Rated 5 out of 5
by rgwaller1 Best Camera I ever Owned
The Sony A77II meets my needs for photographing birds in flight and has rich colors for my purposes. I have an expanded lens collection and they all work great with this camera and the AF is fast and spot on.
October 7, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5
by WhiteMonkey No GPS, simply a deal breaker I will wait
I have owned a A77 for 2 yrs and love it, after reading all the reviews on the newest A77 MII I had to go purchase a 2nd camera. But when I learned at the Sony Store there was NO GPS it was a deal breaker. I never thought I would need a GPS but I use the camera solely while traveling, 39 countries so far, having the Geo tagging feature is something I have completely fallen in love with. It is amazing to see your treks as you are moving from place to place even within a few feet. So I will wait and hopefully Sony will but it back in for the next version of the A77.
October 18, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5
by birdie774 Big upgrade from Sony a77
The Sony a77m2 is Sony's best APS-C camera. The Bionz X greatly improves the picture quality. As a former Sony a77 users, I can tell Sony has redesigned some of the buttons on the camera. I felt like I was using a brand new camera, not a mark 2 camera.
The video bit rate is 28M/S as before. I do hope Sony will release an upgrade for a77m2 to make it 50M/S just like Sony A7S and a5100. The a77m2 deserves it.
October 4, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5
by PhotoManNW Excellent Camera!
I started working with Sony's a55, then migrated to the a57, a very good camera!! My wife uses that camera now since I've again upgraded to the a77ii. I have not found a situation that the a77ii can't handle. It is limited only by the glass attached to it, and I have used old Minolta glass up to new Tamron and Sigma lenses, as well as Sony. The image stabilization inside the camera body is excellent! I hope SONY keeps that feature going forward. I've photographed a wedding and a family reunion since purchasing this camera, and have also photographed landscapes, macro subjects, and all sorts of experimental ideas. If I could ask for anything in the future, it would be the absence of the anti-aliasing filter and perhaps a FF sensor in this same or similar body and price!! That having been said, this camera is wonderful to work with, nimble, quick, accurate... and most of all... FUN!!!
September 26, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5
by Djo9 Great dslr
Love the. Camera my old lenses work great can do quality of my film slr
September 26, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by DFWPhD Back in Front as the Best Prosumer DSLR
1) Upgraded sensor, fully competitive with the new Toshiba sensor in the Nikon 7100/5300 and identical to the high rated chip in the A6000 (presumably minus its phase detection circuitry). Depending on one's metric, between 1/3 and 3/4 stop (more or less) better in terms of noise relative to the 2011 24MP Sony chip in the previous generation A65/77. Combined with improved JPEG engine, a full stop less noise and/or loss of detail in JPEGs.
2) Upgraded autofocus system with 79 PD autofocus points, fast, and accurate. Highly configurable within menu settings. Best autofocus system in the industry? If not the best, certainly one of the best.
3) Excellent OLED EVF (2.4mp), modestly improved over from previous generation A77/65. I believe that this is one of if not the best viewfinder in the digital world with a big, bright and detailed view of your subject (but see cons). Using this EVF is a revelation, particularly compared to the sense of looking down a narrow dark tunnel in many subframe OVFs in low light, and once you've used this, you just can't go back to OVF. Offers live and immediate feedback on how your picture composition is going to change as shooting parameters are modified, and with many configuration options, including a great level, and all kinds of other useful information. (See Tim Naff's review on the Alpha 99 for some additional insights on how this EVF system helps your shooting and composition in ways that no OVF could hope to).
4) Great operating system that can be heavily customized to individual preference with deep feature set (including excellent high dynamic range and panorama modes). Fine aperture priority mode (my personal preference), but camera can be easily run in full auto for those who are slightly technophobic and conversely can be tweaked to the Nth degree for the technophile. This is obviously not the camera for the technophobic, but its basic ergonomics are well thought out and mostly seamless. Excellent AUTO+ mode for the less experienced.
5) Decent lens options (although clearly less than CanNikon), particularly a very strong 16-50 2.8 Sony lens (see my brief summary review of this lens on Amazon and formal testing on Imaging Resource). The 16-50 2.8 is perhaps the best walk around zoom lens (with a 24-75mm equivalent view) out there, and a good reason to buy a Sony Alpha camera - compares favorably with Canon L, Zeiss, and other pro-grade glass.
6) Full-time live view - leagues better than the tacked-on-afterthought version of live view on classic SLR mirrored cameras. Way more responsive, way faster, and simply way better. Again once you've used one of the Sony SLT systems, it's hard to go back to the old way of doing live view.
7) Full-time phase detection autofocus in movie mode, not available on most DSLRs (although an increasing number of manufacturers are using phase detection on chip to get around this limitation). Sony's approach is still better and the autofocus module is remarkably effective at tracking moving subjects, and its parameters can now be user customized. Getting very few out of focus video clips is an underappreciated plus of this new system.
8) In camera image stabilization means that EVERY lens you put on this camera is automatically image stabilized - IS system is worth at least two stops. This really enhances low light shooting and allows the camera to actually EXCEED full frame lowlight ability on a non-stabilized lens by ~ a full stop (more or less). Completely transparent operation and I believe the best implementation of in-body IS in the industry.
