Sony A77 Price and Features: Soapbox Edition

by on February 12, 2011

in Sony

In the recent post about the Sony A77 prototype camera on display at CP+, Chris left a comment asking about the price of the new camera, which is due to be released later this year.

So far, Sony hasn’t revealed the price point for this new camera.  However, we do know a few things about the A700 successor.

  • It won’t be a traditional DSLR.  Instead, it will feature Sony’s new translucent mirror technology for rapid autofocus with live view display.
  • It will be an APS-C format camera like its predecessor, and will feature Sony’s Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor.
  • It will offer AVCHD video capture, along with full-time autofocus using the fast and accurate phase difference method.
  • It is expected to be released alongside a new kit lens and prosumer-grade speedlight.

Like Chris, I too am left wondering the price point, as well as whether there will be any “wow” features in the new camera that Sony is holding close to its vest for the official unveiling of the production model.  What appears to be the next step down from the A700′s successor is the A55, which is also a DSLR-like camera with a fixed, translucent mirror.  The A55 runs about $850 currently – a price that puts it into the entry-level category.

I know there are a lot of anxious Sony shooters looking forward to this camera.  All of you A700 owners have been waiting for a long time for it.

What do you think will be the price point of the A700′s successor?  Or, what would you be willing to pay for one?

Additionally, what do you think about the camera based on what we know so far?  What are the must-have features for it to be a real winner?

Drop your thoughts in the comment section below the following Sony A77 concept gallery from CES and CP+.




1 Patrick February 12, 2011 at 9:54 am

Actually a person from Sony told Amateur Photographer that the A77 would be priced to compete with the Canon EOS 60D, so we could be looking at $1200 or so price for a camera kit.
Oh, and one more for the specifications…the translucent prototype appears to have a tilting LCD.

2 Niels Staehr February 12, 2011 at 6:27 pm

+/- 3EV in EV-bracketing and focus bracketing for better macrophtography.

3 Sky February 13, 2011 at 9:55 am

DMF, AF micro-adjustment, MR1/2/3 modes like in A900, adjustable AutoISO range, CF support, good battery life, not like in the A55, big viewfinder, lots of manual controls (but that one will be there as the mockup shows), 14bit RAWs, GPS would be nice, bluetooth too (why the heck there are no DSLRs with bluetooth?!), maybe also swivel screen like it was in A580 (not the A55 bottom-mounted weirdness), though I can live without that too.

4 Markus February 14, 2011 at 5:00 am

I have to agree that focus bracketing would be great! I’d love to see the mirror flip-up mode but that apparently isn’t coming. Also, I haven’t had the chance to try a33 or a55, but I have to say I’m a bit sceptical about the evf… I’m sure this will be a great one for people who benefit from the translucent mirror design but I personally have no need for it, except the rare case I have to shoot using the live view mode…

5 SonyShootist February 14, 2011 at 8:18 am

Same old mock-up, completely wrong.

The back of the transparent mock-up has more buttons and is probably to real thing. Have a look at it here:

6 MinoltaSnapper February 14, 2011 at 9:19 am

>All of you A700 owners have been waiting for a long time for it.

Yes, we have. But no, I won’t be buying this one. Why? No Optical viewfinder, just one of these rubbish electronic thingies.

After 20 years, I feel an change of brand coming on, if Sony sees this as “the future”…

7 Ruth Medford February 18, 2011 at 2:02 am

How about those with not-so-perfect vision? They would have a hard time with the optical viewfinder. (I am an amateur/hobby shooter with eye problems and had surgical correction done).

8 Ruth Medford February 18, 2011 at 2:06 am

I found a discussion about “parallax errors” caused by optical viewfinder here:
Maybe that’s why Sony decided to go without it???

9 Fat Frank February 18, 2011 at 8:10 am

The parallax errors as talked about in the article you mention do not apply to “through the lens” type optical viewfinders as found on SLRs. These see the same view as the sensor and therefore do not suffer such framing errors as you move closer or further away, (or zoom).

10 Gerhard Obermayr February 14, 2011 at 9:51 am

Why not bracketing as with my Palm –>
Last but not least wireless transmission for operating the camera on a laptop and transfer the photos …

11 Tae Hyung Kim February 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm

definitely a swivel screen and movie mode featured with full manuel controls.
SLT Tech has not only fast continuous shooting superiority, but fast autofocus ability while taking motion.

SLT line ups should stick with their technical superiority of movie mode.
PLEASE focus on what indie or pro filmmakers are expecting to have.
those filmmakers are likely to choose CANON 60D over NIKON D7000 because its swivel screen plays a big role as far as i know. even CANON 600D was released with a swivel screen attached.

while NIKON was wearing themselves out on focusing noise reduction and a bit of movie tech,
CANON was fully focusing on movie tech. they knew what was out there in the future. Look what happened to 5D mark ii? it has been the industry standard(for indie filmmakers) since then.

NOW SONY has a substantial advantage over the opponents with SLT and 3 layer sensor technology.
i guess SONY is READY TO SHAKE THINGS UP, for heaven’s sake.
that is why i am willing to join SONY’s party, leaving beloved nikon and canon(somewhat).

