Sony A77 Mark II — A Solid Performer Just Got Even Better

With Sony announcing its new APS-C flagship, the Sony A77 Mark II with an improved 24.3MP CMOS sensor and maximum ISO 51,200 sensitivity, we’re told three things. First, Sony’s translucent mirror technology SLT is not dead. You might say the problem with SLT is that the mirror isn’t actually translucent but only semi-translucent, meaning part of the incoming light is “lost.” Sony’s well aware of this and recently patented a classical SLR flip-up mirror with a translucent mirror. In fact, in real world use the light loss is a mere 1/3 EV… Who would ever care? Secondly, Sony’s SLT A mount is not dead. Thirdly, this second-generation A77 could be one of the best ever subject-tracking cameras out there.

Sony A77 Mark II
Sony A77 Mark II

You might say the Mark II update of the first A77 announced in August 2011 is only incremental. Think again. New gear is not about reinventing cameras, it’s about making good gear even better. The A77 delivered, the A77 Mark II does so even more. The most obvious change? No more AF assist light. Among other goodies you get a dramatically improved 79-point TTL phase-detection AF.

Right, no hybrid, but the Mark II features a new autofocus sensor, and it’s much more than just a refreshed design. The new A77 is literally built around a new AF module and offers the most focus points of any camera on the market covering an extremely wide area of the frame.

Old AVCHD codec, some lament? This camera’s AVCHD 2 looks pretty good I’ say…

The Mark II makes everything a bit faster and more convincing. Same resolution (even of the EVF), but improved sensor and twice the ISO sensitivity… Body only is six grams lighter and keeps much of the predecessor’s sleek if not sexy design with exceptional ergonomics.

The A77 Mark II is certainly one of the best looking APS-C cameras out there — looking like a classic DLSR but in fact there’s a lot of uniquely Sony innovation under the hood. This insides of this camera are quite a bit more advanced.

Sony A77 Mark II
Sony A77 Mark II

Still, you think only marginal updates? Is the A77 Mark II a prelude to lay the A mount to rest? Sony’s SLT DSLR-lookalike lineup is certainly not its most pushed. If I’d be in the market for an APS-C performer, this one would be it. Now bring on the A99 Mark II, Sony!

Available in mid-June, the A77 Mark II body only costs $1,198, the 16-50mm F2.8 bundle $1,798.

+++ You can order the Sony A77 Mark II from Sony U.S. store, Amazon, B&H Photo (body / kit) and Adorama (body / kit).

  • llabj2

    Apparently, no one knows the definition of the word “Translucent”!

    adjective: translucent
    (of a substance) allowing light, but not detailed images, to pass through; semitransparent.