A57 versus A65

Started Jul 2, 2012 | Discussions
Don Koning
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A57 versus A65
Jul 2, 2012

Hi all,

I'm currently looking to upgrade my Dynax 7D and I'm considering either the A57 or A65.

The A57 is newer and has some extras, like racking AF. The A65 is a bit older, but has GPS and higher resolution.

Looking at the A65 review it looks to me the A57 performs a bit better in low light circumstances.

Judging some posts some of you have experience with both camera's. Which do you prefer and why?

Thanks in advance!

Don

Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D (Dynax 7D / Alpha-7 Digital) Sony SLT-A57 Sony SLT-A65
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acdtech
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Re: A57 versus A65
In reply to Don Koning, Jul 2, 2012

This question has been asked numerous times if you search forum. The question is you have to ask yourself what do you plan to use it for. Also DPREVIEW has an in depth review on this site. The A65 has been well reviewed all over the internet. It is the sibling of the A77 which is getting a lot acceptance by the pros and hobbyists.

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Setter Dog
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Re: A57 versus A65
In reply to acdtech, Jul 2, 2012

Don,

I've read a lot individually about these two cameras. I agree that it would be very useful if someone that has owned both would contribute their comments. They are both obviously nice cameras. The differences, other than resolution, are not clear to me.

Jack

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ET2
ET2
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Re: A57 versus A65
In reply to Setter Dog, Jul 2, 2012

The differences, other than resolution, are not clear to me.

(1) A65 has the 24 MP sensor. A57 has 16 MP sensor
(2) A65 has Oled viewfinder. A57 has LCD based viewfinder
(3) A65 has gps .. A57 doesn't.

(4) A57, being newer, has some newer software features (like clearimage zoom, auto potrait, etc), lacking in A65.
(5) Battery life is slightly better on A57.

That's about it. Otherwise, both cameras are pretty much identical.

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gadgetmann
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Re: A57 versus A65
In reply to Don Koning, Jul 2, 2012

Well I had the A65 for a couple of days before returning it. At the time my intention was to buy the A57 instead.

For me aside from the OLED viewfinder, there simply wasn't a compelling reason to justify the price difference. I'd never use the GPS and the benefits of 24MP has to be balanced with the additional noise issues at higher ISO.

Having used the LCD viewfinder of the A57 in the shop, it was fine. Not as good as the OLED but in my opinion nearasdammit when using it normally.

The thing which also contributed to my decision which may or may not affect you was that I was going to buy an extended warranty with my camera. And the price difference tipped the insurance from one band to the next. Thereby increasing the cost difference between the A57/A65 even more.

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Don Koning
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Re: A57 versus A65
In reply to gadgetmann, Jul 2, 2012

The OLED versus LCD was new to me. Is there a big difference? Resolution is the same, so it must be lag, clarity or something?

The extra MP's don't really matter to me. The noise at higher ISO does though.

Thanks for the input guys.

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ET2
ET2
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Re: A57 versus A65
In reply to Don Koning, Jul 2, 2012

Don Koning wrote:

The OLED versus LCD was new to me. Is there a big difference? Resolution is the same, so it must be lag, clarity or something?

The resolution isn't the same. The OLED EVF has higher resolution and it doesn't have color "tearing" when panning like the A57 EVF, but the OLED EVF gets noisier quicker in lower-light than the LCD one

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emmanuelg
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Re: A57 versus A65
In reply to ET2, Jul 2, 2012

I agree. Before I bought my A57, I went to BestBuy to try the A57 and A65. The A65 OLED is impressive. But when I pointed it to a dark object, you can see noise. The A57's EVF did not. The A57 is great on high ISO up to 1600. Here is a sample image at 1600 without any post processing:

ET2 wrote:

Don Koning wrote:

The OLED versus LCD was new to me. Is there a big difference? Resolution is the same, so it must be lag, clarity or something?

The resolution isn't the same. The OLED EVF has higher resolution and it doesn't have color "tearing" when panning like the A57 EVF, but the OLED EVF gets noisier quicker in lower-light than the LCD one

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"Vanity, ALL is Vanity and chasing after the Wind" - King Solomon

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Corkcampbell
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So, you're never going to crop?
In reply to Don Koning, Jul 2, 2012

Don Koning wrote:

The extra MP's don't really matter to me. The noise at higher ISO does though.

