Sony today announced the SLT-A77 interchangeable lens digital camera, featuring a 24.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. This semi-pro, non-DSLR camera uses Translucent Mirror Technology which achieves performance benchmarks that even professional DSLRs have yet to achieve. The α77 also includes the world's first XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder. The newly developed Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor teams with the next generation of Sony's BIONZ image processing engine to handle huge amounts of high speed data from the camera sensor, enabling unprecedented response times and flawless image quality with ultra-low noise when shooting still images or Full HD video.
As the successor to Sony's α700 DSLR, the α77 boasts the world's fastest continuous autofocus (AF) shooting performance (among DSLRs in Aug 2011), capturing a burst of full resolution, 24 megapixel images at 12 frames per second with full-time phase-detection AF.
Precision AF tracking of moving subjects is more precise with the α77 due to a new 19-point autofocus system with 11 cross sensors. Tracking Focus maintains accurate focus lock on a moving subject — even if the target is momentarily obscured. Additionally, a new electronic front shutter curtain achieves a minimum release time lag of approximately 50 milliseconds, comparable to much more expensive professional-class DSLRs.
The α77 further refines Sony's acclaimed Fast Continuous AF Full HD Movie shooting, already featured on previous Sony Translucent Mirror cameras. Phase Detection maintains accurate focus during video shooting of portrait subjects, even when they're moving at fast speeds.
Unprecedented image quality and creative options
A broad sensitivity range of ISO 100-16000 expands (α77 only) down to ISO 50. At the highest sensitivities, it can freeze fast action or capture atmospheric low-noise shots without flash. Low ISO settings are ideal when used with a long exposure to create expressive shots, such as splashing water.
The SLT-A77 provides the world's first OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder for with 2359k dot (XGA) resolution. This precision electronic viewfinder offers a bright, highly detailed, high contrast image with 100 percent frame coverage and a wide field of view comparable to the most advanced class optical viewfinders.
However, unlike optical viewfinders, users have expansive customization capabilities through the XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder and can preview the effects of adjusting exposure, white balance and other settings in real-time. Photographers can also make fine focus adjustments via a zoomed-in portion of the image.
The Smart Teleconverter displays an enlarged central portion of the image sensor, allowing compositions to be displayed clearly on the OLED viewfinder and captured as 12 megapixel images with a digital zoom factor of 1.4x or 2x.
In another first for DSLR cameras, the SLT-A77 can capture Full HD video at 60p (progressive) frame rates — incorporating the recently introduced AVCHD Progressive (Ver. 2.0) format. Also, 24p shooting is available for capturing beautiful cinematic video footage. Manual focusing and P/A/S/M exposure modes, familiar to creative filmmakers, also can provide enhanced control during video shooting.
Shooters can compose and review stills and video on the adjustable-angle three-inch Xtra Fine LCD display that offers high resolution (921k dot) and TruBlack technology for superb detail and contrast. As an extra refinement, the α77 introduces the world's first three-way adjustable screen that tilts and pivots freely for effortless framing at any angle.
Revised ergonomics include a comfortably contoured new grip design and tactile new button layout for 'eyes off' operation while viewing via the high-resolution XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder.
The α77 adds front and rear control dials for intuitive fingertip operation and a separate top-mounted LCD data display. The durable body features magnesium alloy panels for strength and lightness. Key controls are sealed against the effects of dust and moisture, complementing similar levels of protection offered by the new SAL1650 lens, VG-C77AM Vertical Grip for α77 and HVL-F43AM flash unit.
A new shutter unit on the α77 is tested up to 150,000 cycles and supports an ultra-fast minimum 1/8000 sec shutter speed (1/250 sec flash sync). On-board GPS allows automatic geo-tagging of photos and video clips with location data.
New DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM zoom lens and accessories
The growing range of compatible A-mount lenses for both cameras now includes the quiet, bright DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM standard zoom with 16mm wide angle coverage that's ideal for both portrait and everyday shooting.
The high-performance lens features a dust- and moisture-resistant design, and offers a zoom range of approximately 3x range at constant wide F2.8 aperture. Optical performance is assured by aspherical glass and three ED (Extra Low Dispersion) lens elements to minimize aberration at all focal lengths. An internal Super Sonic wave Motor (SSM) drive enables fast, quiet autofocus.
An optional dust- and moisture-resistant VG-C77AM Vertical Grip for α77 assures comfortable handling in vertical shooting positions. It can house up to two NP-FM500H InfoLITHIUM batteries, doubling shooting stamina up to approximately 1060 shots (via LCD monitor)/940 shots (via Tru-Finder viewfinder) when using Memory Stick PRO Duo media. Other new A-mount system accessories include a back pack (LCS-BP2), soft carrying cases (LCS-SC21 and LCS-SC8), LCD protectors and eyepiece cups.
The new α77 is compatible with Sony's Memory Stick PRO-HG DUO HX series as well as Sony's full line of SD memory cards. Available in capacities up to 32 GB, both media enable necessary transfer speeds for stable and optimal performance of Sony's hardware features, such as full HD movie shooting.
Pricing and Availability
The Sony SLT-A77 (α77) Translucent Mirror interchangeable lens camera will be available October 2011 in a kit with the new SAL1650 f2.8 lens for $2,000, and offered as body-only for $1,400.
Also announced today, Sony's SLT-A65 (α65) offers the same sensor, with paired down features for half the price.