A77 II has landed!

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bfitzgerald
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A77 II has landed!

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Thu May 01, 2014 10:50 am

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/sony-alpha-slt-a77-ii

Sony page:

http://www.sony.net/Products/di/en-gb/p ... index.html

Mixed initial feelings from me
Body style is very close the the A77 (for once Sony decide not to change things) - wonder if the A77 grip fits?

Interesting bits:
- That new AF system looks good, lots of AF points but the f2.8 central AF point is the most interesting feature (you don't need 79 AF points though, way OTT)
- AF range control
- 24mp sensor says "gap-less" and with offset micro lenses...interesting we shall see how that stacks up
- Higher res rear LCD 1.23m dots and the newer type
- You now have the MR settings on individual places on the mode dial
- 14bit raw (I had this on previous cameras and found 0 difference!)
- Big buffer evidently 60jpegs not sure about raw I heard it was about 24 (which is good)
- Quick nav "pro" and FEL


Scratching my head thoughts:
- The AF assist light is gone! Even if the AF is super magic, I really can't see a good reason to take it out. My film 7's have it (and the double cross f2.8 central AF point) but still it is very useful to have that..very strange move
- GPS is "out" strange move. I would have little use for wifi and NFC (only interesting aspect could be tethered control via phone/tablet) How about all 3?
- Still single slot card, not that it bothers me but I did like the dual cards on the D7k
- As expected the silly new Sony hot shoe makes an appearance :roll:
- 2.4M dot OLED viewfinder, it probably is improved over the older one, but I expected the resolution to increase didn't happen
- Battery life is "worse" than the A77, surprising as new tech tends to be more power efficient

Price is pretty much in line with expectations. I suppose it comes down to AF performance and the new sensor.
Interesting..Sony give and Sony take

Thoughts?

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Re: A77 II has landed!

Unread postby classiccameras » Thu May 01, 2014 11:22 am

I can see it now, Sony will have just 3 A mount cameras.
Budget/entry level, A58, mid range enthusiast A7711, High end A99.

The rest of their range will be E mounts.

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Re: A77 II has landed!

Unread postby peterottaway » Thu May 01, 2014 12:18 pm

classiccameras wrote:I can see it now, Sony will have just 3 A mount cameras.
Budget/entry level, A58, mid range enthusiast A7711, High end A99.

The rest of their range will be E mounts.


I think it very likely. Most companies have had too much product in a declining market - seen the latest Panasonic results ? Apart from such things as hybrid focus there doesn't seem to be a lot of short term changes to come. Photographers are quite happy at current technology points and are keeping their cameras longer.

As I have kept my A77 ( and A850 plus D700 ) to fill in any gaps between my RX 10 and A7r, I can't see any point in updating. I am more interested in FE mount lenses.

So unless you have beaten your current A77 to death or have an older camera that is failing, not much point in updating. And for many updaters the current A77 is a decent choice.

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Re: A77 II has landed!

Unread postby peterottaway » Thu May 01, 2014 12:34 pm

Of course I am likely to be completely wrong and between now and September they could announce the A99/2, A99r and A99s.

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bfitzgerald
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Re: A77 II has landed!

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Thu May 01, 2014 3:48 pm

Hard to say they might do another A99, but they're wasting everyone's time if they price it high again. What they really need is a budget FF body (and no the a7 isn't doing it for me)

I suppose on balance it's not a bad update (subject to AF and sensor improvements), bigger buffer too. It is a shame they have taken a few things out though (esp the AF assist)
They seem to have gone for the Nikon ish tons of AF points with cross sensors in the middle. I'd prefer less AF points, but cross ones outside the central area.

On the other hand I can't really comment on the A77's AF performance, as I only had a brief hands on ages ago. One wonders if the AF was satisfactory for most users?

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Re: A77 II has landed!

