The Sony SLT-A77 II is – as the name implies – an overhaul of the original A77, from 2011. The A77 Mark II features a new autofocus sensor, and it’s much more than a refreshed version of an existing design. Instead, the A77 II is built around the AF module with the most focus points of any camera on the market (79), covering an extremely wide area of the frame. It’s also rated to work in lighting as low as -2EV. That doesn’t necessarily make it quite as sophisticated as pro-grade DSLRs, since they have more cross and diagonal sensor elements, but it looks very impressive for a camera in this part of the market.

The autofocus capability combines with the camera’s ability to shoot images at 12 frames per second to offer a compelling feature set. The A77 II also benefits from the autofocus tracking advances that have been included on recent Sony cameras, which use information from the main image sensor to identify and follow a given target.

Beyond that autofocus sensor, the A77 II gains an updated 24MP sensor (presumed to be a version of the sensor from the a6000 but without the on-chip sensor phase detection design) and all the benefits that the company introduced with its Bionz X processor. This means it gains three features: context-sensitive noise reduction, diffraction reduction technology, and more-sophisticated sharpening.

Sony SLT-A77 II key specifications:

  • 24MP CMOS Sensor with gapless, offset microlenses
  • 12fps continuous shooting with autofocus (up to 60 JPEGs) (up to 60 JPEGs)
  • 79-point AF module with 15 cross-type AF points, covering 40% of the frame
  • Increased control over AF behavior
  • 1080p60 movies with autofocus
  • Keeping an eye on the sound level while making a movie
  • 2.4M dot OLED viewfinder
  • White Magic pull-out three-hinge tilt/swivel 1.23m LCD screen
  • Wi-Fi and NFC built-in
  • The fastest shutter speed is 1/8000th, and the shutter is rated for 150,000 actions.
  • ISO 100 – 25,600 (Can be lowered to 50 and raised to 51,200 by combining multiple images)
  • Auto ISO customization
  • Corrects vignetting, chromatic aberrations, and geometric distortion based on a user’s profile.
  • Top panel LCD
  • Stereo microphone and jack for an outside mic
  • AF Micro Adjust

Focus advances

Sony says that the A77 II shouldn’t be compared to professional cameras, especially since it’s much cheaper. However, it’s starting to get specs that, at least on paper, make it look like it could be able to do a lot more than it costs. For example, the improvements to the A77 II’s autofocus system go well beyond just the focus sensor.

The Mark II gets a number of technologies that Sony has added to newer models to help it find its subject. Because of this, it has Eye-AF instead of just face detection. It also has the most advanced version of “Lock-On AF” we’ve seen so far, which will use or let you choose an off-center starting AF point (previously most Sonys assumed your subject was the thing at the center of the frame when you started tracking).

The A99 used its on-sensor phase detection elements to track a subject’s movement when it was between the focus sensor’s focus points. The A77 II, on the other hand, uses the focus points next to the currently active point. Also, the A77 II is the first Sony camera that lets you choose how long the camera should stay on the current focus point. This is a feature that you’d usually only find on very high-end models. Even better, you can set different values for shooting videos and stills.

On top of that, the camera has a distance limiter like the one on the A99 that lets you set the approximate range of focus distance over which you expect your subject to move. This keeps the camera from being distracted by things that are close or far away. Also, there is now an option to choose whether to focus or shoot first when shooting continuously. This gives the user much more control over how the camera focuses and shoots when shooting continuously. Overall, the A77 II is a big step forward for how Sony controls autofocus.

Best Sony a77 II Microphones

1. Sennheiser Pro Audio Portable Lavalier Wireless Set, AW+ (ew 512P G4

The Sennheiser EW 512P G4 is a camera-mount wireless lavalier microphone system that adds advanced features to the EW Series. This makes this industry-standard system a fully professional, cost-effective solution that filmmakers, videographers, and journalists can rely on, even in tough shooting environments like big cities.

The rugged EW 512P G4 has a wide 88 MHz bandwidth, 3520 frequencies, and an RF output level of up to 50 mW for clear transmission and broadcast-quality sound. Depending on where you are, you can use up to 32 microphones in the same area.

For clear sound recording, the EW 512P G4 has a high-quality MKE 2 omnidirectional lavalier mic with a small, sweat-resistant design that makes it easy to hide. A bodypack transmitter and a camera-mount receiver are also part of the package. The system connects to a camcorder, a DSLR/mirrorless camera, or a cinema camera to record clear speech or dialogue for projects like movies, documentaries, wedding videos, corporate spots, and hands-free interviews.

The EW 512P G4 is compatible with older evolution systems, including EW 100 models. This means that you can mix and match G4/G3/G2/G1 receivers or bodypack, handheld, and plug-on transmitters.

