Sony A77II Review: An In-Depth Look at the Camera’s Specifications

Review of the Sony A77II

Buying a camera can be overwhelming. There’s so much to learn about before you can even try to make a decision. Different brands, types of cameras, accessories, there’s so much to learn about.



It can seem like too much, but if you break it down into tiny chunks it won’t be so bad.

Some Terms That You Should Know

There’s nothing worse than not knowing what everyone is talking about right? Camera talk has a lot of specific terms that you should know about.

ISO

This term comes from the International Organization for Standardization. ISO is the light sensitivity of your camera. It has to do with parts of a camera’s sensor set against a common standard.


It was originally known as “Film Speed,” as it was a measure of the amount of light a certain type of film could absorb. With modern digital cameras, film is not needed. Also, the ISO can be adjusted up and down.


High ISO means a brighter image, which is achieved by digitally amplifying the info collected during exposure. It’s an imperfect process that generates errors, which can be obvious in your pictures as discoloration and noise (the unattractive speckling effect you usually see in low light photos.)

Aperture

Aperture is the size of the opening in the lens. You can adjust the size to let in a lot of light or a little bit of light. A wide-open aperture will let more light into the image for a brighter photo, a smaller one lets in less light.


Aperture is measured in f-stops. A small f-stop like f/1.8 is a wide opening, a large f-stop like f/22 is a very narrow one.


It also affects how much of the image is in the focus. Wide apertures result in that smooth, unfocused background, while narrow ones keep the image sharp.

Shutter Speed

This controls how long the camera spends collecting light. It’s measured in fractions of a second. This means a speed of 1/125 is when the shutter is open for one 125th of a second.


Higher shutter speeds mean the camera captures a shorter period of time, which is how you get blur free actions. Lower speeds allow you to soak up more light.

Megapixels

A single megapixel contains 1 million pixels, but it’s somewhat meaningless to know that your camera shoots 10 million pixels at a time. What you want to know, and what the megapixel tells you, is how big you can make your image without having to enlarge it digitally and suffer degradation of the image.


This is important but should not be a make or break decision. This is because most pictures are viewed on devices versus being printed out. Unless you are a professional who is printing them out for customers, there are more important features.

Hot Shoe

You may see this odd term pop up quite a bit. It’s a slot at the top of a camera for adding accessories.

RAW Files

This is a type of file that gives you, the photographer, more control over photo editing. It’s considered a digital negative, whereas JPEG has already been processed a little. It does need a special software to open.

What is the Sony A77II and How Does It Work?

Sony A77II

Alright, now that we know some of the key terms, let’s start talking about the Sony A7II. Sony is known for making good cameras and constantly innovating. This is no different with this camera. Which is an overhaul of the original A77 from 2011.

This new camera features a new autofocus sensor, and it’s a much more refreshed version of the existing design.

It’s actually it’s built around the AF (auto focus) model with the most focus points of any camera on the market.

The autofocus capability combines with the camera’s ability to shoot images at 12 frames per second to offer a compelling feature set.

What Makes It Unique?

Let’s break down some of the special highlights of this particular camera.


Focus Advances

focus advances

This camera can definitely be competition to some of the pro grade cameras because of its autofocus system. It has a range of subject identifying technologies that Sony has introduced in recent models. For example, it has Eye-AF rather than just face detection. It also has the most advanced version of “Lock-On AF” that we’ve seen.

Body Design

body

It’s a solidly built camera with a solid, weather sealed magnesium alloy body, which has some weight to it. But it’s not heavy. The right-hand grip feels comfortable and gives easy access to the most important controls on the camera.


The camera has a lot of buttons and dials. They are placed in reasonable places. For the most part, each button has a single function. There are eleven customizable buttons on the body, with up to fifty assignable functions. This means you can really you can customize the camera to your liking.

Technical Specs

Here are some of the more technical aspects to this camera. You can use these to compare them to other cameras. If you don’t understand everything, that’s okay. We break down a lot of it within this review.

