Vancouver-based videographer Shawn Lam tested the Sony 16-50mm f2.8 SSM. And his conclusion? “Buy-it! Every shooter needs a great wide-zoom and this one fits the criteria. “
That might not be so easy: The 16-50 can be ordered from Amazon and Adorama, though neither are currently showing stock. The same holds for WEX in the UK. I guess this is one other Sony item in short supply because of flooding in Thailand. Shame, because I’m very happy with mine, and I think it’s great value as a general purpose lens.
Stocks of the A77 with kit lens seem to be worst affected: even DigitalRev in Hong Kong are now showing the kit as ‘ordered upon request’. In the US, Amazon only has a few kits through a third-party supplier, whilst Adorama has the A77 with 16-50mm kit lens on backorder. In the UK, Amazon UK have a couple of kits through a third-party supplier, and WEX have the kit on backorder. Sony Store Canada doesn’t even list the kit, only the body, which is backordered.
Supplies of the A77 Body only seem a little better: In the US, Amazon and Adorama both seem to have stock, as do WEX in the UK, although the A77 body is not currently listed by any suppliers at all on Amazon UK.
Up to 800,000 children are affected by the current Thai floods and many more are also at risk in the neighbouring countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines. Save the Children is one of many charities accepting donations online.
Just before I got my A77 I had am interesting conversation with a Sony employee. He said that once the first batch of A77s – which were made before the recent flooding in Thailand – are sold, it might be some time before the next stock becomes available. My understanding is that Sony is having to shift its manufacturing around to cope with the disruption.
DXOmark published a technical test and review of the Sony A77 sensor and compared it to other Sony cameras and some competitors. Heres’s some quotes:
As we can see in the comparison, this Lowlight Score is very similar to the A55 which got a 818. This shows that Sony managed to keep the same excellent level of noise despite the reduced size of each pixel on the sensor.
We can also notice that, with its ISO 50 and its ISO 80, the Sony A77 can make stunning images in term of dynamic and colors thanks to its very good Dynamic Range and Color Depth.
In conclusion, thanks to its capacity to innovate always further and to break the limits of sensor design, Sony is about to bring on the market a very good semi-professional camera body.
Although the kit lens is an inportant part of the package for many A77 buyers, I haven’t seen many reviews of the lens alone yet. These are the ones I’ve found:
Photoreview (Australia) have the most in-depth test. They found that “the review lens turned in an impressive performance in Photo Review’s Imatest tests, which showed consistently high resolution throughout the aperture and focal length range.”
I’ve not taken my A77 outside yet, but here’s some first impression from handling it:
The lens build quality seems really good. It’s a chunky lens, quite heavy too, and the zoom and focus rings have a reassuring feel.
The EVF is big – bigger than almost all of the optical finders I’ve used.
Build quality, size and weight seem similar to the A77′s main competitors. If I closed my eyes, I could be holding a Nikon D7000.
The ergonomics seem good to me. Everything that matters can be adjusted using buttons and dials on the right side of the camera. With my fingers on the zoom ring of the lens, my left thumb sits right on top of the AF/MF switch.
Focus magnification seems like a useful feature.
I’m hoping for some sunshine later today to get out and take a few shots.
…there’s little not to like about Sony’s latest. It’s an SLT that could genuinely strangle the DSLR market dominance as it not only matches but outperforms in a number of departments. This is a camera for the new wave of tech-hungry shooters.
The Sony Alpha SLT-A77 is on the whole, a very enjoyable camera to shoot with. It offers an appealing combination of high-technology and good old-fashioned manual control, with a smattering of useful automatic modes, like Sweep Panorama and DRO+ which we really enjoy using.
What I’ve not seen yet is much in the way of lens reviews – even DPreview haven’t a page on the 16-50 f2.8.