocusing precision. By spreading the 19 AF sensors across a wide auto focusing area, subjects are clearly captured. The 11 cross sensors track the subject more accurately than sensors with only vertical or horizontal detection. The result? Continual focus on your subject without lag or interruption.
See the Difference with Unsurpassed Resolution
Despite being light and compact, SLT-A77 includes a large, high resolution Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with 24.3 megapixels. Shoot professional quality images with intense colour, rich tonal gradation and subtle background defocusing effects. This sophisticated sensor is identical in size and performance to those used in Sony a digital SLR cameras and more than 13 times larger than the 1/2.4" sensors found in most digital compact cameras. Noise is reduced in both the analog (pre-AD signal conversion) and digital (post-AD signal conversion) stages by an on-chip column AD converter and dual-noise reduction circuit.
Working with the sensor is a sophisticated BIONZ processor, designed to process vast amounts of information from the sensor at high speed. Ideal for handling intensive tasks such as ultra high-speed 12 fps shooting, Multi Frame NR, Sweep Panorama image stitching and Hand-held Twilight image composition. High ISO sensitivity of 100-16000 gives you the freedom to shoot at fast shutter speeds indoors or in dimly lit environments. An ISO expansion mode allows you to set ISO sensitivity as low as 50 – combined with a slow shutter speed, this setting is great for capturing detail such as the flow of a waterfall or river.
Smooth Quick AF Full HD movies
Catch the action, the moment it appears. With Translucent Mirror Technology, movies can be captured utilising full-time continuous AF. The high-speed phase-detection AF system precisely tracks moving subjects and with electronic SteadyShot image stabilisation on board, your film will be stable and judder-free. Shoot super smooth Full HD 1920 x 1080 movies in razor-sharp detail at 50p or 25p for a more cinematic feel. The large Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor gives outstanding light sensitivity for shooting at dawn, dusk or indoors and sound recorded by a stereo microphone on the mirror housing gives excellent quality with low noise.
Advanced Quick AF Live View
With Advanced Quick AF Live View, high-resolution image data from the sensor can be displayed in the viewfinder as well as on the LCD monitor. You choose which you want to monitor while shooting. Switching is automatic for ease of use and you can activate Quick AF Live View in the viewfinder simply by putting your eye to the eyepiece.
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High Resolution, High Contrast Viewfinder
See your world in perfect clarity and detail. The XGA OLED Tri-Finder in SLT-A77 features an Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) for higher resolution, higher contrast and 100% frame coverage. This viewfinder offers a wide viewing angle of 33.3° and a high eye-point of 27mm so you can shoot and review images without taking your eyes from the finder. OLED technology provides the power, contrast and response required to perfectly reproduce scenes without motion blur or residual image. Detail is superb and allows image enlargement for more precise focusing and framing.
3-way tilt LCD*
View images more comfortably, however you’re shooting, with a camera display that moves in three ways. Compared with conventional two-hinged displays that tilt only horizontally and vertically, this display gives you more flexibility when shooting at angles, using a tripod or from low and high positions.
Go Manual for Precise Control
Switch to manual exposure and precisely control light for even more creative freedom. P/A/S/M modes provide perfect control of defocus and brightness. This camera can also record in 25p — for that more traditional movies look, enhancing your video with a truly artistic feel.
Advanced Photographic Features
The sophisticated SLT-A77 is packed with technology to help you create perfect photos. From aberration correction, Auto HDR, D-Range Optimizer to Shot Result Preview for displaying results of aperture and shutter speed settings, you’ll have all the tools you need to maximise every shot.
Easy Creative Photography
With the SLT-A77, anyone can experience the satisfaction of artistic photography. Picture Effect lets you modify images by changing colours, adding textures or including special visual effects – all without a PC. Transform simple shots into works of art using modes such as Toy Camera or Partial Colour.
Simple to Use
Frequently used buttons are designed to stand out for easier recognition and access, front and rear dials near the grip provide quick adjustment of camera settings while looking through the viewfinder and a large LCD display keeps you up to speed with all essential data.
Interchangeable Lens Flexibility
Enjoy all the flexibility of a traditional SLR and the technological advances of the DSLR. The SLT-A77 is compatible with the full range of system A-mount lenses - including fisheye, super wide-angle, telephoto, macro, and other fixed focal length and zoom lenses.
*As of July 2011
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Fast forward to 2014 and a newer model A77 MkII and we get some very good deals on this camera right now.
