Our first impressions of the new Sony A77 II

Today, Sony UK announced their successor to the popular A77 with the A77 II. Coming fresh from the product launch at Somerset House in the heart of London, please read on for my initial thoughts.

Having just had been to the product launch of the new A77 II where I had the chance to try out the camera for myself, I have to say my first impressions were that it looks very similar to the old A77. However, when after checking out the specification and physically testing the camera, it became apparent that’s where the similarity ends.

With an improved 24.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor, a new Bionz X image processing engine and a 79 point
phase-detection auto focus system, I found the operation of the camera extremely fast. Today the weather was against us a little, as it was misty and raining, and yet the autofocus still was fast and sharp. I was using the camera with the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM II and thought I’d try and catch the camera out by trying to focus on The Shard situated a couple of miles the other side of the River Thames. I thought that with the weather the way it was at that moment of time there was no chance, but sure enough, the focussing was still fast and precise.

The images I was trying to capture could be viewed through the high contrast, high resolution XGA OLED Tru-Finder, which translates to a nice clear viewfinder with 100% field coverage. I also tried out the 1,228K, 3-way tiltable 3.0” monitor which is very bright and helps you see every bit of detail. Being tiltable, it means you can even hold the camera up in a crowd and still frame an image with ease.

In terms of the camera design itself, as I mentioned, it hasn’t really changed much from the original α77 – it has simply evolved slightly, and felt very well balanced when using it with the 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM II. With button layout is almost identical to the previous model, which I found perfectly fine and the control dials on the front and behind the grip sit nicely in your hand. With the A77 II, there are a range of customisation options which now allow a total of 51 functions to be assigned to 11 buttons.

The A77 II with its APS-C sensor also empowers full HD movies using full time autofocus during shooting and a dolby sound creator.

Overall, I have to say I was very impressed with my first impression of the tough, light Sony A77 MK II, shooting 12 frames per second each one with in focus and perfectly balanced.  With Wi-Fi and NFC also built in to this sturdy, dust / moisture resistant magnesium body this is an ideal camera for serious photo

The Sony A77 II will arrive at Park Cameras around Mid-June 2014, with the body at £999.00. There will also be a kit with the 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM lens at £1,549.00. Pre-orders can be taken now at ParkCameras.com. Alternatively, pop into our stores in Central London or Burgess Hill, West Sussex, or give a member of our expert team a call on 01444 23 70 70.

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