Poor Results with Sony a57 Auto Intelligence Plus

Started Jun 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
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rrbhokies
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Poor Results with Sony a57 Auto Intelligence Plus
Jun 10, 2012

Purchased the a57 with the 18-55mm kit lens to replace my Canon T1i. I was hoping that with the increased burst capabilities, I would be able to better capture those quick moments when taking pics of my grand daughter.

What I've found appears to be less than optimal. In a full weekend of testing both at an indoor graduation and at an after party, again indoors, I am finding the indoor pictures to be extremely noisy.

At the graduation, when I took pictures using the flash within the two or three rows right around me, I found the flash to be great and didn't overexpose the pictures. That appears to be the only plus. When taking pictures at 55mm of the graduation floor with the students, I tried several modes: Intelligent Auto+, and two scene selections: speed burst and the nighttime scene where it captures 6 quick images together. In all situations, the pictures were ISO 1200 or more, and every single picture was noisy and it was impossible to even consider trying to crop the picture at all. I also tried video at 24FPS and the quality was terrible.

So, I figured it was just a bad situation where I really could have used a longer optical zoom lens in the first place. So, we went back home and I took indoor pics in our family room with reasonable daylight coming into the room. This time, I left it in the intelligent Plus and Intelligent Plus+ modes. Again, every picture came in at around 2400 - 3200 ISO. It's not like the camera even attempted to take use a lower ISO and bump the shutter or aperture. The results were horrendous. Every picture was noisy and grainy. Full 16MP pictures that clocked in around 6MB file sizes taken 4-6 feet from the subject were noticeably grainy and had zero detail.

Granted, I know that I should spend more time with the camera and use the Program modes more than relying on the Auto modes, but for $800, The intelligent Auto settings are not very intelligent at all if it's going to constantly force 2400+ ISO indoor pictures. About the only thing positive about any of the pictures taken thus far is that they are in focus! At least with the fast frames per second and quick autofocus, all my pictures are in focus. Unfortunately, they are all too noisy to even consider keeping.

Another thing that was more of an annoyance than anything was that in between snapping pictures, while holding the camera in my hand, the lens was constantly moving trying to focus on whatever it was looking at. I had to keep turning off the camera in order to shut it up. With my Canon Ti1 it only tried to autofocus when I had my finger halfway on the shutter release.

What am I doing wrong? I want to like the camera and was hoping that the high frame rate and low light compensation would be the key to getting better pictures than with my Canon, but I'm just not seeing it.

Canon EOS 500D (EOS Rebel T1i / EOS Kiss X3) Sony SLT-A57
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