Having used the camera for a week or so I'll give you my honest impressions of it so far, and will update the review as required over time.
Quick fire good/bad points
+ Very good build, mag alloy front and back panels, weather sealing (dust moisture)
+ Excellent 19 point (11 cross type AF points) autofocus, it's very fast with good accuracy
+ Ability to AF "fine tune" lenses (so far I have not needed to)
+ Built in red LED beam "AF assist" very handy for low light, it puts a pattern out and you can focus even in complete darkness or on subjects with no contrast
+ Excellent details and tonality with very good dynamic range, 24mp is overkill for most, but the firepower is there if you need it
+ Extensive on body controls with direct buttons for WB, ISO, joystick control, front/rear dials, AF mode knob
+ Top LCD can be useful (it's backlit) for tripod shooting
+ Multi swivel LCD can be fully articulated, sharp high res 3" display
+ Very fast frames per second shooting rate up to 12fps (fixed aperture though) also has 8fps and 3fps cont shooting modes
+ Full metal mount (lower priced alpha bodies don't have this, just worth a mention)
+ Focus "peaking" can be use and a magnify focus check, this makes manual focus very easy
+ Ability to "save" 3 banks of settings on the dial (MR position)
+ Has a DOF preview, DMF (direct manual focus) option for AF
+ PC sync port, remote port, GPS built in, 3.5mm microphone
+ Quiet shutter sound (electronic first curtain) Shutter rated to 150k actuations
+ 1/8000 sec top shutter speed
+ Steady shot adds in body stabilisations to all lenses (even older Minolta and third party A mount lenses) for free
- Battery life is around 500 shots below comparable DSLR's
- Some limitations to movie mode, Auto ISO is limited to ISO 1600 max, the video also crops in more, AF is restricted to f3.5 even if you have faster lenses, cannot adjust audio levels (though sound quality is good - stereo with wind cut function) You do have manual controls though (just not AF)
- Jpeg noise reduction is too strong for my own tastes, ok at low ISO but higher ISO levels you are better off shooting raw (and you are best shooting raw at low ISO for max details)
- High ISO/Low light shooting requires more care with exposure (metering can underexpose) ISO 3200 is usable with decent exposures, 6400 is pushing things a little.
- LCD can't be seen properly if turned around facing you if there is a flash in the hot shoe
- ? Button is only useful for image deleting (you can bring up a guide mode with it - option in the menu)
- LCD screen coating is vulnerable to delaminating (there is an anti reflective coating) fit a screen protector it's a must
Other notes: (I will update this as required)
OLED EVF is good resolution wise and has some benefits (focus peaking and exposure simulation, big view) it does struggle with dynamic range in harsh lighting though, and there is some noise in low light in the viewfinder (not listed this as a pro or con like an optical finder it has advantages and disadvantages) The live view advantage due to the fixed mirror is that you get phase detect AF in live view full time (though the 70d has this off the sensor too), the mirror does take a bit of light though for the AF system (I estimate about half a stop)
Buffer depth is around 15/16 frames raw (shooting at 8fps) that's ok though the newer A77 II has a significantly bigger buffer, it's probably enough for most (quite a lot larger than the D7100 buffer, similar to the 70d's buffer), the A57 I have shoots around 23 frames at 8fps (buffer the same smaller raw files mean more shots)
Do get yourself a faster card if you shoot action, I tested the 80MB/s Sandisk in camera and it's clearing times are quick, likewise the Extreme pro is a touch faster, the 45MB/s Extreme is acceptable clearing times wise (longer than both but not bad) The A77 is UHS-I compatible so look out for cards that are compatible with that from various makers. A normal class 10 SD card is fairly slow to clear a big burst, one to watch for if you shoot higher frames per second. If you're a landscape shooter it's not really an issue.
Firmware it's running 1.07 out of the box (this is the latest update) this cured some lag issues and flash exposure problems (no issues here to report with flash so far) Menus are quite easy to use with good customisation, though not quite as comprehensive as similar Canon/Nikon bodies.
You can set various buttons to different functions such as the AEL button, the ISO button, AF/MF button on the back, some of those might be handy for other functions, it's a shame you can't customise the ? button though. Like the 7 series cameras from the past era (Minolta and Sony) you can set the rear dial to exposure compensation.
Operation and performance are snappy with fast autofocus, it does take a while to get used to the controls the rear joystick is handy for directly setting the AF points. You have wireless flash control via the built in flash (as you do on all Sony bodies), you can additionally set the A77's built in flash to manual output (1/16 min output) this can be useful for triggering optical flashes without the main flash influencing the exposure.
