Sony Alpha 77 review

October 15, 2011

Overall Rating:


Sony Alpha 77

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Price as Reviewed:


The many ‘world firsts’ on the Sony Alpha 77 include a 24.3-million-pixel APS-C sensor and a 2.4-million-pixel XGA OLED electronic viewfinder. In fact, there’s much to be excited about

Sony Alpha 77 at a glance:

  • 24.3-million-pixel, Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor
  • 2.359-million-dot XGA OLED electronic viewfinder
  • Sony Alpha mount
  • Sensor-shift stabilisation
  • Tilted and articulated 3in, 921,600-dot, TFT screen
  • 12 frames per second
  • 1080p HD video capture
  • RRP £1,149.99 (body only)

Sony Alpha 77 review – Introduction

Long rumoured and highly anticipated, the Sony Alpha 77 replaces the four-year-old Alpha 700 as the company’s flagship APS-C-format digital camera. But make no mistake: while both are classed as enthusiast level models, the two are virtually unrecognisable as siblings.

A key difference is that the Sony Alpha 77 utilises the translucent mirror technology introduced by Sony last year in its Alpha 33 and 55 SLT (single lens translucent) cameras. The fixed (pellicle) mirror used in such cameras has several benefits and certain downsides. One benefit is a steadier and quieter shutter action, unlike the aggressive mirror slap of the moving mirror that users of the Alpha 700 DSLR will know all too well.

Alongside the Sony Alpha 77 are the new Alpha 65, the older Alpha 55 and the Alpha 35, which was released a few months ago. These stablemates also feature SLT technology, which means there are now more current SLT cameras than DSLRs in the Alpha range. It seems, then, that Sony is beginning to phase out the moving mirror in its cameras at this level in favour of its pellicle version.

It is not just the type of mirror that sets apart the Alpha 700 and 77. The four years between the models’ launches means that their specifications are leagues apart, with the Sony Alpha 77 offering many world firsts, such as a 24.3-million-pixel sensor and XGA OLED electronic viewfinder. Sony has not held back on installing improvements and consequently the change is far more dramatic than a simple makeover. In fact, the Sony Alpha 77 is almost an entirely different beast and I look forward to finding out how the camera handles and performs.

  • External mic: Yes
  • White Balance: Auto, 6 presets, Kelvin, plus custom setting
  • Shutter Type: Electronically controlled focal-plane shutter
  • Built-in Flash: Yes – GN 12m @ ISO 100
  • Dioptre Adjustment: -4 to +3 dioptre
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC or Memory Stick Pro Duo
  • Viewfinder Type: 2.359-million-dot XGA OLED electronic
  • Output Size: 6000x4000 pixels
  • LCD: 3in LCD with 921,600 dots, tilted and articulated
  • Field of View: Approx 100%
  • AF Points: 19-point with 11 cross-type, auto or manual selection possible
  • White Balance Bracket: Yes, 3 images over 2 steps
  • Sensor: 24.3-million-effective-pixel HD CMOS sensor
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/160sec
  • Focal Length Mag: 1.5x
  • Exposure Modes: Auto, auto+, program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, and 8 scene modes including 3D sweep panorama
  • Weight: 732g approx including battery and card/s
  • File Format: Raw, JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion NP-FM500H battery
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/8000sec in 1⁄3EV steps plus bulb
  • Lens Mount: Sony Alpha mount
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Drive Mode: 12fps for 13 raw images
  • Compression: 2-stage JPEG
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, HMDI
  • Metering System: 1,200-zone evaluative metering, centreweighted, and fixed centre spot
  • Dimensions: 142.6x104x80.9mm
  • DoF Preview: Yes
  • Focusing Modes: Manual, single-shot AF, automatic AF, continuous AF, face detection
  • ISO: ISO 100-16,000 (extended to ISO 50)
  • Exposure Comp: ±5EV in 1⁄3EV or 1/2EV steps
  • Tested as: Enthusiast-level DSLR
  • Video: AVCHD: 1920x1080 pixels (at 50fps or 25fps PAL); MP4: 1440x1080 pixels (25fps pal); VGA: 640x480 pixels (at 25fps)

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