Sony Announces A77II with Improved AF and Video

Just to show that despite a year of rapid-fire E-Mount mirrorless announcements, Sony hasn’t it hasn’t abandoned its larger A-mount DSLRs as they announce the new A77 Mark II. Sony says this reaffirms its commitment to the DSLR sector, Translucent Mirror Technology, and A-mount lens system. The A77 II adds the most autofocus points of any camera in its class and fast continuous burst mode.

The Sony A77II will be available in June for a body-only price of $1,198 ($1,799 with a 16-50mm f/2.8 lens). A pro-level camera targeting hobbyist/enthusiast and professional photographers, it has a large, heavy magnesium alloy weather-resistant body that’s common to this type of camera, slightly lighter than the previous A77. Using the same 24.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, the A77II uses the newer Bionz X image processor from A7/A7R that allows for enhanced image quality with an increased ISO range of up to 25,600; the processor also gives the camera improved video capture.

sony-a77-mark-ii

The major upgrade is the new autofocus system, which uses 79 phase detection focal points and 15 cross points, which Sony claims to be the most of any dedicated AF sensor currently in the market (compared to 19 in the A77 and Canon EOS 70D, and 51 in the Nikon D7100). When used with the Translucent Mirror Technology (the mirror stays fixed, instead of flipping up to let light hit the sensor), Sony says “metering data from all 79 focus points is processed by a brand new AF algorithm that predicts the subject’s movement,” allowing for quick and accurate AF tracking of fast-moving objects. When used with wide-aperture lenses, the AF sensor maintains maximum AF precision. It can also be adjusted in five steps for various shooting conditions, from slow-moving objects to objects at different distances, an there are other new AF functions like Expanded Flexible Spot for maintaining focus even if the system loses track of an object, and Lock-on AF selecting the right AF points to recognize and track a subject’s form based on color and position. Other new features include Eye AF for detecting subject’s eyes, AF Range Control, and Balanced Emphasis for “ideal balance between focus and release timing.” All 79 points are available in video capture too.

Another improvement is with continuous shooting. The A77 II can shoot 12 frames per second of up to 60 full-resolution JPEG images, while maintaining auto-focus to capture fast moving action shots.

The A77 II has a brighter electronic viewfinder by employing XGA OLED with a 236k-dot resolution – three-times higher contrast than the A77. It offers Wi-Fi and NFC (near-field communication) wireless connectivity to smartphones, tablets, and computers. The camera also uses Sony’s newer Multi-Interface hot-shoe, a universal system of sharing accessories across all Sony cameras and camcorders.

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4 thoughts on “Sony Announces A77II with Improved AF and Video”

  1. hi brian,

    I’ve been following your work since your first seminar at B&H, bought two of your books and you really inspired me a lot, thank you.

    I was also pleased to know that you shoot with Sony cameras, something which i started using since I went digital.The DSLT camera I have uses the old Minolta hot-shoe and I mainly use it with the F43AM to shoot events. I wonder if the new Multi-Interface hot-shoe can fit in my old flash without using the adapter, cause i’m really worried that my flash might drop with the adapter.

    Another concern is battery life, as I heard the A77 Mark II might have 10% weaker battery life compared to its predecessor. Thanks for the post Brian, looking forward to your next masterpiece~

    1. Yes, unfortunately you gotta use the adapter to shoot with a Minolta hotshoe flash in the multi-interface shoe or vise-versa. I wish everything was simply industry standard all along, but that’s what it takes to get back to it. FWIW, the new flash foot does have a fairly standard ring that turns to lock it into place.

      As for battery life, I don’t know that I’d even notice a 10% difference. I always keep a couple extra batteries with me.

    1. Hi Hans, I haven’t gotten to shoot with an A77II yet, but I hope to later this month. There are definitely a few substantial upgrades from the A77, but I suggest upgrading only if they’re of value to you.

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