Sony A77 Mark II Performance


Timing and Performance

Very good to excellent performance, though buffer clearing is slow.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~0.8 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.9 second

Time until first shot is captured.

The Sony A77 Mark II's startup time (power on to first shot) was fairly quick. Switching from Play to Record mode and taking a shot was also good.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
Center AF area
AF-S mode

0.087 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (All AF timing performed with the Sony DT 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM kit lens.)

Full Autofocus,
Center AF area
AF-S mode
Auto Flash Enabled

0.212 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting, TTL Auto flash enabled.

Manual Focus

0.095 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.051 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Sony A77 Mark II's full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) was very fast, measuring only 0.087 second in Single-area (Center) AF mode with the 16-50mm f/2.8 kit lens at a medium focal length. That's definitely pro-level DSLR quick.

Enabling the flash added a noticeable delay for preflash metering, increasing lag to about 0.212 second.

When manually focused, the Sony A77 Mark II's shutter lag was about 0.095 second, which is pretty good, though oddly a bit slower than with autofocus. The A77 Mark II's prefocused shutter lag was only 0.051 second, very fast.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/ Extra Fine JPEG

0.36 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.37 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous Advance Priority AE mode
Large/Extra Fine JPEG

0.09 second
(11.52 fps);
26 frames total;
18 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 26 frames, then slowed to an average of about 0.66s or 1.52 fps when buffer was full.

Continuous Advance Priority AE mode
RAW

0.08 second
(11.98 fps);
28 frames total;
10 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 28 frames, then slowed to an average of about 0.38s or 2.61 fps when buffer was full.

Continuous Advance Priority AE mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.08 second
(11.98 fps);
24 frames total;
16 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 24 frames, then slowed to 0.62s or 1.62 fps when buffer was full.

Continuous Hi mode
Large/Extra Fine JPEG

0.13 second
(7.97 fps);
56 frames total;
37 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 56 frames, then slowed to an average of about 0.76s or 1.31 fps when buffer was full.

Continuous Hi mode
RAW

0.13 second
(8.00 fps);
32 frames total;
10 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 32 frames, then slowed to an average of about 0.41s or 2.46 fps when buffer was full.

Continuous Hi mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.13 second
(7.97 fps);
27 frames total;
17 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 27 frames, then slowed to 0.71s or 1.42 fps when buffer was full.

Flash Recycling

3.1 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95 MB/sec UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were very good, at 0.36 second for Large/Extra Fine JPEGs and 0.37 second for RAW + Large/Fine JPEG frames. (Note that we no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the results are usually somewhere in between JPEG and RAW+JPEG modes. Also note that the A77 II cannot capture highest quality "Extra Fine" JPEGs together with RAW, dropping to "Fine" quality JPEGs when shooting RAW+JPEG.)

The Sony A77 II's Continuous Advance Priority AE mode was very fast at about 11.5 frames per second for Extra Fine JPEGs, and about 12 frames per second for RAW or RAW+JPEG files. Be aware that if you want continuous AF in this mode the aperture is locked at either f/3.5 or the maximum aperture of the lens, whichever is smaller.

Continuous Hi burst mode performance matched Sony's specification of about 8 frames per second regardless of file type. There is also a Continuous Lo (3 fps) setting, however we did not test that option.

In Continuous Advance Priority AE mode, buffer depths were quite good considering the speed and resolution, at 26 Extra Fine JPEGs, 28 RAW frames and 24 RAW+JPEG frames before the camera slowed. Note that our test target for this was designed to be difficult to compress, so burst lengths should be longer with typical subjects.

Buffer depth for Large/Extra Fine JPEGs in Continuous Hi mode was excellent, at 56 frames before the camera slowed. When shooting RAW files, buffer depth dropped to 32 frames, and to 27 frames with RAW+L/F JPEG files, both still quite generous.

Buffer clearing after max-length bursts took some time even with a fast UHS-I SDHC card, though, ranging between 10 seconds after a max-length burst of RAW files, to a rather lengthy 37 seconds after a max-length burst of Large / Extra Fine JPEGs in Continuous Hi mode.

The built-in flash was able to recycle from a full discharge in 3.1 seconds, which is about average.


Bottom line, the Sony A77 Mark II's performance was generally excellent for its class in our tests, with extremely fast AF speed, quick prefocused shutter lag and very fast burst modes. Buffer depths were very good, however clearing after a max-length burst of 24-megapixel images can take some time even with a fast UHS-I SDHC card.

Battery

Battery Life
Below average battery life for a DSLR.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture,
(EVF, CIPA standard)
410 shots
Still Capture,
(LCD Monitor CIPA standard)
480 shots

The Sony A77 Mark II uses a custom NP-FM500H rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and a dedicated battery charger. While CIPA-rated battery life isn't bad for an EVF-equipped camera, it's well below average compared to traditional prosumer DSLRs, especially when using the electronic viewfinder. We strongly recommend purchasing a second battery and consider getting the optional battery grip which doubles battery life with a second battery installed.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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