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Friday, March 8, 2013

Comparing the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 to the Canon EOS 7D

Comparing the Sony A77 to the Canon EOS 7D

Sony Alpha SLT-A77Canon EOS 7D
PriceSony Alpha a77 Camera Kit - w/16-50mm lens
Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
Body MaterialMagnesium alloyMagnesium alloy
MirrorFixed translucent mirrorQuick-return half mirror (transmission:reflection ratio 40:60)
fps12 fps continuous shooting with autofocus8 Frames per second continuous shooting
AF System19 point (11 cross-type)19-point AF System (All Cross-Type)
ISO100-16,000 (25,600 with multi-image combinations, expands down to ISO 50100-3200 (Auto)
ISO 100-6400 in 0.3 or 1.0 EV increments
H (12800) expansion
Movie Sizes1920 x 1080 – 60i/p, 24p
1440 x 1080 – 30 fps
1920 x 1080 – 30, 25, 24 fps
1280 x 720 – 60, 50 fps
640 x 480 – 60, 50 fps
Shutter Speed• 30 -1/8000 sec.
• Bulb
• Flash X-sync 1/250 sec
• Focal-plane shutter
• 30 - 1/8000 sec
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
• Flash X-Sync: 1/250 sec
• Bulb
Viewfinder• Eye-level fixed XGA OLED, 1.3 cm (0.5" type) electronic viewfinder
• 2,359,296 dot resolution
• Magnification approx.1.09x
• 100% frame coverage
• Eye-level pentaprism
• 100% frame coverage
• Approx. 1.0x maginification
• Eyepoint: 22 mm
• Fixed screen (Transmissive LCD screen)
• Dioptric adjustment: -3.0 to +1.0 diopter
Viewfinder Information
• Histogram Display - displays the luminance distribution of pixels in the image, which can be adjusted through exposure compensation
• Graphic Display - shows the shutter speed and aperture value as graphs, while also clearly illustrating the exposure.
• Digital Level Gauge - indicates whether the camera is level in the horizontal and front-back directions.
• Shooting Data Display
• Simple Display
• Grid Line - includes: 3x3 grid that follows the rule of thirds, 4x4 grid that includes two 45º lines passing through the center, and a 6x4 grid that simplifies the alignment of multiple visual elements
Real-Time Image Adjustments Display
• Exposure Comp
• White Balance
• Creative Style
• AF points
• Focus confirmation light
• Shutter speed
• Aperture value
• ISO speed (always displayed)
• AE lock
• Exposure level/compensation
• Spot metering circle
• Exposure warning
• AEB.
• Flash ready
• High-speed sync
• FE lock
• Flash exposure compensation
• Red-eye reduction light
• White balance correction
• CF card information
• Monochrome shooting
• Maximum burst (2 digit display)
• Highlight tone priority (D+)
• Grid
• Dual Axis Electronic level

Comparing the Body:
Both cameras feature a magnesium alloy construction frame. The ports, doors and controls on the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 are weather resistant. Also, the camera's seals on the Canon EOS 7D are built to resist water and dust. The nice thing about the buttons on the Sony SLT-A77 is that they are customizable. This allows you to customize the buttons to what you use most frequently. The Sony SLT A77's electronic viewfinder is large - on a par with the optical finders of full-frame SLRs. This makes it substantially bigger than those in its APS-C SLR peers such as the Nikon D7000 or Canon EOS 7D. It offers 100% coverage of the final image, with no crop - what you see is what you get. 

The Sony SLT-A77 has possibly the most flexible articulating screen yet seen on any stills-orientated camera. It uses a swivel-and-tilt joint, that is itself affixed to an arm that folds out from the back of the camera. This allows a huge range of positions to be adopted, including setting the screen facing forwards over the top of the viewfinder housing. About the only way you won't be able to use the articulated LCD screen is when doing self-portrait with the camera on a tripod or tree arm while using a shotgun microphone or other accessory on the shoe mount. The Canon 7D features a fixed LCD screen. 

Top of Camera Dial Control Comparisons
Canon 7D's Dial Controls: 
 Full Automatic Exposure
P- Program Auto Exposure
Tv - Shutter Priority Auto Exposure
Av- Aperture Priority Auto Exposure
M- Full Manual Exposure
B- Bulb Exposure 
C1-C3 - Custom settings

Sony A77's Dial Controls:
Auto - Full Automatic Exposure
Auto+ Enhanced Automatic Exposure
P- Program Auto Exposure
A- Aperture Priority 
S- Shutter Priority
M- Full Manual Exposure
MR- Memory Recall- Save up to 3 
Video Mode
12 fps Continuous Mode
3D Mode
Panorama Mode
SCN - Scene selection

Overall Speed Performance:
When talking about overall performance you have to mention the A77's maximum framerate. The reason why the Sony A77 has a faster frame rate than the Canon 7D is found in the design. The Sony A77 has a fixed mirror with a phase-detection AF sensor found in the top of the mirror box, where most prisms would be in typical DSLRs. This means that the light reflected from the semi-transparent mirror feeds the AF sensor constantly, and the main imaging sensor takes care of the live view feed. Crucially, the fixed-mirror SLT design means that the A77 doesn't need to wait for its mirror to get out of the way before it can make an exposure, so frames can be captured at a maximum rate governed by the speed of the shutter mechanism. 

Photo Comparison
JPEG at ISO 100

Movie Mode Comparison 
Both the Canon EOS 7D and the Sony SLT-A77 have the option for video mode. Both cameras are able to record full 1080p at 24p, which gives the video a cinematic look. However, the Sony SLT-A77 is also capable of recording full 1080p video at 60p. The Canon 7D can only shoot 60 fps at 720p.  Shooting at 60p is nice if you want to slow-down your shot in post without it looking choppy as in 24p. 

Movie Mode Comparison Chart
Sony Alpha SLT-A77Canon EOS 7D
PriceSony Alpha a77 Camera Kit - w/16-50mm lens
Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
Video Resolution• AVCHD
1920 x 1080 60i/50i Avg. 24 Mbps (high quality)
1920 x 1080 60i/50i Avg. 17 Mbps (standard quality)
1920 x 1080 60p Avg. 28Mbps (highest quality)
1920 x1080 24p/25p Avg. 24Mbps (high quality)
1920 x 1080 24p/25p Avg. 17Mbps (standard quality)
• MP4:
1440 x 1080, 1080p (30/25fps), Av. 12Mbps
640 x 480 (30/25fps)
• 1920x1080: 30/24 fps (NTSC)
• 1280x720 (HD): 60 fps (NTSC)
• 640x480 (SD): 60 fps (NTSC)
Audio• Dolby Digital Audio
• Stereo audio capture via optional external mic.
• 44.1kHz Mono (Internal Mic), Linear PCM
• Stereo audio capture via optional external mic.
Max Video ClipApprox 29 minutes
(around 13 min when temperature exceeds 104º )
12 min for 1080P, 12 min for 720P, 24 min for VGA

Manual Video Control:
• Shutter Speed
• Aperture
• Exposure - Only in the dedicated movie exposure mode which you can't use auto focus.
• Object Tracking  

• Shutter Speed
• Aperture
• Manual audio control (with the Firmware 2.0 upgrade)

Automatic Control:
• Auto focus is only available in Program AE Mode. It  also has the ability to be locked

• Auto focus is only available in Movie Mode and not in manual mode.

Video Samples:

Sony Alpha A77 | Showcase from Jochem de Vet on Vimeo.

Comparing the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 to the Canon EOS 7D
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