2. Rode VideoMic Pro+ Shotgun Camera-Mount Microphone

The Rode VideoMic Pro+ is great for mobile journalists, vloggers, low-budget filmmakers, and run-and-gun shooters who need a flexible camera-mount shotgun mic that works well on a boom pole. It’s better than the VideoMic Pro because it has more power options, more tone control, and a new windscreen.

Because it can be powered by either a battery or a USB cable, the VideoMic Pro+ can meet the needs of videographers who work in a wide range of indoor and outdoor settings. It also has a gain that can be changed and a number of features that improve clarity.

This shotgun mic is small and easy to carry. It has a built-in shockmount that you can attach directly to your camera or boom pole to reduce noise caused by vibrations. The new design of the windscreen makes it quieter, so it’s a good choice for shooting outside.

The 3.5mm TRS output and the fact that the cable can be taken off make it easy to hook up to your camera. By sending a duplicate signal at a lower volume, the selectable safety channel makes sure that the sound doesn’t get messed up by accident.

3. The Rode VideoMic Pro Camera-Mount Shotgun Microphone

The Rode VideoMic Pro camera-mount shotgun microphone is great for mobile journalists, vloggers, low-budget filmmakers, and run-and-gun shooters who want a cheap way to step up to the next level of quality. It’s quieter, more sensitive, and has more settings that can be changed than the VideoMic.

One 9V battery can power the light for up to 70 hours, and a red LED shows when the battery is running low. With a changeable gain and an on/off bass roll-off, it’s easy to get the right volume and tone for a wide range of situations.

This shotgun mic is small and easy to carry. It has a built-in shockmount that you can attach directly to your camera or boom pole to reduce noise caused by vibrations. The windscreen cuts down on wind noise, making it good for shooting outside.

It’s easy to connect to your camera with the 3.5mm TRS cable that comes with it, and the dual-mono output means you don’t have to change the channel on your recording device.

4. Sennheiser EW 112P G4 Lavalier Mic

The Sennheiser EW 112P G4 camera-mount wireless lavalier microphone system has the same combination of dependability, flexible control, and broadcast-quality sound that has made the EW Series a standard for videographers, journalists, and content creators all over the world.

The EW 112P G4 gives you the tools you need to handle wireless problems on set, which will happen no matter what. The frequency scan function automatically finds the clearest frequency where you are, and the transmitter’s input sensitivity can be changed to work with loud voices, quiet speech, and even line-level audio.

The system includes an improved ME 2-II lavalier mic, a bodypack transmitter, and a camera-mount receiver. It connects to a camcorder or DSLR/mirrorless camera to record clear speech or dialogue for things like documentaries, wedding videos, corporate spots, and hands-free interviews.

The EW 112P G4 is compatible with evolution systems from the past, so you can mix and match G4/G3/G2/G1 receivers and bodypack, handheld, and plug-on transmitters. It also works with EW 500-based systems.

5. Rode VideoMicro Camera-Mount Ultracompact Shotgun Microphone

Switch from the mic that came with your camera or portable recorder to the Rode VideoMicro ultracompact camera-mount shotgun microphone for better sound quality and less wind noise without adding weight to your setup. The VideoMicro is a simple, reliable microphone that gets its power from a plug and has no buttons or controls. It works well and is easy to use, which makes it great for mobile journalists, vloggers, and run-and-gun shooters.

This ultracompact and ultralightweight shotgun microphone has a detachable shockmount that mounts directly to your DSLR, mirrorless, or video camera and reduces noise caused by vibrations and handling of the camera. The fuzzy windshield that comes with it cuts down on wind noise, making it a good choice for shooting outside.

The detachable, coiled 3.5mm TRS cable makes it easy to connect to your camera, and the dual-mono output means that your recording device doesn’t have to be set to a specific channel.

6. Sennheiser MKE 600 Shotgun Microphone

Switch from your camera’s built-in mic to the battery- or phantom-powered Sennheiser MKE 600 shotgun microphone to improve the sound quality of your videos. It is good for a wide range of productions, from independent films and web series to nature shows and documentaries, because it can be pointed in one direction and doesn’t pick up noise from the building.

The MKE 600’s high sensitivity and low-noise circuitry make it possible to get better sound quality from noisy camera preamps without having to use a lot of gains. The MKE 600 can make speech clear while reducing rumble and other low-frequency noise because it has a natural roll-off at 40 Hz and a low-cut filter that can be set at 100 Hz. Also, its frequency response has a small rise in the treble to make speech sound clearer.

The metal housing is strong and light, so it won’t make your rig heavier but will still be tough. The MKE 600 comes with a shoe shockmount that lets you connect it to a camera or tripod. Connect the XLR output of the mic to an XLR mic preamp, or use the adapter cable that came with the mic to connect it to the 3.5mm mic input of a camera.

