Top 5 Reasons to Buy the Sony A77

September 28, 2011

Sony A77 closeup photo
If you are reading this article, it means that you are debating whether to buy the Sony A77 or not. You need to know that you are not alone. Many people have trouble knowing on which camera to put their money on. Buying the A77 means spending quite a lot of money, and you want to be sure that you are making the right choice. After all, there are alternatives out there. In this article I want to talk about why YOU SHOULD buy the Sony SLT-A77 camera over other DSLR cameras, including those from Nikon and Canon.

You’ve probably gotten a headache reading all the negative and positive comments on forums and you really want to decide already. I just want to let you know that I think that the Sony A77 is an excellent camera, and in this post I will talk about my TOP 5 reasons why you should buy the Sony A77 (and pass Nikon and Canon offerings). Let’s begin!

The Top 5 reasons below are arranged in random order and doesn’t reflect the importance factor of each one. That’s up to you to decide.

Reason 1: In-camera Image Stabilization

An image stabilization is a mechanism that helps reduce camera shake, and therefore minimize blur in image taken in slow shutter speed. Furthermore, it’s becomes more important when you you shoot photos with a telephoto lens, where every tiny movement can produce blurring in your photos. There are two types of image stabilization mechanisms, sensor-shift (built inside the camera) and lens-shift (built inside the lens).  The two main advantages of having a sensor-shift image stabilization is that it works with every lens that you attach to the camera and reduces the costs and weight of the lens.

Canon and Nikon has gone only with lens-shift image stabilization, which means that you need to pay more (sometimes much more) to get a stabilized lens (VR on Nikon, IS on Canon). So by having an image stabilization inside the camera (Sony called it SteadyShot INSIDE), you get to enjoy this image stabilization feature with every lens that you attach to the camera. It can certainly save you quite a lot of money. I see this as a very important feature, and if I read the map correctly, Nikon and Canon won’t release any camera with in-body image stabilization in the near future.

Reason 2: Best LCD Panel Yet

The Sony SLT-A77 features THE BEST display to date. It’s a 3-inch  triple-hinged articulating display with 921K-dot resolution. That means that you can even rotate the screen to face the front of the camera for group and self-shots. This is by far the most flexible LCD every create. Right now I own the Nikon D3100, but before that I had the Canon 60D. I can’t just tell you that really miss the articulating display on the 60D. It’s great for shooting stills in very high and low angles, but mostly useful when recording movies with your camera. If you are a videographer and love shooting HD videos, this screen is the videographer’s best friend.

Reason 3: 24.3 Mega Pixel Sensor

No doubt that Sony caused a big buzz on the web when it introduced the newly developed 24.3MP sensor. This is a very high resolution sensor. We all know that digital images are all about the details. And indeed, having a high resolution camera can help you in a few things like better cropping freedom and make larger prints. The A77 was questioned about its high-ISO performance. Although we’ve seen that it can’t match the Sony NEX-5N output, considering the resolution and sensor size, the image quality is very good up to ISO3200. In fact, many of today’s most popular DSLRs don’t offer such a huge improvement in terms of high ISO performance. I’ve compared the A77 vs Nikon D7000, Canon 7D and other popular SLR cameras. I’ve found out that above ISO3200, none of them result in a very good image output. That’s why many people prefer shooting below ISO3200 or use flash to illuminate the subject. If you really need a top high ISO performance, the Sony NEX-5N might be a good option, but it lacks a viewfinder and many other features that you might can’t live without. So for some, the alternative in terms of high ISO performance is not really an alternative.

Yes, you can purchase a full frame DSLR or go crazy and buy the Nikon D3s – however, it wasn’t your plan in the first place, right? – So it seems that the A77 with its questionable performance in high ISO is not a bad thing after all. It’s all about making compromises, and I don’t think that this is a big compromise to make. The A77 image quality up to ISO3200 is very good.

If you love photo editing you’ll enjoy this glorious 24.3MP detailed canvas to play with with Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

Reason 4: 12 fps Continuous Shooting Speed

WOW! – a 12fps burst is can really help you get some excellent shots that without that speed you just couldn’t capture. It’s an ideal speed for birds, fast-action and sports photographers, but for general purposes as well. You just don’t know when you’ll need it, but it’s there if you do. In fact, that’s one of the biggest advantages of having a SLT (translucent-mirror) camera.  If you want that speed in a DSLR camera, you’ll have to say good bye to a lot of money and purchase a top-class DSLR camera that can give you that performance.

Reason 5: Best Continuous AF on the Planet!

Full-time phase-detection autofocus system is my favorite features of them all. All SLT cameras, including the Sony A77 have a fixed semi-transparent mirror. Due to this technology, the camera can continuously track and autofocus ona subject with a blazing speed, not possible with any DSLR camera. Furthermore, it autofocus using phase-detection, and even maintains accurate focus during video and in burst mode.  So whatever type of shooting you do, you will enjoy the fastest autofocus available in any digital camera, and the A77 has it!


The Sony A77 is certainly a camera that will make you enjoy photography to its max. Remember, you are buying a camera that will serve you for around two years time, maybe more. Most of us will be satisfied with 2-3 lenses, and the Sony has some excellent A-mount lenses that won’t disappoint you. If we compare the A77 for what Canon and Nikon has to offer, it’s hard not to be attracted to the A77. It boasts some of the most advanced technology innovation in the digital imaging world, and certainly packs a wide range of useful features that will help you come home with great photos and video footage. I didn’t even add the software-based features that include 3D photos, sweep-panorama™ and 3D sweep panorama™, 1080p60 (progressive) video recording, face detection, weather-sealed magnesium alloy body, Carl-Zeiss brand lenses, gorgeous high-res OLED EVF, GPS and the excellent 16-50mm F2.8 Kit lens that you can buy with the A77.

All in all, I highly recommend considering buying the Sony A77. It’s an excellent all-around performer and certainly one generation ahead of the competition IMHO.


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