We've been able to borrow a pre-production Sony A57 and have prepared a preview that includes both real-world and studio sample images. Many of the camera's features - 16MP sensor, 1.44m dot LCD viewfinder are familiar but they all come wrapped in a larger, more comfortable body, powered by a larger battery. We've shot samples in a series of the A57's modes, including its Auto Portrait Selection Framing mode - in which the camera crops an image with a face in, in-accordance with the rule-of-thirds.

Although the A57 we borrowed is a pre-production unit, Sony has told us the image quality is final standard, so has allowed us to publish its output. Our preview includes a selection of real-world images, shot in a variety of situations, using a selection of settings and shooting modes, and under a range of lighting conditions.