Panasonic Fz200

Body Type

Body type

mid-size SLR

Body material

magnesium alloy

Sensor

Max resolution

6,000x4,000

Other resolutions

6,000x3,376, 4240x2832, 4440x2400, 3008x2000, 3008x1688

Image ratio w:h

3:2, 16:9

Effective pixels

24 megapixels

Sensor photo detectors

25 megapixels

Sensor size

APS-C (23.5x15.6 mm)

Sensor type

CMOS

Processor

Bionz X

Color space

sRGB, AdobeRGB

Color filter array

primary color filter

Image

ISO

auto (ISO 100-51,200), Manual (ISO 100-25,600)

Boosted ISO (maximum)

51,200

White balance presets

9

Custom white balance

yes (3 slots)

Image stabilization

sensor-shift

Uncompressed format

RAW

JPEG quality levels

super fine, fine, normal

File format

JPEG (DCF v2.0, EXIF c2.3), RAW (ARW 2.3)

Image parameters

contrast, saturation, sharpness

Optics & Focus

Autofocus

contrast detect (sensor), phase detect, multi-area, center, selective single-point, tracking, single, continuous, face detection, live view

Autofocus assist lamp

yes (flash type)

Digital zoom

yes (2X)

Manual focus

yes

Focal length multiplier

1.5x

Lens mount

Sony/ Minolta Alpha

Number of focus points

79

Screen/ Viewfinder

Articulated LCD

fully articulated

Screen size

3 inches

Screen dots

1,229,000

Touch screen

no

Screen type

WhiteMagic TFT

Live view

yes

Viewfinder type

electronic

Viewfinder coverage

100%

Viewfinder resolution

2,359,000

1.09x (0.73x 35 mm equiv.)

Photography Features

Minimum shutter speed

30 seconds

Maximum shutter speed

1/8,000 of a second

Exposure modes

iAuto, program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual

Scene modes

portrait, sports action, macro, landscape, sunset, night scene, hand-held twilight, night portrait

Built in flash

yes

Flash range

12.00 m (at ISO 100)

External flash

yes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)

Flash modes

auto, fill, rear sync, slow sync

Drive modes

single-frame, continuous high/ low, continuous advance priority AE, self-timer

Continuous drive

12.0 fps

Self-timer

Yes (2 or 12 seconds)

Metering modes

multi, center-weighted, spot

Exposure compensation

±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)

AE bracketing

±3 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)

WB bracketing

yes (3 shots, low/ high selectable)

Videography Features

Resolutions

1920x1080 (60p, 60i, 30p), 1440x1080 (30p), 640x480 (30p)

Format

MPEG-4, AVCHD

Microphone

stereo

Speaker

mono

Storage

Storage types

SD/ SDHC/ SDXC, memory stick pro duo/ pro-HG duo

Connectivity

USB

USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)

HDMI

Yes (mini HDMI)

Microphone port

Yes

Headphone port

No

Wireless

built in

Wireless notes

802.11b/g/n with NFC

Remote control

yes (wired, wireless, or smartphone)

Physical

Environmentally sealed

yes

Battery

battery pack

Battery description

NP-FM500H lithium-ion battery and charger

Battery life (CIPA)

480

Weight (including batteries)

647 g (1.43 lb/ 22.82 oz)

Dimensions

143x104x81 mm (5.63x4.09x3.19 inches)

Other Features

Orientation sensor

yes

Time lapse recording

no

GPS

none

Pricing

Sony A77II Digital SLR Camera - Body Only
  • Superb subject tracking
  • Astonishing image quality
  • OLED Tru-Finder

There are a couple places to find this camera. One is at Amazon. There are also Best Buy (body only).

Some less familiar places to find this camera are Cruthfield (body only), Mike’s Camera (body only), and Adorama (body only.)

