Sony announced new entries to compete with Nikon and Canon, demonstrating they’re serious about trying to carve out a foothold in the digital camera space.
The A77 comes packed with features aimed at the Canon 7D and Nikon D5100 and could be compelling enough to wrestle some business away from the market leaders.
Built with a magnesium-alloy shell, the A77 provides clear testimony to the success of Sony’s push to improve the fit and finish of their cameras.
Inside Sony has fitted the A77 with an APS-C chip behind a translucent mirror. Instead of a flip-up mirror, the A77’s translucent mirror remains fixed and allows continuous auto-focus both in burst mode and movie mode. This feature was first introduced in the A55 and improved for this generation.
Several features are aimed at sports photography, including the ability to shoot 12 full-resolution images in burst mode with a shutter delay as low as 0.05 seconds.
The video capabilities have been enhanced, with the introduction of the AVCHD Progressive codec. The A77 can deliver 1080p in either 60 fps or 24 fps and boasts a continuous shooting time of 29 minutes.
The LCD screen has dual-hinge, three-way tilt shift capability, something Canon users will envy when shooting outside on sunny days.
For audio the A77 has stereo mics, but strangely didn’t include any manual audio controls.
The Sony A65 has very similar capabilities in a plastic shell and the burst mode only handles 10 pictures instead of 12.
The A77 will have a $2,000 kit price and the A65 will weigh in at $999 with the 18-55mm kit lens.
Instead of a lower price point, Sony opted for the “more for your money” approach. It will be interesting to see if it works.