Best SLR of the year 2012-13 as per EISA
by Manoj Chaturvedula on 2012-11-28
I purchased this camera despite some strong recommendations from Canon/Nikon fanboys to stick to their preferred brand. The main reason I was tilted in favour of SLT was... ah.. I need to compile a list of features now!
Sony has done a good job in creating a beast to fight against the likes of Canon/Nikon. No wonder European Image and Sound Association (EISA) has ranked Sony SLT A57 as the "Best European SLR 2012-13". After almost one month of usage, here is complete review:
1) Continuous autofocus as there is no flipping mirror and excellent image quality with sharp, brighter colors
2) High burst of 12 fps in continuous AE mode is not only "class-leading" but industry leading
3) Autofocus in movie mode is a breeze (you have to see it to believe it)
4) Auto HDR mode saves you the effort of taking 3 individual shots at different exposures (no need to take 3 shots at different exposures; Sony does it perfectly in one shot... that too with auto-scene detect) No other SLR can boast of this intelligent feature.
5) Sweep panorama (My personal choice is that I don't want to spend time after returning from a vacation in stitching multiple photos in Photoshop to create a panorama. I prefer an automated job done)
6) Dolby sound recording in movie mode with wind filter
7) In body stabilization against lens stabilization offered in Canon/Nikon. So, no need to worry about purchasing Image Stabilized lenses. (Googling further would prove that lens stabilization offers no much tangible benefit against in-body stabilization)
8) Autofocus motor built into the body
9) Lens correction features built into the firmware (not sure whether this is a scoring point over competition, i.e. Canon, Nikon)
10) Decent build quality with rubberized grip (and recycled materials were claimed to be used... For those who advocate going green :) )
11) TruBlack LCD is pretty good even under sunlight
12) Electronic viewfinder overlays the information (incl. camera horizontal level indicator which is akin to bubble level) very well onto the image
13) High number of autofocus points enable quicker and efficient focusing on your subject
14) Apart from complete customization level, there are a myriad of other features like auto protrait framing, super clear zoom, etc.
15) Class leading battery life, as on date, of 550-590 shots (CIPA)
16) Proximity sensor that switches between EVF and LCD screen automatically (also has a dedicated button as found in other SLRs)
17) Detailed help guide for each menu with a dedicated help button (same button has other function too)
1) Translucent mirror is extremely delicate thin sheet of plastic (patented materials used by Sony) and it is rather tough to remove dust from the mirror. Even a mild touch with a soft cloth can cause dents/scratches. Better to get a hurricane blower to clean the mirror and sensor. This happens when you change lenses in a dusty region. Replacing this mirror is costly too.
2) LCD screen was also prone to easy scratches. Better to get a screen protector for Rs.400 from eBay or get a hard screen protector from Sony (not sure about the price)
3) LCD screen should have been hinged onto the side so that it is easier to place the SLT on a tripod and still look at the screen while the image is shot
4) No panning during burst shoot due to which you would be able to see only the shots that were taken but not the actual scene as it happens in front of the camera (I would rather ignore this for the 12 fps record breaking burst mode)
5) Higher asking price for the (excellent) set of features
6) I would have personally liked a higher megapixel sensor
Others which I really didn't care about much were the high ISO range (doesnt matter above 6400 for me), lack of optical viewfinder (its a matter of choice between OVF and EVF), 3D photos (I don't have a 3D LCD TV in my house... yet) and less number of lenses available for Sony compared to Canon/Nikon.
But my question to those who argue about the last point to score over Sony SLT is - how many lens do you seriously plan to purchase, considering that many of them in the product range cost more than your SLR? According to me, a good 35mm prime (Sony 35mm f/1.8) and a good telephoto lens (Sony 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 or TAMRON 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD) should be sufficient for most occasions. You also have options to choose from Carl Zeiss range.
P.S.: This review is not meant to bash Canon or Nikon SLRs. They really make excellent cameras and have more experience in camera-making than anyone else. But discrediting Sony due to obssessive love for Canon/Nikon is nothing short of being narrow-minded.
by Anand Babu on 2012-12-16
I used my SLT A55 for almost an year now, and I can tell that SLTs (All of them!) are excellent. I don't see any reason to upgrade to A57 yet, though I was very tempted when it appeared. The improved grip and battery of A57 is still very tempting!