Unread postby Greg Beetham » Thu May 01, 2014 4:23 pm

I guess we should wait for some reviews, Richard Butler wants to check out the new AF system especially, I hope he tests it with a variety of lens types.
As far as the IR AF assist light goes, with some of the AF on the sensor now, (some cameras have more on sensor AF than others, some are totally on sensor), I would think that if you have an IR band-block filter as one the layers on the sensor even if there is a so called zero antialiasing filter in the OLPF then the IR AF assist light isn’t going to work very well.
But the new camera is supposed to have the AF module in the housing above working with the trans mirror like before, so I’m not sure why they have transferred the AF assist to the popup flash, unless a large amount of AF is actually on the sensor. (future mirrorless A-mount?)
Does this mean it pops up now whenever light drops below a certain value? What if you are focusing on something more distant, like in a stadium?
It will be interesting to see how the new sensor stacks up at high ISO, not that I’m all that interested in high ISO myself but some people are.
I don’t see a (?) button on the back either.
Greg

Ps I received an email newsletter from B&H today listing the A77II at $1200US (I think it's in USD) for the body.

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bfitzgerald
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Re: A77 II has landed!

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Thu May 01, 2014 5:48 pm

The ? button is gone (no tears there!) and it's now a C button

PB have jpeg samples up..
http://www.photographyblog.com/previews ... ii_photos/

Bar the fact the reviewer probably didn't turn the NR down (if you can that is) It's disappointing to see Sony still can't do jpegs well. The top 2 highest ISO settings look truly awful (why bother they're unusable even for a small print)
The AF assist was good on cameras that had it, even with the new AF system EV-2 it allows you to focus lock on zero contrast subjects, as the LED creates a pattern. I like it a lot on the 7 film bodies I have..rock solid. Some limitations (at closer focus distances) but a good thing to have

Hard to know on the AF until they test is (we can assume it's good) but again..was the A77 bad? (only DK and others can respond here)
Raw wise we shall have to wait and see if this new sensor is a notable improvement or not

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Re: A77 II has landed!

Unread postby DynaxCA » Fri May 02, 2014 12:14 am

I'm really happy to see Sony finally invested some money into developing a new AF systems, and finally catch up with Canon and Nikon! It is arguable if that 79 AF points are necessary, but it is certainly a nice feature to have. (Personally I had Canon 1Ds MKII for a few years and its original 44 AF points system was definitely awesome). This kind of AF system was a Canon and Nikon exclusive, and without it, your system and brand is automatically in a second class. Just like how people think A99 is more of 6D than 5DMKIII. If SONY wants to attract more pro users, a new AF system like this is totally necessary. I'm not expecting it will be as good as Canon or Nikon system, but at least this is a good start.

I currently have a A7R and absolutely love the camera despite of its many flaws. However, A7R is not a versatile camera at all, and having only one A7R body is really limited and can be frustrating. I'm excited about the new A77 II because I think it will be a good second body in addition to A7R, especially I haven't invested any money on FE lens.
Last edited by DynaxCA on Fri May 02, 2014 2:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A77 II has landed!

Unread postby peterottaway » Fri May 02, 2014 2:19 am

I think you can overstate the real world effectiveness of the Canon and Nikon AF if you look at the high end cameras and then imagine that the low and middle end cameras somehow enjoy the same sort of performance benefits. Even models like the 6D and D600/610 can leave you thinking is that all I am going to get ? Of course these cameras have been coming down in price to where they do represent better value for money - in some markets.

From my observations the A99 is in a higher class to such cameras as the 6D and D610 but it was priced at the high end of its performance price range and was held there for too long and the market evolved.But then again I regard the Mark 3 with Canon sensor technology to be years out of date and grossly overpriced as well. However it seems that a combination of Canons past reputation and plenty of sales staff et al willing to keep repeating the mantra is keeping sales going at about a $1000 more than it is worth to me.

But on the A77.2 it would certainly seem to be a good other camera to the A7r. It all depends on your actual requirements, for many a discounted a77 will be more than enough camera. But the 2 model should certainly guarantee that you don't get caught short on performance.

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Re: A77 II has landed!

