The Alpha a77 DSLR Camera with 18-135mm Lens from Sony has many things going for it, not the least of which is the 24.3MP sensor. Think of all the possibilities 24.3 megapixels of resolution has: mural sized prints, incredible detail, rich color, and more! If you've been craving the pixel power of the medium format back, but in a DSLR rig, your wait is over.
Sony also gave the a77 their 2nd generation Translucent Mirror Technology system. This design allows the camera to focus with the speed and accuracy of Phase Detection AF and shoot simultaneously. This is an unheard of capability in the world of digital photography, well until now, that is. The camera also boasts Sony's upgraded BIONZ image processor. The processor performs many functions, including efficiently transferring shot data to the chip in your memory card. It also reduces visual noise, and ensures that functions such as 6-image layering and 2D/3D Sweep Panorama work smoothly, and with speed.
More than a still camera, the a77 also captures high-quality 1920 x 1080p AVCHD video at 60p or 24p. You can also choose to record at 60i. HD movies can also be captured with full manual control. That means the entire mode dial is at your disposal: Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual. Live View, Full-Time Live View (in LCD or EVF) are also available for use as is Full-Time Phase Detection AF. The latter of course being an intelligent way to correct focus automatically, while you concentrate on the scene at hand.
What this DSLR also offers, above and beyond most less-sophisticated cameras, is the world's first OLED electronic viewfinder. The a77's viewfinder gets your eye off the LCD screen and into the right situation for capturing successful images. Like all viewfinders, this one keeps distractions and glare to a minimum. But what the OLED viewfinder does that's above and beyond the pack includes a reduction of motion blur on the Tru-Finder screen. The OLED features 2359K dots of resolution and a high contrast ratio. It also allows you to see the results of camera adjustments in real time with true-to-life color and detail. See your shot in the viewfinder exactly as it will be, before you shoot it.
Of course, the a77 does have an LCD screen too, but not just a basic monitor. This one tilts and swivels for everything from hard-to-get shots to successful reviewing of footage in harsh lighting conditions. What else does this type of LCD allow you to do? How about self-portraits? Just flip it and twist it and see the monitor as you photograph yourself and your friends. When it's not in use, the screen folds flat to the camera for safe storage and traveling.
As far as performance is concerned and in regards to all things internal in the camera, the a77 backs up those 24.3MP with the kinds of features and functions one would expect. First, the camera supports burst shooting up to 12 frames per second at full resolution, that's great news for sports photographers. The a77 also boasts a super-short lag time of only 0.05 seconds. Then there's the16,000 ISO sensitivity and the 1200-zone exposure metering. The metering function reads directly from the camera's main image sensor and offers the choice of Multi, Center, and Spot metering.
As for more proprietary shooting features, the camera has a load of those too! First off, there's the dual control dials that give you access to two settings at once. All the traditional P/A/S/M exposure modes can be found there. Getting into the menu functions you'll find options such as 19-point Auto Focus, Object Tracking AF, and 6-image layering just to start. Dig a little deeper and Handheld Twilight mode and Multi-Frame NR are there to help you capture excellent low-light images by takingthe best of six shots and combining them into one.
You'll also find extras such as built-in GPS. The integrated GPS receiver records the location and time of every shot you take, allowing you to view them later on a map with compatible computer and Internet applications. This feature is also great for those into 'geo-tagging'. Eleven Picture Effects modes also give you another way to express yourself with options like Pop Color, Retro Photo, Toy Camera, and more. Convenient standards like face detection and Sony's Smile Shutter technology are there for your use as well.
Like any good DSLR, Sony gave the a77 a built-in flash for capturing low-light shots with ease. That same flash can also trigger an optional wireless flash. The camera also has an integrated hot shoe for attaching various external flashes and flash accessories (sold separately).
Versatile and compact, the included 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens is the perfect complement to the high quality a77. With its large focal range, it will cover almost any shooting need you have and its smooth autofocus motor is quiet and fluid, which is especially useful when recording video. Combined, the a77 and the Sony 18-135mm lens provide you with high speed, quality images from a state of the art, multi-function, easy to use camera system. Now go shoot pictures!
- 2nd Generation Translucent Mirror Design
- Other DSLRs can shoot. Or they can focus with the speed and precision of Phase Detection AF. They cannot do both at once. Sony changes all that with the award-winning Translucent Mirror Technology system. It directs light to both the image sensor and the Phase Detection AF sensor simultaneously. This is the building block for all of the a77 high speed capabilities.
- 24.3MP Resolution
- You get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements thanks to the Exmor APS-C HD CMOS sensor with 24.3 megapixels.
