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Just Posted: Sony SLT-A65 review

By dpreview staff on Nov 16, 2011 at 01:03 GMT

Just Posted: our review of the Sony SLT-A65. When the SLT-A65 was launched it risked being overshadowed by the flagship A77 model. However, the A65 could prove to be the more significant camera in the SLT line-up as it offers many of the A77's features at a more attainable price point. Offering 24MP capture, a 10fps continuous shooting rate, full-time live view with phase-detection AF as well as a raft of other innovative features, the A65 is unique in its market segment. On paper, it appears significantly more capable in some respects than peers such as the Canon EOS 600D / Rebel T3i and Nikon D5100. Does it live up to that promise?

Click here to read our Sony SLT-A65 review.

Comments

Total comments: 159
johnrichardponting
By johnrichardponting (Feb 28, 2012)

After buying a Sony A65 because in my opinion it is the first non full frame
Digital Camera able to compete with Film SLR Cameras, I wish to send you a
rocket re your rubbish views about the A65 and its Kit Lenses.
The Sony 18-55mm Kit Lens is a beauty, I struggled to afford the A65 and
couldn't afford the 16-50mm lens I would have liked after reading your
uneducated put down of the Sony Kit Lenses.
This is my first go at joining one of these discussions, can I send a sample,
how would I do that?

0 upvotes
Picturenaut
By Picturenaut (Nov 21, 2011)

Pretty sure that the glass will be the bottleneck. Most lenses (zooms!) will not satisfy the extremely demanding optical resolution of such a 24 MP crop sensor. I use a Canon EOS 50D with a 15 MP and a EOS 7D with an 18 MP APS-C crop sensor, and shooting thousands of pics with them I had to discover that the 7D only with a very good prime (in particular a macro) delivers noticeably more detail than the 50D (processing RAW files).

Since most people surely will buy the A65 with a cheap 18-55 or so kit zoom, they'll only get extremely big files with no visible gain but the need for a faster PC with a bigger hard drive...

1 upvote
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Nov 22, 2011)

For about $600 you have 3 primes with different focal lengths that will deliver the goods. Or pick up some of the excellent Minolta glass available used for less than $200. I have a $80 35-105 that is as sharp as my 50mm F1.4 throughout the range.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Picturenaut
By Picturenaut (Nov 22, 2011)

That's a smarter approach to 24 MP but believe me: most users of this DSLR will stick with the cheap kit lens. I see that too often.

By the way: funny to watch Sony leading the late Pixel race, wheras Canon, the longtime leader of this race, now makes a full turn to only 18 MPwith his latest full frame EOS 1 pro model! Obviously they go for a new high ISO/low noise race (& fast shooting) in competition with Nikon. Available light photographers will love this revolution.

0 upvotes
Dan Ortego
By Dan Ortego (Nov 22, 2011)

So true you are...
Still, I'm giving the A77 a try as soon as B&H has them available. As a former Leica guy with primes, I'm not expecting much with glass but I do have the CZ f2/24 on the way. Not a clue where to go from there, but I sure as heck will pass on the kit lens.

In so much as the Mp count, the consumer is still dumb as a rock on the marketing hype that more is better. If Canon had a predecessor to the 7D available for this year, I wouldn't be considering a Sony.

~Dan

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Dan Ortego
By Dan Ortego (Nov 22, 2011)

Speaking of dumb, I intended to write 'successor'... but the edit mode timed-out.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Picturenaut
By Picturenaut (Nov 23, 2011)

Good luck, Dan. A digital Leica M is a bit expensive, isn't it? I learned that the M9 delivers great landscape pictures with a good lens, high quality in terms of sharpness and colors...

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Nov 24, 2011)

It will be interesting to see if Nikon follows the Canon approach (relatively low MP count). And if not, whether the Canon approach does have benefits in low light. My guess (based on hardly any correlation between effieciency and pixel densities) is no or minimal.

0 upvotes
Picturenaut
By Picturenaut (Nov 26, 2011)

It is simply physics I can tell you as a physicist. Basically small pixels collect less photons and produce more quantum noise cause they need a higher bias to deliver enuff signal. Of course you have some paramaters you can improve by smart engineering: improved sensor chip design what Canon did with its latest 18 MP sensor, different semiconductor material (currently no option for commercial DSLR companies) better noise reduction algorithms. But no system can recover optical information that is really lost by a noisy sensor.

