A57 Questions

Started Dec 21, 2012 | Discussions
Ed H.
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A57 Questions
Dec 21, 2012

I am considering an A57 and had a few questions.

- Local dealers have it bundled with the 18-55 kit lens. Is this lens fairly decent?

- I have an old Minolta Maxxum 700si with Minolta 50mm AF 1.7 and Tokina AF 70-210 4-5.6. Am I correct that those lenses would work with the A57. At least on the Maxxum I was always happy with the sharpness and color of the 50mm.

- If I understand SLT technology correctly, low light performance would be slightly less than say the NEX 5R or 6.

Any input is appreciated.

Sony SLT-A57
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shady1991
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Re: A57 Questions
In reply to Ed H., Dec 21, 2012

you're right about low light performance, but a57 has steadyshot so you can shoot at lower speeds with every lens so you get overall better lowlight performance in many cases..

sompe people here say that 18-55 is not a bad lens but I think great camera like a57 shouldn't be attached on such a mediocre lens. I got rid of that lens since the moment I got 35mm f1.8. of course you won't have opportunity to shoot as wide angle images as at 18mm but I think 55mm equivalent crop taken with 35mm f1.8 better than 18-55-s fullsize shot at 55mm.

I think it is worth to pay extra 100$ money for 18-135 or if you can live without wide angle buy a 35mm.

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success100
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Re: A57 Questions
In reply to Ed H., Dec 21, 2012

Ed H. wrote:

I am considering an A57 and had a few questions.

- Local dealers have it bundled with the 18-55 kit lens. Is this lens fairly decent?

- I have an old Minolta Maxxum 700si with Minolta 50mm AF 1.7 and Tokina AF 70-210 4-5.6. Am I correct that those lenses would work with the A57. At least on the Maxxum I was always happy with the sharpness and color of the 50mm.

- If I understand SLT technology correctly, low light performance would be slightly less than say the NEX 5R or 6.

Any input is appreciated.

the kit 18-55 will produce decent pics. However, dont expect much from it. Most old minolta lenses will work without the need for adapters or anything.

the a57 is awesome in low light up to about iso 3200. nex series are slightly better in low light, but the difference is negligible.

your 50mm 1.7 is a great lens provided you have a good copy, and will warrant you great low light pics on the a57.

a57 is one of the best comsumer to intermediate grade cameras around for under $1000.

try to stick to sony lenses if you shoot in jpeg, they have built in correction features for alpha series cameras. if you have the funds try to get the sony 16-50mm 2.8 lens or the 18-135mm lens. Both are great lenses with the 16-50mm being the latter due to ,constant aperture, ssm, weather sealing, build quality and IQ. just sort of limited with reach

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James Hagan
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Re: A57 Questions
In reply to Ed H., Dec 21, 2012

Ed H. wrote:

I am considering an A57 and had a few questions.

- Local dealers have it bundled with the 18-55 kit lens. Is this lens fairly decent?

- I have an old Minolta Maxxum 700si with Minolta 50mm AF 1.7 and Tokina AF 70-210 4-5.6. Am I correct that those lenses would work with the A57. At least on the Maxxum I was always happy with the sharpness and color of the 50mm.

- If I understand SLT technology correctly, low light performance would be slightly less than say the NEX 5R or 6.

Any input is appreciated.

I bought the A57 last April and have been really pleased with it.

Low Light Conditions ... for real dim light, you need a faster lens.

4 am aimed out the window at snow ... shot with a 35mm 1.8.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNdQk2AvwWo

The render quality is not that good because I didn't choose the right export setting in Premiere Pro.  However, to answer your question, the kit lens would not capture anything even at 3600 ISO.  Note:t he limit is 3600 for film, but it goes higher for still shots.

We shot our film / trailer with the kit lens serving as the key lens for certain wide shots.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9N5mpe9gPY

The light was dim, yet it does okay.  I would adjust the setting from 400 IS to 800.

