Noise profile

Overall, the A77 delivers a solid noise profile for its class. 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. JPEG artifacts are another story (see next slide).
Updated:
Photo by: Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET / Caption by:

JPEG artifacts

At midrange ISO sensitivities, I spotted the occasional compression artifacts (top), which take the form of excessive blockiness.
(1/30 sec, f2.8, ISO 800, AWB, pattern metering, 16-50mm lens at 40mm)
Updated:
Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

JPEG, ISO 800

You can see how the combination of noise suppression and sharpening both mushes up and emphasizes detail on Grace's fur and eye, producing a slightly special-effect-type look.
(1/100 sec, f2.8, ISO 800, AWB, pattern metering, 16-50mm lens at 35mm)
Updated:
Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Noise, ISO 3200

You can get results with fewer artifacts by shooting raw at ISO 3200.
(1/40 sec, f4, ISO 3200, AWB, pattern metering, 16-50mm lens at 40mm)
Updated:
Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

A77V vs. Canon EOS 7D, ISO 1600 JPEG

At ISO 1600, I'd call it a tie for JPEGs: they both have some artifacts, though not egregious ones, and are close enough that it's a matter of taste.
Updated:
Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

A77V vs. Canon EOS 7D, ISO 3200 no NR

Without any noise reduction applied (in Adobe Camera Raw), this is what the two cameras produce. I think the size of the "grain" is what determines the type of noise-reduction artifacts you'll see. When processed, however, the images look extremely close.
Updated:
Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Sharpness

For the most part, the camera does a good job of sharpening JPEGs without going overboard, at least at the default settings. The lens is nicely sharp as well.
(1/160 sec, f5.6, ISO 200, AWB, pattern metering, 16-50mm lens at 50mm)
Updated:
Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Color settings

While I don't like the way Sony's default Creative Style color setting pushes the hues, the A77's Neutral setting works quite well.
Updated:
Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Colors

Just a few examples of the A77's color rendering. Some were shot using the default Standard Creative Style setting--the two shots of roses on the left and bottom right tuber--and the others using the Neutral option.
Updated:
Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Bokeh, 16-50mm lens

I really like the new 16-50mm lens; in addition to being able to be bright, fast, and able to focus fairly closely, it produces lovely out-of-focus highlights.
(1/80 sec, f2.8, ISO 100, AWB, spot metering, 16-50mm lens at 26mm)
Updated:
Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Video, good light

The A77V produces excellent video, with a nice tonal range and no artifacts like moiré or rolling shutter. (Crop from frame grab at 100 percent)
Updated:
Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Video, low light

The low-light video gets soft, but overall is pretty good for its class. (Crop from frame grab at 100 percent)
Updated:
Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:
Hot Galleries

Big stars on small screens

Smosh tells CNET what it took to make it big online

Internet sensations Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla discuss how YouTube has changed and why among all their goals, "real TV" isn't an ambition.

Hot Products