post #1 of 1
Thread Starter 
I have a fair investment in Minolta gear, since my first SLR was a Maxxum 700si and the lenses I bought to use with it are the ones I still own to this day.

Minolta was slow to release a digital SLR, instead releasing several iterations of DiMAGE P&S cameras before (finally) coming out with the Maxxum 7D. While only a 6MP camera, it had a ton of features that were new and innovative at the time. It had the largest LCD display released so far, in-camera antishake, intuitive menus, and it was built like a tank.

Unfortunately, the first 7D I received had a common out-of-the-box defect. The antishake mechanism had failed. After a trip to the service center and a new mechanism installed, the camera has worked flawlessly for me for the past seven years or so.

Sony bought out all of Minolta's camera division in the meantime, which meant that there was a lot more chance of research and innovation. They released the A700 which, while a nice camera, I didn't feel was worth the investment to upgrade from the 7D. The A350 was released with higher resolution, but missing many of the controls in the higher end models.

And then the A77 was announced. . .

24MP CMOS sensor (unfortunately only APS-C, but oh well)
12fps burst shooting
Magnesium body
1080p/60 video
And *still* compatible with Minolta glass

There were some bumps in getting one. After the initial announcement, no one knew for sure when the camera was actually going to be *released*. I kept an eye on several sites, and saw the first batch finally come out and quickly disappear as they were bought up. And I was pretty much broke at the time.

Then the flooding shut the factory down, putting its already high demand into overload.

I finally get my taxes back, I'm ready to buy the camera, so I start looking around. No one has it in stock. Check that, a few sites have it in stock, but they're price gouging. After a few days of checking around, I find one place that has it in stock for its real price: Robert's Camera. So I finally pull the trigger.

And got a defective one. Everything on the camera works fine EXCEPT the shutter release on the vertical control grip. If you press the shutter release partway on the grip, one or more of the buttons on the grip would also function. My first thought was a defective grip of course, so I exchanged it. Nope, it was the camera. So back to Robert's it went, and I quickly received a replacement. I quickly went through every function on the new one and it seems to work 100%.

So far, here's what I think:

Start up time is a bit slow, but nothing major.
Shutter release time is ungodly fast. I'm having to retrain my reflexes for taking action shots now to prevent taking the picture too soon.
Higher ISO noise is vastly overstated. While visible if pixel peeping, when printed you'd be hard pressed to see it. 8.5x11" is the largest I can print on hand, it looks fantastic.
The 12fps burst is nice, but only good for about 1.2 seconds until the buffer is full. You need a FAST UHC-I card to clear it quickly.
Video capture is the best I've ever seen from anything I've used. They learned a lesson from the older Alpha cameras (that would overheat after recording long videos) and instead of primarily using the sensor antishake machanism, they use digital antishake when possible.
I expected to hate the OLED display. I don't. It really is amazing how bright, clear and fast it is. And the ability to check exposure, white balance and other settings right in the viewfinder is a big help.
Sweep panorama (and 3D panorama) work flawlessly.
Compatible with SDHC and SDXC cards, bravo Sony for not forcing one of their proprietary memory cards as the only storage.
The LCD back panel is bright, clear and sharp. The articulating arm feels sturdy.
It's also still compatible with HS wireless flashes.
It *does* provide power for the xi series zoom lenses.
The in-camera effects are surpsingly nice, even to someone who prefers post.

Batteries are proprietary, expensive and scarce for some reason. ~$60 each. Aftermarket batteries are iffy due to the capacity calculation.
Shutdown is quite slow at about 6 seconds.
While it has a magnesium body, it still doesn't feel as beefy as the 7D.
Lenses feel a tiny bit loose when attached.
And of course the camera and accessories are fairly expensive ($1400 body, $250 vertical grip)


If anyone has any specific questions about it, please let me know.
Main computer
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4930K Asus X79-Deluxe Asus GeForce GTX 980 32 GB G.Skill ARES DDR3 2400 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
PNY Optima SSD Toshiba Seagate Pioneer BD-R, LG DVD-R/RW 
CoolingOSMonitorMonitor
Thermalright HR-02 w/2011 adapter Windows 10 Pro Asus VG278HE Oculus Rift DK2 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
SteelSeries Shift Corsair CMPSU-850HX Silverstone FT02 Fortress 2 Logitech G700s 
Mouse PadAudioOther
NewTek Video Toaster 4000 Sound Blaser X-Fi Titanium Wacom Intuos 3 6x8 
  hide details  
Reply
Main computer
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4930K Asus X79-Deluxe Asus GeForce GTX 980 32 GB G.Skill ARES DDR3 2400 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
PNY Optima SSD Toshiba Seagate Pioneer BD-R, LG DVD-R/RW 
CoolingOSMonitorMonitor
Thermalright HR-02 w/2011 adapter Windows 10 Pro Asus VG278HE Oculus Rift DK2 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
SteelSeries Shift Corsair CMPSU-850HX Silverstone FT02 Fortress 2 Logitech G700s 
Mouse PadAudioOther
NewTek Video Toaster 4000 Sound Blaser X-Fi Titanium Wacom Intuos 3 6x8 
  hide details  
Reply