As a professional photographer, who shoots with Sony Equipment, it is understandable that I should look upon this new camera with a favourable light. Or is it? It has been a long time since Sony has addressed a gaping hole in their line of cameras. Nowhere in the western world is this hole more gaping than in Canada, where the consumer has had the option of only 1 high end body to chose from; the A850. The A900 was discontinued, the A700 was discontinued 3-4 years ago, and the other bodies have suffered from critical failings. As such, I have been pretty anxious for a suitable backup body to my A900. I couldn’t warrant a new A850 to sit on the shelf most of the time, so I picked up an A55 for testing. So far I both love and hate this camera. Fingers crossed for the A77.
So having a look at the new specs from Henry’s information page:
α Key Features:
- Ultra-high resolution 24.3-megapixel* Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor
- World’s fastest** continuous shooting up to 12 frames-per-second with Full-time Continuous Auto-focus
- AVCHD Ver. 2.0 (Progressive) Full HD Movie at 60p (50p)***
- World’s first** XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder
- World’s first** 3-way tilt LCD monitor
- 1/8000 second shutter speed and approximately 150,000 shutter release durability
I have to admit, everything I love about my A55 is made oodles better in the specs for the A77. It’s fast, responsive and accurate. Just watching the demo real above gets me excited to hold this camera. However this joy is tainted by the things I hate about my A55. Everything mentioned in their lists and promos pertains to speed and video potential. This is fast becoming very important to photographers. Unmentioned in its praises are anything that really matters to me as a strobist and someone who uses a lot of manufactured lighting. If I used hot lights all the time it would be no question, but with flashes I am wary. You see for some bizarre reason, my A55 goes completely dark in the viewfinder when you set it to manual controls, in preparation for the flash introduced light. I have to ask, will the A77 do the same thing? I anxiously await the answer, because amidst all the good that this camera brings to the table, that would be a deal breaker.
As for the good, trust me when I say that this camera holds the potential to be a game changer in the photo imaging world. Its speed, definition and build all exceed anything in its competitor’s current price point, and beyond. With fall announcements soon to be made by Canon and Nikon, it is sure to be war in the trenches for camera makers for this christmas! I hope to be singing the praise of this camera early October when it becomes available in Canada.
According the the dpreview’s tester, the A77 has a correction to the viewfinder issue mentioned above. “Unlike previous SLTs, you get the choice of whether the camera’s display reflects the selected exposure or whether it ignores it and gains-up to still present an image in low light. This is particularly useful when working with strobes in a studio, where you need to be able to preview the scene despite setting the exposure for when the strobes fire.”
I am even more excited to get my hands on this camera now!
You can read their whole preview and see some sample images here
. Curiously, the new 16-50 2.8 DT SSM lens appears to resolve detail better than the Zeiss 16-35 2.8. The new lens is a fraction of the cost, but not a full frame lens to be fair. Just have a look at these two sample images, and have a look at the original files: