Summary: So the Alpha A77 may not be a DSLR, but that fact shouldn't deter anyone seeking a versatile interchangeable-lens camera from checking it out. The sum of its parts is a "not a DSLR" to get very excited about, as it seems to cover more ground than any similarly priced DSLR in terms of high-speed capture, video capabilities, autofocus skills, creative in-camera filters, and fun-to-use modes.
Summary: While other manufacturers incrementally improve on the traditional SLR format Sony has shown it's not afraid to innovate by introducing radical new designs into its line-up. The SLT-A77 takes the fixed mirror concept several steps towards becoming a compelling alternative to cameras with reflex mirrors.
But it's not all about the SLT technology. The A77's 24.3 Megapixel sensor is the highest resolution APS-C sensor available to date.
Pros: Big, bright ultra high resolution EVF., 12fps burst mode with AF., 1080p60/50 movie mode., Continuous AF in movie modes ., High quality bright 16-50mm kit lens., 24 Megapixel sensor.
Cons: Limited exposure control at 12fps., Limited movie AF with Manual exposure., Poor menu layout and organisation., Poor battery life compared to a DSLR.
Summary: With its 12fps burst speed and 24.3MP sensor the Sony A77 packs quite a punch.
Pros: Fastest continuous shooting speed in its class, Excellent image quality, Generous range of HD movie recording options, Lots of useful features and customisation options, EVF is the best we've yet seen
Cons: EVF still not as good as a traditional viewfinder
Summary: The Sony SLT-A77 is the long-awaited replacement for the DSLR-A700, Sony’s previous ‘semi-pro’ DSLR. The A77, of course, isn’t actually a DSLR (Sony doesn’t make them any more), despite looking and handling very much like one. Instead it’s an SLT camera with no pentaprism and no moving mirror, these bits being replaced by a translucent mirror and electronic viewfinder.
Conclusion: We were happy with the impressive results and ease at which the Alpha 77 performs. The electronic viewfinder allowed us to see better in the dark and also use exposure compensation quicker. We wish we'd had a chance to shoot some action shots with the camera, but from the focus tracking that we did manage to play about with we were more than won over and confident that this DSLT can deliver the goods.
Excerpt: The Sony Alpha range of Digital SLR / SLTs all feature built in "anti-shake" / Super steady shot sensors, as a continuation of the Konica Minolta DSLR heritage. The Anti-Shake / AS name was featured on Konica Minolta DSLRs, but canned in favour of Sony's SteadyShot INSIDE name.
Pros: Built in GPS, Extremely fast continuous shooting (12fps), Stunning OLED EVF (has to be seen to be believed), Excellent image quality, Excellent colour, Continuous focus during videos, AF Fine-tuning, Weather sealed magnesium alloy body, ISO50 available, Wide strap and printed manual included
Cons: Higher than expected PF/CA, 16-50mm kit lens increases price by roughly 50%, Non-standard flash hot-shoe
Conclusion: With more time using the Sony SLT-a77 I’m sure I would learn to really nail the focus, put up with the slow response and most importantly, enjoy taking photographs with it.
Pros: Focusing options, Shutter response, 10 frames per second, Articulated viewfinder, EVF and good looking video.
Cons: Slow camera response to all inputs except shutter button, Exposure information is substandard in live-view, Poor raw file integration and support, Complicated and unintuitive manual and menu system.
Excerpt: Once Canon and Nikon got themselves established at the top end of the 35mm SLR market, it’s been very hard to make any impact on their shares of this business. Many have tried and failed – Contax, Leica, Minolta, Olympus and Pentax. Olympus had a good go at it until it inexplicably pulled the plug on its popular OM system. In the digital SLR era, Canon and Nikon have only got stronger, but a potential challenger has emerged in the shape of Sony.