Sony A77 II Review

June 10, 2014 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Sony A77 II is a new interchangeable lens camera that uses Translucent Mirror Technology to offer high-speed shooting and a smaller body size. The 24.3 megapixel A77 II features a class-leading 79-point auto-focus system with 15 cross-sensors, 12fps burst shooting of up to 60 full-resolution frames, BIONZ X processor, NFC/Wi-Fi connectivity, Full HD 50p video with continuous autofocus and full manual control during shooting, 3-way tiltable LCD screen, an XGA OLED electronic viewfinder with 2359k dot resolution, double control dials, top-mounted LCD data display, Sweep Panoramas, Dynamic Range Optimizer and HDR, and an ISO range of 100-25600. The Sony A77 II costs $1200 in the US and £999 in the UK for the body only, and about $1800 / £1550 for the body and Sony DT-16-50mm f/2.8 SSM lens.

Ease of Use

Outwardly the Sony A77 II is very similar to the original three-year-old A77 model - if it ain't broke, don't fix it seems to be the approach here. The A77 II dispenses with an optical viewfinder in favour of an electronic version, and uses a fixed semi-translucent mirror instead of the moving non-translucent mirror of a DSLR. The translucency of the A77 II's mirror means that enough light can pass through it to the sensor to allow it to remain fixed in place at all times, with the ability to reflect some of the light onto a phase-detection auto-focus array that sits in the top of the A77 II body. This combination means that the A77 II can offer full-time DSLR-like focusing speeds, even during video recording, plus an excellent Live View system with 100% scene coverage and an amazingly fast continuous shooting rate of 12fps, whilst being physically smaller and lighter than a comparable DSLR.

Measuring 142.6 mm × 104.2 mm × 80.9 mm and weighing 647 grams, the Sony A77 II is identical in size and weight to the older A77. The magnesium-bodied A77 II is intended to be a premium, step-up alternative to the more consumer-targeted Sony interchangeable lens cameras, and in terms of its size and construction it definitely fits the photo enthusiast bill. The A77 II is a very solid bit of kit with build quality that surpasses rival DSLR cameras in the same price range, being made to withstand most conditions thanks to all the ports, doors and controls being weather-sealed.

The Sony A77 II can shoot full-resolution 24.3 megapixel pictures at up to 12fps for up to 53 extrafine JPEG, 60 fine JPEG, 26 RAW, or 25 RAW+JPEG frames whilst maintaining continuous auto focus, an impressively fast rate for such a relatively inexpensive camera. To achieve the full 12fps you need to set the exposure mode dial to the dedicated burst mode, which locks the exposure at the start of the sequence and automatically sets the aperture at either f/3.5 or faster (depending on the lens fitted). The standard Continuous Advance drive mode provides a burst rate of 8fps or a lower speed of 3fps with the ability to change the exposure as required between frames and the aperture to any value, capturing up to 56 extrafine JPEG, 75 fine JPEG, 28 RAW, or 26 RAW+JPEG frames.

The A77 II features an impressively adjustable rear 3-inch LCD with 1,228,800 dot resolution. This is bracketed in two places and can be tilted down and then swivelled to the left and right through 270 degrees, and can also be flipped around to face inward to help protect it from scratches and above the camera facing forwards for selfies. The A77 II also has a clever eye level sensor that switches off the rear screen's info display as you bring your eye close to the excellent optical viewfinder, plus a facility that automatically flips the same display through 90° should you turn the camera on its side to shoot in portrait fashion.

One advantage that the Sony range still maintains over either Canon or Nikon is that the A77 II features built-in sensor shift image stabilization, hence no need to spend extra on specialist lenses to help combat camera shake. On the Sony A77 II light sensitivity stretches from ISO 50 all the way up to ISO 25,600. Sony's long-standing D-Range Optimizer and HDR functions help to even out tricky exposures, for example where a bright background would normally throw the foreground into deep shadow.

The A77 II can record 1080p HD 1920 x 1280 pixel movies at either 50fps or 25fps (PAL), or 60fps and 24fps (NTSC) in the AVCHD format, or 1440 x 1080 pixels at 30fps/25fps in the MPEG-4 format, useful as this format can currently be shared more easily. There's also a 640 x 480 VGA mode at 25fps, but no 720p mode. There's a limitation of up to 29 minutes, or 9 minutes if SteadyShot is turned on, for the AVCHD format, and a 2Gb file size for MP4 video. Stereo sound with 16 steps is recorded during video capture, and you can fit an optional external stereo microphone to further improve the quality. The HDMI port allows you to output uncompressed footage to an external device or to connect the A77 II to a high-def TV set, but only if you purchase the optional HDMI mini-cable.

