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Sony A77 II versus Sony A77

The Sony Alpha SLT-A77 II and the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in May 2014 and August 2011. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixel. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Sony A77 II vs Sony A77

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony A77 II and the Sony A77. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the A77 II – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Sony A77 II vs Sony A77
Compare A77 II versus A77 top
Compare A77 II and A77 rear

In this particular case, the Sony A77 II and the Sony A77 have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the A77 is markedly heavier (13 percent) than the A77 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 the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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)
Sony A77 II» 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 22.8 oz 480 Y May 2014 1,199 i i
Sony A77« 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 25.8 oz 470 Y Aug 2011 1,999- i
Canon 6D« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i
Nikon D7200« » 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199- i
Panasonic GX8« » 5.2 in 3.1 in 2.5 in 17.2 oz 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199- i
Pentax K-3 II« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 28.2 oz 720 Y Apr 2015 1,099 i i
Pentax K-3« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 28.2 oz 560 Y Oct 2013 1,299- i
Sony A9« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i
Sony A6500« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 2.1 in 16.0 oz 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399 i i
Sony RX10 II« » 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299- i
Sony A7 II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i
Sony RX10« » 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299- i
Sony A99« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 28.6 oz 500 Y Sep 2012 2,799- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The A77 II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the A77, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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 A77 II vs Sony A77

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony A77 II and Sony A77 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 24 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the A77 II and the A77 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the A77 II is much more recent (by 2 years and 8 months) than the A77, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

A77 II versus A77 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Sony A77 II» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Sony A77« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.280178
Canon 6D« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082
Nikon D7200« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387
Panasonic GX8« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675
Pentax K-3 II« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.613.6110680
Pentax K-3« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.713.4121680
Sony A9« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
Sony A6500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585
Sony RX10 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990
Sony RX10« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469
Sony A99« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.014.0155589

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

 

Feature comparison: Sony A77 II vs Sony A77

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The A77 II and the A77 are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 2359k dots. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony A77 II and Sony A77 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Sony A77 II»2359 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 8000 12.0 Y Y
Sony A77«2359 Y 3.0 921 full-flex n 8000 12.0 Y Y
Canon 6D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 4.5 n n
Nikon D7200« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n
Panasonic GX8« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Pentax K-3 II« »optical Y 3.2 1037 fixed n 8000 8.3 n Y
Pentax K-3« »optical Y 3.2 1037 fixed n 8000 8.3 Y Y
Sony A9« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 20.0 n Y
Sony A6500« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 11.0 Y Y
Sony RX10 II« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 14.0 Y Y
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y
Sony RX10« »1440 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 10.0 Y Y
Sony A99« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 8000 6.0 n Y

The A77 II is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the A77 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A77 was succeeded by the Sony A77 II.

Review summary: Sony A77 II vs Sony A77

So what is the bottom line? Is the Sony A77 II better than the Sony A77 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 II:

  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 921k dots).
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 85g or 12 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (40 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 8 months of technical progress since the A77 launch.


Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha SLT-A77:

  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2011).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A77 II emerges as the winner of the contest (4 : 1 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.

A77 II 04:01 A77

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the A77 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. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Sony A77 II»-80/1004.5/54/55/5 May 2014 1,199 i i
Sony A77«91/10081/100-4.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,999- i
Canon 6D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i
Nikon D7200« »HiRec84/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199- i
Panasonic GX8« »Rec82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199- i
Pentax K-3 II« »--5/54.5/55/5 Apr 2015 1,099 i i
Pentax K-3« »-83/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,299- i
Sony A9« »HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i
Sony A6500« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399 i i
Sony RX10 II« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299- i
Sony A7 II« »Rec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i
Sony RX10« »Rec80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299- i
Sony A99« »-84/1004.5/5rev4.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

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. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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