A test run with the new Sony A77 Mark II

Englewood Camera employee (and Sony guru) Holli G. took the new A77 Mark II with the 16-50mm f/2.8 for a test drive last night. Her preliminary thoughts on this camera are very positive; while aimed at a prosumer market, the A77 Mark II handles very much like an A99.

A few comments Holli made about the camera:

  • Autofocus is amazing. Not only did the AF tracking work accurately, the camera never back focused or struggled to lock focus because of low light. This camera is absolutely perfect for low-light photographers. The A77 Mark II has 79 AF points with 15 cross-type points, giving a 40% coverage in the frame. This allows for 12fps continuous shooting (up to 60 JPGs) for action photographers.
  • The color straight out of the camera was very good. A few tweaks here and there were needed, but for the most part, the camera doesn’t lean to one end of the spectrum or another (isn’t overly warm nor cool). For the example shots below, Holli used auto white balance–and was pretty impressed with how the camera handled this dark situation with a mix of lighting on stage.
  • The A77 Mark II is great at retaining shadow detail; perhaps not as much as the A99, but JPG files that are 1 to 2 stops underexposed have hope for recovery. Holli mentioned that the usable ISO range (in her opinion) is 3200, a great benefit for the audience this camera targets. The ISO range is customizable, meaning the user can define an ISO range to shoot within (such as 100-1250). This feature is available on other Sony models as well. 
  • Seamless WiFi! Holli used the A77 Mark II with her iPhone 5s for a few shots (noted below), and was amazed at the ease of camera control and quick transfer speed. The WiFi feature allows you to transfer files to your smart phone or other WiFi enabled device, and transfer speed is only a few seconds per image. The A77 Mark II also uses NFC to transfer images to NFC enabled devices.
  • Autofocus during video is fast and accurate. With moving subjects, the tracking never skips a beat and allows you to capture quality video in any lighting situation. This is a great feature for those of you with kids in indoor sports, or for recording plays and concerts! Part of this is due to new technology on Sony’s end that uses focus points adjacent to the selected focus point and allows the user to set different values for both video and stills.
  • Holli only shot with the 16-50mm f/2.8 lens, and most shots are at f/2.8. The images are not as sharp as a 24-70mm would be at f/2.8, but they retain enough sharpness to make them usable.

Here are a few full resolution sample files from Holli’s shoot of Rhyme Progression at Summit Music Hall’s Summer Solstice Tour on 6/18/14. All images were captured hand held in available light.

H_Gilvaie_Sony_A77_Mark_II
Shot at ISO 3200; 1/160s at f/2.8
Shot at ISO 3200; 1/200s at f/3.2
Shot at ISO 3200; 1/200s at f/3.2

The above image was shot as part of a 12fps burst sequence

 

ISO 800; 1/6s at f/2.8
ISO 800; 1/6s at f/2.8

Englewood Camera now has the Sony A77 Mark II in stock. Swing by to check one out for yourself!

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