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Sony Alpha A77 Digital Camera Review$1,999.99
Speed and Timing
Burst shooting is one of the A77's main selling points, and it has a handful of continuous drive and burst options. Other typical features are included, like a self-timer and bracketing options.
Burst modes come in three varities: High, Low, and 12. As you probably guessed, 12 is the fastest mode, capturing an advertised 12fps. This setting is a bit quirky; it won't automatically adjust the settings to capture 12fps. If your ISO setting is too low or aperture too narrow, you'll have to adjust those manually until the shutter speed is quick enough. The Continuous High setting grabs around 8 frames per second (still very fast).
In the 12fps mode, we actually measured a top speed of about 13fps, though that was over the course of just five frames. This is the fastest burst mode on any consumer DSLR or mirrorless system camera.
The self-timer function is pretty bare-bones, just 2-second and 10-second options; no multi-shot or interval settings.
One of the best aspects of the A77's translucent-mirror design is the full-time phase-detection autofocus. It's as quick and accurate as a regular DSLR, but doesn't have to drop focus every time it exposes a photo. It even works at the fastest burst setting, and in video mode, too.
Thanks to the excellent 2.4-megapixel OLED electronic viewfinder and focus peaking feature, even manual focus is great. Sony even takes a perceived weakness—the lack of an optical viewfinder—and turns it into a strength. Focus peaking highlights the edges of in-focus portions of the image in the EVF (or LCD). The threshold is adjustable, as is the color of the outline. It's sensitive enough to pick up lines of text on a piece of paper. Better photography through technology. We can understand why most folks would still prefer OVFs, but with developments like this, the case against keeps EVFs getting weaker.