Unread postby DynaxCA » Fri May 02, 2014 2:43 am

Not going to say I disagree with you, however, there are plenty of cameras from different brands are more than capable than what a shooter need. It's not just about the performance itself, but also about marketing. A good product doesn't mean it will sell well, and Minolta and Sony have plenty of examples of such. On the other hands, a complex AF system does have its advantages and it's not all about marketing gimmicks. That's why I'm very happy to see Sony has given some effort to develop. Why not to give Sony credit to develop such a system yet maintaining a very reasonable price.

I never had A77 so this is not an upgrade or replacement of A77. The original A77 shares the same sensor of NEX-7 which I had for two years before move to A7R. The dynamic range on that sensor is noticeably better than A900, but it's also noticeably nosier than the current A7R can offer. For that, I'll stay with the current technology especially A77 II has a very reasonable price. Maybe for many, A77 II is not worthy of upgrading, but for me, it appears to be a good body for actions and taking advantage of its crop sensor to gain some telephoto strength. Ironically I probably will have little or zero interests on an upgraded A99.

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Re: A77 II has landed!

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Fri May 02, 2014 11:57 am

My experience is Canon's AF is good but mostly on the higher end bodies, the 7d/70d is also pretty good overall (cross type sensors even if less AF points) but their AF on some bodies was far from great, the original 5d sucks..it just can't lock in lower light even with the central AF point, 5dMkII didn't impress me much either.
The normal 650d and that price point AF wise are passable but nothing special. Honestly I think Sony's AF is better for accuracy over the lower Canon's

I've not used a 5dMkIII but I think AF was one of the major updates, sensor wise it's overpriced for what it is though.
Excluding my iffy AF problems with Nikon..their AF was quite good at tracking, but it was not consistent for slower or non moving subjects. Out of those 39 points I had on the D7000 I rarely used them, and the cross sensors were concentrated in the centre..which I don't like.

I really don't have a high view of Nikon's AF bar it's decent for tracking, which isn't useful to me for static subjects.
It depends on what you want..overall I can see that there are some decent updates here from Sony, sports, wildlife shooters might be quite happy with the large buffer, and beefed up AF system.

I'm not happy about the AF assist getting the chop it is one of the main factors for me in lower light AF it's discreet enough to be used at a wedding and it's a 7 feature that should be on a body of this class, I don't care how good the AF is at EV-2 it slows greatly at this light level and the AF assist helps a lot. Some are upset about the GPS, it's not a big thing to me but it would have been useful for landscape shooting. I also less than impressed battery life has taken yet another hit. GPS is more useful than wifi for me.

I'm still on the fence right now as to what body to pick up next. I do need a more up to date body to run with the A57, but I'm not really sure I want to get this one, even though the price is not bad (about what I expected) I can just about live with the annoyance of the hot shoe change. I am not impressed on the jpegs they're pretty awful on that sample page, we shall have to wait to see the raw files.

It's not a bad move from Sony, I just wish they would stop taking stuff out..stuff some of us want. I don't really need a mega array of AF points being honest and I rarely pressure the buffer on the A57 either. This one looks like an action shooters cam, more than a general purpose one. I'd rather have a spread of cross type AF points than a massive number of AF points, these are only really useful for sports type shooters..and I get along just fine following subjects with a single AF point. Nikon's 3D AF isn't bullet proof it works off colour and subject but can get confused (esp a sports game with same colour shirts) You're better off just tracking the action with a single AF point in my view.

The crying shame for me is Sony don't have a FF body for a few hundred more than this, couldn't care about mag alloy, sealing just a decent FF body with good handling, strip out the gimmicks and away we go. I'm not sure £1000 is wisely invested in a crop sensor body..not anymore

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Re: A77 II has landed!

Unread postby mikeriach » Fri May 02, 2014 12:43 pm

My A77 has been well used since I got it and I have to say I like it a lot.
Minor gripes:
- Buffer too small for real action sequences even at 8fps let alone 12fps
- Would prefer 2 SD card slots
- Would prefer a dedicated SSS button like the old KM 7D. It's quite annoying when switching between tripod and hand held to have to dive into the menus
- Battery life poor when compared to similar level competition

On the whole I'm very happy with it. Whether I need/want to upgrade is another question. Slicker AF/handling and improved noise might just sway me though.

Mike
If the above kit is sold, only an A77II and Tamron 16-300 left sadly. Sony cannot supply what I want so rightly or wrongly I've branched out to someone who does and I'm very happy.

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Re: A77 II has landed!

Unread postby peterottaway » Fri May 02, 2014 1:31 pm

What I about to say has been said before in many different places and may be a bit rich coming from someone who owns three 35mm sensor cameras. But here goes.

1. I think that the current APS-C sensor technology is good enough for virtually all photographers. You can improve the AF, exposure and data processing whether you use APS or 35mm but the APS camera should always be cheaper and a bit more convenient.

2. There are very few high end APS lenses. Tokina did produce a 2.8 family of 11-16, 16-50 and 50-135 and Sigma a 50-150 but they have fallen away and not improved or followed up. Yes there are a few APS lenses coming out every now and then, all are at the wide end. Whether this is because the companies in a falling market don't want to invest anything more than they have to or they wish to lead the market towards higher cost 35mm cameras.Less cameras sold but higher margins and essentially you will have low end and high end.

3.If the A77.2 and the often rumoured 7D Mark2 etc are as good as they could be, the cameras will be essentially become orphans as there simply not the lenses and accessories to use them at their full potential.

4. For Sony it looks better for E mount than it does for A mount. But it is confusing why Canon and Nikon have not tried harder.

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Re: A77 II has landed!

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Fri May 02, 2014 2:28 pm

Some observations...

- Everything has a price/value/bang per buck factor. I agree APS-C is good enough for many photographers, but it can't be ignored that FF prices are moving down. So whilst I don't have a problem with higher end APS-C offerings, or the release price of the A77 Mk II (it's a bit less than the A77 at launch) it's all relative. Personally I'd have a hard time justifying the outlay for "My needs" others may vary.

- I honestly do not see the point in investing hugely in APS-C lenses, purely because at the tele end of things (70-200mm or 70-300mm or around there) the "crop factor" is really not a major issue. That is why I suspect the concentration of APS-C lenses is the bread and butter stuff like 16/17- something, or UWA zooms, or budget primes for crop bodies.

- The Sigma 50-150mm I have not tried but it's said to be good, and it's a bit cheaper than a Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 (the new one), but it's not that much cheaper and whilst the size is a bit more compact, I'd wager people spending this kind of cash will like to "keep their options open" possibly for full frame. I'd rather have a FF lens that works on APS-C and FF for a lens like this

- The 7dII is likely to be fairly costly I would think a niche camera for sports and action shooters, possibly most go for the 70d as good enough. The market for high end APS-C is dwindling with FF prices coming down. Hence the delay and lack of D400 yet. I imagine Sony are pitching the A77II as a more cost effective alternative to any new Canikon crop body higher end camera.

- E mount is uncertain right now bar a lot of body activity the lens range is weak, esp full frame. It's too early to know if it's having any serious impact on Canikon. No new A mount lenses and no other bodies is likely to concern some users..At the moment I don't see anything on E mount that appeals, that might change but I lose IBIS and that's a biggie for me.

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Re: A77 II has landed!

Unread postby DynaxCA » Fri May 02, 2014 6:43 pm

I'm not familiar with Nikon systems. But I assume their AF system on pro models are similar as those on Canon's. The AF system on Minolta/Sony systems are generally good but the coverage is a little bit limited so it's just not very good for action shootings. A77 II's new AF system is definitely a good improvement, at least on the paper.

About AF assist, I think a workaround is to attach an external flash and use its AF assist. But this is a workaround, not a solution.

Talking about Fullframe vs. APS-C, or A mount vs. E mount. Each has pros and cons, so it depends on what individual shooter needs. Personally I prefer full frames, but when it comes to shoot moon or fast actions, many newer non-pro but APS-C cameras can offer very affordable solution such as SONY A77 II, that's why I am going to get it. SONY's E-mount is great for adapting lens from different brands, but what a chaos to make a choice just within Sony brands. But after having using NEX-7 for two years and now with A7R, I have pretty much known that I will always choose A-mount frame lens for compatibility reason. Personally it's more important than weight.


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