On August 24 2011, Sony announced the α77 and α65 cameras
featuring a newly developed Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with 24.3 Megapixels, as well as the world's first XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder. These cameras come with Translucent Mirror Technology which make them the fastest, most responsive interchangeable lens cameras in their class. The α77 features a 19-points AF system, enthusiast form factor with ample controls and customization, large 3.0-inch 921K flip and rotate LCD, 12 fps burst rate, and a cutting edge OLED EVF with 2,359,296 dots of resolution, magnification of approximately 1.09x, and 100% frame coverage. It also comes with built-in GPS, 1080P (60fps and 24fps) HD video, and the weather sealed exterior.
The α65 features nearly all of the features from α77, including the sensor, the HD video, the LCD (minus the rotation), the GPS, the EVF, but without weather sealing, controls is simplified, body is smaller, and has a slower max shutter speed (1/4000 vs 1/8000). The burst rate is also lowered from 12 fps down to 10 fps. Sony also announces the new DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM standard zoom with 16mm wide angle coverage that's ideal for both portrait and everyday shooting. The lens features a dust- and moisture-resistant design, and offers a zoom range of approximately 3x range at constant wide F2.8 aperture. It comes with aspherical glass and three ED (Extra Low Dispersion) lens elements to minimize aberration at all focal lengths, as well as an internal Super Sonic wave Motor (SSM) drive enables fast, quiet autofocus. There is also an optional dust- and moisture-resistant VG-C77AM Vertical Grip for α77, housing up to two NP-FM500H InfoLITHIUM batteries. The α77 is available in a kit with the new SAL1650 f2.8 lens for about $2000, and offered as body-only for about $1400. The SAL1650 lens is sold separately for about $700. The α65 is available in a kit with a standard 18-55mm lens (SAL1855) for retail at $1000, and offered as body-only for retail at $900. The body-only α65 is currently selling at around $830. Here's the summary of review by Pocket-lint, giving the camera a rating of 4.5 out of 5:
"The A65's 10fps burst shooting may not be quite as turbo-charged as the A77's 12fps option, but for a lot less cash it's still a hugely impressive feature. Compared to the Canon 60D or Nikon D7000 and the Sony outperforms both, without a shadow of a doubt. The Sony's new autofocus system has a 15-point array, including three cross-type points with a sensitivity of f/5.6. That means extra sensitivity whether the camera's rotated in portrait or landscape orientation. The AF system is suitably fast though not as impressive overall as the A77's 19-point (11 cross-type) system. Still, there's little to no difference between this Sony system and a similar DSLR in terms of speed. There the Sony gets one over the DSLR crowd is in its live preview mode. Whether using the EVF or the rear LCD screen the camera still engages phase-detection autofocus that's far quicker than a DSLR's contrast-detect autofocus system. This translates into super-fast focusing however the camera's being used, including the impressive 1080p movie mode - which is the same as the A77 with 50i/25p/24p modes, stereo sound and a 3.5mm mic input. But for all its speed the A65 has a few downers. Small issues such as the delay for the viewfinder to activate when raising it to your eye can be frustrating and stop the camera feeling like an all-round DSLR beater. It's a small thing, but significant enough for serious shooters. Also all that tech is power-hungry. The A65 lasts a decent stretch of time, and has a per-cent-based battery indicator that's useful, but the model won't last out against the likes of the pricier Canon 60D or Nikon D7000. Saying that, the 600D and D5100 models offer similar battery life, so the Sony's not a million miles away in this department.
Alongside the A77, the A65 is likely to put the SLT format on the map. This camera does things that DSLRs just cannot do: a 10fps burst mode with continuous autofocus and a live preview movie mode with the same super-fast autofocus is without rival at this price point. The 2.4million dot OLED viewfinder is the best EVF we've yet seen (the same as found in the A77 and NEX-7 models) and, in the right conditions, isn't a million miles from the look and feel of an optical viewfinder. It won't suit everyone, particularly when it comes to dim conditions, but does have its merits too. Few downsides include a limited battery life and limitations to high ISO images due to the packed-out, 24-megapixel sensor - a tad too high resolution to resolve above ISO 3200, but a great performer at lower ISO settings. There's very little not to like otherwise. In many ways the A65 is more impressive than the A77 based on price alone. It's the model that'll make advanced features all the more accessible for a wider public, and that can only be a good thing."
Photo Album: Sony Announces 24.3 Megapixels Alpha SLT-A77 and SLT-A65 Translucent Mirror Cameras
Sony SLT-A65 Sample Photos on Flickr
Sony SLT-A65 Camera Reviews Roundup
|What Digital Camera - Dec 29 2011|
"The Alpha 65 uses a 1200-zone evaluative metering system, providing you with a choice of either Multi segment, Centre-weighted or spot metering modes depending on the subject matter. The Multi segment metering performed very well, producing well-exposed shots in most conditions. There will be times when you will need to dial in a touch of exposure compensat..." More »
|TechRadar - Dec 14 2011|
"Currently, Sony's online shop price for the A65 stands at £789 (body only) or £869 (with 18-55mm lens). This places the A65 in the same arena as mid-entry-level DSLRs like the Canon EOS 600D and Nikon D5100 - albeit at a higher price-point that's justified by its raft of high-end features. In essence, the A65 attracts largely the same points of prais..." More »
|CNET AU - Nov 28 2011|
"For those photographers who just want to point and shoot on automatic settings without delving too far into the menus, the A65 delivers very attractive and punchy images. Colours in particular look nicely saturated and the excellent LCD screen does a lot to make it seem as if you've taken an award-winning image first go. Reviewing images on a computer scree..." More »
|ePhotoZine - Nov 24 2011|
"Despite using a standard kit lens, the telephoto end of the lens lets you get close to the subject and can produce good macro results. In combination with the 24.3 megapixel sensor the camera resolves a lot of detail in the photo of the wasp above. This can then be cropped showing impressive levels of detail. ISO Noise Performance - ISO100 to ISO400 show lo..." More »
Sony SLT-A65 Reviews Roundup [Total 10 Reviews] »
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