Sony A77 DSLR Review

I wanted to check out the new Translucent mirror technology.


Here is my full review of the Sony Alpha SLT-A77V. I wanted to look at this camera because I like that Sony is willing to take risks and innovate with things like the translucent mirror. I hope Sony does well with this camera so they can keep Canon and Nikon on their toes a bit more.

I am reviewing this camera with the 1.03 firmware. One day after I finished this review the v1.04 version firmware came out.

  • It has one of the largest APS-C sensors
  • Same price range as Canon 7D.
  • Translucent mirror, fixed, some light gets reflected up and the rest passes through to the sensor.
  • Might for serious hobbyist, semi pro, it is weather sealed, magnesium body.
  • In camera stabilization.
  • 24.3meg pixel
  • 19 point AF system with 11 cross type points
  • 12fps stills.
  • How does this compare to the NEX5, I am not sure but check out Caleb Pike’s review I am sure he will compare them, since he has both right now.
  • It has other features like an in camera HDR mode, test shot shown below.
  • GPS works, sometimes you have to wait a very long time before it turns on check out the photo below, it was off by about 30 feet.

Things I don’t like

  • AGC can’t be turned off. It is a very subtle AGC compared to the Canon’s.
  • Don’t try to shoot video on video mode, use manual stills mode you get a ton more control over there.
  • It keeps settings like WB, aperture, ISO, picture style! It does have memory settings, but that is not cool.
  • Laggy in the controls, just move the shutter and wait 1/3 of a second to catch up.
  • Can’t go higher than ISO 1600 in movie mode! I compared the A77 to the Canon T2i at 1600 and as you can see A77 has a bit more noise in the blacks.
  • I like you can do 60fps at a full 1080. Not even the new $20k C300 can do that. It does not behave well within Premiere Pro preview window, it jumps and it does not conform down to 60->24fps well at all, not smooth.
  • I can’t get it to work with an 18% card, if I set exposure to 18% gray it makes the exposure too bright by 2/3 of a stop. As you can see here I keep having to turn it down to match what I had on the T2i.
  • The processor in this thing must be slow or not programmed well because it is really laggy to the point where it is really frustrating when ending a recording – wait, and then play – wait.
  • Using the electronic view finder in bright outdoor conditions. It is true that the view finder has so many pixels that you can’t see them and it might be the best EVF out there, but you can see the noise in low light conditions. When you have blown out highlights in the view finder they can change to a magenta color.
  • Lack of lens selection. The 16-50 seems dull.
  • Minor issue it doesn’t recreate the jpg thumbnail image so it is hard to compare shots.
  • Can’t zoom in to check focus in movie mode, you need to use manual mode.
  • It keeps re-numbering the videos back to 00000.MTS each time even though I have it set to Series.
  • As Kai over at DigitalRev demonstrated it appears to have a 1/3 of a stop loss of light through mirror.
  • It was not hard to find out how bad the rolling shutter or jelly effect is.
  • I had a hard time trying to find aliasing, it took awhile to find some in the vent grill at the pool.
  • Having 12fps is cool but I can only spray for 18 stills before the buffer fills up.
  • It doesn’t have a clean 1080p HDMI output while recording. It is 1080p unlike my T2i which is 480p.

Things I like

  • Watch how it reacts very smoothly when on auto exposure, really smooth.
  • The tracking focus is cool! But it is not continuous, I tried it on the 50mm prime but someone told me it works better on the zoom kit lens, I tried that as well but it was not continuous either. But it does seem to be pretty fast.
  • I really like the grip.
  • Focus peaking, but it only works on certain types of surfaces.
  • AVCHD at 28mbps, not great but good
  • I like the flip screen for low shots and when I am filming myself.
  • The fast continuous auto focus might be great for someone coming from a camcorder background where every thing is in focus.

Sony A77 HDR and GPS (Click on the photo to see the map)

Sony A77 Auto HDR In Camera

Sony A77 Makes the blown out highlights of the water magenta in View Finder

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