Sony SLT Alpha 77 II sensor review: New leader in the ‘semi-pro’ category?

By Kevin Carter - Tuesday May 27 2014

Camera Review
Introduction | Sony SLT Alpha 77 II: Similar performance to the Sony A6000 | Sony SLT Alpha 77 II Versus competition | Conclusion
Sony SLT Alpha 77 II sensor review: New leader in the ‘semi-pro’ category?

With the 2014 World Cup in Brazil approaching, this is the time manufacturers with serious interests in professional sports start revealing new cameras and lenses to selected press agencies. Both Canon and Nikon are rumored to be fielding prototype professional-level APS-C bodies during the tournament for testing. However, rival Sony appears to have stolen a march by introducing the SLT Alpha 77 II ahead of the games.

Specification and Features

High profile sporting events are often used as proving grounds for prototype models from rivals, and whether by design or not, Sony’s introduction of the SLT A77 II coincides with the start of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. As a revamp of the firm’s popular A77 it’s a camera that should appeal to sports and action photographers. Outwardly the camera resembles its predecessor but the big news is the upgrading of the AF sensor module, which allows the A77 II to rattle off 60 full res JPEGs (Fine L) at up to 12 fps complete now with AF tracking.

And, thanks to the so-called translucent mirror technology all this is achieved at same time retaining the live view image using either the built-in hi-res EVF (now 1.23M dot panel up from a 920k dot LCD) or the triple hinged (tilt and swivel) rear LCD.

Although the burst rate hasn’t changed over the original, the new wide-area AF array adopts 79 points with 15 cross type sensors but details are still sketchy concerning their suitability using telephoto lenses with a maximum aperture of 5.6, or slower. Like the A77 before it the new model adopts a stabilized 24-Mpix APS-C CMOS sensor, although it’s likely related to that found in firm’s A6000 (minus the on-chip PDAF pixels), along with the firm’s new Bionz X level processor with a new maximum ISO setting up to 51,200.

Video includes a 60p option and audio level monitoring but Sony has dropped the useful built-in GPS option found on the A77 replacing it with built-in Wi-Fi communication (complete with NFC) instead. The A77 II is available for pre-order at $1,199 body only or for $1,799 including the 16-50mm zoom.

For more information, please see our preview at http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Sony-a77-II-Preview-Sony-unveil-new-flagship-APS-C-SLT-camera

Key specifications

 

  • 24MP CMOS Sensor with gapless, offset microlenses
  • 12fps continuous shooting with autofocus (up to 60 JPEGs)
  • 79 point AF module with 15 cross-type AF points, covering 40% of frame
  • 2.4M dot OLED viewfinder
  • Pull-out three-hinge tilt/swivel 1.23m dot White Magic LCD screen
  • 1/8000th top shutter speed, 1/250th flash sync.
  • ISO 100 - 25,600 (Extendable down to 50, and up to 51,200 with multi-image combination)
  • 1080/60p movies with autofocus
  • Stereo microphone and external mic socket
  • Audio level monitoring
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC

Sony SLT Alpha 77 II: Similar performance to the Sony A6000

Sony SLT Alpha 77 II Versus competition

Conclusion