Nothing pushes a camera to its limits like shooting fast-moving action, but Sony's new Alpha 77 II laughs in the face in such a challenge.
The new version of its 2012 DSLR the SLT-A77 (obviously), the a77 II has an astonishing 79 autofocus points, can shoot up to 12fps and has a range of other enhancements geared towards making it a seriously snappy performer.
Chief among these are variety of different autofocus area modes including Eye AF (which tracks your subject's eyes, assuming it has any; we're not sure how it would cope with a blind mole rat) and Expanded Flexible Spot (which uses the autofocus points adjacent to the active one to ensure moving subjects stay in focus).
Subject tracking even works when you're rattling off burst shots at up to 12 frames per second. And what's more, it can shoot up to 60 images without taking a breather, thanks to its swift Bionz X processor.
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No one-trick pony
The Sony Alpha 77 II is hardly lacking in all-round skills either.
There's a 24.3MP APS-C Exmor sensor calling the shots and an ISO range of up to 25,600. Not quite as impressive as the new a7s, with its 409,600 upper limit, but hardly shabby either.
Video is of the full HD @ 60fps variety - there's no 4K, unfortunately, although you can output 4K stills to a compatible TV.
Elsewhere, there's also in-body stabilisation, a 2,359k dot electronic viewfinder and a 1,228k dot tiltable LCD. Don't worry too much about the numbers - they just mean that the EVF is shaper than your average porcupine spine, while the LCD is, um, more like a hedgehog or something.
A built-in flash, oodles of customisable buttons (11 of them!), NFC, Wi-Fi and a solid, dust- and moisture-resistant magnesium alloy body round the package off.
We'll have a full test of the Sony Alpha 77 II just as soon as we can.