Sony Alpha A77 Firmware 1.07

Just a quick post for anyone looking at the new Sony a77 firmware and prevaricating on whether to update or not.

Although there are no features that some would have liked (updates to the JPEG engine in line with the A99, tethering support because the A700 had it), Sony have a track record of adding undocumented enhancements.

A77 uodated to 1.07
A77 uodated to 1.07

The 1.07 firmware is no different: start-up is now very fast. If I turn on the a77 and immediately try to take a photograph, the delay is about half a second, the back LCD is displaying live-view in about half a second, and the full interface is up in about a second. The sluggishness the camera had on release is now well and truly gone!

Changing from EVF to the LCD is now just over half a second.

Shutdown is immediate, and you no longer get the extended ticks and click that you got on release: you now get the noise of the lens retracting and the normal sensor clean ‘shake’ that all Alphas do. Gary Friedman has previously tested real shutdown times for the a77 (via current drain caused by battery use), and notes that the camera shutdown time hasn’t reduced much since initial release: in later firmware releases, it just plays dead while it shuts down. Gary may well be right there, but it doesn’t really matter because shutting down the A77 and then immediately turning back on again, then trying to take a photo doesn’t degrade start up time. Whatever it is doing during shutdown, the A77 now stops it and restarts without additional delay.

The Flash seems to work much better than 1.06 (I tried both the camera’s flash and a Sony HVL-F43). The A77 still seems to overexpose a little under some situations (especially with the external flash), but seems much more consistent using the built-in flash. Anyway, Gary Friedman thinks its fixed enough for prime time now.

So, no new stuff, and no changes to the JPEG engine, but you will get a faster interface, and may find the flash overexposure more manageable.

Conclusion

Whenever you update the A77, you always lose the AF micro adjustments, so the update has to be worth the half hour it takes to note the adjustments, flash the firmware, then laboriously  attach each lens and enter the adjustment again.

Although the official change list tells up that the only addition is lens support for lenses I don’t own, it turned out to be worth the effort for me, because I finally have the nippy and quick camera I had with my non-SLT alphas.

I know there are many studio and JPEG shooters who are disappointing with the omissions, but along with the video hacks I detail here, the A77 is for me, a much better camera for than the one I initially bought.

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4 thoughts on “Sony Alpha A77 Firmware 1.07”

  1. I need help and don’t know where to find my answer.
    My A77 creates a blurred top 1/3rd and bottom 1/3rd in all my shots what switch do I change to stop this blurring ?
    Thank You for the help

  2. Hi Fred

    Moist likely you have put it into a faux tilt-shift style. In live view, the top and bottom won’t be blurred so much as filled with semi transparent grey boxes, but when you take a picture, the grey areas are blurred like you mention.

    I hope its that as that’s easy to fix. Try this anyway…
    Press Fn button.
    Using the joystick, scroll to Picture Effect and select it (its at the bottom right).
    If this is your problem, you will have ‘Miniature Middle (Horizontal)’ selected.
    Scroll to ‘Off’ and enter by pressing the joystick in.
    that should fix it.

    Otherwise, if the style was set to Off already, this sounds like a physical problem. It sounds to me like the camera has been dropped or suffered some shock.

    First, go menu > spanner tab > 2 > Cleaning mode and click ok with the joystick, then Select the enter button and click ok. You will hear a buzz (like a large bee buzzing) for about a quarter of a second. Do you hear a buzz at all, or is it grating? If you don’t hear this, then its the steadyshot – its stuck, probably because the camera has been dropped.. If you do hear the buzz, does the issue clear?

    If you change the lens, I assume the situation persists? Otherwise its the lens.

    If its not the lens, take the lens off.

    Does the translucent mirror look ok? It should look like a small pane of glass, in a frame. Make sure it doesn’t look like its detached or dirty top and bottom (don’t touch it though).

    You will see a small catch at the bottom of the mirror. If you touch that, the mirror should swing up. It may be that its come off its hinge and misaligned (be careful if it has, as it may drop out of the camera). The mirror clips back into place if that’s the issue (the hinges are at the top).

    If the mirror has swung up, look at the sensor at the back. Is it perfectly square? Does the top and bottom look to be the same distance away from the lens? If not, its the sensor – its at an angle because the camera has been dropped hard, and you need to talk to Sony.

    Hopefully though, its kust the Miniature style, and you should be ok now. Let me know how it goes, and hope this helps.

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