Its basically the same old story of analogue photog days: fast films for low light needed big grains (= sort of chemical pixel) to collect enough light so they suffered from a loss of detail.

That's the reason why compact cams with a small sensor never deliver the high ISO quality of an APS or full frame sensor. Nikon engineers had good reasons to stick with their 12 MP systems as long as possible.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
needarealname
By needarealname (Nov 20, 2011)

"I think 24MP is just too much " "but 24mp is absolute overkill" I don't care how often that is said. I disagree with it. I know, I know, mega pixels aren't everything. Very true. But they are part of it. You can't have a digital camera today without them. Lets step back a little bit in time. I remember people saying 6mp dslr cameras are all we will ever need. They said 10mp cameras were overkill. Let's go back a little further. Early on in computers the experts said we would only need a handful of computers.

Technological advances don't always make sense. Sometimes they leave us wondering if we really need it or if it's even possible to improve on it. Someday the mega pixel naysayers will look back on this and wonder why they ever thought they could live without a 10gp (gigapixel) point and shoot camera. ;)

0 upvotes
flingmo
By flingmo (Nov 18, 2011)

So has the A65 got GPS builtin like the A77 or notbecause it is not listed in the specifications?

0 upvotes
Michael49
By Michael49 (Nov 17, 2011)

Everyone seems to complaining about the jpeg smearing with the new Sony's, but look at the A65 vs the 5d2 - the 5d2 looks far worse in jpeg!!...

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonyslta65/page18.asp

4 upvotes
g7star
By g7star (Nov 18, 2011)

Well, did you check the feather or yellow hair besdie the robot?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Shirrif
By Shirrif (Nov 17, 2011)

DPReview seems to be paid by Sony as at full review lewel that's is currently only Sony they do. Maybe it is easier to give Gold for Sony if it is only one they test? This is sad time for Nikon fanboys like me...

0 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Nov 17, 2011)

Maybe, Nikon will show us something interesting and funboys will be happy :))

2 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Nov 17, 2011)

The only Nikon camera releases in 2011 (apart from Nikon 1) was D5100. Sony released A77, A65, A35, Nex-7, Nex-5n, Nex-C3 in 2011.

How are you blaming DPR when Nikon had nothing major announced in 2011?

8 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Nov 17, 2011)

All your base are belong to us!

1 upvote
lensscape
By lensscape (Nov 17, 2011)

Congratulations: the stupidest post award goes to you.

10 upvotes
denooyer
By denooyer (Nov 17, 2011)

I think Nikon isn't made for 'fanboys'. Nikon is for people that don't have many connections with fanboy-behaviour. Nikon may be slower then the competition, but then again; what they make, they make it right.

0 upvotes
Shirrif
By Shirrif (Nov 17, 2011)

Am I missing something (stupid or not)?
List of latest camera reviews by DPR.
Calculate amount of cameras Sony has published and it's share of made reviews...

Sony SLT-A65 Nov 15, 2011 78%
Sony SLT-A77 Oct 25, 2011 81%
Sony DSC-HX100V Oct 21, 2011 73%
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Oct 3, 2011 79%
Sony SLT-A35 Sep 20, 2011 73%
Olympus PEN E-PL3 Sep 20, 2011 72%
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH7 Sep 7, 2011 62%
Sony Alpha NEX-C3 Aug 22, 2011 74%

I love Nikon, but there is other brands as well.

(And all said; I really look forward to see test of Sony NEX-7)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Nov 18, 2011)

denooyer - what about Nikon 1?

0 upvotes
jasonasselin
By jasonasselin (Nov 18, 2011)

.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Nov 17, 2011)

Now lets all be totally honest, we love this camera and the other new Sonys because of the 24Mp sensor - pity about the noise performance - the megapixel race is alive and well!

0 upvotes
vtinitus
By vtinitus (Nov 16, 2011)

This camera is now officially leading my want-to-have list.
Anyway, I'm looking to purchase body only, replacing it's 'mason jar' kit, which certainly cannot deliver its resolution, with a piece of more capable glass.

Does somebody know if Tamron's SP 17-50/2,8 can keep up with that sensor? What is about legacy lenses (I'm proud owner of some gorgeous M42x1 lenses)?

I'd appreciate your help.

