Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

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Omega892
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Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Omega892 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:09 pm

Before even switching on I have noted:

ridiculously short mains connector with battery charger,

no flash shoe retaining clip on strap,

no cable remote strain relief clip on strap,

adjustable ends of strap very short - compared to anything I have bought before.

Also the strap is made of different materials to that of the A700 with the adjustable sections of the A77 strap being thinner (not narrower) and much more slippery. Yes one can battle a bit adjusting the earlier straps with painful fingers but rather this than the risk of a strap slipping without warning. I doubt I'll be quick enough the next time when a camera loses its strap connection at one side [1].

I know things are made to a price but this type of penny pinching sucks for a camera in this price range.

I would have thought that a Sony NP-FM500H battery pack could have been included with the VGC-77AM grip.

Onwards and upwards. Quite a bit to take in - especially on the AV side but I am not sure if I will dabble with that.

Darn it.

I have been sold Compact Flash cards with this camera and have just discovered that it does not take these!!!

So no more today!!!

[1] Many years ago I nearly lost an SRT101 over the side of Ark Royal when the strap hoop managed to wind itself through the split ring attached to the body lug, I just caught the strap as I felt it move. I took both my SRT101s down into the ship's air-electrical workshops, frapped fine gauge copper wire around the split ring overlapping ends and applied a little solder. Never nearly lost one like that again.
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Birma
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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Birma » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:24 pm

Congratulations on the new camera :)

I was unimpressed with the A99 supplied strap and I've replaced it. DK has a nice line of Dynax ones - very nice material for the main strap.
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Omega892 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:05 pm

Something else I have noted is no anti-shake switch, maybe this is on by default.

It is a very different beast to anything else I have and to be honest I would rather an updated Alpha 700 with 24Mpix and a few extra features than all the AV gizmos built in, I don't really see me venturing in that direction.

The last movies I shot were on Standard 8, yes 25 ft through, open up turn film around and re-thread for the next 25 ft. Back in 1969 I shot footage of Concorde 002 on her first take off from Filton, Bristol UK, this once again using Kodachrome II at 25 ASA, I still have this film.

Now back to Alpha 77 issues and in particular lens compatibilities being as the viewfinder is so, so different and there are all those options for adjusting for lens optical performance.

I would think that the recent purchase Sony 4.5-5.6 70-300mm G SSM would be no problem.

I wonder which of these would be OK:

Minolta High Speed APO 80-200mm f2.8
Minolta AF REFLEX 500 (late model)
Minolta AF Macro 100mm f2.8 D

Now this one I expect to barff OTOH:

Sigma 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX
I have both 1.4x and 2x converters for this one.

Now flash:
Minolta 5600 HS D - I have two of these often used with wireless and sometimes in conjunction with

Metz 54 MZ-4i digital + SCA 3302 adaptor.

Minolta MFC-1000 flash controller +
Macro Twin Flash +
Macro Ring Flash

All of the above work fine with an Alpha 700.
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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby dewarp » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:00 pm

Hi Lionel

I went from the Dynax 7D to the A77 and found it an extremely frustrating experience (I posted some mainly negative comments on this forum). However, having changed my whole way of working to suit the A77 I think that I would find it frustrating to go back to the D7D.

Today the biggest annoyance is the tendency for dust to accumulate on the plastic mirror, most noticable with small appurtures and long focal lengths. Often you only notice the spots late in the post processing when converting to B&W.

I use a Minolta AF REFLEX 500 and can report that it works well, but is more prone to dust ingress than most lenses.

regards - Peter

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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Chris Malcolm » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:47 pm

The reflex 500mm works much better on the A77. The absence of mirror and mechanical front curtain slap mean that you can now get really sharp shots at low shutter speeds, use lower ISOs. Makes it a much more versatile lens.

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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Omega892 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:24 am

dewarp wrote:Hi Lionel

I use a Minolta AF REFLEX 500 and can report that it works well, but is more prone to dust ingress than most lenses.

regards - Peter

Thanks for that info Peter and to you Chris for your input which was most encouraging.