Exposure is good in most situations, even in harsh light it balances exposure well, but in lower light levels it can be a bit under, this won't do you any favours with high ISO shooting, so adjust the exposure if required underexposing at high ISO will increase noise. The A77 isn't as bad as some make out in this area (1600 is good, 3200 if done with care can yield good print sizes..above that all APS-C models tend to struggle at ISO 6400), but it's not quite up there with the Canikon's on this. Still you do have stabilisation built in, you might be able to compensate with that.
In terms of overall spec it's comparable to the D7100, and 70d in many ways. These bodies all have good and bad points, and are considered to be "semi pro" level ie they have enhanced build over lower priced bodies, faster max shutter speeds, more functions and customisation of controls (and many more direct controls)
The EVF is something you'll have to decide on yourself I have got used to it (to a point) it does have some advantages, and some downsides. Manual focus is very easy now, you get a real time exposure preview, it can gain up in very low light, and can have lots of information on the display. Downsides are clarity isn't as good as a good pentaprism optical finder (details) and it can struggle a bit in very contrasty light (shadows can be crushed a bit), following action is harder too (last image displayed rather than current one) and battery life takes a hit. A personal choice here worth trying one if you can in person.
On balance though, at this price a bit of a sleeper bargain if you are invested in A mount and were holding off on the A77 due to cost, well now it's a lot more affordable and wallet friendly. Will update the review with additional thoughts over time (with more extended field use)
Now, as for the camera: This is an immensely rewarding SLT camera to use - I have now owned the camera 9 months, and have previously used the Sony SLT-a57 and Sony's older a700 DSLR. This is a semi-pro model built to a high standard, which feels solid in the hand. Ergonomics are first rate with dials and buttons falling easily to hand, a good, solid grip, fabulous EVF, and plenty of physical controls, including both front and rear control dials, something you do not get with the cheaper a65 model which shares the same 24MP sensor.
Sony really did put a lot of great features into this camera. It has a blisteringly fast FPS burst rate, slightly limited by its buffer size, admittedly, but still very, very fast. That would be no good if it didn't have an excellent AF module to go with this, but it has the best AF module of any Sony SLT bar the pro-level slt-a99 full frame camera. The AF is fast, accurate and flexible in both single shot and continuous modes. Furthermore, micro focus adjust is available so you can tune the AF system to specific lenses (works best with primes but can be of value with zooms too). There are many menu options and settings to get to grips with, but I am a fan of Sony's no-nonsense straightforward interface, which I find quite intuitive. Help is at hand from Gary Friedman's excellent e-book - available here on Amazon or on his own web site - a real bible for a77 owners and well worth the price for a detailed description of all the many features. GPS is a nice feature - it's effective and doesn't drain the battery too quickly (it can of course be turned off). The a77 has the usual array of a range of focus and metering modes - I have found the metering to be pretty good much of the time though I often dial in a little positive compensation (more on this later). The battery is a relatively powerful one (same across my a57, a700 and a77) and good for around 400-500 shots typically. An excellent battery grip is also available for those doing extended shoots or studio work where vertical orientation may be used a lot (no tethering though, sadly).
Much has been written about the output from the 24MP BIONZ sensor in the camera (also shared in the Sony a65 and most likely in at least one Nikon and Pentax DSLR). At low ISO and when matched with a good lens, the IQ can rival that of medium format, at least in terms of resolution (not in gradations or dynamic range). It really can be breathtaking what can be achieved when you learn to get the most out of this camera and sensor. Don't think you have to use the most expensive Carl Zeiss branded or Sony G lenses either - old Minolta lenses can work very well with the a77 as can highly rated but affordable ones like Sigma's 10-20 and Tamron's 17-50, both of which I have found to perform extremely well with the a77 (watch out for compatability with some older Sigma lenses though - consult the web site Dyxum for further info). I have found the sensor to produce sharp images with wonderful color. I shoot in raw and process in either Adobe Lightroom/ACR or else in DXO Optics Pro version 9. The JPEG engine is only OK, being a bit heavy handed at times with high ISO images - it's hit and miss, sometmies being highly satisfactory, other times being not so good and smudging detail. Raw is the way to go if you have the time and the software to do it (avoid the bundled Sony raw converter as it is hideously slow to use).