I had shot under various conditions, gardens, wildlife, plantations hill stations... and A55 performed very well.
But, the problem is LENS.
Where are good affordable lenses? Seriously good lenses are really costly, beyond the reach of enthusiasts.
Is there any used G / ZA available in market?
Is there any equipment rentals providing Sony lenses?
NO and NO.
Is this a deal breaker?
May be YES...
A57 is next god of SLR cameras
by Anand Bhargava on 2012-11-14
Bought it despite strong protests from Canon/Nikon owners and can proudly declare that i own a winner of this class. Things which I like most are:-
* Its lens are cheaper.
* It has better/more options & functions that are user friendly.
* HDD & Auto ISO feature rocks.
* Clarity is good.
* Screen could have been better & twist side ways (Like Canon)would have made taking self shots easier.
* Grip is over claimed to be better on this one (Canon still leads).
* Price could have been lesser as the MP are a little less in comparison to others in the same family.
* Video features are the best and no other camera in this category can beat it at the moment.
EXCELLENT CAMERA WITH EVERY POINT
by RAHUL SINGH on 2012-10-27
I have this a57, giving me excellent , excellent image Quality,and 1080p video Quality, and easy to handle.it has great view finder and sweep paronoma which takes long width pictures, which nikon and canon does not have, and it have body motor which easily fit any lenses, nikon d5100 does not have.You will fall in love with this high Performance SLR Camera.
sony blows nikon and canon both out of the water.
by nikhil acharekar on 2012-09-19
the a57 has the best auto-focus in videos (quick and accurate), EVF so what you see is what you get in the film, in-body stabilization for every lens you attach, peaking function for manual focus in video and 1080p at 60fps. The cons is that the camera crops the video a bit to compensate? for stabilization. The canon has a touch screen, manual audio control, auto-focus in video but its a bit slow.
SUPERB ERGONOMICS - if that matters anymore to people these days ;P
by vinuiyer on 2013-12-27
A57 or D5200 or 650D or K30... One can argue forever which camera is better. But as Chase Jarvis said 'The best camera is the one that's with you' holds true.
Choosing a camera in the end comes down to which one 'feels' right... and the A57 surely does.
No point in blabbering away about the specs, lets talk ergonomics:
+ Solid build quality (not weatherproof though)
+ Very ergonomic 'grippy' grip
+ Little finger has enough to hold onto and does not pinch the grip
+ Well balanced for one-handed use
+ Sensibly placed button layout
I travel a lot and mainly use it for street photography. Pair it with the cheap little brilliant Sony 50mm-F1.8 lens
...and you have a gear comfortable and agile enough to carry around town.
Optionally, to get some blazing performance outta this body, recommend investing in Sony's Class10-32GB-94mbps SD card
by jes jose on 2013-05-23
im not an owner but have used this model for a bit of night photography with 18-250mm lens...pretty decent pics for apsc sensor camera...one thing is Electronic VF that is never as good as Optical view finder...but i felt no lang while shooting using electronic view finder....i would have prefered OVF though....makes a big difference if you are used to OVF which is faster and brighter!!!
Excellent alternative to Canikons
by Abhishek Agrawal on 2013-02-21
This is an excellent starter SLR/SLT camera, especially if paired with fast lens (SAL 35, Tamron 17-50, Tamron 70-200). It's not really the best choice for low-light, fast-action sports - a weak point of all cropped sensor SLRs.
Excellent camera compared to Nikon 5100 or 5200
by John P on 2013-12-31
I went with the intention of buying a Nikon 5100. But the guys in the shop asked me to try the alpha 57. I compared pictures from both the cameras and found alpha 57 was much superior. In fact the alpha 57 should only be compared to Nikon D90.
Compare the alpha with nikon before buying. The alpha even has a bigger sensor. I also got a macro lens for free from Sony worth 7000Rs. Value for money. Excellent buy.
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