I was using an A65 last week in a place that wouldn't allow zoom lenses, and the cropping allowed by the more detailed sensor really helped. I already had an A77, but had to get a non-GPS camera for the trip. I looked at the A57, but the cropping ability, and having the same sensor (and IQ) as my A77 was important. So was having the same quality EVF.

I don't have a problem with the noise; I don't shoot high ISO photos and noise can be dealt with, but not loss of detail.

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doctorxring
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Re: So, you're never going to crop?
In reply to Corkcampbell, Jul 3, 2012

.

I have both the A57 and the A65. They are both winners.

If forced into a corner to give one up, I would keep the A65.

The difference in ISO for me is hard to distinguish at equal size
images. I suppose at 100% there is a little difference, but
hardly a practical one. I think the OLED EVF and the 24MP
imager provide significant benefits and are worth the price
difference. But the EVF on the A57 is very, very good.

Lucky for you you can't loose choosing between these two.

Chris

.

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123Mike
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Another one returning the A65 for the A57
In reply to Don Koning, Jul 3, 2012

I came from the A33 originally. I tried an A57, had back-focus problems, tried a A65, also back-focus problems. The focus problems weren't the only problems.

My initial impression was that especially indoors, but also outdoors, the A57 produced those immediate wow-shots (when they were in focus). Low noise. Video possible indoors at 3200 ISO. Digital zoom at video. I was pretty happy and impressed right away with the A57, if it wasn't for that darn back-focus problem.

But the A65 was worse even. And even outdoors the noise set in. Darker areas in the blurry bokeh areas, this gritty noise. I thought what others were yacking about, how you should consider the noise per image, not noise per pixel. So I started to compare. Downsampling, upsampling, etc, been there done that.

Contrary to what A65/77 owners claim how their cameras are just as good, my comparisons simply did not show the same results. It was harder to get clean shots with the A65.

If you look at RAW comparisons, one might claim that once you down-size a A65 shot, that you end up with the same noise. But more goes on that isn't immediately apparent. Chroma noise. The type of noise is not the same. With the A65 I saw extreme pixels. For instance, in a blue area, harsh green/white pixels would appear. Down-sampling in an attempt to "compete" with A57 shots, would make that blue a different blue.

Also, lines that appear straight with the A57, turn out more squiggly with the A65. The increased noise just causes all kinds of artifacts.

A65 owners will be disgruntled and quickly come up with excuses to make themselves feel better about their camera. They'll claim that their camera captures always more detail. They'll refer to their victory dxomark numbers to solidify their claims.

But it is simply not what I observed. Yes, looking at it in a certain way, with some shots, the amount of noise per image is the same. You'd have to cherry pick indoor shots to back those claims. It's simply not what I've seen most of the time. The A57 comes out cleaner, period. More precise, less cluttered, better colors, just more satisfying overall results.

Plus, you get 3200 ISO for video with the A57, instead of 1600 with the A65. And make no mistake about it, indoors, you'll quickly go to the max with the A57, and the A65 leaves you out in the cold with too dark video. Think about a Christmas gathering with limited light. I've done comparisons with a Minolta 50mm f/1.7 lens on both cameras.
Digital zoom on video, only on the A57.

A65, more resolution. Yes, I've had shots that captured more detail with the A65, and that was impressive. But overall, the success rate I find higher with the A57.

OLED. I wear glasses and I practically never look through the viewfinder. Occasionally I do, and then I use the histogram to let me figure out the exposure.

GPS might be nice, but I haven't found a use for it yet. I'm imagining a slideshow program that shows a side by side or overlay map or something. Could be nice.

Oh, the back-focusing thing. I have a real beef with that. I can't figure this out anymore.
I'm typing this in my next message....

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thubleau7
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A A57 Owner and why I purchased
In reply to doctorxring, Jul 3, 2012

I have the A57 and after reading up on the pros and cons and watching the DigRev reviews on Youtube I went for the A57.
Main reasons were ClearZoom.it works and gives me extra reach.

Cost I wasn't spending an extra $200.00AU for things I dont need.

Viewfinder did not matter to me I use both live view and the viewfinder but find using the live view at waist height is less intrusive for people and less "in your face" than holding the camera up to the eye.

