I have been using the Sony DSLRs for a few years now and you can see some of my work Here.
So we've all heard about DSLRs and are probably also using them for our photography since so many years. One of the limitations with a DSLR is that you cannot really preview the exact photo till you take it and zoom in and view it. This is one of the reasons why most pros still rely on the camera for auto focusing.
Enter the Sony Alpha A77 which is an SLT - it allows the camera to pass light on to the sensor and still reflect some on to the viewfinder for composition. This allows you to compose and focus photos as perfect as you it can get. Also what you see in the viewfinder is "100%" of what you get in the photo. So what you get is a lightning fast camera which can capture an astounding 24 megapixels and reach a burst rate of a whopping 12 fps. It also shoots 1080p videos at 60 fps in Autofocus mode which is very commendable.
All in all, this is a MUCH BETTER camera technically compared to all the SLRs out in the market. There is also the Sony Alpha A65 which is a similar camera.
Sony Alpha A77 features
2.4M dot OLED viewfinder
Sensor - 24MP CMOS
12fps continuous shooting with auto focus (AE locked after first shot)
1080p60 movies with auto focus
1/8000th maximum shutter speed, shutter rated for 150,000 actuations
ISO 100 - 16,000
Auto ISO with customizable lower and upper limits
Top panel LCD which is a high Res Pull-out three-hinge tilt/swivel 920k dot LCD screen
Stereo microphone and external mic socket
Dust shake sensor cleaning
The entry price of $1400 (body only) or $1999 with the extremely sharp 16-50mm f/2.8 lens makes this an excellent buy when it comes out.
One thing is for sure - Canon and Nikon execs will not be sleeping tonight. Sony's research has helped them build a technology breakthrough which competitors will try hard to match in the years to come.
Tell us your thoughts! Happy shooting!
Specifications and Features from Sony:
World's fastest shooting DSLR: Get action photos, HD Movies and Live View shots that other cameras miss, thanks to Sony's exclusive Translucent Mirror Technology. Enjoy 24.3 megapixel resolution—with the world's fastest shooting— up to 12 frames per second—and the world's first OLED electronic viewfinder.
2nd Generation Translucent Mirror Design. Other DSLRs can shoot. Or they can focus with the speed and precision of Phase Detection AF. They cannot do both at once. Sony changes all that with the award-winning Translucent Mirror Technology system. It directs light to both the image sensor and the Phase Detection AF sensor simultaneously.
24.3 MP; best-in-class resolution: You get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements thanks to a 24.3 megapixel sensor. It's the world's first 24.3MP APS-C DSLR.
World's fastest up to 12 fps continuous: The translucent mirror makes it far easier to capture the decisive soccer kick or your baby at her absolute cutest. Shoots up to 12 frames per second at full-resolution 24.3 megapixels with continuous auto focus (AE locked after first frame). This is the world's fastest shooting speed for interchangeable lens APS-C cameras, as of August, 2011.
HD Movies at 60p, 60i, or 24p : Capture spectacular HD Movies. This is the world's first DSLR to offer a choice of super-smooth 60p, standard 60i or cinematic 24p, all at Full HD 1920x1080 resolution. AVCHD codec delivers stunning picture quality. MP4 codec offers smaller files for easier upload to the web.
HD movies with full manual control: Now you don't need to surrender control when you shoot HD movies. Enjoy the full expressive potential of Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority or Manual (P/A/S/M) control in HD movie mode.
HDMI output for HD viewing: Enjoy HD movies and stunning still images on a compatible HDTV. The camera includes an HDMI output. In addition, the BRAVIA Sync system works with compatible Sony BRAVIA HDTVs enabling you to control camera playback using the television's remote.
921K dot TruBlack LCD screen: Sony's 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD monitor has 921K dots for superb resolution. The TruBlack screen includes a special resin layer to suppress internal reflections, increasing contrast compared to conventional LCDs. Sunny Weather mode boosts visibility even further.
