When it comes to cameras, digital SLRs are a breed all their own. Many DSLR owners don't upgrade their bodies often -- if at all -- and even fewer would consider a switch to a competing camera system, especially after investing in a handful of high-end lenses. Manufacturers need to push innovation even further to target this segment of the market -- when some cameras cost thousands of dollars and already offer excellent performance, simply releasing a body with more megapixels and HD shooting options won't prompt photographers to pull out their credit cards. With its excellent 24.3 megapixel sensor and high-res OLED electronic viewfinder, however, Sony's $1,399 Alpha A77 may just be the DSLR upgrade you've been waiting for. We spent a few days with a pre-production A77 paired with Sony's brand new 16-50mm f/2.8 lens ($1,999 in an A77 kit), and were very impressed with what will undoubtedly be a worthy successor to the well-received A700. Jump past the break for our initial impressions, along with plenty of still photo and HD video samples.
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Gallery: Sony Alpha A77 (hands-on)