First Impressions: Sony A77 Mk II

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A77 Mk II first impressions images (1 of 9)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 3.2

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A77 Mk II first impressions images (1 of 9)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 3.2

There were rumors flying about of the new Sony A77 Mk II. And we’re happy to say that they indeed were true. A couple of days ago, Sony showed it off to us at their NYC headquarters. Complete with a new 24.3MP APS-C sized sensor, 12 fps shooting capabilities, over 70 AF points, and loads more, we can see it aimed squarely at the offerings of the big two: Canon and Nikon.

Tech Specs

Rather than read the tech specs here, why not watch this quick video we did instead.

Ergonomics

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A77 Mk II first impressions images (2 of 9)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 2.2

Sony’s new A77 Mk II has a lot in common with many of the company’s other DSLR cameras. As the company’s flagship ASP-C offering, it is built to compete with some big competition from Canon and Nikon. And to start, the front of the camera is fairly minimal with the exception of a couple of controls like focusing type and the lens release.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A77 Mk II first impressions images (3 of 9)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 2.2

Move on over to the top of the new camera and you’ll once again see a very Sony Alpha-like control deck. Here you’ll find the mode dial, hot shoe (which is the new one that has been around since the A99), white balance control, ISO control, the shutter release, an info LCD, drive control, and a pop-up flash.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A77 Mk II first impressions images (4 of 9)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 2.2

Then there is the back of the camera–which has always found a very great way of balancing the needs of Canon and Nikon users alike. We very much like to think of Sony as a happy medium between the two companies. Here you’ll find lots of extra controls along with the EVF, LCD screen, and–did we mention buttons?

Oh good, because there are tons of them. We suggest familiarizing yourself with the buttons as even we were a bit baffled after not using one of their newer cameras for a while.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A77 Mk II first impressions images (6 of 9)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 2.2

On the side of the camera you’ll find things like flash sync, USB connection, microphone connection, and an HDMI connection. Sadly, there is no headphone jack that we could find.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A77 Mk II first impressions images (7 of 9)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 2.2

What you’ll also want to know is that the LCD screen tilts upward and flips around. It’s a fun and interesting take on the LCD screen.

Build Quality

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A77 Mk II first impressions images (5 of 9)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 2.2

As far as the build quality is concerned, we initially don’t feel like the quality is that much different from the A77. The Mk II surely does feel great and very much like the baby brother of the A99. But we will have to put the camera through its paces to full see how much torment it can take.

Autofocusing

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A77 Mk II first impressions images (9 of 9)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 2.2

In the video above, we briefly showed off autofocus locking capabilities and the FPS shooting. In the photo above, you can clearly see the autofocusing points on the screen. By using the little thumb joystick on the back of the A77 Mk II, you can quickly and easily select the intended point that you want–which means that you don’t need to press one button first and then toggle around.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A77 Mk II first impressions images (8 of 9)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 2.2

It’s amazing and just like Canon, Nikon, and Olympus’s systems. Let alone this is something that I’ve personally been asking for for years.

Ease of Use

If you’re already familiar with Sony’s menu system and way of doing things, then you shouldn’t have too much of a problem with the A77 Mk II. But otherwise, we recommend that you sit down for a couple of days and learn the menu system, quick settings, navigation, and more. And trust us, with a camera this capable this is a lot to learn.

Granted, we think that most users won’t take the fullest advantage of what this camera can do.

Image Quality

We didn’t get a chance to stick a card in the camera because of the fact that we handled a pre-production model, but we suspect that given Sony’s reputation with delivering top of the class imaging sensors that they’ll have another winner with this camera.

First Impressions

What we’re really excited about with the A77 Mk II is the new focusing system along with the super fast FPS shooting capabilities. In fact, they’re targeting this camera very much at the bird photography crowd. But we’re going to refrain from our final word until a production version of the camera comes in for review.

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