October: Sony A77 Now with Fancy Transparent-Mirror Technology integration

Wednesday, August 24th 2011. | Hardware News

Yet another new camera announcement for today. This time it’s Sony’s SLT-A77, the SLR equivalent of the also-new-today NEX7 mirrorless compact. The A77 has two very cool new features. First is Sony’s new translucent mirror tech. This uses a pellicle mirror instead of the usual silvered glass panel, letting the light pass through to the sensor, whilst still allowing some (in an SLR) to be reflected up to the viewfinder. This allows very fast shooting, as the mirror isn’t constantly slapping up and down like a stupid dog’s tongue on a hot day.

But the A77 doesn’t have an optical viewfinder. In this case, the mirror is used to siphon off some light to the phase-detection AF system, which lets it focus as fast as an SLR, and yet still manage a live-view. And what a live view. This one comes courtesy of the 2.4 million-dot ‘finder also, erm, found in the NEX7.

The lack of a mirror also speeds things up. The A77 can shoot its huge 24MP images at an almost absurd 12fps. You also get a maximum ISO of 16,000 (it’s the same sensor found in the NEX7), 1080p video, a 921,000-dot LCD and a mess of in-camera special FX. How much does Sony want for this beast? Body only, you’ll pay around $1,400. Available October.

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