12 Steve February 15, 2011 at 1:43 am

I tried the A55 at a store on the weekend really I could never get used to an electronic viewfinder. Sure one can frame the image with it but an EVF seems to lack something compared to an OVF. Depth, accurate colour rendition, tonal gradation just something. Surely they will produce a version with an OVF and standard mirror and let the market decide. A770 or something.

13 Gordon February 18, 2011 at 1:27 am

It promises to be “a breath of fresh air” to the camera market which makes me very interested. The DSLR concept is redundant in the light of current technology.
These days I refuse to buy a camera unless it has a swivel screen (but not that bottom mounted rubbish as on the A55) – I get so much use out of this feature. I may well have bought a Nikon D7000 if it had a swivel screen.
The perfect camera does not exist, so any change in thinking such as the A77 is very welcome.
I don’t think a top LCD screen is necessary and would like to see it replaced with separate aperture and shutter speed dials (after all these are the fundamentals of camera control).

14 Vincent Tracey February 18, 2011 at 6:17 am

The best camera Sony ever brought out was the R1. I still prefer it to my Canon 550d.
The lens on the R1 is fabulous for tonal rendition, especially for skin tones and landscapes.

If Sony was to update the R1 with a bigger lcd, and less noise up to 1600 iso and a slighter longer range on the lens, say 24-210mm it would be in a class by itself. SLRs are ok, but what you shoot is not what you see or get . With the R1 you can adjust what you see before you shoot! Plus no dust problems, or having to keep changing lens, which wastes time and you often lose the ideal moment to shoot!

The pelicle mirror idea was tried many years ago, by Canon, and it was a failure!

Long live the R1!

15 Peter February 19, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Agree 100%. I have the A850 which I will be hanging onto for some time and the R1. I will never toss the R1 away and my wife loves it. The pics taken with the R1 seem to have a vitality about them with great colour.

16 Drue Mc Laughlin April 1, 2011 at 11:26 pm

The R1 was one of Sony’s great innovations..A revamped edition of this camera would wow a lot of Sony enthusiasts..still stands on it’s own…I have the A55 as well..HDR needs a lot of tweeking, most of what I take with it looks very flat!! , Iam looking forward to the new 77 and would sell the 55 to afford it..EVF is good and getting better but more buttons to tweek on the run photography instead of constant digging into menue’s would be nice..Hi definition capability with the panoramic modes would also be advantageous and yes programme shift which the 55 missed but the R1 didn’t! the R1 which was one of its big ups was what you see is what you get..the 55 is the same

17 Arye Gur February 18, 2011 at 9:59 am

I have the 700 with flesh f56 and the original grip. If I understand well, the A77 works with a different flesh and grip. If it’s true it’s sad and I will think twice before I buy another model of Sony.


18 Arye Gur February 18, 2011 at 10:01 am

flaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaash not flesh, sorry.


19 David _Mra February 18, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Wee need a robust body, lightning fast and accurate AF, Af micro-adjustments to avoid BF or FF
on old lenses, Iso button on the body, top iso performance at 1600-not a high and bad at 32.000, good video performance (AF)

20 Chris February 19, 2011 at 6:24 am

In the long interval of waiting, I switched to Nikon.
When the A77 is finally released, I will take a look for sure, starting with the price point.
I am skeptical of the pelicle mirror in regards to image fidelity. because some fraction of the light entering through the lens is diverted from the sensor even at the instant of capture.

But, as stated, I will take a look at it, although not as a candidate for my main platform.

21 Davy March 4, 2011 at 4:14 am

I would like to see micro adjust and improved noise control, but if there isn’t a tilting LCD then there will be a job lot of Sony cameras and lenses, including 2 G lenses for sale.

22 bauer March 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm

A700 excellent up to 31° DIN in all aspects.Apart from some minor improvements, the big minus is sensor cleaning. Anyone who uses only primes & changes them often knows the problem. Now translucent mirror technology , video & the rest is just for laugh. ;).
Anyone who wants to fool around may jump in to the wagon!
So,A900+A700 served me good & they will as the future indicates…

23 Foxxie7 March 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I just wanted to mention to all those insisting on a screen that swivels 900 degrees in every possible direction, that unless totally new technology is developed that kind of flexibility WILL come at the cost of inevitable ribbon cable break-down, resulting in a TON of cameras with dead displays, as we’ve already seen on some models. How about a completely removable bluetooth screen? That would eliminate the tilt/swivel problem entirely! You could position it any way you want, show it to your subject, hand it to an assistant to hold for you, etc, etc. The possibilities are endless! And no ribbon cable issues what so ever.

24 rob April 4, 2011 at 7:36 am

as owner of both a A700 and A55 i must say that i’m thrilled about a combination of those two. The EVF of the A55 is sufficiant for prof. use. One year after the A55 this can only be improved, right?
The 12.800 ISO from the A55 would be great, as is the nightprogram with six images combining to one, which can be used from hand.
there’s nothing more to win on optics, all new victories will come from electronics and there is why Sony has a big advantage compaired to Canon and Nikon. All their video- and electronic experience will bring a great camera. I will buy one as soon as its available.

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