This outdoor shot was shot using the Kit lens.  It's a bright day, and the setting is at 100 ISO.  You can get an idea of the white quality, which I was very pleased with.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S4MBeFBGkE.

Not sure about the lens compatibility of the lenses you mention.

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JoseAntonio
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Re: A57 Questions
In reply to Ed H., Dec 21, 2012

I have the 57 and 18-55, just posted some flower shots, check them out. As far as sharpness goes, at f8 the lens brings in the pollen grain detail,any sharper and I don't know, maybe the genome...sharp is sharp. The lens also maintains that quality with the crystal zoom, which I used for those shots.

All in all I would say the 57 is a fantastic workhorse 'for the price'. But as a standalone, it does 12 fps, kicks butt, has a ton of features, swivel mirror ( now that I am used to the mirror, no going back...) and delivers very decent pictures, imho

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Ron Poelman
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Fairly decent is a good way to put it ...
In reply to Ed H., Dec 21, 2012

as a kit lens it is fine, but is easily eclipsed by "next step" lenses, one of which you already own.

Think hard about the 18-135 instead, for a better walk around experience in a small package.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/863213-REG/Sony_SLT_A57M_SLT_A57M_DSLR_Digital_Camera.html

As for the '57 get it while you can, awesome package.

Let us know how the Tokina works out, good Beercans are hard to find and some owners really like the Tokina.

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JoseAntonio
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Re: Fairly decent is a good way to put it ...
In reply to Ron Poelman, Dec 22, 2012

the 18-135 gets great reviews - out of stock at B&H though. Their price is 748 and I paid 699 with the 18-55, so that is indeed a super price to get the 18-135 kit while it is getable.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/863213-REG/Sony_SLT_A57M_SLT_A57M_DSLR_Digital_Camera.html

BTW, the standalone 18-135 is $473 after a $25 discount, so that makes the a57 cost about $300 if gotten in the kit, but is also out of stock

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/859419-REG/Sony_18_135_mm.html

Sounds like someone bought my lens...:)

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Ed H.
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Re: A57 Questions
In reply to JoseAntonio, Dec 22, 2012

JoseAntonio wrote:

I have the 57 and 18-55, just posted some flower shots, check them out. As far as sharpness goes, at f8 the lens brings in the pollen grain detail,any sharper and I don't know, maybe the genome...sharp is sharp. The lens also maintains that quality with the crystal zoom, which I used for those shots.

All in all I would say the 57 is a fantastic workhorse 'for the price'. But as a standalone, it does 12 fps, kicks butt, has a ton of features, swivel mirror ( now that I am used to the mirror, no going back...) and delivers very decent pictures, imho

Where would I find the flower shots you mentioned? I don't see them in your gallery.

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Ed H.
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Re: A57 Questions
In reply to shady1991, Dec 22, 2012

shady1991 wrote:

you're right about low light performance, but a57 has steadyshot so you can shoot at lower speeds with every lens so you get overall better lowlight performance in many cases..

sompe people here say that 18-55 is not a bad lens but I think great camera like a57 shouldn't be attached on such a mediocre lens. I got rid of that lens since the moment I got 35mm f1.8. of course you won't have opportunity to shoot as wide angle images as at 18mm but I think 55mm equivalent crop taken with 35mm f1.8 better than 18-55-s fullsize shot at 55mm.

I think it is worth to pay extra 100$ money for 18-135 or if you can live without wide angle buy a 35mm.

Thanks for the reply. Sounds like I should look for the 18-135 instead. You mentioned steadyshot. How effective is Sony's image stabilization?

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Ed H.
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Re: A57 Questions
In reply to Ed H., Dec 22, 2012

Thanks for the replies...they are very helpful. I am still a bit torn between the A57 and NEX 5R mainly for the extra low light performance.