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Front Rear

The Sony A77 II offers both built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity. This gives you a number of options. With the free Play Memories Mobile app, you can control the camera remotely from your smartphone via Wi-Fi, although in our experience the control options are quite limited for the time being. You can see the camera's live view feed on your phone's screen, set exposure compensation and take a picture remotely but that's it basically – and communication between camera and phone can be quite slow too. It's also possible to hook the camera up to an existing Wi-Fi network. The A77 II also features NFC (Near Field Communication) technology (the same technology that's used for mobile payments), which allows you to connect it to a compatible internet enabled device or another NFC-enabled camera by simply tapping them together.

As with Live View, continuous phase-detection AF is possible whilst shooting movies on the A77 II, a distinct advantage over most DSLR cameras and fast enough to rival Compact System Cameras like the Panasonic Lumix GH series. It allows you to track fast-moving subjects without having to resort to manual focusing, ideal for users who are used to compacts that can auto-focus for both still and moving images. There are a few caveats - the focusing can be heard on the soundtrack, although using an external microphone gets around this, it sometimes struggles to keep up with the subject, and more notably the shallow depth of field that's inherent to a large-sensor camera produces noticeable and often unwanted "jumps" as the AF system locks onto different subjects in the frame.

In addition to continuous AF and manual, the selected AF Area can be changed within the frame to easily create the professional "rack focus" effect, where the focus moves between the background and foreground subjects. Also pleasing is the ability to change the shutter speed or aperture during recording with Program, Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority, and fully Manual recording modes all on offer. Exposure compensation, creative styles, picture effects, white balance, AF area, tracking auto-focus and metering mode all apply equally to stills and moving images too.

As you'd expect, it's also possible to focus manually with the Sony SLT-A77 II. When focusing manually, Sony offers two Focus Magnifier zoom levels to aid in determining the precise point of focus, either 5.9x or 11.7x. Also included is the "focus peaking" display which provides a level of hand-holding for manual focus users. When turned on to one of the three levels (low, mid, high), this essentially draws a coloured line (red, white or yellow) around the areas of highest contrast in the image when you're manually focusing the camera. Used in conjunction with the magnified focus assist, this makes it a cinch to focus accurately on a specific part of the subject. It can also be used in the movie mode, again providing a real boon to your creativity.

From the front the Sony A77 II looks unthreatening to the experienced DSLR user. Apart from a familiar ridge housing the pop up flash above the Alpha lens mount, its most distinguishing feature is the traditional handgrip complete with leather-look rubberized covering that extends around the side of the camera. It's easy to fit three fingers around the handgrip and makes it straight-forward to hold the camera steady for shooting handheld. Built into the grip itself is a narrow sliver of a window for the remote sensor, should use of one be required as an optional extra. Note that the A77 II no longer has a dedicated autofocus assist / self-timer lamp, instead relying on the pop-up flash to provide a burst of assist flash.

At the top of the handgrip, but still at the front, is the camera's first control/command dial, situated beneath the main shutter release button and on/off switch, where it falls readily under the forefinger. Users can twist this to rapidly scroll through screen menu options and folders, a task also achieved by tabbing through the same using the multi-selector at the rear, as well as adjust apertures and shutter speeds. The small Depth-of-field Preview button is located at the bottom-left of the lens mount.

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Front Tilting LCD Screen

Over at the other side of the lens mount we find a comfortably large button to release the lens, adjacent to which is a very useful switch for alternating between manual and the three types of auto-focus. Sony has subtly incorporated instances of its Alpha trademark 'cinnibar' (orange to the rest of us) colour on the camera, here only visible in the thin line encircling the lens surround. The Alpha mount also offers compatibility with A mount lenses from the legacy Minolta and Konica Minolta range.

