I know, just how many cameras do I need, right? Only my wallet knows for sure but there’s a reason I got the Sony Alpha 77. A few months back I had a chance to use the Sony SLT-a55 for a while. Even though there were a few things that didn’t go over that big with me, the overall experience with the camera was really great. I actually like some of the features of the electronic viewfinder and the translucent mirror offers some great advantages when it comes to focus and frame rates. The Translucent mirror allows light to pass directly through to the sensor while a small portion of the light coming in through the lens is reflected up to the auto-focus sensor.
Well, when Sony announced that they were replacing the Sony Alpha 700 with the SLT-a77, I was really intrigued. After seeing the specs on the camera, I was completely sold, or at least the camera was. First of all, the a77 sports a huge 24MP APS-C sensor. I know, bigger isn’t necessarily better but let me tell you that this one is pretty sweet. The camera also has a decent ISO range, from 50 all the way to 16,000. I haven’t done a lot of high ISO tests but the few shots I took at ISO 1600 looked pretty clean.
Another feature that I really wanted to check out was the new electronic viewfinder that is using a new 2,359k O-LED. That’s 2.3 million pixels of viewfinder goodness. Other features include an improved translucent mirror that allows the camera to shoot at an amazing 12 frames per second, built-in GPS, Steady-Shot in the camera so every lens is stabilized, Sweep Panorama technology with two different pano sizes to choose from, full 1080p video with 60i, 60p and 24p frame rates, and oh so much more.
I spent the weekend curled up with the owner’s manual, trying to get familiar with all the buttons, knobs, and features so I haven’t really had a chance to do more than walk out on my back deck with it. I will however be shooting quite a bit with it in the coming weeks and will be sure to pass along my full impressions along with some images.
Here’s a quick shot I took on my back deck using the built-in HDR mode, which shoots three shots automatically and then combines them in camera for an expanded range image.