New Sony cameras: A77 & A65 and NEX 7, 5N

by Enche Tjin on August 28, 2011

After four years waiting for advanced digital cameras since Sony A700, Sony at last announces the replacement, Sony SLT A77 & SLT A65. Both cameras are designed for serious amateurs who wants affordable professional quality cameras.


Sony A77 SLT design

Sony A77 and A65
Like Sony A55 and A33, A77 and A65 share the same technology, the SLT (Single Lens Translucent). Unlike typical DSLR cameras, it does not has regular mirror. It uses translucent mirror to direct some light to auto focus sensor. Compared to DSLR cameras, it has its advantages and shortcomings.

+ It has very high quality electronic viewfinder which is similar to how the final image will look like
+ It has blazing 12 and 10 fps continous shooting speed
+ It has very fast continuous auto focus system in live view/movie recording mode
- It does not has optical viewfinder
- It lose 1/3 stop of light
- Limit your control when shooting in high speed continuous shooting speed (Program mode in biggest aperture setting only)

Compared to A55 & A33, Sony A77 & A65 has top LCD, more buttons and dials, higher quality electronic viewfinder, magnesium alloy casing and has whopping 24 MP sensor.

Here is Sony A77 spec:

  • 24.3 MP EXMOR HD CMOS sensor
  • Video recording 1080p AVCHD 60p/24p
  • ISO 50-16000
  • 19 AF points, 15 cross type
  • Continuous shooting: 3 fps, 8 fps, 12 fps (via high speed mode)
  • OLED 2.4 million dots electronic viewfinder
  • 3″ 910k articulated LCD screen
  • Magnesium alloy casing
  • Steadyshot (built-in image stabilization)
  • SD/SDHC/Memory stick pro card
  • Weight: 732g (with battery and card)

Sony A65 is almost the same as A77, but it only gets 15 auto focus points, 3 is cross type, and top out at 10 fps, and no battery grip for it.

Everything looks good. The only problem I spotted is in high ISO performance. Because Sony packs so many pixel on the sensor, high ISO photos especially over ISO 800 looks noisy or lack of details. Overall, Sony A77 with new, 16-50mm f/2.8 lens is a nice combination for walk around camera for stills and videos.

Sony NEX 7 and NEX 5N
To answer enthusiasts photographers needs, Sony designs Sony NEX 7, which has built-in electronic viewfinder and many buttons and dials. It is compact and has magnesium alloy casing too.


Sony NEX 7

NEX system is not the same as SLT or DSLR, because it does not has mirror in its design. It allows the camera body to be extra compact. However, if you want to use SLR lenses, you can always get new Sony adapter. and transform your NEX camera into an SLT camera.

Sony NEX 7 spec

  • 24 MP EXMOR HD sensor
  • ISO 100-16000
  • 3″ 921,600 dots LCD
  • 2,4 million approx electronic viewfinder resolution
  • Continuous shooting: 3 fps, 10 fps (high speed mode)
  • SD/SDHC/Memory stick pro card
  • Weight 291 g (without card and batteries)
Sony NEX 5N with SLT Adapter

Sony NEX 5N with SLT Adapter and Alpha-Zeiss lens

NEX 7 sounds perfect as a compact but powerful travel cameras. However, while the cameras are tiny, the lenses remain quite big and long. Collection of lenses are also still limited compared to micro four thirds system.

Nevertheless, Sony A77 and NEX 7 shows potential in the future. It is able to do what current DSLR cameras can’t do which is continuous auto focus in movie recording mode. The NEX system offers smaller camera body with high quality pictures which frequent travellers will love more than bulky DSLR cameras.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

kwanonku September 3, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Big effort on Sony camp for standing around the competition..
A77 will be on EOS7D/D300s/K-5/E-5/ group as the high-end APS-C class.
A65 will be on EOS 60D/600D/D7000/D5100 class

NEX-7 sets the new category on high-end CSC which still doesn’t have comparative model on the competition.
NEX-5N is very nice upgrade to NEX-5 as the answer on Olympus E-P3/Panasonic Lumix GH2.

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