Image quality of the Sony Alpha SLT-A77

Now that the new Sony SLT-A77 and Sony SLT-A65 have been presented to the press, the question which is asked by most photographers is: “seeing the nice figures shown by Sony, what about the image quality?”

But this is a very difficult exercise. All the more difficult because nobody has final production cameras to test and review (they will only exist at the end of September and won’t be sold before next October). Imaging Resource demonstrates this with good test pictures (or is it sample images?) shot in very good conditions (As a matter of fact, others like Luminous Landscape, chose not to show any image) but they create some doubt about the exact quality that can be expected from these photo cameras (The Alpha 77 is tested, but everybody understands that the Alpha 65 will certainly provide nearly identical images from the same digital sensor).

I want to believe that today’s tests will be done again by the same bloggers with production cameras (and mostly with the final firmware). Nevertheless, the owners of the early Alpha 700 will probably remember that Sony is sometimes capable of waiting months after the start of production to provide “the right firmware” for a DSLR photo camera.


  • FotoMagazin: Good quality images showing the great pixel resolution, nice ISO 400 pics, well balanced ISO 800 pics, ISO 1600 are cleaned soft and then accentuated too much to compensate, ISO 3200 pics are astonishingly good for this level of sensitivity even if they should be rated medium/OK only.
  • Imaging Resource: Nice resolution, a bit too accentuated up to 400 ISO (ISO 800 JPEG files are not too bad, though), JPEG files are seriously deteriorated by too much smoothing at ISO 1600 (viewed at 100% it looks a bit cartoon-like), violent smoothing a ISO 3200; ISO 6400 files are really too far out to be used as anything other than “holiday souvenirs” in low resolution (smoothed, accentuated, with too many artifacts to be pleasantly viewable at 100%).
  • ePhotozine: Pictures hinting at too much accentuation at ISO 1600, but the shooting was not good enough to judge anything seriously.
  • Nice pictures from Sony not allowing quality judgments (more spectacular splash than test fodder)

See also sony sample pictures: