Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Sony Alpha SLT-A57 | A Worthy Purchase?

The much awaited Canon 5D Mark III is finally out but still it is like a good boy, it does what we expect it to do. It is not a game changer like Sony SLTs and Nikon's new full frame updates. So yesterday Sony replaced the first generation SLT camera, the A55 with the A57. Here's the thing!
Sony A57
The body is somehow very, very similar to the A65 and also has similar dimensions. It also uses the same batteries that is powering the A65 and the high end A77.

The A65 and A77 had a 24MP APS-HD sensor. 24 million photo diodes are just too much for a sensor that size and this makes the A65 and A77 suffer in digital noise. JPEGs lose detail due to aggressive noise reduction processing and RAW shooting is just horrible. The NEX-5N had the ability to produce very clean photos at high ISO and great news is, it houses the same 16MP sensor. Will this be the next great low light shooter even with the half stop loss of light? We gotta wait until the real thing is shipped this April to see the real product.


It is said that the A57 can shoot still images at up to 12 frames per second (Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE, magnifying the middle part of the sensor by 1.4x). For full 16MP size burst mode the speed will be around 10fps which is still very fast than other competition. It can also capture full HD video at 60p, 60i or 24p frame rates in AVCHD progressive just like A65 and A77. I would love to see it having manual video exposure settings like the brothers. Although manual, the A65 and A77 had a maximum ISO limit which is ISO 1600. This time I'd really hope they at least lift the limit of max ISO or just let users choose any ISO setting they want in setting the exposure in video. We know we might get noisy videos but it will helps in the matter of getting that moment or missing it. 


Sony A57

The new A57 retains the Vari-Angle LCD screen and various creative effects which is also good news. With a $800 price tag with the kit lens, this will be a very attractive option for new DSLR shooters. 
If I were to buy this camera, instead of pairing it with the kit lens, I would prefer buying the body only with $700 and pairing it up with a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD IF that costs nearly $500. Although it is not equipped with a VC or image stabilizer, the Sony has sensor-shift stabilization that makes this a very good choice for a all-round lens. The f/2.8 fast aperture along the zoom range can produce nice bokeh and high shutter speeds in low light situations...

Sony A57

I cant wait to get my hands on one this April...

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