Expert Review of Sony Alpha SLT A57K DSLR Kit 18-55mm Black
Alpha A57K SLT SLR is the new interchangeable lens device fancied by probably the most stylish gadget company in the world “Sony.” The device uses translucent Mirror Technology to offer great speed shooting and a smaller body size. As such, Sony Alpha A57K SLT SLR features a 16.1 megapixel sensor in parallel with 12 frames per second burst speed shooting, Full HD 1080p video at 50 frames per second with control over exposure and continuous autofocusing, ISO range of 100-16000, 15-point phase-detection autofocus system with 3 cross sensors, a 3-inch free-angle LCD screen, a high-resolution Tru-Finder (Electronic Viewfinder) with 100% coverage, Auto HDR, 3D Sweep Panoramas and Multi-frame Noise Reduction. When you compare a conventional DSLR camera, the Translucent Mirror Technology totally utilises a fixed translucent mirror which breaks the optical passage between the main image sensor and another phase-detection AF sensor. Hence, offering a simplified design of a machine which enables the cameras to come out smaller.
Design and Build Quality
The exact dimensions of Sony Alpha SLT A57K measure 132.1mm x 97.5mm x 80.7mm and the weight of this device is 539 grams, these are the same specifications that were earlier seen in Sony A65. Only difference is that the body of Sony Alpha A57K is made of plastic and hence cheaper and is more mass-market replacement to the devotee targeted Sony Alpha A65 and Sony Alpha A77. This device is a clear step beyond model from the equally new Sony ALPHA A37 and in terms of its size and construction; it fits very neatly right between the cameras mentioned. Although the plastic body gives the feel of a budget device for Sony Alpha A57K but still the very feel of the device is strong and the quality of build is genuinely neck to neck with all its competitors in the same price range.
Focus and Face Detection
When you talk about the focussing capacity of Sony Alpha A57K, in addition to the traditional continuous and manual AF, the selected AF Area can be changed along the frame so as to easily create the professional “rack focus” effect, where the focus ensures movement between the background and foreground subjects. Also, a joy to watch is Sony Alpha A57K SLT SLR ability to change the shutter speed and aperture while recording with Program, Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority, and fully Manual recording modes all on offer. When you focus manually though, Sony offers two Focus Magnifier zoom levels in order to conclude the exact point of focus which is either 5.9x or 11.7x. And additional addition is the “focus peaking” display which was introduced first with the launch of NEX-C3 camera.
Lens and Image Stabilization
Sony SLT A57 features the exciting new SteadyShot Inside Sensor shift image stabilisation by use of which it can work with almost any lens you attach with it, which includes the new 16-50mm f2.8 kit lens which sports a number of features that put it a notch above what you might expect from a kit lens in terms of build quality and performance.
Screen and Menus
Almost the entire rear of Sony Alpha A57K is covered by an adjustable 3 inch LCD which is still a rare feature on a budget DSLR. The screen is hinged at the bottom and can be tilted down and the rotated to left or right making an angle of 270 degrees, and can also be flipped such that the face of the screen is facing the body of the camera to avoid any kind of scratches. Sony Alpha A57K also features a clever eye level sensor which generally switches off the info on the rear screen to bring your eye up close to form a really excellent optical viewfinder in addition to a facility to automatically flips the same display through 90 degrees so that you turn the camera on its side so as to shoot directly in a portrait fashion.
All the power of Sony Alpha A57 is drawn out of a Lithium-Ion battery which supplies a highly impressive life-span of a huge 550 images with the viewfinder and in Live View mode, this increases to 590 images, additionally there is a metal tripod socket which is in line with the centre of lens mount. There are two partly recessed metal eyelets on both the sides of the body of this camera which allows the supplied camera strap to be attached. The bottom compartment of Sony Alpha A57 is also a shared compartment which shares the SD card or the Memory stick and the batteries. On the left of Sony Alpha A57K is an HDMI output which is used in order to hook the camera up with a HD TV and yes, the HDMI cable is not included in the box. Along with the HDMI port is the USB connection which is protected by the same rubber flap and a DC in port. Above are ports for a remote control and an external microphone, the latter potentially allowing better sound quality to be recorded than via the camera's built-in stereo microphones.
