Sony Alpha a77 Mark II

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Estimated Street Price: $1,199 (body only); $1,799 (with 16-50mm ƒ/2.8 kit zoom)

INTRODUCED 5/2014

Sony’s new Alpha a77 Mark II DSLR (a77II, for short) improves upon its SLT-A77 predecessor in a number of ways, yet carries a price some $200 lower than the original a77 when it was introduced nearly three years earlier. The a77II features an all-new AF system, with 79 AF points, the most of any phase-detection system, including 15 cross-types and a central one with extended precision at ƒ/2.8, covering 40% of the image area. Included are the AF Range Control (distance-limiter) introduced in the full-frame a99 camera and a new Expanded Flexible Spot mode. Like the original a77, the a77II can shoot full-resolution, 24.3-megapixel images at 12 fps with AF for each frame, but the new camera has a much bigger buffer, so it can shoot up to 60 JPEG Fine images or 26 RAW files in a burst.

While it shares the original a77’s 24.3-megapixel count, the a77II features a new Sony Exmor APS-C HD CMOS sensor with the same gapless offset microlens structure used in the company’s a6000 and a7 mirrorless models, along with a new BIONZ X processor. This provides even better image quality and a standard ISO range of 100-25,600.

Other highlights include 1920×1080 AVCHD 2.0 video at 60p, 60i and 24p, with full-time continuous phase-detection AF and eye-level viewing, dust and moisture sealing, a shutter rated for 150,000 shots, a tilting/rotating, 3-inch LCD monitor and built-in WiFi with NFC connect (but no GPS, which the original a77 has). Like all Sony DSLRs, the new a77II can use all Sony A-mount lenses, as well as legacy Konica Minolta Maxxum lenses.

Dimensions are 5.6×4.1×3.2 inches and 22.8 ounces (body only).

STANDOUT FEATURE: Quick phase-detection AF for both stills and video.

1. The TMT mirror makes full-time continuous phase-detection AF and eye-level viewing possible for video, as well as stills.

2. The tilting/rotating LCD monitor allows for comfortable high- and low-angle shooting.

3. The optional battery grip adds portrait-format shooting comfort, as well as more shots between battery changes.

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