7. The Rode NTG5 is a short shotgun microphone that can handle moisture.

The Rode NTG5, which is shorter and lighter than the NTG3 and has a flatter bass response, is a moisture-resistant shotgun microphone that lets you record natural, uncolored sound indoors or outdoors for your next independent film, TV shoot, or documentary project without making your rig too heavy.

It is great for a wide range of on-location recording situations because it has professional-level features like ultralow-noise circuitry, a smooth off-axis response, and a tight low end. It also has a furry windshield and a pistol grip shockmount that can be attached to a boom pole for more options.

Because the NTG5 is so sensitive, you don’t have to turn up the gain on your mic preamp to get strong output levels. The NTG5 has a clear sound because of its innovative circular acoustic ports, gentle rise in high frequencies, and attenuation of low bass frequencies, which reduces rumble. There are no buttons or dials, so it is easy to set up. This lets you pay attention to the sound instead of adjusting the mic settings. Even in harsh environments, performance is always reliable when RF bias technology and conformal coating are used.

8. Rode Wireless GO II Single One-Person Compact Digital Wireless Omni Lavalier Microphone System/Recorder Kit (2.4 GHz, Black)

The black Rode Wireless Go II system is better than the original Wireless GO because it can be used by two people, has an onboard recorder, has a much longer range, and can be used in a variety of ways. It lets videographers, vloggers, and mobile journalists quickly and confidently add wireless audio to their setups, no matter what device they’re using or how much experience they have.

The system is ready to go with its secure Series IV 2.4 GHz digital transmission, easy operation, and built-in mics (lavalier mics are sold separately). You can focus on getting the shot because you know the Wireless GO II is sending high-quality sound up to 656 feet away.

There are no dials or menus that are hard to use. You only have to turn it on and go. The LCD screen is easy to see and gives you all the information you need. When you’re ready for more, you can use the Rode app to get access to a powerful set of features and more ways to change the settings.

9. Sennheiser EW 100 ENG G4 Wireless Combo Microphone System for Camera Mount (A: 516 to 558 MHz)

The EW 100 ENG G4 is designed to work with many different kinds of tasks. It gives you the tools you need to deal with wireless problems on set and figure out how to fix them.

The system has a bodypack transmitter with an omnidirectional ME 2-II lavalier mic. This is great for interviews where you don’t want to use your hands. Also included is a plug-on transmitter that can be attached to either a handheld dynamic microphone or a shotgun mic for wireless booming (both types of mics are available separately).

The camera-mount receiver can be attached to a camcorder or DSLR/mirrorless camera to record clear speech or dialogue for things like wedding and corporate videos, documentaries, and vlogs.

The EW 100 ENG G4 works with evolution systems from the past, so you can mix and match G4/G3/G2/G1 receivers and plug-on, handheld, and bodypack transmitters. It also works with EW 500-based systems.

10. Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 Moisture-Resistant Shotgun Microphone

With the Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 moisture-resistant shotgun microphone, you can record great sound in rough conditions for your next professional film, TV show, or location recording. Its sound is ready to be mixed because it has sharp directivity, low noise, and strong output. Plus, you don’t have to worry about any controls, and the MKH 416-P48U3 is reliable enough for high-pressure gigs.

The microphone has a hypercardioid polar pattern at low to midrange frequencies and a lobar pattern at high frequencies. This lets it cut the sound from 125 Hz to 2 kHz by about 10 dB at 90° off-axis points. You can record dialogue, foley, and sound effects with full dynamics and clarity using the MKH 416-P48U3’s wide frequency response, improved consonant articulation, and high SPL handling.

11. Sennheiser AVX-MKE2 SET Wireless Omni Lavalier Microphone System for Digital Camera Mount (1.9 GHz)

The Sennheiser AVX-MKE2 SET is a reliable wireless microphone system for professional videographers, video journalists, and vloggers. It is very small and easy to carry around. It’s so easy to use that it’s like having a sound engineer on set to help with audio tasks.

This self-configuring digital system was made to be easy to use without sacrificing sound quality. It takes care of time-consuming things like setting up the frequency and adjusting the mic level, so you can start shooting in seconds. Now, you can focus on other important things that need your attention during a shoot, and you can be sure that your camcorder, DSLR, or mirrorless camera will record clear, crisp audio.

This set has a bodypack transmitter, a camera-mount receiver, and a professional MKE 2 omnidirectional miniature lavalier mic. It works well for projects like wedding videos, corporate videos, hands-free interviews, and broadcast TV and documentaries.

About Author


Freelance journalist Corey has been writing about digital photography since 2006, first as a deputy editor and then as the editor of a variety of photographic journals. Featuring expert product reviews and in-depth features

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