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lehill
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Re: A57 Questions
In reply to Ed H., Dec 22, 2012

Ed H. wrote:

Thanks for the reply. Sounds like I should look for the 18-135 instead. You mentioned steadyshot. How effective is Sony's image stabilization?

I think the last time DPReview tested the effectiveness of Super SteadyShot was in the A55 review. DPR got about a 2-3 stop advantage using SSS. Sony claims 2.5-4.5 stops.

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cplunk
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Re: A57 Questions
In reply to Ed H., Dec 22, 2012

Ed H. wrote:

I am considering an A57 and had a few questions.

- Local dealers have it bundled with the 18-55 kit lens. Is this lens fairly decent?

For a 18-55mm f3.5-4.5 lens, it's probably about as good as any other with the same limited range and aperture. If that's the style lens that'll suit you, it's price / performance will be hard to beat.

Reading the reviews on the 18-135, I'm not totally convinced it's image quality is much better, but it's got a much larger range that will provide convenience. It also has an upgrade SAM focus system, but I'm not sure how much difference that will make on an A57.

The other option would be to buy body only and get something along the 16-50mm f2.8, certainly more expensive. But it's hard to guess what your needs might be.

- I have an old Minolta Maxxum 700si with Minolta 50mm AF 1.7 and Tokina AF 70-210 4-5.6. Am I correct that those lenses would work with the A57. At least on the Maxxum I was always happy with the sharpness and color of the 50mm.

The Minolta will certainly work. Many people use them on there Sonys (like me) and are pleased with the results.

That Tokina probably will, there are some that might have issues, but they seem to rarely occur. I just sold one on Ebay for about $20, there OK lenses, they work, and it's a decent enough piece of gear to start a bit of a kit with, but don't expect too much from it, and you can get an older Minolta 70-210 f4 (beercan) for about $100 that'll probably do much better. In short, if you get the A57 mount it up and try it out, but don't give extra consideration to the A57 because you have this lens you can use.

- If I understand SLT technology correctly, low light performance would be slightly less than say the NEX 5R or 6.

yes, but, I've never seen an direct comparison, and many of the folks who are much smarter than me seem to dismiss this as inconsequential.  I would consider the size and ergonomic differences between the two cameras first. Earlier this evening I was visiting a local site and found a family there trying to get there portrait setting the timer on a NEX and putting it on a small wall. They weren't sure the camera took the picture, but noticed that the flash didn't go off.

One of the guys glanced at me and notices the A77+vertical grip I had hanging off my shoulder and was like, hey, He knows how to do this give it to him. There's a pretty serious difference in how one holds and uses the two camera, the difference in size and weight kinda shocked me immediately switching from one to the other. While I helped the lady pick the night portrait mode (she was trying the night scene, which wouldn't fire the flash), I considered just setting it up manually, but had no idea how long it would take me to figure out how the aperture, shutter and ISO were set. Part of that unfamiliarity, but part is looking at it and seeing there's no button on it.

But, consider how I was spotted out of the crowd with an A77+vertical grip and a 28-75 f2.8 lens mounted. They don't fit in a pocket.

Any input is appreciated.

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Ron Poelman
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Re: mainly for the extra low light performance.
In reply to Ed H., Dec 22, 2012

Ed H. wrote:

Thanks for the replies...they are very helpful. I am still a bit torn between the A57 and NEX 5R mainly for the extra low light performance.

no reason to disbelieve it, but if you can't see what you are doing the other 99% of the time, then there is very little point. A viewfinder for mine, every time.

Second the "body only" suggestion, as well.

You were asking about flowers ?

This is 1:1 crop , probably about 4X actual size., forget the DOF, check the skin texture.





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shady1991
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Re: A57 Questions
In reply to Ed H., Dec 22, 2012

If you want to shoot ideally sharp images even at 100% I think SS gains there only 1 stops. that is, you can shoot about 2 times lower speeds with SS in this case.

But for example if you don't mind slightly blurred images that only can be seen at 100% you can get up to 3 stops advantage

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