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Sony A77 vs A77 II

The Sony Alpha SLT-A77 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 II are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2011 and May 2014. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C 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 A77 versus Sony A77 II
Sony A77 Sony A77 II
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Sony A mount lenses Sony A mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-16,000 (50 - 25,600) ISO 100-25,600 (50 - 51,200)
Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots) Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 3.0 LCD, 1229k dots
Fully flexible screen (no touchscreen) Fully flexible screen (no touchscreen)
12 shutter flaps per second 12 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
470 shots per battery charge480 shots per battery charge
143 x 104 x 81 mm, 732 g 143 x 104 x 81 mm, 647 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 II? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony A77 and the Sony A77 II is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

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

In this particular case, the Sony A77 and the Sony A77 II have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the A77 II is markedly lighter (12 percent) than the A77. 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.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Sony A77 143 mm 104 mm 81 mm 732 g 470 Y Aug 2011 1,399i
 
Sony A77 II 143 mm 104 mm 81 mm 647 g 480 Y May 2014 1,199 i
 
Canon G3 X 123 mm 77 mm 105 mm 733 g 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i
 
Canon 6D 145 mm 111 mm 71 mm 770 g 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Nikon Z6 134 mm 101 mm 67 mm 675 g 310 Y Aug 2018 1,999 i
 
Nikon D7200 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199i
 
Nikon D600 141 mm 113 mm 82 mm 850 g 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Panasonic GH5 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 725 g 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i
 
Sony A7 III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i
 
Sony A9 127 mm 96 mm 63 mm 673 g 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499i
 
Sony A68 143 mm 104 mm 81 mm 610 g 540 n Nov 2015 699i
 
Sony A7 II 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 599 g 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999i
 
Sony A99 147 mm 111 mm 78 mm 812 g 500 Y Sep 2012 2,799i
 
Sony A850 156 mm 117 mm 82 mm 895 g 880 Y Aug 2009 1,999i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the A77, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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 and Sony A77 II sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 24 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the A77 and the A77 II 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.

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

A77 versus A77 II MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Sony A77 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.280178
 
Sony A77 II APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Canon G3 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163
 
Canon 6D Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082
 
Nikon Z6 Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p25.314.3329995
 
Nikon D7200 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387
 
Nikon D600 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094
 
Panasonic GH5 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777
 
Sony A7 III Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096
 
Sony A9 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
 
Sony A68 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.570179
 
Sony A7 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990
 
Sony A99 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.014.0155589
 
Sony A850 Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032none23.812.2141579

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The A77 and the A77 II 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony A77 and Sony A77 II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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
 
Sony A772359 Y 3.0 921 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Sony A77 II2359 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Canon G3 Xoptional n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon 6Doptical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 n n
 
Nikon Z63690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y
 
Nikon D7200optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D600optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 Y n
 
Panasonic GH53680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y
 
Sony A7 III2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Sony A93686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y
 
Sony A681440 Y 2.7 460 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Sony A7 II2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y
 
Sony A992359 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 6.0 n Y
 
Sony A850optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 n Y
Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A77 and the A77 II 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

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 SLT-A77 and Sony Alpha SLT-A77 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Sony A77YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Sony A77 IIYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G3 XYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Canon 6DYmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon Z6YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-Y
 
Nikon D7200YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Nikon D600YmonomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Panasonic GH5YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-Y
 
Sony A7 IIIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
 
Sony A9YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYY
 
Sony A68YstereomonoY-micro2.0---
 
Sony A7 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony A99YstereomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Sony A850Y----mini2.0---

It is notable that the A77 II offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the A77 does not provide wifi capability.

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the A77 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

The A77 II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the A77 has been discontinued (but 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. 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

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Sony A77 or the Sony A77 II – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha SLT-A77:

  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2011).


Advantages of the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 II:

  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 921k dots).
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 85g or 12 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • 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 affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 8 months of technical progress since the A77 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A77 II is the clear winner of the contest (6 : 2 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

A77 02:06 A77 II

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A77 and the Sony A77 II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the A77 and the A77 II in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Sony A7791/10081/100..4.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,399i
 
Sony A77 II..80/1004.5/54/55/5 May 2014 1,199 i
 
Canon G3 X+..4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i
 
Canon 6D+ +83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Nikon Z6....4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2018 1,999 i
 
Nikon D7200+ +84/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199i
 
Nikon D600+ +87/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Panasonic GH5+ +85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i
 
Sony A7 III+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i
 
Sony A9+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499i
 
Sony A68....4/5..4/5 Nov 2015 699i
 
Sony A7 II+82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999i
 
Sony A99..84/1004.5/5o4.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799i
 
Sony A850..75/100..4/54.5/5 Aug 2009 1,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Sony A77:
Check Ebay offers
Sony A77 II:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

~

    Specifications: Sony A77 vs Sony A77 II

    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 A77 Sony A77 II
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Sony A mount lenses Sony A mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2011 May 2014
    Launch Price USD 1,399 USD 1,199
    Sensor Specs Sony A77 Sony A77 II
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.2 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.91 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 6.55 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 - 16,000 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 25,600 ISO 50 - 51,200 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 78 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.0 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.2 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 801 ..
    Screen Specs Sony A77 Sony A77 II
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.73x 0.73x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots 2359k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Fully flexible screen Fully flexible screen
    Shooting Specs Sony A77 Sony A77 II
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 12 shutter flaps/s 12 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy150 000 actuations150 000 actuations
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in 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 A77 Sony A77 II
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Geotagging GPS built-in no internal GPS
    Body Specs Sony A77 Sony A77 II
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-FM500H NP-FM500H
    Battery Life (CIPA)470 shots per charge480 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 143 x 104 x 81 mm
    (5.6 x 4.1 x 3.2 in)
    143 x 104 x 81 mm
    (5.6 x 4.1 x 3.2 in)
    Camera Weight 732 g (25.8 oz) 647 g (22.8 oz)

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