The a77 was a camera I admired for quite some time--on paper--before I actually got to use one. It was everything I wanted it to be and more, stepping up from the Canon 60D and T4i I had used as my reach bodies in the past. I baptized it properly in my first week of ownership, bringing in the new year by shooting a New Year's Day College bowl game and then some deer the following day.
POTN member MedicineMan4040 was the only one I knew of using the A77ii in this forum and eventually I found a great deal on one myself. I traded up, but almost felt guilty about it because I was still pretty happy with the mk1.
2xtc by Michael Bielecki on Flickr
The A77ii was a one-trick pony for me for months, and I had just one lens for it. The Minolta 200 2.8 HS APO was a direct replacement for my Canon EF 200 2.8Lii--just like the A77 was a direct replacement for the 60D. I shot three different spring training baseball games with it that lens glued to it and later started taking it to zoos. Eventually I got a 2xTC APOii, and it worked great with the combo giving me a 400 5.6 stabilized prime. Most recently I added the Zeiss 24 f2. I bought all my glass used, and both lenses were bought from Japan sellers on eBay.
I don't have a 7Dii to compare it to, but the A77ii has the AF system, FPS, tracking and handling that craved when I started looking at the next camera after my 60D. My 28-year-old 200mm prime focuses greasy fast and accurately. With the 2xTC APOii, it takes longer to focus from infinity and back, but I still have no complaints.
The A77ii is the body the new A99ii is based on, and they are almost identical in size. Of course, the A99ii has more features and the A72R sensor living inside of it, so the comparisons are limited after physical appearance. What they both do, however, is focus lightning quick--reportedly, especially with Sony G2 glass.
This camera has few weaknesses and it would be an excellent all-arounder for anyone who doesn't have the desire to shoot full-frame. But these weaknesses can be deal breakers to some shooters.
--High ISO shooting, even in RAW, is worse than any current semi-pro DSLR body on the in production that I can think of. If you are shooting above 1600 and not shooting in RAW, this is not your body. That said, I can shoot to ISO 3200 with satisfying results with solid PP technique. MedicineMan4040 uses DXO Optics Pro 11 Elite, where the Prime denoising feature makes ISO 6400 look like ISO 800.
--Battery life is roughly half of what it is on my old 60D on its best day, and that is using measures to really conserve power like turning off the shot review option on the rear screen. Doing this will also minimize the . . .
--Slide show effect. It is real on Sony mirrorless cameras, and it can be distracting if you are shooting an action sequence. Adjusting the settings helps largely remedy it, but there are still times when the EVF can black you out at the end of a few seconds of high FPS shooting. The A77ii is much better than the original A77 was in this regard.
--The EVF is very good and it provides a solid preview of what your image will look like in terms of exposure. That said, there will always be people who prefer OVF.
--No touch screen, and for people coming from a rebel or a semi-pro Canon this could be a deal-breaker. I have my preferences, just like anyone else, and to me I'm OK with no touchscreen.
--The joystick is great to have, but it is only four-directional and it is slightly vague-feeling. Don't get me wrong, it is an improvement over a D-pad but it could be better.
--One SD card slot may be a deal breaker for some.
The strengths of this camera are many
--One of the benefits of A-mount is the ability to use a treasure chest of forgotten gem lenses--Minolta G and APO glass is good-to-excellent. Another benefit is in-body stabilization, which isn't quite as effective as Canon's IS on its better glass but is still very helpful when shooting a something like a 200mm prime with a 2xTC.
--Zeiss glass is excellent, meeting and in some cases even exceeding Canon L glass in quality. Specifically, the Zeiss 135 1.8 may be the best AF lens south of 200mm--where, of course, Canon and Nikon have an army of excellent long telephoto prime and zoom lenses. I only have one Zeiss lens right now, and it is the 24 f2--which I use on the A77ii and adapt to my A7R with very pleasing results
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …0791/in/datetaken-public/
ddmem05 by Michael Bielecki on Flickr
--The 12 FPS really plays when shooting sports.
--Fast AF/tracking system for action, face detection for portraits.
--Shoots without mirror slap, or in other words, a whisper. Very discreet.
--The articulating LCD is easily the best I've ever used and is more limber than Canon's.
--Jumping up from 18 MP to 24 MP was a revelation, at least in good light.
--Handling is very good and customizable. Dials and buttons in good places.
--Solid buffer, can get about five seconds of continuous shooting before it slows to a crawl. Not 7Dii level, but still good.
--Nice size at 1.4 lbs vs 7Dii at 2 lbs.
While the 7Dii is likely the better body, the A77ii is a viable, cheaper alternative that offers a lot of useable features for the money.