Sony α77 Mark II review: we put Sony’s α77 replacement through its paces in our Sony Sony α77 II review video.
The Sony α77 mark II has a 24 million-pixel sensor, but this is a new device that benefits from the progress that has been made with sensor design in the two-and-a-half-plus years since the α77 first arrived.
Our head of testing Angela Nicholson takes a look at what this new Sony camera has to offer in her Sony α77 review video.
Hi, I’m angela Nicholson, head of testing for Future Publishing’s photography portfolio and today I’m going to take a look at the Sony Alpha 77 II.
As you can probably guess, the Alpha 77 II is the replacement for the Alpha 77 and while the new camera has the same pixel count as the original model, 24.3 million effective pixels, the sensor and processing engine are new.
Sensor technology has moved on since the original A77 was announced and the new camera produces cleaner images at high sensitivity settings. In fact the results are pretty impressive at the highest selectable setting, ISO 25,600 especially if you shoot raw files as noise is fine-grained with no clumping or banding. With careful processing you can produce good quality, though grainy, images.
The big news with the A77 II, however, is that Sony has put a lot of work into the autofocus system and there are 79 AF points, 15 of which are the more sensitive cross-type. In comparison, the original A77 has 19 AF points of which 11 are cross-type.
It’s also now possible to vary the speed with which the system responds to changes in subject distance in continuous AF mode and limit the distance range at which the camera focuses. These are both advanced features which enable you to tailor the focusing to the subject. The AF Range Control, for example, can be useful when there are objects between the camera and the subject.
During my testing I compared the performance of the Alpha 77 II’s AF system with the Canon 5D mark 3′s and in good light it’s hard to tell them apart, they both perform very well, getting subjects sharp extremely quickly. The A77 II also manages to track fast moving subjects around the frame and keep them in focus.
I also shot in very low flat light and I found the A77 II wasn’t too far behind the Canon camera. Although it struggled a little bit more, it was still possible to get sharp images.
As a single lens translucent camera the A77 II has a fixed translucent mirror instead of a moving one like an SLR. This means that it has an electronic viewfinder instead of an optical finder. It’s the same 2.3-million dot device as is found in Sony’s Alpha 7-series of compact system cameras and it’s an excellent device showing plenty of detail. And, provided that the brightness is set to ‘manual’, it displays exposure as it will be captured.
The image on the 1.228-million-dot LCD screen is also nice and clear, but the articulating hinge seems a little over-complicated and awkward to use at times. It’s alsoa shame that the screen isn’t touch-sensitive.
On the whole the A77 II produces superb quality images that are well exposed and have lots of detail as well as pleasantly vibrant colours. This and it’s ability to keep noise within acceptable limits makes the A77 II a good enthusiast-level camera.