August 24 2011 - Photo Jottings

August 24 2011


Sony announces new cameras and lenses.

This morning, Sony officially announced the long awaited A77, which replaces the now four year old A700.  The price is $1400 body only, about the same price as the A700 at introduction.  Also new is the A65, $900 body only (which is a stripped A77), a standard zoom, weather sealed 16-50mm lens (24-75mm equiv.) F/2.8 with SSM; cost will be $700 alone, or $600 with the body.

I noticed there is no cRAW anymore, that’s too bad, most people don’t know what it is, but I used it all the time on the A700.

There is an electronic first curtain shutter that can be turned on or off.  This feature will reduce shutter movement blur, shutter lag, and makes the shutter mechanism quieter.

Weird, but the A77 will eliminate lateral CA, lens distortion and vignetting, but only for the kit type lenses, 16-50mm, 18-55mm, 18-250mm, and 55-200mm.  More lenses will be added at a later date(!)

Imaging resourse has some ISO comps of the A77 against various cameras; it looks like the A77 struggles at high ISOs, but that’s expected when cramming that many pixels on a small sensor.

If you want the A77, order it as soon as you can, don’t wait for six months or a year for a better price, by then there will be talk of another super camera.  I’m getting the A77 as soon as I can, and of course will do a review, and comp it with the A900.

Sony A77
Sony A65
If you’re interested in ordering the new A77/65, make sure you match the camera with good quality lenses, otherwise all those extra megapixels will only highlight the fuzzy sides and imperfections from an inferior lens.  Check out the lenses below, all will handle 24mp, and some are very inexpensive.

Sony DT 35mm F/1.8.  A super sharp lens, one of the very best Sony has to offer, and it’s also one of the least expensive at $199.  Made specifically for APS-C cameras, and is equivalent to 52mm, which many refer to as a ‘normal’ lens.  If you’re only going to have one fast prime lens, this is it.  Review    More info

Sony DT 85mm F/2.8.  Works as a great medium telephoto (127mm) on APS-C cameras, and is very small, lightweight and inexpensive.  Made for full frame, but works just as good on APS-C.  Review    More info

Sony DT 50mm F/1.8.  Very economical choice for this fast ‘portrait’ length lens, (75mm) on APS-C cameras.   Review    More info

Sigma 50mm F/1.4 HSM  Super sharp, even at F/1.4.  The best standard low-light lens by far for the Sony α mount.  Made for full frame, but works on APS-C.   Review    More info

Sony Carl Zeiss DT 16-80mm F/3.5-4.5.  A nice walk around zoom lens, with a perfect focal range (24-120mm) IMHO.   Review    More info

Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8.  A superb zoom, hopefully the new Sony 16-50mm will be this good.   Review    More info

Sony 70-400mm G F/4-5.6.  The best telephoto zoom for Sony, and probably will out-class Canon and Nikon versions.  Expensive and heavy, but worth it!   Review    More info

Sony NEX-7 with adapter and Sony CZ 135/1.8 lens
Sony NEX-7


The NEX-7 is a huge upgrade from the 3C and 5N series.  You get a built-in, although small flash, exposure compensation of ±5 in 1/3 or 1/2 increments, that’s good.  The shutter speed is 1/4000- 30sec, I thought it would be 1/8000sec max.  Flash sync is 1/160sec, GN 6.  Shooting speed of 10fps.  Also new is a 24MP sensor and a Sony proprietary hotshoe, that’s good as you can now use your accessory Sony flashes instead of the inadequate NEX add-on specialty flash, however, a new larger NEX flash has been announced for the NEX system, basically a larger version of the standard flash for the NEX-3/5. The price is $1200 body only, with a release date in November. 

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