Monday, September 5, 2011

Sony A77 with 70-400G at a Rugby game

I've been using the Sony A55 since it was announced last August. Then I used the A33 and then the A35, which I took to Haiti two weeks ago.

Now I'm shooting with the Sony A77.

At the beginning I had questions about the Electronic Viewfinder. I'm an old guy who shoots in an old school way. I leave Live View turned off and was happy using a optical viewfinder. After the first series of cameras, I decided I better become an expert with this new viewfinder, since it seems to be the direction Sony is moving in.

For the most part I pushed on instead of going back to the old style.

Now, Sony has the latest EVF and I'm used to using one. I find them great for judging exposure in manual. I can chimp my photos with the viewfinder, it doesn't matter what the sun is doing. They boost the image when the image is dark, and once you get used to them, they're great for action.

With the Sony A77 I wanted to hit the ground running and am already used to the viewfinder.

These photos are from my first action assignment with the camera. The day started bright and sunny and I shot mostly at ISO 400. As the weather turned for the worse I pumped it up to ISO1600. For the most part I shot on manual and the lens was the Sony 70-400G. I used the eight frames per second mode at first but decided to try the 12 fps burst mode which is great for sports.

I shot 1113 photos over the three games, using one card and a bit. The vertical grip holds two batteries and I was on the second one. I shot jpegs only and cropped them in iPhoto with no other adjustments.

The biggest issue with the assignment was I only shoot Rugby every couple years and have problems figuring out what is going on... which doesn't follow the first rule of sports photography.... know the sport.

The experiment continues.
You can see the video, including a large number of photos here.

Rob Skeoch


  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. These photos are great, Rob. I must say, the A77 has a pretty crisp quality, and I like it. Rugby is a great subject for action shots, indeed.