Sony has announced the Alpha A77 II, a new enthusiast digital SLT camera with a 24.3-megapixel sensor and a world's first 79 autofocus points
Sony has officially revealed the Alpha a77 II, a new digital SLT camera aimed at professionals and enthusiasts, which combines the existing APS-C CMOS sensor with a brand new image processing engine and the world’s largest number of autofocus points, meaning it should be able to keep track of any subject, no matter how fast it is moving.
An overhauled upgrade over the original Alpha A77, the a77 II has the same chunky body made from a mixture of aluminium and magnesium allow, which is resistant to both dust and moisture. Inside, however, it has been completely changed for 2014. The 24.3-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor has an ISO range of 100-25600, and is paired with Sony’s high-speed BIONZ X image processing engine for rapid shooting. BIONZ X includes unique Sony “detail reproduction” and “diffraction-reducing” technologies, which should correct blurred details and minimise outlines for more realistic images, and area-specific noise reduction to produce clearer shots when shooting at higher ISOs. Capable of 12fps shooting up to sixty frames, the 79 autofocus points (including 15 cross points) should ensure everything stays in focus too.
An XGA OLED viewfinder includes 100% field coverage and a 33-degree wide viewing angle, with five view modes including histogram and a digital spirit level to ensure your shots are straight. The 1,228k-dot LCD live view screen can be tilted in three directions, and supports phase-detection auto focus – a feature unique to SLT cameras that you won’t find on a Canon or Nikon DSLR. There’s also a backlit top display panel to quickly check ISO, aperture, shutter speed and other camera settings.
As you would expect from a camera aimed at professionals as well as enthusiasts, there are plenty of dedicated buttons including front and rear dials, exposure, ISO, white balance, drive mode and AE lock buttons, outputs for an external microphone, hot shoe mount for optional accessories beyond the pop-up flash, and support for an optional battery pack.
Sony has also added near field communication (NFC) and Wi-Fi connectivity, for direct connection with a smartphone or tablet for transferring images or sharing them directly to social networks. It also supports 4K still image output to a compatible Ultra HD display or 4K television.
Sony has yet to announce official UK pricing, but confirmed that the Alpha a77 II will be going on sale this summer. Considering the original a77 cost around £1,700 with 16-50mm kit lens when it first launched in 2011, we wouldn’t expect the new model to be any less at launch.