The A77 II's top plate features the aforementioned shutter release button encircled by an on/off switch that visually apes the zoom levers found on some compact cameras. The shutter-release has a definite half-way point, with the focus points rapidly illuminating green in the viewfinder and a confirmation bleep signaling that focus and exposure has been determined and the user is free to go on and take the shot. The A77 II has a class-leading choice of 79 AF points covering 40% of the frame, with with 15 cross sensors to maximize precision for both vertical and horizontal subjects and an F/2.8 centre point to support fast lenses.

In addition to greatly improving the number and type of AF points, Sony have also expanded the A77 II's auto-focus capabilities in several other significant ways. The new Eye AF function automatically recognizes and focuses on the main subject's eyes. The distance range within which the AF system will operate can be configured to suit your particular subject, and the speed with which the A77 II will react to changes in focus distance can be tweaked. The camera can be configured to automatically use eight adjacent focus points if the subject moves too quickly, or choose one of four Lock-on AF modes (Wide, Zone, Flexible Spot or Expanded Flexible Spot). The camera will also choose between focus-priority and release-priority shooting automatically if required.

With an imperceptible shutter delay, a full resolution JPEG is committed to memory in just over a second in single shot mode, a RAW file in two. The Exposure Compensation and ISO buttons are very handily positioned to provide quick access to two features that you will use all the time, although you can change their default settings to one of other key options if you so desire.

One of the reasons for choosing the A77 II instead of the cheaper models is the display panel, an LCD status screen that shows most of the important camera settings. In conjunction with the information displayed on the LCD screen and through the viewfinder, this panel makes it very easy to quickly see exactly how the camera is setup. There's a small button alongside to illuminate the panel. Joining the display panel on top of the A77 II are buttons for the self timer/bracketing and white balance options.

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Top Tilting LCD Screen

Next we come to the Finder/LCD button alongside the pop-up flashgun and a large curved grille for the built-in stereo microphone. If choosing 'Finder' with the camera set to auto-focus, bringing your eye level with the viewfinder and sensor below will neatly prompt the camera to automatically focus on whatever it's aiming at (you can turn this feature off by disabling the Eye-Start AF menu option). Pressing the same button again switches to the LCD, automatically blanking out the viewfinder with the rear screen bursting into life instead. The A77 II's top plate also features Sony's proprietary Multi-Interface shoe for an optional flash or accessory situated just above the electronic viewfinder, with a dedicated button to manually release the pop up flash situated just in front. The built-in flash can also trigger an optional wireless accessory flash.

Over at the far left of the A77 II's top plate is a shooting mode dial that's slightly sunk into the bodywork and now has a lockable button, thus helping to prevent the dial accidentally slipping from one setting to another when placing into or retrieving the camera from a bag. Arranged around this are 12 selectable options, running from full Auto to the creative quartet of Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter priority and Manual, plus dedicated modes for the 12fps continuous shooting, Panorama and a Scene option which includes pre-optimised scene modes for common subjects such as portraits, landscapes, close ups (macro), sports, sunset, night, night portraits and handheld twilight. Three Custom modes make it easy to quickly switch between pre-configured camera setups, very useful for setting up the camera to suit different environments and uses.

At the rear of the A77 II we find the free-angle 3-inch LCD screen, which has an impressively high resolution of 1,228,800-dots, 16:9 wideangle ratio and can be adjusted for brightness. While the ability to both tilt and rotate the screen is very welcome, placing the bracket at the bottom does make it impossible to attain the video-friendly side-on position that some other rival models offer, a real shame considering the A77 II's video capabilities.

Instead of the bulky optical viewfinder of a conventional DSLR, the Sony A77 II has a smaller electronic viewfinder. The OLED electronic viewfinder on the A77 II is even better than the A77's already excellent EVF. It has a large 1.09x magnification, 100% field of view, and a staggeringly high 2,359,000 dot equivalent resolution, resulting in a display that's virtually indistinguishable from a more traditional optical viewfinder. Improvements to the A77 II's EVF include increased contrast, more customisable brightness levels, and color temperature adjustment.

As the EVF is reading the same signal from the image sensor as the rear LCD screen, it can also display similar information, with a choice of five display modes. For example, you can view and operate the A77 II's Function Menu, giving a true preview of the scene in front of you and quick access to all the key camera settings while it's held up to your eye. The various icons used to represent the camera settings are clear and legible. The icing on the viewing cake is the clever built-in eye sensor, which automatically switches on the viewfinder when you look into it, then switches it off and turns on the LCD monitor when you look away.