The debate about this camera centres on whether or not the 24MP APS-C sensor at its heart is too noisy - it is true that this sensor will leap up and bite you if you under-expose your images - even at base ISO (200) you could get shadow noise in an under-exposed image, and more so than you might expect from other cameras. At high ISO owners have poured over 100% views of raws and complained about more noise than that generated by 16MP sensors. BUT, there are three points to note here: (1) learn to understand the metering on the camera and try not to under-expose unless doing it for artistic reasons; (2) learn not to obsess about 100% pixel peeping view with a 24MP sensor - high ISO images can look a bit worse for wear viewed at 100% magnification on a big monitor but this would equate to a massive poster or billboard size print - it has been demonstrated that when you downsize a77 images to 16MP equivalent they often look as good or better than 16MPimages at high ISO; and (3) shoot raw and use a decent noise cancelling strategy - DXO has automated noise reduction for example, that works very well with the a77 raws - LR is also good, or use NR plugins in Photoshop like Noiseware (very good with a77). I have no worries using ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 raws shot in low light for pro purposes as long as though they have been noise reduced in either DXO or in post processing plugins - if you need ISOs abobe 6400, sure, go for a Canon or Nikon full frame maybe (or tne latest Sony a7r camera). So, in sum, I think the bashing of the 24MP sensor has been over-played especially as almost everyone does some noise reduction in post processing or at raw conversion. I've become a fan of the sensor - shot with care and with a good (not neccessarily expensive) lens, it produces stunning colour and resolution very suitable for pro work.
So, I'm a fan of this camera. Is it perfect? No - it has quirks, such as no auto ISO in M mode, and I find the flash exposure with external flash units can be hit and miss at times (users report the most success with Metz units and the least with Sony units, though some have found firmware updates have solved this (didn't work for me). But it is a joyous camera to use - the immediate feedback you get from the classy EVF is fantastic - it is truly what you see is what you get territory. The EVF is big and clear with plenty of eye relief and is comfortable for wearers of spectacles. At the time it was the best available and is only now being trumped by Olympus in there wonderful micro four thirds cameras. Video is very nice (though capped at a lower max ISO than the 16MP Sony SLTs are) and the AF system excellent for sports, kids running around (much better than my a57 and a700 here) and wildlife. Handling is a dream - making using the camera a pleasure. At times my PC groans when handling the raws and TIFFs from the 24MP sensor so bear in mind your computing and hard disc space requirements! Alos note there is an excellent lens selection available for the Sony alpha mount including superb third party lenses by Tamron, sigma and Tokina, as well as full backwards compatability with the used range of Minolta AF lenses (extensive). Tilt and shift and exotic tele lenses are where there are some gaps in the lens line-up, but these gaps are being filled by third party manufacturers (e.g. Samyang/Rokinon and Sigma).
Writing this in November 2013 this camera is at the end of its life cycle most likely, with a rumoured replacement to be announced around Feb 2014. Current UK prices are around £740 for a genuine UK sourced model, body only. Cheaper prices are available via ebay and Hong Kong if you are brave enough to order from such suppliers. There are some good deals as well with the Sony 16-50 2.8 lens - a very, very nice lens by the way and well worth buying with an a77 if you get a good bundle deal. I recommend wholeheartedly the Sigma 10-20 (the earlier variable aperture version), or the Tokina 11-16, for wide angle needs, and check out the excellent low cost Sony 35 1.8 SAM and 85 2.8 SAM lenses. If money is no object then go for the Sony G pro lenses and Sony Carl Zeiss lenses - superb !
In conclusion - a superb, high performance SLT offering excellent results, especially when paired with good glass. Still a good performer in late 2013, though it has been bettered by Sony's flagship a99 full frame SLT model and anyone buying should be aware it may well be replaced in mid to late 2014 by a new model.
UPDATE, MAY 2014 - Sony have just announced the a77 Maqrk 2 - see the web site dpreview.com for full specifications. It is not a massive update, and they have even taken out some things, like GPS, but upgraded other things - there is now, in the mark 2, auto ISO in M mode, tethered shooting, wi-fi, a new AF module with more AF points and claims of improved AF tracking performance, claims that the EVF and sensor are better. There is no 4K video though, which is starting to be offered in some alternatives such as the Panasonic GH4 or the Sony a7S. I imagine the a77 mark 2 will start off about £1100 in the UK and that the a77 will start to be listed as discontinued soon - look out for some a77 bargains then, as it is still a great camera!
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