P.S. I'm actually not so into megapixels as my question might suggest, I'm just looking to get the a body/lens combination I'll be happy with even in 5 years from now.

5 upvotes
vtinitus
By vtinitus (Nov 17, 2011)

C'mon, don't just like my post, I'm looking for answers ;)

0 upvotes
jasonasselin
By jasonasselin (Nov 18, 2011)

16-105 can be had cheap used and its not too bad. but ide get a couple primes. 35 1.8 and mabe a 50, forget zooms their lasy. but i hear the tamron is pretty nice. m42 is nice but inconvenient unless you like still life. then its sweeet. i have a m42 500mm from atleast 20 years ago. its actually pretty sharp but slow to focus and doesnt mount like a well made oem does. so it sits on display with the other 7 film lenses i thought i would use more often.

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
vtinitus
By vtinitus (Nov 19, 2011)

Thanks. I'm into zooms for practical reasons. I'm doing a lot of street and architecture photography so I dont want to carry a whole lot of lenses with me. I also tend to avoid the top-notch image quality approach. Vignetting, lens errors and dust on the filter make pictures more interesting in my opinion. Thats the main reason (next to superb ergonomics and the fun of taking control of every bit manually) why I'm using M42 lenses. All but two of mine are primes by the way.
From what I saw the A65's peeking function will also allow to focus the M42 glass nearly as fast as the split screen on my Praktica MTL3.
Thanks anyway.

0 upvotes
Dan Ortego
By Dan Ortego (Nov 22, 2011)

Sorry, I couldn't resist your comment so I 'Liked' you.
Anyway, I have no clue about the Tamron but I think your 'mason jar' reference was funny. I'm a prime-whore so that's where I'm headed with the A77. If it fails, then I'll keep them whenever the A900 is updated.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Nov 16, 2011)

Many people here are fighting whether Sony A65 or A77 produce better or worse results in RAW than other cameras. I would only like to point out that this largely depends on the RAW converter used. DPreview has settled on Adobe Camera RAW and I am fine with that (guys, I really do not expect you to try every RAW converter on the planet to get the results).

Some time ago I was intrigued by the rather uninspiring RAW conversions done for Leica X1 and Ricoh GXR A12 50/2.5 (looked worse than Olympus XZ-1) and just tried to play with other RAW developer (RawTherape) and gor MUCH better results detail/resolution wise.

Well, just a thought.

1 upvote
Ralf B
By Ralf B (Nov 17, 2011)

If you are interetsed how the a77, a55, Nex 5N and a900 RAW files from DPReview turn out when processed via Apple Aperture at default settings, look here:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=39829871

1 upvote
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Nov 18, 2011)

I don't know why people are arguing but DP concluded A77 has the best RAW image quality in its class. Just go to the conclusion page and use the "Compare To" feature against D7000 and 7D. In addition, the dynamic range is top of its class as well. The only reason A77 did not get the Gold Award is because of the price which, in my own opinion, a bargain for its features and specifications.

1 upvote
jasonasselin
By jasonasselin (Nov 18, 2011)

ya and besides these days all cameras >900$ have excellent image quality, some are "better" but there is more to photography than the "best". it can be fun too! i dont shoot over 1600 iso normally so cameras get more scrutinized on things like controls, speed and build quality.

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Nov 16, 2011)

How come there are slight differences in exposure between your studio shots? Wouldn't a consistent shutter/aperture/ISO setting make for a more useful comparison between cameras?

0 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Nov 16, 2011)

Valid point, probably. But keep in mind that ISO sensitivity is somewhat arbitrary with digital cameras and depends on how the camera is calibrated by the factory. But I would say it would probably make sense to adjust the shutter/aperture setting such that the test scene has the same brightness (at least at some given point around mid-tones as the contrast from different cameras may vary).

0 upvotes
jasonasselin
By jasonasselin (Nov 18, 2011)

I.R.L exposure varies continually as well. variations in transmitted energy thru the atmosphere change often too. id complain to the sky first.

0 upvotes
Carlos Henrique
By Carlos Henrique (Nov 16, 2011)

Does anyone know what does the percent (%) for each camera mean?

