Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sony A77 with 70-400G at another football game

It was a perfect fall day today.
Great sun but cool. Not a cloud in sight.
The smell of bacon on a bun and burgers on the Que. I even tried one of the burger so I can tell you it was good.

Nothing... nothing is as great as the start of football season. The rep teams started last week, but the Novice House League players suited up for the first time ever, today. (OK, I admit the Season Opener in baseball is pretty good too)

I was ready for some football.

Cracked open a new Gitzo Carbon Fibre, overpriced monopod. The Gitzo that I've used for the past 20+ seasons is a little dented and just a touch short with the 70-400G lens from Sony on it. The 300 f2.8 is a bit taller and it works great on the old stick.

The A77 was outfitted with the Vertical Grip. When you buy the camera, do yourself a favour and order the VG at the same time. It holds a second battery, but is comfortable to shoot with. I think it's more comfortable to shoot vertical than horizontal with the camera.

I shot the entire day in the burst mode. This gives me 12 frames per second, the lens shoots wide open and I get to set the ISO speed to 400. This gave me an exposure of 1/2500 for most of the full lit shots. When you're in the burst mode you can only shoot jpegs, which is fine with me since I usually only shoot jpegs anyway.

I've been asked a number times about the buffer filling up at 12 fps. I tested it twice. Once on my foot and once on the grass. I was able to 18 frames of my foot before the camera stuttered once. On the grass I was able to get 17 frames before the stutter. The camera continued to shoot in both situations but not at 12 fps. During the actual game I had two or three times when the camera buffer was filled and the frame rate dropped off. It would have been nice if it went farther but 18 frames of a running back with the ball gave me a couple nice choices. The shots of my foot were nice too.
Rob Skeoch
My retail store for traditional photo supplies is
My retail store for rangefinder gear and Zeiss lenses is
If you need a Gitzo Carbon Fibre monopod, send me an email and I'll get you a quote.


  1. I was wrong.
    In the burst mode you can shoot RAW and jpegs. I shot 12 frames in RAW and jpeg before the camera stuttered.

    In the burst mode you can adjust the aperture... not in the continuous focus mode, but once you switch to single focus, you can adjust the aperture since the focus is locked at the first frame.

    With the 70-400G lens the camera shoots wide open in the burst mode. This is f4-f5.6. However with a faster lens it will shoot at f3.5. So with a 85mm f1.4, it's not wide open but f3.5.

    Sorry for any confusion my mistake might have caused.

  2. Which memory card do you use? SD UHS-I or normal Class 10, or Memory Stick? How much time remain to clear a buffer? I really don't want to wait for 20 or 30 seconds to full clear. :) Like here: :)

    btw: Limit to F3.5 seems not so good for solid lenses such a 135 F1.8 or 85 F1.4 (or 50mm) and that is not a lenses for tracking, but for 70-200 it is great! I can imagine this with my 80-200 F2.8 APO, she fits F3.2 or F3.5 with awesome output! :)

  3. Aloha Rob!

    Enjoyed reading your comments regarding the A77, especially the shots taken with the 70-400mm lens as that is the combo I am eyeing at the moment. Currently, I am mostly photographing birds, but also love to shoot rodeo and sports, although both have been on the back burner because of equipment issues. I think I found all the related posts that deal with these two pieces of equipment, but if you have any further comments, I would be grateful. Thanks and keep up the great work! Mahalo, Thomas