Sony A77 II Quick Review – The AF Is Indeed Performing Very Well

I was looking for a perfect wildlife setup but didn’t quite find something really portable that was of “superior” quality. The A6000 could have been almost perfect:
1. if the 55-210mm was of the above mentioned quality (it isn’t performing as well as, let’s say, a SAL70300G)
2. if the LA-EA4 would have let the camera focus, and not the in-adapter focusing system (which is rather slow and hunting in many wildlife situations, like against a sky).

Side View - Sony Alpha 77 Mark II

Side View – Sony Alpha 77 Mark II (Adorama)

The AF of the A6000 is being completely ignored when you put on the LA-EA4. The quality I got from the cam + adapter + A-mount 70-300mm G lens was really good, but sadly unusable in wildlife situations. One other portable wildlife system could have been an EM1 + Panasonic 100-300 but I don’t think I’ll go under an APS-C sized sensor ever again and the pana lens doesn’t perform that well either.

Top view - Sony Alpha 77 Mark II

Top view – Sony Alpha 77 Mark II

So, yesterday I got my new shiny A77 II (Adorama) and tested it out a little bit. What I can say for now is…

Pros:
– The AF is almost perfect. I have used the Center AF called “Expand Flexible Spot Auto Focus” and it is very fast, accurate and makes almost no mistakes (2 shots out of 800 have back-focused).
– 12 fps is just awesome.
– The buffer performs very well. (I suggest using this SD card (Adorama) or your buffer will be under performing).
– For me, the camera is a little big (I’m a mirrorless Sony A7 shooter) BUT it seems light and well balanced.
– The cam is responsive.
– Awesome grip.

Rear View - Sony Alpha 77 Mark II

Rear View – Sony Alpha 77 Mark II

Cons:
– I personally prefer a wheel like on the A7, than the joystick. It needs some getting used to.
– Battery life is “ok” (as on all the Sony cams I’ve owned). I must admit that the screen being always on, or the EVF, doesn’t really help.

Expand Flexible Spot Auto Focus - with tracking enabled

Expand Flexible Spot Auto Focus – with tracking enabled

All in all it feels like a great camera with a strongly performing auto focus system. All the AF settings that you can configure are just awesome. There’s clearly something for every situation.
The A77 II is like an A6000 with a slightly better AF and buffer, but being bigger/heavier and mounting A-mount lenses.

A few words to Sony:
– Please ship faster battery chargers with your cameras.
– Give us the option to use the EVF only, but still have previews of shot pics on the main screen.

Real world sample images (will be constantly updated like here):

Young House Sparrow

Young House Sparrow

 

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Don't Look Back

Don’t Look Back

Duckweeds

Duckweeds

Threesome - 2 birds 1 mouse

Threesome – 2 birds 1 mouse

Flower

Flower

Ladybug

Ladybug

Lilly Pads

Lilly Pads

Tit

Tit

Tit

Tit

Tit

Tit

Wildlife with the A77 II

Wildlife with the A77 II

Wait, is that an A77 M2?

Wait, is that an A77 M2?

Some bee

Some bee

Some thing

Some thing

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