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Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

The A77 II's EVF system also performs very well indoors in low light, typically the scourge of most EVFs which have to "gain-up" to produce a usable picture, resulting in a noticeably grainier picture. The A77 II doesn't suffer from this unwanted effect at all, making the A77 II's electronic viewfinder the equal of and in many areas better than a DSLR's optical viewfinder, particularly those found on entry-level models which are typically dim and offer limited scene coverage. The truest testament to the A77 II is that we almost exclusively used it by holding it up to eye-level, something that we wouldn't do unless the EVF was of sufficient quality.

To the left of the viewfinder is a button marked Menu. Press this and a number of shooting and set up folders appear on screen, with white text on a black background aiding visibility. To the right of the viewfinder is a small wheel for dioptric adjustment that isn't too stiff and rigid. Just below and to the right of this is a welcome dedicated button for one-touch movie recording. A second marked AEL locks the exposure, while a third toggles between manual focus and the current auto-focus mode and also doubles up as a means of zooming into images and magnifying detail when in playback mode. To the right of this button is the A77 II's second control dial, which in combination with the fore-finger operated one makes it a cinch to operate the camera in full manual mode. Underneath is the aforementioned thumb-operated multi-selector. We found it to be a little unresponsive and "sticky" in operation, but it undoubtedly makes it quicker to scroll through and choose settings than a more traditional navigation pad.

The next control on the rear of the A77 II is a Function ('Fn') button. In this view, you can check all of the camera's important shooting settings at a glance via the Quick Navi Pro menu, and modify 12 custoimisable settings by moving about the screen using the navigation pad. By using this screen you can mostly save yourself from having to delve into the main menu.

Creative Styles are pre-optimised user selectable settings which run from the default of 'standard' through the self-explanatory vivid, portrait, landscape, sunset and black and white. For each of these creative options, contrast, saturation and sharpness can be individually adjusted. Picture Effects are a range of 13 creative effects that can be previewed on the LCD screen or electronic viewfinder and applied to both JPEG stills and movies.

Completing the rear controls are the Disp button for switching on or off the on-screen display, the rather pointless smart teleconverter function, which is essentially a 1.4x and 2x digital zoom for 12 megapixel JPEG images only (thankfully you can more usefully re-assign this button to focus magnification), a self-explanatory Playback button and a self-evident trash can button for deleting images on the fly, which also doubles up as the new Custom button. The A77 II offers 11 customizable buttons in total, with 51 functions available.

On the left of the A77 II is a HDMI output in order to hook the camera up to an HD TV (the cable is once again an additional purchase) alongside the expected USB connection, both protected by the same rubber flap, and a DC In port. Above are ports for a remote control, flash sync socket for studio work and an external microphone, the latter potentially allowing better sound quality to be recorded than via the camera's built-in stereo microphones. There's also a Wi-Fi logo to indicate that this camera has built-in Wi-Fi. On the right is a dedicated memory card slot with a choice of either SD or Memory Stick to save images to. Two partially recessed metal eyelets on either side of the body allow the supplied camera strap to be attached. On the bottom of the camera is a compartment for the lithium-ion battery that supplies a life-span of 410 images with the viewfinder or 480 images in Live View mode (slightly less than the bolder A77), plus a metal tripod socket that's in-line with the centre of the lens mount.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 24.3 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

The Sony A77 II produced images of excellent quality during the review period. The Sony A77 II's has an extensive and very usable ISO range of 50-25,600. ISO 50-1600 is noise-free, whilst ISO 3200 and 6400 produce more than acceptable results, and even ISO 12800 and is OK for emergency use (although we'd avoid 25,600 if possible). The RAW samples illustrate just how much processing the camera does by default, though, as they're much noisier at all ISO values than their JPEG counterparts.

The 24 megapixel images are a little soft straight out of the camera using the default creative style and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera sharpening level. The built-in flash worked well indoors with no red-eye and good overall exposure. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and the Bulb mode offering lots of scope for creative night photography. The built-in SteadyShot anti-shake system works well when hand-holding the camera at slower shutter speeds.

