My own newbie impressions of the Sony A57.
4 months ago
A little about me. I've never owned a DSLR. Only a Olympus point and shoot and a Panasonic point and shoot. Took about 45k photos between both point and shoots but I still consider myself to be a photographic novice because I have not used RAW or DSLR's hardly at all.
The A57 seems like a really nice camera. I love pulling it out of my camera bag every night or every other night to snap a few photos. Usually I am photographing collectable figurines or my pets and family, whatever enters my line of sight usually gets a few snaps. The 18-135mm lens that I bought with the camera does a really good job of giving me the focal lengths that I need and I am seeing detail resolved by the sensor that I can not see with my own eyes. So overall I am super imprssed with the quality of the kit.
The weight of the 18-135 does feel like a bit much to my hands though, but fortunately I bought a little 35mm prime to play with in addition to the 18-135. The 35mm prime is a beautiful little lens and makes the camera feel nice and light in my hands. I can get photos of things at angles and in positions that I could not get with my 18-135. Also it is much easier - almost effortless to create a nice blur effect with the wide 1.8mm max aperture of the prime lens. By the way changing lenses is way easier than I thought it would be. I was scared a little at first but once I got over it and stopped being scared it was simple. Just remember to respect the tools!
The A57 does about everything the marketing hype says it does. After one failed try I am now able to take good pararamas without a tripod. One problem I had at first was that auto iso tends to run the iso level a little high, but sometimes I appreciate having the quicker shutter speed the higher iso brings, depending on the subject and all.
I bought Gary Friedmans e-book along with the camera. It has been extremely useful for teaching me the basics. I still need to finish reading it though. I read chapters 1-4 as well as 9 and 10 on some things and felt like I knew enough to be dangerous and start shooting.
Anyway I just wanted to say that I am enjoying my camera. I am excited every time I pick it up to take photos. Buying it has made me happier about going to work. I am enjoying thinking about how I can take a better photo!