Sony Alpha A57K has full capabilities to record videos at a maximum of 1080p HD 1920 x 1280 pixel movies at either 50fps or 25fps (PAL), or 60fps and 24fps (NTSC) in the AVCHD format, or 1440 x 1080 pixels at 30fps/25fps in the MPEG-4 format, useful as this format can currently be shared more easily. There's also a 640 x 480 VGA mode at 25fps, but no 720p mode. There's a limitation of up to 29 minutes, or 9 minutes if SteadyShot is turned on, for the AVCHD format, and a 2Gb file size for MP4 video. Stereo sound is recorded during video capture, and you can fit an optional external stereo microphone to further improve the quality. The HDMI port allows you to connect the A57 to a high-def TV set, but only if you purchase the optional HDMI mini-cable.
Sony Alpha A57K SLT SLR works on a APS-C sized CMOS sensor which works on 16 megapixels.
1. Continuous shooting at a fast pace
2. Great performance even in low light
3. Fast HD video autofocus
4. Overall manual control
1. Hazy menu, lacks clarity
2. Some functions unavailable in some modes
3. Lacks in-built GPS
4. Price: too high
Sony Alpha SLT A57K DSLR Kit 18-55mm Black Description
The Alpha A57K SLT SLR is an interchangeable lens-imaging device by Sony. The device utilizes a translucent mirror technology that offers speedy shooting at small size. Parallel to 12fps, the second burst speed shoot is the 16.1megapixel APS-C sized CMOS sensor. Full HD videos at 1080p can be shot at 50fps rate, along with exercising control on exposure and continuous AF. The ISO sensitivity ranges from 100 to 16000, there is 15-point AF system with phase-detection, and 3 cross sensors. The LCD screen is a free-angle 3inches wide. There is a high-resolution EVF (Tru-Finder) that allows you to have 100percent coverage. The list of features does not end here with more info are present for Auto HDR, 3D sweep panorama and even multi-frame noise reduction. The exact dimensions of the DSLR measure 132.1mm x 97.5mm x 80.7mm while the weight of Sony Alpha A57K SLT SLR is 539 grams. Coming to the focus, in addition to the manual and continuous focus, the selected AF area can be altered with the frame, where the focus ensures about the movement between foreground and background subjects. The DSLR also has the ability to change the shutter speed and aperture while capturing Shutter-priority, aperture-priority, program.
The manual recording modes are all controllable. When you manually focus, Sony offers two Focus magnified zoom levels, to come to the exact focus point. The camera also features SteadyShot inside sensor shift image stabilization. Coming to the screen, the adjustable 3inches wide LCD is a rare feature. The screen can be tilted down, rotated to right or left, making a 270 degrees sweep. You can even make the screen face the body of the camera to avoid scratches of any kind. The camera derives its power from a Lithium-Ion battery that can easily make you achieve 550 snaps with the viewfinder and LiveView mode. At the bottom of Sony Alpha A57 is the memory card compartment that lets in the SD card and memory stick to be shared by batteries. You can also avail of the HDMI output that can be connected to your HDTV for direct viewing of your work. There are provisions for external microphone and remote control as well. Coming to the video shoot, the camera can record videos at 1080p High Definition, frame format with 1920 x 1080pixel, the video can be taken in either 25fps or 50fps (PAL) or 24fps or 60fps (NTSC) in the AVHCD format. You can also take videos in 1440 x 1080pixels at 25/30fps under the MP4 format and lastly the 640 x 480 VGA mode at 25fps. You get limited up to 29minutes or 9minutes if SteadyShot is turned on in AVCHD video mode and for MP4 mode, you can fill in 2Bs only. Overall, the DLSR competes well with Nikon's DSLR cameras.