The effective Dynamic Range Optimizer function extracts more detail from the shadow and highlight areas in an image, without introducing any unwanted noise or other artifacts. The High Dynamic Range mode combines two shots taken at different exposures to produce one image with greater dynamic range than a single image would produce. It only works for JPEGs and for still subjects, but does produce some very effective results. Sony's now tried-and-trusted Sweep Panorama is still a joy to use. The extensive range of picture effects quickly produce special looks that would otherwise require you to spend a lot of time in the digital darkroom, although they can only be applied to JPEGs, while the Creative Styles provide a quick and easy way to tweak the camera's JPEG and RAW images.


There are 9 ISO settings available on the Sony A77 II. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:


ISO 50 (100% Crop)

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

iso50.jpg iso50raw.jpg  

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg  

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg  

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg  

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg  

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg  

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg  

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg  

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg  

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

iso25600.jpg iso25600raw.jpg  


Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

File Quality

The Sony A77 II has 3 different image quality settings available, with Extra Fine being the highest quality JPEG option. Annoyingly the RAW+JPG option only records Fine quality JPEGs. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

24.3M Extra Fine (12.08Mb) (100% Crop) 24.3M Fine (6.84Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_extrafine.jpg quality_fine.jpg
24.3M Standard (4.53Mb) (100% Crop) 24.3M RAW (23.9Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_normal.jpg quality_raw.jpg


The flash settings on the Sony A77 II are Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow sync, Rear flash sync. and High Speed sync., with Red-eye reduction available in the Main Menu. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (27mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (27mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (82.5mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (82.5mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. Neither the Auto setting or the Red-eye reduction mode caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg

Red-eye reduction

Red-eye reduction (100% Crop)

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The Sony A77 II's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's also a Bulb mode for even longer exposures, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 20 seconds at ISO 100.


Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg


The Sony A77 II has an antishake mechanism built into the camera body, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, we took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with Shake Reduction turned off, the second with it turned on. Here is a 100% crop of the image to show the results. As you can see, with Shake Reduction turned on, the images are sharper than when it's turned off.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Shake Reduction Off (100% Crop)

Shake Reduction On (100% Crop)

1/6th / 27mm antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg
1/6th / 82.5mm antishake2.jpg antishake2a.jpg

Dynamic Range Optimizer

D-Range Optimiser (DRO) is Sony's solution to improve shadow detail in photos taken in contrasty light. There are 5 different levels and an Auto option.


drange_01.jpg drange_02.jpg
Level 1 Level 2
drange_03.jpg drange_04.jpg
Level 3 Level 4
drange_05.jpg drange_06.jpg
Level 5  

High Dynamic Range

High Dynamic Range Optimiser (HDR) is Sony's solution for capturing more contrast than a single exposure can handle by combining two exposures into one image. There are 6 different EV settings and an Auto option.


hdr_01.jpg hdr_02.jpg
hdr_03.jpg hdr_04.jpg
hdr_05.jpg hdr_06.jpg
hdr_07.jpg hdr_08.jpg

Creative Styles

There are 6 Creative Style preset effects that you can use to change the look of your images (JPEG or RAW).



creative_style_01.jpg creative_style_02.jpg



creative_style_03.jpg creative_style_04.jpg



creative_style_05.jpg creative_style_06.jpg

Picture Effects

The Sony A77 II offers a range of 13 creative Picture Effects. Note that they can only be applied to JPEGs.


Toy Camera

picture_effect_01.jpg picture_effect_02.jpg

Pop Color


picture_effect_03.jpg picture_effect_04.jpg

Retro Photo

Soft High-key

picture_effect_05.jpg picture_effect_06.jpg

Partial Color (Green)

High Contrast Mono

picture_effect_07.jpg picture_effect_08.jpg

Soft Focus

HDR Painting

picture_effect_09.jpg picture_effect_10.jpg

Rich-tone Mono


picture_effect_11.jpg picture_effect_12.jpg



picture_effect_13.jpg picture_effect_14.jpg

Panorama Mode

The Sony A77 II allows you to take panoramic images very easily by 'sweeping' with the camera while keeping the shutter release depressed. The camera does all the processing and stitching and even successfully compensates for moving subjects.


Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Sony A77 II camera, which were all taken using the 24.3 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Sony A77 II enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Sony RAW (ARW) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 25 frames per second. Please note that this 10 second movie is 29.7Mb in size.