The auto switching between viewfinder and Live view is instantaneous one review suggested there was lag on the A65.

Longer burst rate...with less pixels the burst rate is longer and the buffer takes longer to fill.
Better Dynamic Range (SNR) than A65 and less noise at higher ISO

Techradar had this to say:

"This chart shows the Alpha 57 has consistent dynamic range results between sensitivities of ISO 100-1600 beating the Canon 600D, Nikon D5100 and improving on the performance of the Alpha 65."

"This chart shows that the Sony Alpha 57's TIFF files (After conversion from raw) have a high dynamic range between sensitivities of ISO 100 and 1600, and across the rest of the sensitivity range beat the comparison cameras. This show that at all sensitivities the a57 is able to capture a good tonal graduation in both the shadows and highlights."

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123Mike
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Re: Another one returning the A65 for the A57
In reply to 123Mike, Jul 3, 2012

...continued.

That darn back-focusing.

Couple of years ago, I bought an A33. I took me a while to discover that it had back-focus issues. I didn't clue in until I got a more serious lens: the Minolta 28-135. Right away, the results were soft. I couldn't figure it out. Bad lens?

Then I started to do tests. Batteries, placing objects, printing out a test chart,, etc.

I came across a blog somewhere that illustrated how to tinker with the AF sensor screws. Desperate to make my glorious overlord grandmaster of the universe lens work well, I started to tinker with it. Making careful notes, write down every change I made.

I got it spot on. And I mean, picture perfect razor sharp. This was a very happy set up. I had other lenses as well. The big beer can. 28-105 Xi. 55-200. All excellent lenses. But guess what, even though I initially didn't clue in the camera had a back-focus issue, the results improved for the other lenses as well. More often you get this razor sharp success shot.

Ok, time goes on, I want better video. I'm big into this higher frame rate is better, and I think 24 fps for instance is just absolutely retarded, because anything large moving around or panning looks like an absolute trainwreck with 24 or 30 fps. I had this Canon camcorder that did 60i and I was able to convert that to actual 60p using a BOB deinterlacer. Point is, I knew how silky smooth 60 fps is vs 30 fps. Many people have not clued in to this. They think it might be cute for something like "slow motion", but I know that 60 fps for normal video is just way nicer - I can't even begin to describe how much better it is. James Cameron thinks in these lines as well. It's another whole other topic. Occasionally I see people "disagree". I just roll my eyes and yawn at that point. Aaaaanyway...

Back-focusing. continued....

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123Mike
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Re: Another one returning the A65 for the A57
In reply to 123Mike, Jul 3, 2012

... continued...

So I got an A57, had back-focus, returned it, tried A65, also had back-focusing, plus other disappointments. I then tried another 2 A65's in the store. Back-focused. Tried another A57 demo, and it was remarkably better. But... it was a a kit-version, and I already had the kit lens (18-55), so I had to pass up. Left the store, went to another store.

Tried out 2 A57s. First one, was also pretty good, but still this tiny bit of back-focusing.

Sales guy let me try again this kit version. Ok, so let me try one that's the body-only version already. Luckily they had one, tried it out. Also, almost just about spot on so I thought. Bought it, took it home.

The frustration here is not so much that is (all) has back-focusing, but the fact that with the A33 it was so easy to fix it, because all you had to do is flip out a couple of metal panels. You didn't even need to unscrew anything. These panels right by the flash just popped out by lifting them.

Underneath where three tiny screws but of the alen-key variety. I had a matching alen-key, so it was just easy. Test, turn screws, test again, etc, until it's perfect. And I got it perfect. Boy did I get it perfect. All my lenses were spot on.

And none of this "the lens is off" crap. No. It's the camera, not the lens. There are no adjustments inside the lens that makes it front or back focus. There is mechanical play that can introduce a random error, but not a consistent back or front focus the way that's seen. There are a few key individuals here that will barf up nonsense like "lens adjustment factor", but trust me, it's just a bunch of retarded crap. It's the camera.
Anyway. So I got the A33 to focus spot on with all my lenses.

With with every single Sony I've tried, there is always a bit of back-focus happening. Clearly, there are some major tolerances with Sony's QA process, because some cameras back-focus an awful lot more than others.

My current A57 back-focuses a tiny bit, but it only appear on (I think) two of my lenses - when used in a controlled test.