9) Camera firmware corrects in JPEG for classic lens problems of chromatic aberration, barrel/pincushion distortion, and vignetting. Most popular Sony lenses, including all the primes, the 16-50, and all the G lenses have correction profiles. Underrated plus (and becoming a more common feature, but pioneered by Sony).
10) In highly critical shooting, you don't have to worry about mirror shake, mirror lockup and all of that nonsense. This is a deceptively significant issue for the full frame cameras (big issue on the Nikon 800 but also in the APS-C camera group such as Nikon 7100 when trying to get maximum resolution out of the current generation of high-resolution sensors 24-36 megapixels). That moving mirror introduces discernible distortions and this simply is not an issue here or anywhere else in the SLT family.
11) Everything on this camera is fast, not just its maximum burst rate (a class leading 12 frames per second) but its autofocus, menu operation, picture preview, etc. Everything is pretty snappy and you don't spend any time waiting for results - not that the previous generation was slow.
12) Dramatically improved buffer depth means that that continuous shooting speed is now a meaningful statistic (as opposed to just advertizing), and you can capture a full 5 seconds at 12 frames per second (~60 shots in JPEG and ~24 shots in RAW). Previous generation was hampered by very poor buffer depth which meant that its high shooting speed was really more academic than meaningful (a real plus over the Nikon 7100 which is hampered by the same issue.) Now a real sports camera with its improved autofocus tracking.
13) As an adjunct to the great autofocus system (which can be heavily customized and reconfigured), you can adjust the AF for lenses that are back- or front-focusing a bit. Almost every lens can benefit, and this fixed a chronic problem for me with two of my lenses (AF not micro-adjustable on A65).
1) Less rich system ecology for the professional photographer compared to Canon-Nikon. In particular, lens options are considerably less impressive than CanNikon, particularly as you get into telephoto zooms. But . . . . . this support is overall improving (excellent battery pack, external mic, and other accessories for pro-level shooting and videography).
2) Despite upgrade to the Bionz X processor used in all their new cameras, video still appears to use line skipping of previous generation cameras. This essentially means that the Sony RX 100 III (which samples the full frame to generate a 1080p image instead of the older line skipping approach) will have slightly better video than the Sony A77II. Baffling omission. Question if this is fixable in firmware update?
3) EVF can still struggle under exceptionally bright conditions, although now with a greater range of brightness adjustment, this usually can now be accommodated. Purists and those wedded to OVF use will simply not enjoy or tolerate this camera for this reason alone. (But in low light, this EVF is actually easier to see your subject through than OVF due to the gain provided!)
4) Loss of GPS and IR focus assist in low light (the latter presumably not needed as much). Balanced by WiFi and NFC? A good tradeoff for most but a bummer for those who loved the GPS feature.
5) Another tradeoff around the adoption of the ISO standard hot shoe - good for everybody new to the brand, except those of us with the old Minolta type flash mounts? Fixable with neat little Sony adapter.
6) Some strange 'yellow pixelation' artifacts in low light shooting at very high ISO in RAW images only? UPDATE - THESE DISAPPEARED AFTER REBOOTING SONY'S RAW IMAGE CONVERTER - SUGGESTING SOFTWARE ARTIFACT/BUGGY RAW FILE CONVERTER SOFTWARE FROM SONY (SEE COMMENTS). Why can't Sony make decent RAW software tools - and no in camera RAW editing either? Come on Sony . . . . .
7) No 4K video. My #1 real gripe and a potentially glaring omission (see Canon FF and Panasonic GH4). ? fixable in future firmware.
8) Still no low light phenom and at least 1 f-stop or more from many FF cameras.
9) Sony customer service can be trick or treat. They have a long way to go to match Apple, Amazon, and other elite tech companies in customer service, but they are getting better based on a recent survey.
Sony, despite mixed reviews on this point in relationship to some past products, appears to have been actually listening in relationship to the SLT line. Sometimes other dubious design decisions appeared impervious to user feedback, but in relationship to the Alpha 77, they actually listened to user complaints and addressed every single issue, improving its low light noise, its autofocus, and its buffer depth, while keeping and even enhancing the previous generation camera's considerable feature set and strengths. Not only is this the best semipro camera right now out there, I think it competes pretty favorably with the big full frame boys. It gives up only a little bit of resolution to the Nikon 800/810 and Sony A7r, and concedes a little bit of lowlight ability to all the full frame cameras, but only ~ one stop now instead of ~ 2 stops. With some non-stabilized lenses on full frame, the A77ii with full time IS is going to exceed those FF low light abilities by ~ a full stop, give or take (not counting low light phenoms like A7S and D4S). This great IS system really mitigates the camera's main physical performance limitation relative to FF (with IS, it beats my RX1 in low light by more than a stop). My one major disappointment is the apparent failure to upgrade the video sampling approach (to the full frame sampling seen in the RX100iii and RX10) and the obvious absence of a 4K video option (as I think 4K is going to explode over the next two years, as 4K sets enter the mainstream). I have not had enough time to really compare this camera's video output with the previous generation A77 or with the RX100III, Canon 5DII, GH2/3/4 and other strong video cameras (update on this one coming). It still could be more competent video functioning than its SLT predecessors.
