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Old November 24th, 2011, 01:06 PM   #1
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Sony A65 and A77 any good?

Haven't seen a thread on the Sony A65 and A77. I would be interested what everyone thinks about those cameras. The spec looks rather interesting, at least to me:
NTSC:
• AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (60p/ 28Mbps/ PS, 60i/ 24Mbps/ FX, 60i/ 17Mbps/ FH, 24p/ 24Mbps/ FX, 24p/ 17Mbps/ FH)
• MP4: 1440 x 1080 (30fps/ 12Mbps), VGA: 640 x 480 (30fps/ 3Mbps)

PAL:
• 1920 x 1080 (50p/ 28Mbps/ PS, 50i/ 24Mbps/ FX, 50i/ 17Mbps/ FH, 25p/ 24Mbps/ FX, 25p/ 17Mbps/ FH)
• MP4: 1440 x 1080 (25fps/ 12M), VGA: 640 x 480 (25fps/ 3M)

So - 28Mb/s AVCHD and 50p/60p looks very good to me. Now the sensor is only APS-C "Exmor" HD CMOS with 24.7 million total pixels and not full frame, but still.

To me the compatible lenses are not entirely clear because apparently alpha lenses are not compatible but A lenses. I think Sony has to many different lens types, they confuse me.

I will do some more investigation to see if there is a good A-lens with constant aperture.
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Old November 24th, 2011, 04:37 PM   #2
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Re: Sony A65 and A77 any good?

Your post is a little confusing. Sony Alpha mount lenses are completely compatible, as are old Minolta A-mount lenses.
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Old November 24th, 2011, 06:47 PM   #3
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Re: Sony A65 and A77 any good?

There many good Sony lenses with constant aperture, and the new 16-50mm f2.8 the same that came with the A77 is all good, even weather sealed and Parfocal. Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 is in alpha mount too.

Good primes too and for the big pocket the Zeiss series for sony alpha.
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Old November 25th, 2011, 04:08 AM   #4
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Re: Sony A65 and A77 any good?

Hello,

ok, I got confused by Sonys website on which I did a comparison between the models. There they listed alpha lenses, A-lenses and E-lenses.

I think I got it now - this camera accepts the A-lenses. Sounds good to me.

I just ordered the A65 w/ the standard lens 18-55mm. Not such a great lens but it came with the bundle.

Cheers
Andreas
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Old November 26th, 2011, 02:43 PM   #5
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Re: Sony A65 and A77 any good?

Got the camera. So far really impressed with the feature set and not just for movies. It contains so many goodies like GPS and gyroscope.
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Old November 26th, 2011, 04:45 PM   #6
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Re: Sony A65 and A77 any good?

I'm heavily debating the A65/NEX7 as a possible upgrade to the A580/A55. The big question seems to be whether all those additional pixels really "add" to the mix. Feature wise, these cameras look great, and all the samples I've seen look very good... video included.

Sony is still tweaking with the firmware, so these may get even better with "updates". I'm still waiting to see how reports come in with updated firmware (and release NEX7's) before I make any final decisions.

As far as lenses go, you've got a HUGE selection of "A" mount lenses from decades of Minolta/Konica as well as the lenses from Sony. Some will be better than others for video depending on your use, but it's fairly easy to collect some pretty nice glass on the cheap.

The "E" mount is a new thing for the NEX series, and a couple of the new video cameras from Sony - "A" lenses can mount on "E" mount cameras with adapters, as can many other lenses, because the E mount has a short flange distance, making it easy to stick an adapter in... E mount lenses however will NOT go on an "A" mount camera...
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Old November 27th, 2011, 11:05 AM   #7
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Re: Sony A65 and A77 any good?

Well, I think the pixels hopefully are not doing any harm in terms of noise. Looking purely from a technical perspective they simply must add noise because they must be smaller and therefore the S/N ratio gets worse. Now of course if the Noise can be reduced as well and it seems like Sony did this the S/N doesn't get worse but on the other hand it still would be better with less pixels.

As you can see - I am really no fan of many pixels. 12 MP are just fine from my perspective for a photo cam and as you can see from the Canon 1X the Pros go in that direction.

On the other hand what you can see from the 1X that Canon is not willing to put a proper video codec into their cams.

The Sony does AVCHD 2.0 with 1080p50 at 28MBs which is amazing on paper. Not even my Canon XA10 comes close with only 108025p at 25MBs. I still like my XA10 better for pure video but a large sensor cam does always produce really nice B-Roll which just add so much in terms of video/production value.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 09:12 AM   #8
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Re: Sony A65 and A77 any good?

I shoot some night footage with it and thought I share it:

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Old January 27th, 2012, 03:46 AM   #9
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Re: Sony A65 and A77 any good?

The A65 is significantly slimmer though, as well as slightly shorter.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 07:43 AM   #10
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Re: Sony A65 and A77 any good?

Also consider the NEX 7 and NEX 5N. They're both very good 16 MP cameras. I have the 5N and with an alpha adapter, I have access to a good amount of lenses.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 01:09 PM   #11
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Re: Sony A65 and A77 any good?