World's first OLED viewfinder: There's never been anything quite like the Tru-Finder OLED electronic viewfinder. For size, speed and brightness even after sunset, this is a gem. It begins with 2359K dots for amazing resolution and high contrast ratio for incredible depth. OLED reduces motion blur to a bare minimum. You can also see the results of camera adjustments in real time with superb color and detail.
Three-way tilt/swivel LCD screen: Tilt it up or down to frame high- and low-angle shots that would otherwise be hit-or-miss. Tilt and swivel over the camera for self-portraits. You can even tilt it up and down when you hold the camera in vertical mode! Finally, the monitor folds flush to the camera with the LCD exposed for shooting or protected for travel.
AUTO+ (Advanced Auto) mode: Get cleaner, more dynamic pictures and fewer missed shots. Unifies and simplifies Sony intelligent technologies. The camera automatically recognizes the correct scene mode.
Full-Time Live View in LCD or EVF. You can use both the LCD monitor and OLED Electronic Viewfinder for composing shots in Live View. Both provide a what-you-see-is-what-you-get preview of white balance, focus, depth of field, exposure and 100% framing accuracy, plus informative on-screen displays.
Top mounted LCD: In addition to status displays on the LCD monitor and Electronic Viewfinder, Sony offers a top-mounted LCD with exposure information. Dual control dials - Perfect for experienced shooters, dual control dials provide direct, hands-on access to two settings at a time. Graphic Display Clarifies the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, as well as the effect each has on photographic results.
Full-time Phase Detection AF: You get fast, accurate auto focus in every mode—even HD Movie and Live View—thanks to Sony's exclusive Translucent Mirror Technology. While Contrast Detection Auto Focus often hunts for correct focus, Phase Detection AF knows exactly where correct focus is, and goes straight for it.
World's shortest release time lag: Helps ensure that the image you want is the image you get. Once auto focus occurs, release time lag is the delay between fully pressing the shutter release and when the camera actually starts taking the picture. Long lag makes it harder to capture fast-moving objects. The Sony A77 boasts the world's shortest release time lag at only 0.05 seconds.
Object Tracking AF: Locks onto a specified object and maintains focus even as the subject moves. Unpredictable subjects stay in focus even while zooming. You can concentrate on composition without worrying about focus.
19-point Auto Focus: To maximize the value of Translucent Mirror Technology, Sony incorporates Phase Detection AF of great sophistication. 19 sensors with 11 cross sensors maximize precision for both vertical and horizontal subjects.
6-image layering: Leverages the fast BIONZ processor to capture six images in a fraction of a second, and then combine the data. The result is one incredible single image that gets a cleaner result in Multi-Frame NR mode or sharper nighttime pictures in Hand-held Twilight mode.
Multi-frame: Experience incredible low-light shooting without a flash. The camera captures six images in a fraction of a second. Combining the data from all six, it creates a single image with a reduction in noise equivalent to two additional steps of ISO sensitivity. Sensitivity selectable up to ISO 25600. (Recommended for still subjects.)
Handheld Twilight mode: Get gorgeous shots at night without a tripod. Combines six frames into a single image for smooth, low-noise evening shots. (Recommended for still subjects.)
Auto HDR built into camera: Captures more scene dynamic range than a single exposure can handle—and more range than photo film. Combines the best highlight detail from one shot, the best mid-tones from a second and the best shadow detail from a third for one incredible shot. (Recommended for still subjects.)
ISO 16000 sensitivity: Incredibly clear low-light pictures without sacrificing detail, made possible by the low-noise Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor and refined BIONZ image processor.
11 Picture Effect modes: Discover innovative ways to make your images and videos pop. These include Posterization (Color, B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (Red, Green, Blue, Yellow), Soft High-key, High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, and Miniature.
3D Sweep Panorama: Mode Capture vast scenic vistas and 16:9 shots in spectacular 3D. As you sweep across the panorama, the camera records separate right-eye and left-eye images that make landscapes come alive on your 3D television. Records both JPEG and MPO file formats.