Product Images

Sony A77 II

Front of the Sony A77 II

Sony A77 II

Front of the Sony A77 II

Sony A77 II

Front of the Sony A77 II / Pop-up Flash

Sony A77 II

Side of the Sony A77 II

Sony A77 II

Side of the Sony A77 II

Sony A77 II

Side of the Sony A77 II

Sony A77 II

Side of the Sony A77 II

Sony A77 II

Rear of the Sony A77 II

Sony A77 II

Rear of the Sony A77 II


Sony A77 II

Rear of the Sony A77 II / Image Displayed

Sony A77 II
Rear of the Sony A77 II / Turned On
Sony A77 II
Rear of the Sony A77 II / Movie Mode
Sony A77 II
Rear of the Sony A77 II / Info Screen
Sony A77 II
Rear of the Sony A77 II / Main Menu
Sony A77 II
Rear of the Sony A77 II / Function Menu
Sony A77 II
Rear of the Sony A77 II / Vari-angle LCD Screen
Sony A77 II
Rear of the Sony A77 II / Vari-angle LCD Screen
Sony A77 II
Rear of the Sony A77 II / Vari-angle LCD Screen
Sony A77 II
Rear of the Sony A77 II / Vari-angle LCD Screen
Sony A77 II
Top of the Sony A77 II
Sony A77 II
Bottom of the Sony A77 II
Sony A77 II
Side of the Sony A77 II
Sony A77 II
Side of the Sony A77 II
Sony A77 II
Front of the Sony A77 II
Sony A77 II
Front of the Sony A77 II
Sony A77 II
Memory Card Slot
Sony A77 II
Battery Compartment


It may look almost identical to the three-year-old A77, but the latest Mark II version has a lot of new tricks up its sleeve that take Sony's prosumer interchangeable lens camera in a more action oriented direction that will particularly appeal to sports and wildlife photographers. Offering class-leading auto-focusing and burst shooting, along with enhanced handling, a better viewfinder and LCD screen, wireless connectivity and speedier all-round performance, the new A77 II proves that Sony are still very much focused on their Translucent Mirror camera range.

The Sony A77 II represents another significant leap forward for Sony's DSLR range, with a feature-set, handling and performance that continues to beat its main rivals. The greatly enhanced auto-focusing system makes capturing fast moving subjects easier than ever before and offers a lot of advanced control, while the OLED viewfinder is still one of the best EVFs that we've had the pleasure of using. The inclusion of full 1080p movies, built-in wi-fi and NFC connectivity (though sadly no longer GPS), 12fps burst shooting with a much bigger buffer, dual control dials, top-panel LCD and the excellent 3-way rear screen along with a cheaper official launch price than the original A77 all help to make the A77 II one of our favourite interchangeable lens cameras.

Image quality also continues to be excellent, with the new Bionz X processor producing results from the 24.3 APS-C sensor that rival the DSLR competition. Noise doesn't rear its ugly head until ISO 3200 for JPEGs and even the faster settings prove eminently usable, although the A77 II does apply some pretty aggressive noise reduction to keep the files clean as shown by the much noisier RAW images.

Sony may have been lavishing most of their time an attention on their E-Mount and full-frame mirrorless cameras of late, but the new Sony A77 II is a lot more than just a slight upgrade of the original model, offering more than enough new features, improved performance and continued excellent image quality to be awarded our coveted Essential! rating.

5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 5

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Sony A77 II.

Canon EOS 70D

The new Canon EOS 70D is not just another DSLR camera, thanks to its innovative Dual-Pixel CMOS AF system. This new technology aims to deliver much better Live View and Movie shooting than any other DSLR on the market. Read our in-depth Canon EOS 70D review to find out if it delivers on its promise...

Fujifilm X-T1

The Fujifilm X-T1 is a brand new compact system camera that looks, feels and performs very much like a classic DSLR that''s been shrunk in the wash. Is this the best X-series camera that Fujifilm have released, and can it compete with the likes of the Sony A7/A7R and Olympus OM-D E-M1, not to mention DSLRs from Canon and Nikon? Read our in-depth Fujifilm X-T1 review to find out...

Nikon D7100

The D7100 is a new prosumer DSLR camera from Nikon, succeeding but not replacing the popular D7000 model. The weather-proof D7100 features a 24 megapixel DX image sensor, 51-point autofocus system, 6fps burst shooting and a high-resolution 3.2 inch LCD screen. Read our detailed Nikon D7100 review to find out if it's the right DSLR camera for you...

