A77 Video Samples

Lots of people are interested in the quality of the A77′s video as well as stills, and there’s now plenty of samples around to make an assessment. First, an official Sony one:

A nice one here (with 80-200 f2.8):

And one from Liam:

I wonder what other gear – such as lighting – Sony used for their sample? But all looking pretty good to me.

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Sony 16-50mm f2.8 Lens Test – By A Videographer

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.

Sony 16-50mm f2.8 SSM

Sony 16-50mm f2.8 SSM

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No More A77s Produced Until March 2012?

Following my comments on the limited availability of the A77, Sonyalpharumors is reporting that stocks are low worldwide and that once these are sold, there may be no more cameras until March 2012. The reason given is that flooding in Thailand has hit Sony production much more than was initially admitted. Other camera makers are expected to be similarly affected.

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.

Alternatives to the A77 include the Sony NEX7, Sony A65 and Sony NEX-5N, though these might also be in short supply for the same reasons.

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.

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A77 Supplies May Be Limited?

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.

If that’s true, it might also explain why stock availability of the A77 is still patchy. Amazon.com have only one Sony A77 with kit lens and four Sony A77 Body only. BHPhotovideo have the Sony A77 Body only listed as in stock, with the Sony A77 16-50mm f2.8 Kit listed as temporarily unavailable.

In the UK, a couple of Amazon merchants have the Sony A77 with 16-50mm Lens but nobody has the Sony Alpha 77 Body. Wex (Warehouseexpress.com) have the body in stock but the kit is listed as backordered.

DigitalRev seem to have good stocks of both body and kit in Hong Kong. Sony Canada seems to have both backordered.

I’m glad I have mine and I’m hoping for good weather to get out and use it this weekend!

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A77 Does Well In Sensor Test

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.

You can read the full DXOmark review of the A77 sensor here.

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Sony 16-50mm f2.8 Lens Reviews

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.”

SLRgear also has a proper test.

Dyxum.com has a couple of user reviews already and I guess we’ll be seeing more as the A77 becomes more widely available.

From the reviews so far, the kit lens is holding up well and looking good value. For those with other Sony cameras, it’s available for pre-order from Adorama.

EDIT: Within hours of writing this, Luminous Landscape posted a positive review of the 16-50mm f2.8.

Sony 16-50mm f2.8 SSM

Sony 16-50mm f2.8 SSM

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A77 First Impressions

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.

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Two New A77 Reviews

Proper and full reviews of the A77 – as opposed to previews – are starting to be posted.

Pocket lint have this to say:

…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.

And DP Review has an extensive review:

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.

Amazon US is starting to ship pre-orders for the A77 with 16-50mm Kit Lens and A77 Body only.

Adorama is still taking pre-orders and expects to have stock soon: Sony A77 Kit and Sony A77 Body only.

DigitalRev have the A77 available in Hong Kong.

In the UK the A77 is in stock at Warehouseexpress.com and Amazon UK.

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A77 Unboxing

My A77 arrived yesterday. Here’s the unboxing:

I hope to get out this weekend to shoot some autumn leaves – weather forecast looks good.

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Some New A77 Videos

A77 owner Liam has added another couple of videos. First, unboxing the vertical grip:

and a video sample:

and Videoacademy.ch have an interesting feature on using the A77 for video: (German with English subtitles)

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