In the “youNeverKnowForSure” category, Sony came thru this morning with their announcement of the new HDSLR – the A77 – and Nikon's ‘big' announcement turned out to be more CoolPix point and shoot cameras (tho NikonRumors says another PR is coming) – oh well!
So let's dive into the new Sony A77 (pre-order on amazon) – The A77 will ship in October – Sony A77 Kit 16-50mm F2.8 (pre-order on amazon) for $2000 or body only for $1400. Based on the price point and the fact that the A77 (and A65 which is the 77's plastic brother) has an APS-C sized sensor, this is a competitor to the Canon EOS 7D (reviews) more than the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.
Sony A77 Promo Video
What makes the Sony A77 HDSLR interesting
One of the big features of the A77 is that it is not ‘mirrorless' – but that there is a mirror that doesn't move – it is a translucent mirror so that the image goes directly to the sensor but is also re-directed to the viewfinder without having to move the mirror – allowing higher still frames per second (in this case 12fps) as well as continuous autofocussing.
However, the viewfinder itself isn't optical like traditional DSLRs – it is OLED electronic.
Some specs (from Sony PR):
- World’s fastest*12 fps full-resolution continuous burst shooting with phase-detection AF (α65: 10fps)
- Newly developed 19-point AF system with 11 cross sensors (α77)
- 24.3 effective megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor and enhanced BIONZ processor
- World’s first** XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ with versatile information display
- Quick AF Full HD Movie with AVCHD Progressive compatibility, and flexible P/A/S/M exposure control in manual focus mode
- New design and ergonomics with world’s first* 3-way tilt Xtra Fine LCD and ruggedized, reliable handling (α77)
also from (Sony PR):
Full HD video
The α77 and α65 bring further refinements to the acclaimed Quick AF Full HD Movie shooting as already featured on previous Translucent Mirror Technology from Sony. Phase Detection maintains accurate focus during video shooting of portrait subjects, even when they’re moving.
In another first for consumer-oriented APS-C cameras, Full HD video is now supported at 50p (progressive) frame rates – reflecting recent enhancements to the AVCHD (Ver. 2.0) format. 25p shooting is also available for beautifully ‘filmic’ video footage. Creative video options are extended further by the addition of manual focusing and P/A/S/M exposure modes familiar to still photographers.
Sample videos from Engadget show traditional jello and line skipping… so far it isn't the best video out on the market.
Hands-on at Luminous Landscape.
Full A77 review at Imaging Resource. Including full size images and ISO test!
SGNL Sony A77 presentation:
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)