- Ultra-Fast Up to 10 Frames per Second Continuous Auto Focus
- The translucent mirror makes it far easier to capture the decisive soccer kick or your baby at her absolute cutest. Shoots up to 10 frames per second at full-resolution 24.3 megapixels with continuous auto focus. (AE locked after first frame.)
- OLED Electronic Viewfinder
- There's never been anything quite like the Tru-Finder OLED electronic viewfinder. For size, speed and brightness even after sunset, this is a gem. It begins with 2359K dots for amazing resolution and high contrast ratio for incredible depth. OLED reduces motion blur to a bare minimum. You can also see the results of camera adjustments in real time with superb color and detail.
- Ultra Short Release Time Lag
- Once auto focus occurs, release time lag is the delay between fully pressing the shutter release and when the camera actually starts taking the picture. Long lag is frustrating and makes it harder to capture fast-moving objects. The Sony a77 boasts an ultra-short release time lag of only 0.05 seconds.
- 18-135mm Zoom Lens Included
- The Sony 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 AF zoom lens is included with this camera, providing a huge focal range for a wide variety of situations. It features Sony's smooth autofocus motor for quiet operation, which is especially useful when recording video. It is ultra compact too, for easy portability.
- HD Movies at 60p, 60i, or 24p with Full Manual Control
- Shoot spectacular HD Movies! This is the world's first DSLR to offer a choice of super-smooth 60p, standard 60i or cinematic 24p, all at Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution. AVCHD Progressive codec delivers stunning picture quality. MP4 codec offers smaller files for easier upload to the web. And you don't need to surrender control when you shoot HD movies. Enjoy the full expressive potential of Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority or Manual (P/A/S/M) control in HD movie mode.
- Rugged, Magnesium Alloy Body
- The a77 is built for the real world with a magnesium alloy body that combines high strength with light weight. Ports, doors and controls are also weather-resistant for smooth operation under adverse conditions.
- Dual Control Dials
- Perfect for experienced shooters, dual control dials provide direct, hands-on access to two settings at a time.
- Top Mounted LCD
- In addition to status displays on the LCD monitor and Electronic Viewfinder, Sony offers a top-mounted LCD with exposure information.
- Full-Time Phase Detection AF
- You get fast, accurate auto focus in every mode-even HD Movie and Live View-thanks to Sony's exclusive Translucent Mirror Technology. While Contrast Detection Auto Focus often hunts for correct focus, Phase Detection AF knows exactly where correct focus is, and goes straight for it.
- Full-Time Live View in LCD or EVF
- You can use both the LCD monitor and OLED Electronic Viewfinder for composing shots in Live View. Both provide a what-you-see-is-what-you-get preview of white balance, focus, depth of field, exposure and 100% framing accuracy, plus informative on-screen displays.
- Object Tracking AF
- Locks onto a specified object and maintains focus even as the subject moves. Unpredictable subjects stay in focus even while zooming. You can concentrate on composition without worrying about focus.
- 6-Image Layering
- Leverages the fast BIONZ processor to capture six images in a fraction of a second, and then combines the data. The result is one incredible single image that gets a cleaner result in Multi-Frame NR mode or sharper nighttime pictures in Handheld Twilight mode.
- Multi-Frame NR
- Experience incredible low-light shooting without a flash. The camera captures six images in a fraction of a second. Combining the data from all six, it creates a single image with a reduction in noise equivalent to two additional steps of ISO sensitivity. Sensitivity selectable up to ISO 25600
- Handheld Twilight Mode
- Get gorgeous shots at night without a tripod. Combines six bracketed frames into a single image for smooth, low-noise evening shots
- Auto HDR Built Into Camera
- Captures more scene dynamic range than a single exposure can handle-and more range than photo film. Combines the best highlight detail from one shot, the best mid-tones from a second and the best shadow detail from a third for one incredible shot.
- 3D Sweep Panorama Mode
- Capture vast scenic vistas and 16:9 shots in spectacular 3D. As you sweep across the panorama, the camera records separate right-eye and left-eye images that make landscapes come alive on your 3D television. Records both JPEG and MPO file formats
- Sweep Panorama Mode
- Capture expansive landscapes automatically. Press the shutter, sweep vertically or horizontally. The camera does the rest, continuously shooting images and stitching them together. No need to line up shot after shot and stitch them on your computer.
- Shot Result Preview
- See the results before you take the shot. This preview takes the guesswork out of camera settings by showing the effects of the aperture, shutter and DRO settings on the depth of field, motion and dynamic range.
- Tilt-Swivel 3.0" LCD Screen
- Tilt it up or down to frame high and low-angle shots that would otherwise be hit-or-miss. Tilt and swivel under the camera for self-portraits. Finally, the monitor folds flush to the camera with the LCD exposed for shooting or protected when not in use.