Sweep Panorama Mode: Capture expansive landscapes automatically. Press the shutter, sweep vertically or horizontally. The camera does the rest, continuously shooting images and stitching them together.
Built-in GPS: An integrated GPS receiver records the location and time of every shot you take and lets you view your images on a map with compatible computer and Internet applications, so you can remember where you took your favorite shots.
Shot Result Preview: See the results before you take the shot. This preview takes the guesswork out of camera settings by showing the effects of the aperture, shutter and DRO settings on the depth of field, motion and dynamic range.
Main Sensor Quick AF Live View: Combines the fast focus of Phase Detection AF with high quality Live View images right from the main sensor. This is made possible by Sony Translucent Mirror Technology. You get accurate images and 100% framing on the LCD monitor or eye-level viewfinder.
SteadyShot INSIDE stabilization: Image stabilization reduces blur by compensating for camera shake. Typical DSLR systems build image stabilization into selected lenses only. SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization is built into the camera body itself. You'll reduce blur with every A Mount lens, including macro and wide-aperture standard zoom lenses.
P/A/S/M exposure modes: The camera offers a full range of controls from the beginner's AUTO+ mode to P/A/S/M: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual. On-screen prompts help you refine your skills, build your confidence and exercise greater creative control.
Sony Exmor technology: Conventional image sensors use only a handful of analog-to-digital (A/D) converters, which can slow you down. The Exmor sensor provides more than 5,600 column-parallel A/D converters. This helps enable continuous shooting at up to 12 frames per second.
Upgraded BIONZ image processor: The brain of the camera is a Sony's BIONZ image processor substantially upgraded for the demands of 24.3 megapixel photography. Chroma noise reduction delivers high-resolution, low-noise photos even at ISO 16000. Also enables fast processing for up to 12 fps continuous shooting of data-intensive 24.3 MP images, 2D/3D Sweep Panorama modes and 6-image layering.
APS-C size HD CMOS image sensor: With 19.5 times the area of the typical camcorder image sensor, APS-C makes the difference between amateur and professional-looking video, delivering an exceptional combination of high resolution, high sensitivity and gorgeous, blurred backgrounds.
Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO): Improves results with backlit subjects and recovers details hidden in shadows. Settings include Auto, Level with a choice of five operating levels and Off.
1200-Zone exposure metering Reads exposure directly from the main image sensor. Choice of Multi, Center and Spot metering accommodates a full range of shooting situations.
Face Detection and Registration: The camera can automatically detect up to eight individual faces and adjust focus, exposure, white balance and flash to help deliver crisp, properly lit images of people. Can prioritize children or adults. Face Registration can remember friends and family members and prioritize them.
Smile Shutter technology: Captures a smile the moment it happens. Simply select the Smile Shutter mode and the camera takes the picture automatically. You can prioritize children or adults and adjust the smile sensitivity.
Slot for two media types: For cost-effective, convenient storage and sharing of your images, the camera accepts Memory Stick PRO Duo/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo and SD/SDHC/SDXC media (Class 4 or higher recommended, sold separately).
Up to 530 Shots of battery life: Take up to 530 shots on a single charge with Sony Stamina battery power. Sony's InfoLITHIUM battery system enables you to see the percent of power remaining, so you can keep shooting in confidence.
Rugged, magnesium alloy body: The SLT-A77 is built for the real world with a magnesium alloy body that combines high strength with light weight. Ports, doors and controls are also weather-resistant for smooth operation under adverse conditions.
Advanced Anti-Dust Technology: Anti-Dust Technology helps keep the CMOS sensor clean, resulting in consistently clear pictures. First a static-free coating on the sensor's low-pass filter helps repel dust. Then vibration automatically dislodges dust from the sensor.
Built-in Flash (GN12): To help you shoot more effectively, the camera includes a built-in flash (Guide Number 12) that can also trigger a wireless accessory flash (sold separately). The integrated hot shoe enables you to expand your lighting options with a range of accessory flashes (sold separately).