As an enthusiast amateur level, and now retired, I'm doing my best to try and capture that elusive so-called perfect photograph - which has not yet happened of course.
As the owner of Canon, Nikon, and Sony, P&S, and DSLR products I've been very impressed with Sony's HX9V, HX200V, Alpha 55 products. The A77VM is a recent addition after deliberating about it for over a year. The thought in mind was: Hey, since my other Sony's haved worked great for me, the A77VM would probably be even better - right?
How can I justify the cost, or need for another DSLR/SLT type product since I'm not a professional? Yet I want to be able to take the best photos I possibly can, to the best of my abilities within the skill level(s) I've gained, but still learning all the time.
The Sony A77VM 18-135 provides very sharp photos, great color rendering. It is fast, and has expanded versatility. One of the features for me that stands out is the ability to manually tweak the Focusing after Auto Focusing to obtain an extremely clear, clean image. At 12FPS you will not miss those quick moving action shots. Since you are reading this review, you have already looked into the Features, Specifications, and Techno details, so therefore I will not burden the reader herein.
This Model Sony product is a top shelf winner, and provides all the power and ability "any" so called enthusiast level photographer would want. Is this camera "better" than say a Canon 60D, or Nikon 7000, can be argued by those who want to prove they have more insight into Cameras and Photography and bragging rights than the other guy... I do not have such rights.
I can say unequivocally state that this Sony product is a top shelf camera, and will provide you with everything you would need or want.
A couple constructive comments:
(1) The Viewfinder Diopter Adjustment and (Movie) Record Button are located too close together. When you adjust the diopter, you can not help but hit the Record Button with your finger, thumb, etc. Also, the Record Button is entirely too easy to inadvertently turn it on just from normal carry, handling, and during general usage.
(2) The OLED Viewfinder is new, hot stuff, and provides a bright image. However, I and others have discovered that you get blurring of information displayed in the corners of the viewfinder, and you can not obtain clear Focus of information displayed for both the Top and Bottom rows simultaneously. In you adjust the diopter for bottom row clear focus, the top is slightly blurry, and vi-ca versa.
The 243 Page detailed Users Guide is good, but certain explanations of operational instruction(s) could be much better for the English language understanding.
Over-all, this product is as good, and is better in several areas than the competitons equivalent. I utilize a Canon 60D with several Lenses for Landscape and Wildlife for the more serious "stuff"', and a Sony HX200V when wanting that nice, easy to carry camera, yet can have telephoto shots with excellent results.
Is this product worth the relatively higher cost than the competition, I'm not quite certain, but I'm also not complaining. And, more Lens choices are forthcoming.