- 921K Dot TruBlack LCD Screen
- Sony's 3.0" Xtra Fine LCD monitor has 921K dots for superb resolution. The TruBlack screen includes a special resin layer to suppress internal reflections, increasing contrast compared to conventional LCDs. Sunny Weather mode boosts visibility even further.
- Main Sensor Quick AF Live View
- Combines the fast focus of Phase Detection AF with high quality Live View images right from the main sensor. This is made possible by Sony Translucent Mirror Technology. You get accurate images and 100% framing on the LCD monitor or eye-level viewfinder.
- SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
- Image stabilization reduces blur by compensating for camera shake. Typical DSLR systems build image stabilization into selected lenses only. SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization is built into the camera body itself. You'll reduce blur with every A Mount lens, including macro and wide-aperture standard zoom lenses.
- ISO 16000 Sensitivity
- Incredibly clear low-light pictures without sacrificing detail, made possible by the low-noise Exmor APS-C HD CMOS image sensor and refined BIONZ image processor.
- Auto Advanced (AUTO+) Mode
- Get cleaner, more dynamic pictures and fewer missed shots. Unifies and simplifies Sony intelligent technologies. The camera automatically recognizes the correct scene mode.
- Upgraded BIONZ Image Processor
- The brain of the camera is a Sony's BIONZ image processor substantially upgraded for the demands of 24.3 megapixel photography. Chroma noise reduction delivers high-resolution, low-noise photos even at ISO 16000. Also enables fast processing for up to 12 fps continuous shooting of data-intensive 24.3 MP images, 2D/3D Sweep Panorama modes and 6-image layering.
- Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO)
- Improves results with backlit subjects and recovers details hidden in shadows. Settings include Auto, Level with a choice of five operating levels and Off.
- HDMI Output for HD Viewing
- Enjoy HD movies and stunning still images on a compatible HDTV. The camera includes an HDMI output. In addition, the BRAVIA Sync system works with compatible Sony BRAVIA HDTVs enabling you to control camera playback using the television's remote.
- Up to 530 Shots of Battery Life
- Take up to 530 shots on a single charge with Sony Stamina battery power. Sony's InfoLITHIUM battery system enables you to see the percent of power remaining, so you can keep shooting in confidence.
- P/A/S/M Exposure Modes
- The camera offers a full range of controls from the beginner's AUTO+ mode to P/A/S/M: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual. On-screen prompts help you refine your skills, build your confidence and exercise greater creative control.
- Advanced Anti-Dust Technology
- Anti-Dust Technology helps keep the CMOS sensor clean, resulting in consistently clear pictures. First a static-free coating on the sensor's low-pass filter helps repel dust. Then micro-vibrations automatically dislodges dust from the sensor.
- Built-In Flash (GN12)
- To help you shoot more effectively, the camera includes a built-in flash (Guide Number 12) that can also trigger a wireless accessory flash (sold separately). The integrated hot shoe enables you to expand your lighting options with a range of accessory flashes.
- Slot for Two Media Types
- For cost-effective, convenient storage and sharing of your images, the camera accepts Memory Stick PRO Duo/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo and SD/SDHC/SDXC media cards.
- APS-C Size HD CMOS Image Sensor
- With 19.5 times the area of the typical camcorder image sensor, APS-C makes the difference between amateur and professional-looking video, delivering an exceptional combination of high resolution, high sensitivity and gorgeous backgrounds.
- Sony Exmor Technology
- Conventional image sensors use only a handful of analog-to-digital (A/D) converters, which can slow you down. The Exmor sensor provides more than 5,600 column-parallel A/D converters. This helps enable continuous shooting at up to 12 frames per second.
- 11 Picture Effect Modes
- Discover innovative ways to make your images and videos pop. These include Posterization (Color, B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (Red, Green, Blue, Yellow), Soft High-key, High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, and Miniature.
- Face Detection and Registration
- The camera can automatically detect up to eight individual faces and adjust focus, exposure, white balance and flash to help deliver crisp, properly lit images of people. It can also prioritize children or adults! Face Registration can even remember friends and family members and prioritize them too.
- Smile Shutter Technology
- Captures a smile the moment it happens. Simply select the Smile Shutter mode and the camera takes the picture automatically. You can prioritize children or adults and adjust the smile sensitivity for the hams in your family.
- 19-Point Auto Focus
- To maximize the value of Translucent Mirror Technology, Sony incorporates a Phase Detection AF of great sophistication. Nineteen sensors with eleven cross sensors maximize precision for both vertical and horizontal subjects.