Sony has just released a salvo of cameras, and within that rather elite group, the Alpha 77 (a77) sits at the top.  The new a77 is the Sony a700 successor, and has a 24.3 Megapixel sensor, but although this number is impressive, it has other features that are even more interesting.

Video capture  with auto-focus: First, this camera has a stationary translucent mirror that lets light go to the main sensor and the auto-focus sensor at the same time. This means that the mirror does not have to ever move the mirror. This is particularly interesting for capturing video with full auto-focus. Although it is possible to work around it, the lack of auto-focus is a huge weakness of DSLR video shooting in my opinion.Electronic OLED viewfinder: Now, the “downside” is that the a77 uses an electronic viewfinder, which some people don’t like. This is not new in the Sony alpha line, but Sony has replaced the LCD viewfinder by an OLED viewfinder, which should be better (higher resolution, faster refresh rate). I haven’t tried the new viewfinder for myself, but this is something to check ASAP.

12FPS burt mode, high ISO: The Sony a77 is capable of capturing 12 frames per second (with continuous auto-focus) in full 24.3 Megapixel resolution. If you are in a low-light situation, the camera can go up to 16000 ISO in terms of light sensitivity (some noise will be added to the photo, beware).

Tilt display: The a77 still has physical properties that most DLSR lack, like the tilt display that lets one shoot from an “above the head” position with ease. This is very useful in a crowded environment for example.

Kit: And finally, we have learned that the “kit lens” will be a 16-50mm f2.8 lens. Usually kit lenses are 18-55 f3.5-5.6 lenses, which are very basic. The lower the f-stop number, and the more light is coming into the lens, which is great for action photography, or low-light photography. The Sony alpha 77 will retail for $1399 (body) to $2000 (with a kit lens).

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