If the tradeoffs of APS-C make sense to you, I have to believe that you will love the A77ii, if you're in the market for a state-of-the-art photographic imaging system. Highly recommended overall.
August 30, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by geos A few problems - but overall very good
Very happy with our first outing with this camera. Shot about 1000 frames on a trip to Alaska. Also shot a few minutes of video just to make sure it worked, but not enough to comment on. This body replaces a Sony alpha 700.
Most things work as advertised, and I am not going to list everything that was good. Except for the things that I listed below, the camera lived up to Sony's claims. I do want to mention two items that were good. The autofocus was very fast and accurate. I was a little worried about how I would like the electronic viewfinder. Except for the problem mentioned below, I really like it.
These are the things that could use improvements:
1) The viewfinder cannot quite keep up with the high speed drive mode. This makes tracking something like a bird in flight somewhat difficult. It would be nice to have a slightly slower drive rate option. Perhaps with a firmware upgrade this could be possible.
2) The "zebra" function is not very useful, at least for still photos. I thought it would really be useful for finding areas of overexposure without having to first take the photo and then check the histogram. However, no matter how I set the level of "zebra" from 90 to 100+, the "stripes" would show up long before the histogram showed any overexposure.
3) The LCD screen is a real battery killer. But since all the information that it shows can be set to show in the viewfinder, you can turn it off and get much longer battery life.
Overall, I am very pleased with this purchase, and would buy the same camera again.
October 15, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by TFLemieux Great bang for your buck!
I just purchased a 77MII about a week ago so I would have a backup camera. I already have owned an SLT-A77 for over a year and love it as well. The 77II has some nice refinements over the original 77. The biggest being the auto focus is now a little faster and more accurate.
The new auto focus has more focus points than the old model but it also has a few key features that I feel make it much more effective.
1. You can adjust the depth of field that the camera will focus on. This helps prevent your lens from "hunting" much in the same way that a focus limiter switch on say a 70-200mm lens would. Only this can be limited from both ends near or far which is even nicer. If my subject is close I can limit the far end and if my subject is far I can limit the near end. Or you can do both to keep it in the middle but I have not tried this yet.
2. You can adjust how quickly the camera will change the auto focus. This is for using continuous auto focus and while I haven't had the chance to try it out thoroughly yet I am impressed with it so far.
3. You now have more options in the focus area menu. One in particular that I am enjoying a lot is the expanded flexible spot. This is like using the center spot only you can choose where you want that spot to be AND it uses (up to 8) other focus spots adjacent to the spot you select to use. I use this one a lot in conjunction with the ability to show only the cross type focus points. I feel that this combo packs a one two punch that I have noticed helps the auto focus to find my subject with a little more speed and accuracy than with out it. All in all the auto focus improvements are very welcome. Two improvements that I feel will always be welcomed in any camera are reduced image noise in low light and faster more accurate auto focus.
Another improvement that I enjoy is the lock button on the mode selector knob. There have been too many times when I have pulled my older 77 out of the bag to get a quick shot only to find it had slipped into the wrong mode and I ended up missing the shot. The lock button ensures that the mode selector will stay exactly where you put it, which its very nice.
The new hot shoe is also welcomed as when I purchased my original 77 I picked up the FVL-60M and now I no longer have to use an adapter which makes it so much simpler. It also will accept standard hot shoe accessories so I now have more to choices when looking at products that attach there. ie. radio triggers for studio flashes and things like that.
The new sensor and processor are also great. The things I have noticed are; less noise in low light shots, improved burst times, (more frames per burst)
Wifi and NFC are also great features that I did not expect to enjoy as much as I have. I especially love being able to remote control my camera with my smart phone and actually see on the phone what the camera sees! This is awesome!! While it is limited to just clicking the shutter button and turning the flash on or off it is a great start and love it! I also can appreciate being able to take a picture with my professional camera and send it to my phone for sharing instantly instead of wither taking a lower quality pic with my phone or waiting until later to share it from my computer. While these are not professional features I can appreciate them for the functionality and making it easier to do the things I love to do with my camera.
As a professional photographer I can also appreciate that the new body is now weather proof. This is something I was waiting to see Sony do with their cameras.
And finally the menu system has more options for changing settings and making the camera work just the way you want it to.
The only thing I do not like about this camera is that they switched the function of the from and back control dials when you are changing the ISO. On my original 77 the front dial would make changes in one stop increments like 200, 400, 800, etc. and the back dial would make them in 1/3 steps 200, 250, 320, etc. now that is reversed and it gets confusing especially when I am switching between camera bodies because I have different lenses on each body. To me that is like a car manufacturer deciding to put the brake where the gas pedal is and the gas where the brake pedal is. Why would you do that? It makes no sense to me, and it can be a bit annoying at times.
All in all this is an amazing camera for the money and tough to beat. I have only had it for a week and already an am super happy with my purchase. As I become more familiar with it I hope to update this review.
August 15, 2014