In practice, I'm finding that practically always, when the image isn't great, soft, it ended up back-focusing with ALL of my lenses, AGAIN.

With two of my lenses it's most apparent - the key one being the Minolta 28-135 again.

I so want to access the adjustment screws on my A57. But there aren't those two panels that pop out. It looks like a whole bunch of body panelling has to come off, and there are buttons and the popup flash that interfere as well. It'll be a risk for the first guy to actually reveal those darn screws. I'm just about to start drilling holes in it out of frustration...

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doctorxring
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Re: So, you're never going to crop?
In reply to doctorxring, Jul 3, 2012

Neither my A57 or my A65 back focus.

I've got the 18-55 kit lens, SAL 18-250, DT 16-50, and the 70-400G

dxr

.

doctorxring wrote:

.

I have both the A57 and the A65. They are both winners.

If forced into a corner to give one up, I would keep the A65.

The difference in ISO for me is hard to distinguish at equal size
images. I suppose at 100% there is a little difference, but
hardly a practical one. I think the OLED EVF and the 24MP
imager provide significant benefits and are worth the price
difference. But the EVF on the A57 is very, very good.

Lucky for you you can't loose choosing between these two.

Chris

.

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123Mike
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Re: So, you're never going to crop?
In reply to doctorxring, Jul 3, 2012

I've got the 18-55 kit lens

Garbage.

SAL 18-250

Garbage. Had it for two weeks and sold it. Soft on the long end. The 55-200 capture much better much cleaner detail. At 200 it resolved always more detail than the 18-250 at 250.

DT 16-50 and the 70-400G

Those are lenses that count.

It may well be that your cameras don't back-focus. Do you really have both the A57 and A65? Why? What's the point of having two? And why those two? Why not two A65s? Or two A57s? Or an A57 and an A77?

On my old A33, I didn't clue in that it was back-focusing, until after I got this one lens. I adjusted the camera to make it use that lens perfectly, and the strange thing was that all those other lenses only improved.

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Undah
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Re: A57 versus A65
In reply to Don Koning, Jul 3, 2012

Don Koning wrote:

The A57 is newer and has some extras, like racking AF.

I have an a57 - what is this "racking AF"?

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123Mike
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Re: A57 versus A65
In reply to Undah, Jul 3, 2012

I have an a57 - what is this "racking AF"?

I think he means "tracking AF". I don't know if the A65 has that or not. My A57 has it, and at first I though it was an annoying gimmick.

But I noticed how often it was so hard to take chaotic family video while keeping the focus on a particular subject. Setting focus to "wide" often didn't work. Changing the composition a little and poof, the camera decides to focus onto something way in the background, very annoying.

I then figured, ok, lets try this out, and what'ya know, it actually works. The camera stopped disappearing the focus into no-man's land.

If the A65 doesn't have that, that'd such for A65 owners, but I'm sure they wriggle themselves out of it through some excuses to make themselves feel better - and superior - of course.

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ZippyZX3
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Re: A57 versus A65
In reply to 123Mike, Jul 3, 2012

My a65 has it. By default it is the center button in the 4-way. I have mine disabled (Don't use it).

123Mike wrote:

I have an a57 - what is this "racking AF"?

I think he means "tracking AF". I don't know if the A65 has that or not. My A57 has it, and at first I though it was an annoying gimmick.

But I noticed how often it was so hard to take chaotic family video while keeping the focus on a particular subject. Setting focus to "wide" often didn't work. Changing the composition a little and poof, the camera decides to focus onto something way in the background, very annoying.

I then figured, ok, lets try this out, and what'ya know, it actually works. The camera stopped disappearing the focus into no-man's land.

If the A65 doesn't have that, that'd such for A65 owners, but I'm sure they wriggle themselves out of it through some excuses to make themselves feel better - and superior - of course.

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theswede
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Re: Another one returning the A65 for the A57
In reply to 123Mike, Jul 3, 2012

123Mike wrote:

And none of this "the lens is off" crap. No. It's the camera, not the lens.

It's usually the lenses, especially if they're older or cheaper. The lense focus adjustment value is seldom calibrated precise enough on an older lense, a modern high resolution camera will reveal focus errors which were well within resolution limits in the past.

Jesper

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