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Thursday, May 01, 2014
Sony Introduces Speedy New α77 II Interchangeable Lens Camera


Sony ’s new α77 II camera, a successor to the 24.3-megapixel shooter it revealed back in 2011 provides speed and efficiency in a weather-resistant design.

The camera is equipped with a 24.3 MP image sensor and powerful BIONZX processor  Image quality compared to the original α77 has been boosted, and sensitivity has increased by approximately 20% as well.  Its AF system features  79 phase detection AF points and includes 15 cross points within the central area of the sensor.  Additionally, metering data from all 79 focus points is processed by a brand new AF algorithm that predicts the subject’s movement. 

The α77 II camera also has a centrally mounted dedicated phase detect AF sensor that supports apertures up to F2.8, ensuring maximum AF precision when using large-aperture lenses.  In low light, the AF system of the camera performs accurately locking on to subjects in scenes with illumination levels as low as EV-2 (ISO100).

There’s a suite of new AF functions on the α77 II model.  Expanded Flexible Spot mode maintains focus even if the selected AF point loses track of the subject, activating eight surrounding AF points that recognize the subject.  Lock-on AF mode lets users select one of four AF area modes (Wide, Zone, Flexible Spot or Expanded Flexible Spot), and can recognize and track a subject’s form based on its color and its position within the frame, automatically selecting the appropriate AF point from the 79 available.

For greater control, the degree of subject-tracking duration can be fine-tuned in five steps (when shooting still images in AF-C mode). A low setting is ideal for slow-moving subjects with predictable movements, while high settings deliver more responsive focusing for shooting different subjects at different distances, such as wildlife or sports photography.  AF Tracking Duration can also be selected between High, Medium and Low during Full HD movie shooting.

Other new features include an Eye AF function that detects and focuses on the subject’s eyes when photographing people.  There is also AF Range Control, which allows AF to be limited to a specified range, and a Balanced Emphasis mode that provides a balance between focus and release timing.

The new model can capture a non-stop burst of up to 60 full-resolution JPEG images at a maximum continuous shooting speed of approximately 12 frames per second with continuous AF (in Continuous Advance Priority AE mode).

It also features an XGA OLED Tru-Finder with 236,000 dot resolution. As featured on the full-frame α99 camera, the α77 II model also features a 3.0-type (7.5 cm) Xtra Fine LCD that moves three ways for added convenience.  The LCD also features WhiteMagic technology, which improves screen visibility, even outdoors in direct sunlight.

The light magnesium body of the α77 II camera features a dust and moisture sealed design and a large grip.  In addition, the camera’s shutter unit is rated for 150,000 total shots.

The α77 II camera can record Full HD 60p and 24p movies using the AVCHD 2.0 format.  As with still shooting, Translucent Mirror Technology enables full-time phase-detection AF.

Additional features include three-level AF tracking sensitivity adjustment, a pro-style Zebra function and audio level metering. There’s also the addition of a clean HDMI output that allows viewing on an external monitor and recording to an external storage device without compression

On-board Wi-Fi allows one-touch connection for easy shot sharing with your Xperia, NFC-compatible Android smartphones, tablets and VAIOcomputers.  A single touch also activates Smart Remote Control, linking the camera to your mobile phone enabling you to fire the shutter from a distance.

For devices without NFC one-touch capabilities, users can wirelessly transfer images and videos and activate Smart Remote Control through Sony’s free PlayMemories Mobile application, available for the iOS and Android platforms.

Covering focal lengths from wide angle to telephoto, a family of 32 A-mount lenses offers a choice of creative tools for visual expression, including several premium models from Carl Zeiss and G Series Lenses. The α77 II camera is compatible with a range of α accessories including microphones, flashes and more, and is designed to work the optional VG-C77AM grip.

The Sony α77 II will be available in June 2014 in a kit with a 16-50mm F2.8 lens (model SAL1650) for a suggested retail price of $1800.   It will also be offered separately as a body for a suggested retail price of $1200.



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