I have a Bower 2X Digital Autofocus Teleconverter ProDHDII for Sony & Minolta.

This fitted the Minolta High Speed APO 80-200mm f2.8 fine, many converters do not fit this one due to the form of the real element construction of that lens. I first tried it on the Dynax 7D and was startled by a 'death rattle' type noise when I switched on, which was repeated when switched off after trying the lens and converter combination which worked. A subsequent power on was achieved without that 'rattle'.

I tried this converter on the Sony 4.5-5.6 70-300mm G SSM fitted to the A700 and a similar rattle experience at first use, but the combination worked fine, manual focus set because of the smaller aperture f9 in this case as opposed to the f4 of the D7D+80-200 + 2X where autofocus could still be used, albeit with a little hunting if light level low.

Is this the cameras setting up on a new lens combination?

Dare I try this converter with lenses on the A77?

Any comments?
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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Omega892 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:23 pm

OK I have tried out the following OK on the A77:

Minolta High Speed APO 80-200mm f2.8
Minolta AF REFLEX 500 (late model)
Minolta AF Macro 100mm f2.8 D

Only the Sigma APO 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX + converters,

and use of the Bower 2X Digital Autofocus Teleconverter ProDHDII for Sony & Minolta with the other lenses and the A77 to sort out.

Yes I understand that manual focusing may be required because of aperture and light level limits, but that is nothing new.

I note that the Sigma re-chipping offer at http://www.sigma-photo.co.jp/english/news/info_111014.htm specifies an APO 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM which looks to be a different beast to my APO 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX.

Any comments on that one?

Now are the Minolta and Metz flash units mentioned in an earlier post A77 compatible?

As for anti-shake, I have now found the Steady Shot option in the menu system, I guess that is it.

I had taken a few test images but they are now all gone for whilst adjusting viewfinder dioptre setting I occidentally nudged the Movie button (gout in right index finger does not help) and noticed Recording pop up. Once VF dioptre was set I wished to delete whatever recording had been made. On selecting view, then delete, all images were deleted. I wasn't expecting that, only wishing to delete any recorded movie.

No, I have not fully worked my way through the User Guide. I am now looking for how to set up all info to display in the EV as seen in David's review here: http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2011/10/17/the-sony-alpha-77-tomorrow-today/, forth image down.

As usual I switched the control wheel function so that front does aperture and rear does shutter speed. This is second nature being how one could describe the actions on a manual focus 35mm SLRs such as SRT101 or X700. I find it odd that my preference, being so firmly rooted in many I am sure, was not the default, but then this goes for my previous Dynax7, 7D, A100 and A700.

Some very neat features with that spirit level, grid option (with useful thirds pattern - often one I select in Lightroom when cropping) and focus fix on a selected object in view. This latter provide useful feedback as the shot is composed.

I can see much potential in this camera, as for high ISO noise and stuff - compared to options with film cameras this is small beer.

I once took a shot looking up the barrel of a Czech 57mm 1983 AA gun using a Dynax 7D and was dismayed by the noise in the shadow area, otherwise a stunning shot of the rifling. Rifling changed pitch from breech to muzzle of many examples of artillery.
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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Birma » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:42 pm

I've not used the A77 but I think you may be able to disable the movie record button or to make it usable only when the mode dial is set to movie mode.

For deleting images, I think there are two approaches. First is to use the trash can button when in play back mode, or there is a menu delete function which can allow you to select several images at once (going on a99 experience). Sony also separate movies and stills in the play back options. You can either review movies or stills. Not both together.

I can highly recommend Gary Friedman's camera guides. They get you to the nitty gritty of what functions actually do in a way that the supplied manuals never do. Why Sony have not signed him up to provide the best manuals on the market in the box is a mystery :) .
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Omega892 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:13 pm

Birma wrote:I can highly recommend Gary Friedman's camera guides. They get you to the nitty gritty of what functions actually do in a way that the supplied manuals never do.

Thank you for your reply.

Early days yet working my around a very different beast and yes Gary Friedman's guides look to be useful.

