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.
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.
Sony FE 16-35mm F4 ZA Lens Coming Soon
Sony also announced a wide zoom FE 16-35mm F4 ZA coming in 2014 to round out the A7/A7R/A7S zoom line-up that currently includes the FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS and FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS lenses along with the upcoming FE 28-135 F4 PZ announced along with the A7S at NAB in April.