Sony on Thursday introduced a new camera entrant, dubbed a77 II, which is an interchangeable lens camera with an incredible 79-point AF system. Meant to cater to the enthusiast market, Sony’s new shooter puts an emphasis on speed, durability and those who might shoot in more rugged conditions. In addition to being small and lightweight, the a77 II is water-resistant, and is capable of shooting 12 fps for up to 60 frames with continuous autofocus, meaning it’ll be next to impossible to miss a moment.
The a77 II sports a 23.4-megapixel sensor with BIONZ X processor, with Sony boosting up the sensor sensitivity by up to 20-percent over the first a77. Meanwhile, the shooter has an ISO range of 100 to 25600, so low-light performance should be no problem. As for the 79 point AF system, which also includes 15 cross points within the central area of the sensor, Sony says it can effortlessly track any fast moving object, whether it be a person, animal or vehicle traveling at a high rate. Even in low light, Sony says its AF system can perform in situations where even the human eye would have trouble discerning details.
Digging deeper, the a77 II comes with separate control dials on both sides of the grip, 11 customizable buttons and up to 51 assignable functions. The goal is to cut down on digging through menus and searching for that right feature; it should be right there on a dial or by pressing a function button. You can even set three frequently used groups of shooting modes, which can be easily recalled via the mode dial.
As for video, the a77 II camera is capable of recording Full HD at 60p and 24p, with phase-detection AF using Sony’s Translucent Mirror Technology. There are some pro tools, too, including three-level AF tracking, a pro-style Zebra function, and audio level metering. Additionally, Sony has added a clean HDMI output so you can view your subject on an external monitor and even record to an external device without compression loss.
Finally, Sony has included the usual stuff, including Wi-Fi, NFC, PlayMemories Connectivity and support for 32 A-mount lenses, so you won’t be at a loss when needing different glass to shoot with. PlayMemories Mobile, incidentally, is available for both iOS and Android. Other features of the a77 II includes a three-way tilting LCD with 2,360,000 dot resolution, and compatibility with a ton of Sony accessories, from microphones to flashes, and more.
Not a bad entry into the interchangeable lens market. Sony called the a77 II a “statement,” and said it is dedicated to expanding its A-mount camera lineup. Look out for this one to hit in June for $1,800 in a kit with 16-50mm F2.8 lens, or $1,200 for body only.