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Sony A7 II vs A77

The Sony Alpha A7 II and the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in November 2014 and August 2011. The A7 II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the A77 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a full frame (A7 II) and an APS-C (A77) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Sony A7 II   Sony A77
Sony A7 II Sony A77
Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
Sony E mount lenses Sony A mount lenses
24 MP, Full Frame Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-25600 (50-51200) ISO 100-16000 (50-25600)
Electronic viewfinder (2400k dots) Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.0" LCD, 1230k dots 3.0" LCD, 921k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Fully flexible screen (no touchscreen)
5 shutter flaps per second 12 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
350 shots per battery charge470 shots per battery charge
127 x 96 x 60 mm, 599 g 143 x 104 x 81 mm, 732 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha A7 II and the Sony Alpha SLT-A77? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Sony A7 II vs A77

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony A7 II and the Sony A77. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Sony A7 II vs Sony A77
Compare A7 II versus A77 top
Comparison A7 II or A77 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A77 is notably larger (22 percent) than the Sony A7 II. Moreover, the A77 is markedly heavier (22 percent) than the A7 II. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the A7 II gets 350 shots out of its NP-FW50 battery, while the A77 can take 470 images on a single charge of its NP-FM500H power pack. The power pack in the A7 II can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7 II» 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 599 g 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
 
Sony A77« 143 mm 104 mm 81 mm 732 g 470 Y Aug 2011 1,399- i Sony A77
 
Olympus E-M1 II« » 134 mm 91 mm 67 mm 574 g 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic GH5« » 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 725 g 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« » 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
 
Sony A9« » 127 mm 96 mm 63 mm 673 g 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
 
Sony A7R II« » 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 625 g 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7S II« » 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 627 g 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
 
Sony A77 II« » 143 mm 104 mm 81 mm 647 g 480 Y May 2014 1,199 i i Sony A77 II
 
Sony A7« » 127 mm 94 mm 48 mm 474 g 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
 
Sony A7R« » 127 mm 94 mm 48 mm 465 g 340 Y Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R
 
Sony A99« » 147 mm 111 mm 78 mm 812 g 500 Y Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony A99
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The A77 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 30 percent) than the A7 II, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony A7 II vs A77

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony A7 II features a full frame sensor and the Sony A77 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A77 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony A7 II and Sony A77 sensor measures

Even though the A7 II has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the A7 II has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 3.91μm for the A77), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the A7 II is much more recent (by 3 years and 2 months) than the A77, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The A7 II has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Sony Alpha A7 II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 50-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-25600.

A7 II versus A77 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the A7 II provides substantially higher image quality than the A77, with an overall score that is 12 points higher. This advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7 II» Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990Sony A7 II
 
Sony A77« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.280178Sony A77
 
Olympus E-M1 II« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096Sony A7 III
 
Sony A9« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792Sony A9
 
Sony A7R II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.9343498Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7S II« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.3299385Sony A7S II
 
Sony A77 II« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Sony A77 II
 
Sony A7« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890Sony A7
 
Sony A7R« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.614.1274695Sony A7R
 
Sony A99« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.014.0155589Sony A99

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

 

Feature comparison: Sony A7 II vs A77

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the A7 II offers a slightly higher resolution than the one in the A77 (2400k vs 2359k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony A7 II and Sony A77 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7 II»2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7 II
 
Sony A77«2359 Y 3.0 921 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 Y Y Sony A77
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Sony A7 III
 
Sony A9« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y Sony A9
 
Sony A7R II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7S II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7S II
 
Sony A77 II« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 Y Y Sony A77 II
 
Sony A7« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Sony A7
 
Sony A7R« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 4.0 n n Sony A7R
 
Sony A99« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 6.0 n Y Sony A99

One feature that is present on the A77, but is missing on the A7 II is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The A77 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the A7 II does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A7 II and the A77 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

 

Connectivity comparison: Sony A7 II vs A77

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Alpha A7 II and Sony Alpha SLT-A77 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7 II»YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7 II
 
Sony A77«YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony A77
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y--Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic GH5« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7 III
 
Sony A9« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A9
 
Sony A7R II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7S II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7S II
 
Sony A77 II« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Sony A77 II
 
Sony A7« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7
 
Sony A7R« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R
 
Sony A99« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0---Sony A99

It is notable that the A7 II has a headphone jack, which is not present on the A77 This port makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Sony A77 (unlike the A7 II) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the A7 II and the A77 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A77 was replaced by the Sony A77 II, while the A7 II was followed by the Sony A7 III. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.


Review summary: Sony A7 II vs A77

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Sony A7 II or the Sony A77 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A7 II:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (12 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for quicker and more confident autofocus.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 921k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (127x96mm vs 143x104mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 133g or 18 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 2 months of technical progress since the A77 launch.


Advantages of the Sony Alpha SLT-A77:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.71x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • More flexible LCD: Has full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (470 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (30 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2011).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A7 II comes out slightly ahead of the A77 (11 : 10 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

A7 II 11:10 A77

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A7 II and the Sony A77 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the A7 II or the A77. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews: Sony A7 II vs A77

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7 II»+82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
 
Sony A77«91/10081/100-4.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,399- i Sony A77
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic GH5« »+ +85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« »+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
 
Sony A9« »+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
 
Sony A7R II« »+ +90/1005/54.5/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7S II« »+-4.5/55/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
 
Sony A77 II« »-80/1004.5/54/55/5 May 2014 1,199 i i Sony A77 II
 
Sony A7« »+ +80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
 
Sony A7R« »+ +82/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R
 
Sony A99« »-84/1004.5/5o4.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony A99
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Sony A7 II:
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Sony A77:
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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Sony A7 II vs Sony A77

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Sony A7 II Sony A77
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses Sony A mount lenses
    Launch Date November 2014 August 2011
    Launch Price USD 1999 USD 1399
    Sensor Specs Sony A7 II Sony A77
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.97 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 2.80 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100-25600 ISO 100-16000 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-51200 ISO 50-25600 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 90 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.9 24.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.6 13.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2449 801
    Screen Specs Sony A7 II Sony A77
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.71x 0.73x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2400k dots 2359k dots
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1230k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fully flexible screen
    Shooting Specs Sony A7 II Sony A77
    Autofocus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000/s 1/8000/s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 12 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations150 000 actuations
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Sony A7 II Sony A77
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Geotagging GPS built-in
    Body Specs Sony A7 II Sony A77
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-FW50 power pack NP-FM500H power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge470 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging no USB charging
    Body Dimensions 127 x 96 x 60 mm
    (5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4 in)
    143 x 104 x 81 mm
    (5.6 x 4.1 x 3.2 in)
    Camera Weight 599 g (21.1 oz) 732 g (25.8 oz)

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