Sony Alpha 77 Impressions

NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,127Member
edited May 2013 in Other Manufacturers
First off- this isn't a review, it is just my impressions, as I only got about 10 minutes with it.

I like the concept of the Alpha 77, especially when you get fast and accurate "live view" for every shot you take. Seriously, the Sony SLT live view blows the D7000 live view out of the water. I also like the weight of the camera- it seems about 3/4 the weight of the D7000.

I also really like the shape of the grip- the D7000 grip just seems like a rectangle. On the A77 there really is space for your fingers and it seems more "tailored".

I couldn't figure out the AF system of the camera, so I don't know how accurately it focuses. However, the frame rate of the camera is incredibly impressive. The buffer fills up pretty quickly though.

However, I didn't like the build quality of the camera. It's supposed to be a magnesium body but it happens to come across as plasticy for some odd reason. The buttons also seemed slightly loose, especially around the On/Off button. I'm not sure if it's because it was a pre-owned camera or if it's a problem with every A77.

The major problem I see with the camera is that the buttons on the top plate are hard to reach, especially if you're trying to spin one of the dials to change a parameter (ISO, etc.). It seems like a mashup of Nikon and Canon ergonomics with neither of the build quality. The click wheels are in front and back (like Nikon) and have a terrible feel to them. However, the row of buttons up top (like Canon) make it hard to contort your fingers to spin the rear or front dial. Seriously, maybe I have small hands, but how are you supposed to change it one handed? It's the same problem with Canon cameras I feel.

The top LCD is also very narrow and shows very little data. Also, maybe it's a changeable menu parameter, but it even turns itself mostly off and shows very little data even if the camera is turned on but on standby mode. You need to physically be shooting or changing parameters for it to show anything at all.

The OLED viewfinder is very detailed and bright. However, there are delays when the camera is trying to figure out whether you're using the rear LCD or the viewfinder via the eye detector. You may miss shots that way. It's not a perfect solution yet and I would say it's 90% there. It's also nice to see changes to exposure instantly. It's also a hoot to change menu parameters via the viewfinder.

I got used to rotating the lenses to the left to unscrew a Nikon lens, so I tried to rip the lens off its mount when I tried to change lenses on the A77. Whoops. :(

The only lens I got to try was the Sigma 16-50 2.8. It was okay I guess.

It's a lot of fun using cameras from manufacturers. I can definitely see the value behind using SLT technology. Other than the slight light loss and batter consumption, it seems like the way future manufacturers will go.

What do you guys think of this camera?
Post edited by NSXTypeR on
Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S

Comments

  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,168Member
    Sony itself doesn't seem to think much of SLT tech since rumor has it that they will drop the SLT line of cameras in favor of a hybrid mirrorless camera that can accept A mount lenses.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    Given the constant trade off of aperture, shutter speed and ISO, giving away 1/3 of the light through a pellicle mirror is a fatal flaw that has no chance of survival in a critical and competitive market. Your F1.4 lens is now F1.8 at 2-3 times the cost.

    Canon could not make this work, and neither can SONY.

    This design has no advantage over pure mirrorless with EVF now that both Nikon (Nikon 1) and SONY (Nex 6) have figured out phase detect autofocus directly in sensor elements.

    ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • blackfoxblackfox Posts: 48Member
    one of my shooting buddies uses a sony a77 and he is most disappointed with the results ,he is getting serious back and front focus issues ,and a save rate of less than one in 10 shots compared to his previous sony dslr camera .
    this is not a bitchy my nikons better type post its just plain and simple fact .theres a reason that everyone has not jumped in and bought into mirror less technology this is possibly one of them .on paper with the high frame rate they sound like a wildlifers dream camera sadly there not
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    .theres a reason that everyone has not jumped in and bought into mirror less technology this is possibly one of them .on paper with the high frame rate they sound like a wildlifers dream camera sadly there not
    I agree with your conclusions, and the best mirrorless cameras do not autofocus nearly as well as pro level dslr's, and are not ideally suited for sports or wilslife.

    SONY's problem is that they are half mirrored and have the disadvantages of both slr and mirrorless, and the advantages of neither.

    They still lose 1/3 of the light through a pellicle mirror, and the phase detect autofocus loses 2/3.

    A darwinian dead end.

    Regards ..... H

    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I like to "play" with the other manufactures cameras as well. Sony has come a long way but, at least for me, after playing with them I do appreciate the details that Nikon refines in their bodies.
    Given the constant trade off of aperture, shutter speed and ISO, giving away 1/3 of the light through a pellicle mirror is a fatal flaw that has no chance of survival in a critical and competitive market. Your F1.4 lens is now F1.8 at 2-3 times the cost.
    I have never seen any tests that suggest the light loss is that large. The highest I have seen was 1/8 measured or basically not enough to make a difference like you suggest. I could see where that might make a difference for complex lighting set-ups with meters if someone is really trying to be very specific. Anymore with digital, that is less of a concern though. From what I have read the camera bumps the ISO (i.e. 100 to 125) to accommodate for it. In most all applications I don't see it as a major issue.

    I must have read the same article that PB_PM did where a Sony rep indicated the SLT tech was not the future and going mirrorless was. Now how far off that was is anyone's guess.

    Nikon and Canon shooters are spoiled by the continuous AF for wildlife, sports, and other fast moving subjects. Most cameras only focus on the first shot and that is it.



    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member

    Nikon and Canon shooters are spoiled by the continuous AF for wildlife, sports, and other fast moving subjects. Most cameras only focus on the first shot and that is it.
    They must bounce enough light from the pellicle mirror to support a phase detect autofocus system, which is why SONY does this while using an evf. The main advantage of the pellicle mirror system with all of its other trade-offs is to support continuous autofocus without swinging a mirror. If they are not using continuous autofocus, then why do this at all ?.

    I have never used an SLT77 and have no personal knowledge of it's autofocus behavior. I was a failed 'lab rat' in Canon's pelllcle experiment, which is one of the reasons I use Nikon.

    Subsequent to the SLT intro, SONY were the first to introduce sensor based phase detect autofocus (in the NEX 6, 7) which hass the advantages of the pellicle / EVF system without the disadvantages, which may be why they are doing away with it ? (If they are, I have no info on this).

    The SLT line is exactly competing with Nikon and Canon DSLR's, so 'spoiled' is in fact the expectation of this market .

    As a wildlife photographer, I do not think that continuous autofocus is a trivial aspect of performance, and Nikon's 3D autofocus combined with it's pixel pitch make the D800 / D800e an outstanding wildlife camera.

    Regards ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • blizzardblizzard Posts: 1Member
    a77 lets talk FACKS! I own a nikon d7000 and a pentax k , a100 sony and a nikon d50 and the a77 sony
    BUILD---I have used the a77 at 0ver 12000 feet in sub zero temps , in forest fires in blizzard conditions in heavey rain and hail , used it with the grand kids at indoor partys at football games in dim light the only flaw I have found it hard to see with sun glass's on-- IMAGE QUALITY Noise once you learn to use the a77 noise in NOT an issue. SHARP CLEAN CLEAR DETAIL EXCELLENT COLOR ALL MARVELOUS
    back focus micro adj take care of the on any lens
    from sony more high tech cameras to come inculding a duel sensor soon camera I hope
    tech changes all the time my next camera ? right know the a77 fits me to a tee
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