- 24.3MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
- BIONZ Image Processor
- Sony Translucent Mirror Technology
- 3.0" 921.6k-Dot Tilting LCD Monitor
Sony also gave the A77 their 2nd generation Translucent Mirror Technology system. What does this technology do? It 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 the necessary speed.
More than a still camera, the SLT-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 the DSLR also offers, above and beyond most less-sophisticated cameras, is a viewfinder, the way all your heroes used to shoot. The A77's OLED 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 at bay. 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.
Of course, the SLT-A77 does have an LCD screen too, but not just any 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? (We all know you take them... every 'creative' photographer does!) When it's not in use, the screen folds flat to the camera for safe storage and traveling.
As far as shooting performance is concerned, in regards to all things internal on 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 the 16,000 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! While you can shoot on manual, you might find yourself playing with all the built-in options for expressing your creativity. 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.
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. Old standards like face detection and Sony's Smile Shutter technology are there for your use as well.
Like any good DSLR worth its salt, Sony gave the SLT-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).