I find electronic versions tiresome and it looks like the colour version is no longer available, as new at least, through Amazon so I may have to go direct through Gary's site. Although to be honest I cannot afford to spend any more cash right now. I am later in with the A77 than first planned as our youngest daughter (with a Chemistry first and experience in the field) with four boys from 4 to 15 embarked on a PGCE (teacher training) course last year and could not afford the new laptop and the many course books required so dad stepped in. No regrets there but that cleaned me out of savings for the A77. That is one reason why I was so miffed by Adobe's uncompromising attitude WRT Lightroom 3.

I'll get there, usually do. Thanks again.

BTW your avatar intrigues - on ship or a drilling platform, looks like you are wearing a 'Tommy' style tin hat on your head?
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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:06 pm

Omega892 wrote:I had taken a few test images but they are now all gone for whilst adjusting viewfinder dioptre setting I occidentally nudged the Movie button (gout in right index finger does not help) and noticed Recording pop up. Once VF dioptre was set I wished to delete whatever recording had been made. On selecting view, then delete, all images were deleted. I wasn't expecting that, only wishing to delete any recorded movie.

Everybody's done that at least once with Sony's new menu systems now that the cameras record movies. Your still images are still there, just in a different branch of the file tree. Recording stills or movies automatically sets your playback button to access the corresponding branch of the file tree; AVCHD, MPEG, or Stills. So browsing backwards from the last movie you captured won't show you any stills until you either jump back over to the stills playback through the menu, or simply record another still image. More startling, if you just accidentally recorded a video and selected to delete it, the next message that shows up is "Deleting images," Never mind that you only deleted one file, and it wasn't even a still image, it's just there to scare you witless!

As for the dissatisfactory strap, here's my solution:

Image

:-)
Kevin Barrett
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Birma
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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Birma » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:41 pm

Kevin explained that far more eloquently than I could of :)

My avatar is not as exciting as perhaps it looks. I'm standing on a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry. The hat is a just a wide brimmed cloth hat to keep the sun out of my eyes and was also quite a good rain cover when the camera was sat on a tripod if a sudden shower happened. I think the jaunty angle is making it look like a hard hat. The hat finally shrank after many washes and so was discarded. Difficult to find the perfect replacement.
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Omega892 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:56 pm

Birma wrote:I'm standing on a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry.


Of the type I have seen off Mull?

Probably be up in that area Ardnamurchan in a couple of months. Once steamed through the Pentland Firth and then The Minch overnight in a force 11 to 12 on Ark Royal, 50K tons of carrier shipping it green across the flight deck.
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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Omega892 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:58 pm

KevinBarrett wrote:Everybody's done that at least once with Sony's new menu systems now that the cameras record movies.

:-)

Thanks for that Kevin, what a way to run a camera!
'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.' - Benjamin Franklin

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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby dewarp » Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:05 pm

Omega892 wrote:I had taken a few test images but they are now all gone for whilst adjusting viewfinder dioptre setting I occidentally nudged the Movie button (gout in right index finger does not help) and noticed Recording pop up.


Hi Lionel

One of the firmware updates cured the problem of accidentally pressing the red button (unless you were actually in video mode). Check that you have the latest firmware - Ver 1.07.

regards - Peter

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Re: Sony Alpha77 - first impressions

Unread postby Birma » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:58 pm

Omega892 wrote:Of the type I have seen off Mull?

Probably be up in that area Ardnamurchan in a couple of months. Once steamed through the Pentland Firth and then The Minch overnight in a force 11 to 12 on Ark Royal, 50K tons of carrier shipping it green across the flight deck.


Exactly the type you see off Mull and in fact off most of the West coast of Scotland. I think that one was on the way to Tarbert on the Isle of Harris. I've enjoyed so many holidays via the Cal Macs that I've become a bit of a ferry spotter. There is a thread of ferry pictures I started below ...

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=6367

I bet that blow in the Minch was something to see. I take my hat off to anyone who works at sea when the weather gets 'interesting'.
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.


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