Olympus OM-D E-M1

The Olympus O-MD E-M1 is a new professional compact system camera. Targeting its DSLR rivals, Olympus are promoting the E-M1 as a smaller and more capable camera. Read our expert Olympus E-M1 review to find out if it really can beat the competition...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4

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Review Roundup

Reviews of the Sony A77 II from around the web. »

Sony Alpha A77 Mark II Review - The Sony Alpha A77 Mark II replaces the ageing original with the addition of built-in Wi-fi, an enhanced AF set-up as well as image quality improvements, but can it topple APS-C heavyweights from Canon and Nikon?
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Dimensions (W x H x D)

  • Approx. 142.6 mm × 104.2 mm × 80.9 mm


  • Body Only: Approx. 647 g / Approx. 1 lb 6.8 oz;With battery and Memory Stick PRO Duo included: Approx. 726g / Approx. 1 lb 9.6 oz

Lens Mount

  • Sony A-mount

Lens Compatibility

  • Sony A-mount lenses, Operation with Minolta / Konica lenses confirmed

Sensor Type

  • APS-C type (23.5 x 15.6mm), Exmor™ CMOS sensor with primary color filters

Effective Pixels

  • Approx.24.3 Megapixels

Number of Pixels (total)

  • Approx.24.7 Megapixels

Image Sensor Aspect Ratio

  • 3:2

Anti Dust

  • Yes

Smart zoom (Still Image)

  • M:Approx. 1.4x
  • S:Approx. 2

Digital zoom (Still Image)

  • L:Approx. 4x M:Approx. 5.7x S:Approx. 8

Digital zoom (Movie)

  • Yes (4x)

Recording Format (Still images)

  • JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver. 2.3, MPF Baseline compliant), RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format)

Image Size (pixels), 3:2

  • L: 6000 x 4000 (24M)
  • M: 4240 x 2832 (12M)
  • S: 3008 x 2000 (6.0M)

Image Size (pixels), 16:9

  • L: 6000 x 3376 (20M)
  • M: 4240 x 2400 (10M)
  • S:3008 x 1688 (5.1M)

Image Size (pixels), Sweep Panorama

  • Standard: Horizontal 8,192 x 1,856 (15M), Vertical 3,872 x 2,160 (8.4M)
  • Wide: Horizontal 12,416 x 1,856 (23M), Vertical 5,536 x 2,160 (12M)

Image Quality Modes

  • RAW, RAW & JPEG, JPEG Extra fine, JPEG Fine, JPEG Standard

Creative Style

  • Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn leaves, Black & White, Sepia, Style Box (1-6), (Contrast (-3 to +3 steps), Saturation (-3 to +3 steps), Sharpness (-3 to +3 steps))

Dynamic Range Functions

  • Off, Dynamic Range Optimizer (Auto/Level(1-5)), Auto High Dynamic Range(Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure difference Level (1-6EV, 1.0EV step))

Recording Format (Movie)

  • AVCHD format Ver. 2.0 compliant / MP4

Video Compression

  • AVCHD:MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, MP4:MPEG-4 AVC/H.264

Audio Recording Format

  • AVCHD:Dolby Digital (AC-3) 2ch, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator
  • MP4:MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2ch

Other Movie Functions

  • AF Drive Speed
  • AF Tracking Duration
  • Audio Level Display
  • Audio Rec Level
  • Auto Slow Shutter
  • HDMI Info. Display
  • PAL/NTSC Selector

Face Detection

  • On/ On (Regist. Faces) / Off

Auto Portrait Framing

  • Yes (Still Images)

Clear Image Zoom

  • Yes (approx.2x)

Compatible Recording Media

  • Memory Stick PRO Duo™
  • Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™
  • Memory Stick XC-HG Duo
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC memory cards (UHS-I compliant)

Noise Reduction

  • Long exposure NR: On/Off , available of shutter speeds longer than 1 sec., High ISO NR: Normal/Low/Off selectable

Multi Frame NR

  • Auto / ISO100 to 51200

White Balance Modes

  • Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm White / Cool White / Day White / Daylight), Flash, Color temperature (2500 to 9900K), Color Filter (G7 to M7, A7 to B7), Custom (1 / 2 / 3), Custom Set


  • 3 frames, H/L selectable

Focus Sensor

  • CCD line sensors

Focus Sensitivity Range

  • EV -2 to 18 (at ISO 100 equivalent)