So, this is a pricey camera, and that doesn’t even include the separate lens that you have to buy. So if you are interested in this camera, do not invest in this lightly.

How It Compares to Other Cameras

Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm STM Lens
  • 20.2 MP APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+
  • 19 point cross-type AF System
  • Up to 7 fps shooting

Now, there are always other cameras out there. Whether you aren’t a fan of the Alpha A7’s price or features, it’s always worth looking elsewhere. You can get a fuller idea of what you are looking from with your camera.

One of Sony’s competitors is Canon’s EOS 70D. This is a DSLR camera that has a number of great features. Some them include, a 20-megapixel CMOS sensor, innovative Dual-Pixel CMOS AF system, and a 3-inch vari-angle LCD touchscreen.

This is a nice lightweight camera, even with a battery and memory card in it, that’s comfortable to hold. It’s suited from everyone with normal sized hands to large hands. Adjustments are made with a combination of buttons and a single control wheel.

This is good for beginners but could be frustrating for more serious photographers.

It doesn’t help that some of the controls are placed awkwardly as well.

It’s built and designed well. It has a metal body with a plastic outer cover that’s waterproof.​

Fujifilm X-T1 16 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body...
  • 16.3 MP APS-C X-Trans II CMOS sensor
  • ISO 200-6400 (expandable to 51200)
  • 1080/30fps HD video (.MOV/H.264)

There’s also the Fujifilm X-T1. This is only the body, though. The lens isn’t included. It’s a compact camera that feels like a miniature DSLR. It’s been designed to appeal to a wide range of photographers. It’s designed that like a classic DSLR, it’s just smaller.​

It has a weatherproof and freeze resistant body with five mechanical dials. There’s also six customizable function buttons. It features an OLED electronic viewfinder.​

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 12 fps burst with AF-C is useful for fast action
  • Continuous AF is effective during still and video capture
  • Face detection works well
  • Good build quality and overall ergonomics
  • SteadyShot is useful in both still and video capture
  • Ability to record video using XAVC S codec
  • Fully articulating LCD
  • Wide ISO range for low light photography
  • Weather resistant
  • In body stabilization

Cons

  • Lock-on AF functionality is hit or miss
  • Noisy high ISO images
  • Heavy noise reduction in JPEG
  • 12 fps mode offers little to no control over shutter speed and aperture
  • Only 15 cross-type AF points, limited to a central portion of the frame
  • No way to quickly check focus in image review, since only center of image is magnified
  • Four-way controller is mushy
  • No headphone jacks
  • Buffer takes a long time to clear and locks up camera
  • Eye sensor too sensitive
  • Poor smartphone WiFi connectivity
  • Only single memory card slot

Conclusion

Product

Details

Price

Sony A77II Digital SLR Camera - Body Only
  • 24 MP Bionz X CMOS
  • 3" WhiteMagic TFT
  • LCD
    Built-in WiFi with NFC
  • Superb subject tracking
  • OLED Tru-Finder
Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm STM Lens
  • 20.2 MP APS-C CMOS Digic 5+ sensor
  • 19 point cross-type AF system
  • Up to 7fps shooting
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
Fujifilm X-T1 16 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body...
  • 16.3 MP APS-C X-Trans II CMOS sensor
  • ISO 200-6400
    Water and dust resistant
  • Freezeproof
  • Up to 8fps continuous shooting
  • OLED viewfinder

This camera is a great camera for everyday use and action shots. It has the ease of a point and shoot while still being customizable like a DSLR. It’s a good camera to invest in if you are going from hobby to a small business.

It’s not to say that this camera isn’t for hobbyists, it’s just that it’s a lot of money to put into when you are just starting out.

We like that it’s weatherproof and has built in stabilization. We also appreciate Sony adding all these cool new editing features to make it easier to take the best photo possible.

We are disappointed that there aren’t headphone jack or memory card slots. It just seems to be a standard to have at this point. The controls, while for the most part easy to use, can be a little sensitive.

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