Sony packs the A77V with useful new tech

The Sony Alpha SLT-A77V is an excellent, well-designed camera for deep-pocketed amateurs.

The A77V uses a complex hinge design to enable it to tilt and swivel. Sarah Tew/CNET

The Sony Alpha SLT-A77V is an excellent, well-designed camera for deep-pocketed amateurs.

I'll lead off by saying that I enjoyed shooting with the A77V more than any camera since the Nikon D7000. It's heavy, especially with the 16-50mm kit lens (which, by the way, has become my favorite Sony lens), but the grip is comfy, it feels well balanced, and with only a few exceptions, has the controls in the right places. The EVF is a pleasure to use. It's packed full of solid features, although still missing a couple key ones. And of course the photo quality and performance are right where they need to be for its price class, with the bonus of really nice video.

Overall, the A77V delivers a solid noise profile for its class, and generally excellent photo and video. On JPEGs, you can see just a hair of degradation on edges at ISO 800, but casually noticeable noise-suppression artifacts don't kick in until ISO 1600. However, in photos with a lot of detail--that is, a lot of edges--the aforementioned degradation makes photos look a little mushier than I'd like. If you process raw, the camera's good up to ISO 3200--possibly ISO 6400, depending upon subject matter. If you shoot raw, it delivers roughly comparable photo quality to the Canon EOS 7D.

Read the full review of the Sony Alpha SLT-A77V.

 

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