AF Mode

  • Single-shot AF (AF-S), Continuous AF (AF-C), Automatic AF (AF-A), Direct Manual Focus selectable

Focus Area

  • Wide, Zone, Center, Flexible Spot, Expanded Flexible Spot, Lock-On AF (Wide, Zone, Center, Flexible Spot, Expanded Flexible Spot)

Other Features

  • Eye-start AF, Eye AF, Predictive control, Focus lock, AF On,

AF Illuminator

  • Built - in Flash

AF Illuminator range

  • Approx. 1m - 5m / Approx. 3.3 to 16.4 feet

Metering Type

  • 1200-zone evaluative metering

Metering Sensor

  • Exmor™ CMOS Sensor

Metering Mode

  • Multi segment, Spot, Center weighted

Exposure Modes

  • AUTO (Intelligent Auto / Superior Auto), Scene Selection, Sweep Panorama, Continuous Advance Priority AE, Movie, Programmed AE, Aperture priority, Shutter-speed priority, Manual, Memory recall

Scene Selection

  • Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Hand-held Twilight

Exposure Compensation

  • +/-5.0 EV (1/3EV, 1/2EV steps selectable)

Auto (AE) Bracketing

  • Bracket: Cont./Bracket: Single, With 1/3EV, 1/2EV, 2/3EV, 1.0EV, 2.0EV, 3.0EV increments, 3 /5 frames

AE Lock

  • AE is also locked when focus is locked in multi-segment metering mode. ("AEL w/ shutter"(Auto/On/Off) is supported)
  • Available with AE lock button

ISO Sensitivity

  • Movie: ISO100 - 12800 equivalent (1/3 EV step),AUTO ( ISO 100-12800 equivalent, selectable the lower limit and the upper limit )
  • Still Image: ISO 100 - 25600 (1/3 EV step), (ISO numbers up from ISO50 can be set as expanded ISO range.),AUTO ( ISO 100-25600, selectable the lower limit and the upper limit )

Viewfinder Type

  • 1.3cm (0.5" type) Electronic viewfinder

Number of Dots

  • 2 359 296 dots

Field Coverage

  • 100%


  • Approx. 1.09x (35mm camera equivalent: Approx. 0.71x) with 50mm lens at infinity, -1m style name="sup" -1 /style

Diopter Adjustment

  • -4.0 to +3.0m style name="sup" -1 /style

Eye Point

  • Approx. 27mm from the eyepiece lens, 22mm from the eyepiece frame at -1m style name="sup" -1 /style (CIPA standard)

Screen Type

  • 7.5 cm (3.0 type) TFT Drive

Total Number of Dots

  • 2 359 296 dots

Brightness Control (LCD)

  • Auto, Manual (5 steps between -2 and +2), Sunny Weather

Shutter Type

  • Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane type

Shutter Speed

  • Still images: 1/8000 to 30 sec/Bulb;Movies: 1/8000 to 1/4 (1/3 step), up to 1/60 in AUTO mode (up to 1/30 in Auto slow shutter mode)

Flash Sync. Speed

  • 1 / 250 sec.

Flash Compensation

  • +/- 3.0 EV (switchable between 1/3 and 1/2 EV steps)

Flash Modes

  • Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow sync, Red-eye reduction (on/off selectable), Rear sync.,Wireless, High Speed sync.

Wireless Control

  • Yes (With RMT-DSLR2 (sold separately))

Drive Modes

  • Single Shooting, Continuous shooting (Hi/Lo selectable), Self-timer (10/2 sec delay selectable), Self-timer (Cont.) (with 10 sec delay 3/5 exposures selectable), Bracket: Cont., Bracket: Single, White Balance bracket, DRO bracket

Continuous Shooting

  • Hi: Maximum 8 frames per second, Lo: Maximum 3 frames per second

Supplied Battery

  • One rechargeable battery pack NP-FM500H

Battery Life (CIPA, Still Images)

  • Approx. 410 shots (Viewfinder) / Approx. 480 shots (LCD monitor) (CIPA standard)

What's In The Box

  • Power cord
  • Rechargeable Battery NP-FM500H
  • Battery Charger BC-VM10A
  • Shoulder strap
  • Body cap
  • Accessory shoe cap
  • Eyepiece cup
  • Micro USB cable

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