Sony Alpha 77 at a glance:

  • 24.3-million-pixel, Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor
  • 2.359-million-dot XGA OLED electronic viewfinder
  • Sony Alpha mount
  • Sensor-shift stabilisation
  • Tilted and articulated 3in, 921,600-dot, TFT screen
  • 12 frames per second
  • 1080p HD video capture
  • RRP £1,149.99 (body only)

Sony Alpha 77 review – Introduction

Long rumoured and highly anticipated, the Sony Alpha 77 replaces the four-year-old Alpha 700 as the company’s flagship APS-C-format digital camera. But make no mistake: while both are classed as enthusiast level models, the two are virtually unrecognisable as siblings.

A key difference is that the Sony Alpha 77 utilises the translucent mirror technology introduced by Sony last year in its Alpha 33 and 55 SLT (single lens translucent) cameras. The fixed (pellicle) mirror used in such cameras has several benefits and certain downsides. One benefit is a steadier and quieter shutter action, unlike the aggressive mirror slap of the moving mirror that users of the Alpha 700 DSLR will know all too well.

Alongside the Sony Alpha 77 are the new Alpha 65, the older Alpha 55 and the Alpha 35, which was released a few months ago. These stablemates also feature SLT technology, which means there are now more current SLT cameras than DSLRs in the Alpha range. It seems, then, that Sony is beginning to phase out the moving mirror in its cameras at this level in favour of its pellicle version.

It is not just the type of mirror that sets apart the Alpha 700 and 77. The four years between the models’ launches means that their specifications are leagues apart, with the Sony Alpha 77 offering many world firsts, such as a 24.3-million-pixel sensor and XGA OLED electronic viewfinder. Sony has not held back on installing improvements and consequently the change is far more dramatic than a simple makeover. In fact, the Sony Alpha 77 is almost an entirely different beast and I look forward to finding out how the camera handles and performs.

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