The problem with the NEX-7/5N is that neither has in-camera stabilization and they have a serious overheating issue. The A65 and A77 both have in-camera stabilization and they don´t overheat (plus both have mic inputs). I think the video quality should be the same as the NEX-7´s as they use the same sensor.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 12:01 AM   #12
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Re: Sony A65 and A77 any good?

Another issue is that it appears the still resolution of the 24Mp sensor exceeds the resolving capability of many of the "new" E mount lenses, I'm hoping that that won't be the case with my nice old Minolta glass! Lenses quickly get expensive, especially if you have to buy really high end stuff!

I've got to run some heat tests with the A65's and see how they run, but more and more I think that they were the "better" choice, at least for what I really will use - the NEX cameras are SOOOOO tempting, but the A65 popped up at the right price to push me off the fence, the more I look at the overall package, the better I feel about that, and the A55 and A580 will retire and offset most of the upgrade cost, especially since I don't have to hunt down lenses and those pesky FW batteries that don't last as long as I'd like!

Haven't really had time to run many tests, and only a little "live fire testing", but so far the A65 looks good, and I'm hoping I won't run into random heating issues. I almost waited for the A57, which also looks pretty good.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 04:57 AM   #13
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Re: Sony A65 and A77 any good?

Oops!
Rafael is correct - the NEX-7 has the 24Mp sensor. I lumped it in there with the NEX-5n.

The A65 is very tempting. The A57 has the 16Mp sensor and lacks the OLED viewfinder on the A65/77. Still, $799 with the kit lens is pretty good.

So, the A65/77 don't overheat in video mode?
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Old March 29th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #14
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Re: Sony A65 and A77 any good?

According to the manual, the A65 is able to shoot to the 29 minute limit up to around 30C/(roughly 90F) ambient temperature (thought they do seem to qualify that...). At 40C, they indicate much shorter time before thermal issues... and they don't say whether those #'s are with Steady Shot on or off, but I believe they are with it "on". Overall, looks like the A65 will shoot a lot longer than the smaller A55, which I feel suffers from being a "small body".

Looked at some casual shots from over the weekend, stills are quite sharp, and the only problems I noticed in video (60p) were a bit of moire in a tight blue/white pinstripe shirt (not sure ANY camera won't struggle with THAT), The (auto) focus motor noise seems a lot quieter, which is nice - still there, but not as loud. Overall quite happy so far, and I see the 1.05 firmware is in the pipeline...

Still want to test more extensively, including the thermal issues, but some tests will have to wait for it to heat up a bit more!
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Old March 29th, 2012, 02:35 PM   #15
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Re: Sony A65 and A77 any good?

I've had an A77 for the last few days but I haven't had a lot of time to play with it just yet. Being fairly new to interchangeable lenses we wanted to experience a few a lenses and develop a feel for what our needs might be, as well as to explore the A77's video capabilities for weddings. I'm still getting to know the camera and only read the manual before the camera arrived. My wife and I together will go though it properly next week. And I installed the new firmware (v1.05) few minutes ago.

Lowlight video is of course a critical concern. More often than not, I've been able to get good video in some fairly dark places. I've read that photographers are now getting better results in the iso3200 range with v1.05 but the movie mode is limited to iso1600. I expect I'll get cleaner video at 1600 now, I'll be looking at that over the next few days.

As for the heat issue it's hard to tell with the current weather. I put the camera on a tripod in direct sun and shot 4*30min videos consecutively without issue. Its was only 83°F and temps of 109° are not unheard of around here, fortunately all the venues do have air conditioning.

The controls are good although I wish I could assign the shutter button to shoot video. I'm missing the top-half of my thumb and the record button is a little out of my range. On a tripod or mounted that shouldn't really be an issue.

We also bought a Rode-VidProStereo mic but the proprietary shoe requires an adapter, I'd expect nothing less from Sony, I have one on the way. With the battery handle it gets to heavy for my wife. The hand strap bottom mount is not ideal for mounting the camera to a platform. I removed the screw-on attachment and put the straps directly the battery handle and now the camera mount to a platform is much more stable.

My initial feeling is that its a good video camera for our professional purposes and the personal benefits are just gravy. At this point we are considering using a pair of A77's as B&G cams with SAL70200G's. -- Then; a single FS100 as the roving candid/glidecam/slider camera, and our Z5 as the static-shot with the wireless XLR's. I figure we can add a 2nd FS100 later and apply the savings of rails etc towards lenses and a set of Heliopan vND's.

I like the current A-mount line-up better than the E-mount although we'll get a few E-mounts after we get the FS100. At this point I'm pretty happy with the imagery we've captured, albeit we've shot more stills than video. I haven't really looked at the AF tracking in video mode, I've been shooting low/no motion in manual.

I have 3 lenses in-hand, 3 more on the way, and I have plenty work ahead of me to learn this camera.

As I said, we're are pretty happy with the camera. The large sensor and interchangeable lenses are new to us and we might need to get used to those features to make a proper judgement. We anticipate ordering another A77 kit and another SAL70200G depending on what we discover this next week.

I know that's a lot of words without specifics but that where we're at. We're a little slow and I can't work too far ahead of the wife with the camera, (...its a political thing). I can post more as we explore the cameras capabilities.
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