Sony has taken the Alpha 77 and added Wi-Fi, an improved screen and given the AF system an overhaul. Callum McInerney-Riley finds out if it is the ‘king of APS-C’. Read our Sony Alpha 77 II review...
Sony Alpha 77 II – pros
- Advanced 79-point AF system
- Easy, customisable menus
- Comprehensive Wi-Fi/NFC features
Sony Alpha 77 II – cons
- In-camera noise reduction can be harsh at higher ISO sensitivities
- No GPS
- 0.3EV loss due to translucent mirror
Sony Alpha 77 II review – Introduction
It has been nearly two years since Sony’s last A-mount SLT (single lens translucent) camera. Since then, the company has had much success with its premium compacts and E-mount mirrorless cameras, leading many people to question whether Sony would continue to expand its A-mount range.
We brought this subject up in conversation recently, when AP met with Sony’s technical marketing manager, Shiori Katsumata, at the launch of the Sony Alpha 77 II. She was keen to stress that Sony is still fully committed to its A-mount range of cameras, pointing to the new Alpha 77 II as a clear indication of this.
Upon its launch, Sony proclaimed the Alpha 77 II the ‘king of APS-C’. With a 24.3-million-pixel, APS-C-sized sensor, 12fps shooting and improved autofocus, the Alpha 77 II should have all the features required to challenge such APS-C giants as the Canon EOS 7D and the Nikon D7100 for the right to wear the crown.
Sony Alpha 77 II review – Features
Although the Sony Alpha 77 II uses the same 24.3-million-pixel-resolution, APS-C-sized (23.5×15.6mm) Exmor CMOS sensor as its Alpha 77 predecessor, it is an entirely new design. The camera also benefits from the latest Sony Bionz X processor, which is capable of advanced noise reduction. It also includes diffraction reduction technology and has improved JPEG sharpening. However, this processor truly excels when shooting bursts. The Alpha 77 II boasts an impressive rate of 12fps for 64 fine JPEGs or 25 consecutive JPEG + raw images before the buffer is full, compared with 12 and 11 shots respectively on its predecessor.
One of the headline features of the Sony Alpha 77 II is the inclusion of a staggering 79 AF-point autofocus system, for which Sony has developed a new phase-detection AF sensor module with a centreweighted algorithm. This enhances the camera’s ability to track subjects. In addition, Sony has improved the intelligence of the AF algorithm that allows the camera to predict movement, so users can track and follow subjects with greater ease. This will suit many enthusiast sports and wildlife photographers who rely on quick AF and subject tracking.
The Sony Alpha 77 II also features NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity, which can be connected to an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet via the Sony PlayMemories app. Additional apps can also be installed to add features such as time-lapse shooting.