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Sony A77 vs A99

The Sony Alpha SLT-A77 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A99 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2011 and September 2012. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (A77) and a full frame (A99) 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   Sony A99
Sony A77 Sony A99
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Sony A mount lenses Sony A mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-16000 (50-25600) ISO 100-25600
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 6 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
470 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
143 x 104 x 81 mm, 732 g 147 x 111 x 78 mm, 812 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-A99? 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 A77 vs A99

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony A77 and the Sony A99 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Sony A77 vs Sony A99
Compare A77 versus A99 top
Comparison A77 or A99 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A99 is notably larger (10 percent) than the Sony A77. Moreover, the A99 is markedly heavier (11 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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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)
Camera
Model
 
Sony A77» 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 25.8 oz 470 Y Aug 2011 1,399- i Sony A77
 
Sony A99« 5.8 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 28.6 oz 500 Y Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony A99
 
Canon 6D« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
 
Nikon D600« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Panasonic GH5« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 25.6 oz 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Pentax K-3« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 28.2 oz 560 Y Oct 2013 1,299- i Pentax K-3
 
Sony A9« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
 
Sony A99 II« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
 
Sony A6500« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 2.1 in 16.0 oz 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399 i i Sony A6500
 
Sony A7R II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.0 oz 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7 II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
 
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 II
 
Sony A850« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 31.6 oz 880 Y Aug 2009 1,999- i Sony A850
 
Sony A900« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 31.6 oz 880 Y Sep 2008 2,999- i Sony A900
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The A77 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 50 percent) than the A99, 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 vs A99

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony A77 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony A99 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A99 is 132 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony A77 and Sony A99 sensor measures

Even though the A99 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the A99 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.96μm versus 3.91μm for the A77), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the A99 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) than the A77, and its sensor might 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-A99 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-25600.

A77 versus A99 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the A99 offers substantially better image quality than the A77 (overall score 11 points higher). The advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Sony A77» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.280178Sony A77
 
Sony A99« Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.014.0155589Sony A99
 
Canon 6D« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082Canon 6D
 
Nikon D600« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094Nikon D600
 
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
 
Pentax K-3« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.713.4121680Pentax K-3
 
Sony A9« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792Sony A9
 
Sony A99 II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792Sony A99 II
 
Sony A6500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585Sony A6500
 
Sony A7R II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.9343498Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990Sony A7 II
 
Sony A77 II« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Sony A77 II
 
Sony A850« » Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032-23.812.2141579Sony A850
 
Sony A900« » Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032-23.712.3143179Sony A900

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. 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: Sony A77 vs A99

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The A77 and the A99 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 A99 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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 A77»2359 Y 3.0 921 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 Y Y Sony A77
 
Sony A99«2359 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 6.0 n Y Sony A99
 
Canon 6D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 n n Canon 6D
 
Nikon D600« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 Y n Nikon D600
 
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
 
Pentax K-3« »optical Y 3.2 1037 fixed n 1/8000s 8.3 Y Y Pentax K-3
 
Sony A9« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y Sony A9
 
Sony A99 II« »2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 n Y Sony A99 II
 
Sony A6500« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y Sony A6500
 
Sony A7R II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7 II
 
Sony A77 II« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 Y Y Sony A77 II
 
Sony A850« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 n Y Sony A850
 
Sony A900« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A900

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The A77 has one, while the A99 does not. While the built-in flash of the A77 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

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 A99 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 A77 vs A99

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-A99 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 A77»YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony A77
 
Sony A99«YstereomonoYYmini2.0---Sony A99
 
Canon 6D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 6D
 
Nikon D600« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D600
 
Panasonic GH5« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5
 
Pentax K-3« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Pentax K-3
 
Sony A9« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A9
 
Sony A99 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A99 II
 
Sony A6500« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony A6500
 
Sony A7R II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7 II
 
Sony A77 II« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Sony A77 II
 
Sony A850« »Y----mini2.0---Sony A850
 
Sony A900« »Y----mini2.0---Sony A900

It is notable that the A99 has a headphone jack, which makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process. The A77 lacks such a headphone port.

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

Both the A77 and the A99 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A77 was replaced by the Sony A77 II, while the A99 was followed by the Sony A99 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: Sony A77 vs A99

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony A77 and the Sony A99? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha SLT-A77:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.71x).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 80g or 10 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (50 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2011).


Advantages of the Sony Alpha SLT-A99:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (11 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 921k dots).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (6 points each). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.

A77 06:06 A99

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A77 and the Sony A99 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the A77 and the A99 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: Sony A77 vs A99

This is why hands-on reviews by experts 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 A77»91/10081/100-4.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,399- i Sony A77
 
Sony A99«-84/1004.5/5o4.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony A99
 
Canon 6D« »+ +83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
 
Nikon D600« »+ +87/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Panasonic GH5« »+ +85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Pentax K-3« »-83/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,299- i Pentax K-3
 
Sony A9« »+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
 
Sony A99 II« »-85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
 
Sony A6500« »+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399 i i Sony A6500
 
Sony A7R II« »+ +90/1005/54.5/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7 II« »+82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
 
Sony A77 II« »-80/1004.5/54/55/5 May 2014 1,199 i i Sony A77 II
 
Sony A850« »-75/100-4/54.5/5 Aug 2009 1,999- i Sony A850
 
Sony A900« »+ ++ +4.5/54/55/5 Sep 2008 2,999- i Sony A900
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, 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.

Sony A77:
Check Ebay offers
Sony A99:
Check Ebay offers

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 A77 vs Sony A99

    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 A99
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Sony A mount lenses Sony A mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2011 September 2012
    Launch Price USD 1399 USD 2799
    Sensor Specs Sony A77 Sony A99
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm 35.8 x 23.8 mm
    Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 852.04 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.2 mm 43 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.91 μm 5.96 μm
    Pixel Density 6.55 MP/cm2 2.82 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100-16000 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-25600 ISO 50-25600 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 78 89
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.0 25.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.2 14.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 801 1555
    Screen Specs Sony A77 Sony A99
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.73x 0.71x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots 2359k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Fully flexible screen Fully flexible screen
    Shooting Specs Sony A77 Sony A99
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000/s 1/8000/s
    Continuous Shooting 12 shutter flaps/s 6 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy150 000 actuations200 000 actuations
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board 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 A99
    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
    Headphone Socket no Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Geotagging GPS built-in GPS built-in
    Body Specs Sony A77 Sony A99
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-FM500H power pack NP-FM500H power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)470 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 143 x 104 x 81 mm
    (5.6 x 4.1 x 3.2 in)
    147 x 111 x 78 mm
    (5.8 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 732 g (25.8 oz) 812 g (28.6 oz)

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