0 upvotes
Alpha Doug
By Alpha Doug (Nov 16, 2011)

I don't see that it has been addressed here, but the review lifted too much from the A77 specs and got a few things wrong. In particular, according to everything I have read in the official specs, the A65 only supports the same lame auto bracketing in the other Sony SLT and NEX cameras, namely a 3 shot bracket at a maximum of +/- 2/3 EV. For anyone who shoots even minimal "real" HDR, this is a deal killer. Why Sony doesn't fix this in firmware, I'll never know. Even the D5100 from Nikon supports much better bracketing.

2 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Nov 16, 2011)

Nah. I'm not a brand snob, but 24mp is absolute overkill unless you're a technical landscape or architectural photographer, or a working professional who absolutely needs a high-resolution file, in which case the noisy output and flimsy body aren't very impressive.

I can picture the typical consumer being angry when those 24mp images take ages to upload to Facebook and display on an iPad screen. For a compact, fast-shootin' camera like this I would prefer a really good 12, 16mp or so file with excellent image quality at ISO 1600 and Fuji-esque dynamic range, so that I can shoot in suboptimal conditions and still have a usable result. Twelve more megapixels is neither here nor there.

2 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Nov 16, 2011)

It's all a matter of compromises, altough IQ wise, the largest compromise (half a stop) comes from the pellicle mirror, not the amount of MP. The DR is still about as good as it gets from an APS-C sensor, better than from the 16MP (in 12 bits).

0 upvotes
magnumgf
By magnumgf (Nov 16, 2011)

If the "typical consumer" buys this camera, sets it to 24mp and then gets angry about images taking ages to upload, then I have no sympathy whatsoever for this "typical consumer". Sounds more like a "typical moron" to me.

2 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Nov 16, 2011)

I really hope no "typical consumer" will buy this camera then use the photos for facebook only :-)

0 upvotes
TechOutsider
By TechOutsider (Nov 17, 2011)

Facebook resizes and compresses the pictures before uploading them ... so uploading 24 MP files to Facebook won't necessarily take a long time because they will be resized and compressed.

You, of course, have the option to upload higher-res photos to FB.

1 upvote
straylightrun
By straylightrun (Nov 17, 2011)

This camera is not aimed at the typical consumer. Like magnumgf said, if someone is stupid enough to buy this camera solely to upload pictures on facebook, they are an idiot.

0 upvotes
jasonasselin
By jasonasselin (Nov 18, 2011)

you would be suprised how many people come into my store asking about 60d's and d7000's and when you ask them things how do you usually use your images? atleast half of them are destined for facebook. alot of my customers have never printed images befor either..... but then again, have you?

0 upvotes
Andrei Todea
By Andrei Todea (Nov 16, 2011)

I think 24MP is just too much (today, APS-C sensor) for high ISO.

0 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (Nov 16, 2011)

The important thing is that the review is very detailed, so you can draw your own conclusions.

And no, the camera doesn't sound Golden to me. :-)

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Nov 16, 2011)

A65 and A77 has a better RAW images than D7000 and 7D so Golden/Silver awards are warranted.

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Nov 16, 2011)

Define "better"? Higher res at base ISO? Even if it's unusable at 800 up? A finished image from this is lower resolution after noise reduction than an equivalent image from 7D or D7000.

That's a pyrrhic victory in my eyes. Even the Nex7 shots, unencumbered by a mirror, are not so hot from 800 up.

For landscape, there are some uses for the resolution. Maybe.

I made more nice 20x30 images with my D70 than I did with my D2x. I'm not sold on the idea of resolution at the sake of everything else.

4 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Nov 16, 2011)

I am basing my conclusion on the DP's camera category slider comparison...

On this thread, you can see D7000 and 7D vs A77

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1037&thread=39859994

0 upvotes
Carol Stee
By Carol Stee (Nov 16, 2011)

The pellicle mirror causes a 1/3 f-stop loss of light so the Nikon D5100 & D7000 do better in low light and at high ISOs than the Sony SLT bodies do, slightly better in JPEG and much better in RAW.

View this then switch to RAW:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonyslta65/page18.asp
The spools and fuzzy balls in the box give the best low light comparison.

The Sony NEX7 has the same sensor with no mirror to reduce the light so it should do better than the SLT-A65; the NEX7 is also smaller and lighter.

Another camera for the same price is the Panasonic GH2, which dpreview gave 89% and a silver award to, vs 88% and a gold award for the SLT-A65. Bestowing a gold award is subjective, not based on their test results.

3 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Nov 16, 2011)

you are off by 10%, A77 got the highest with 81% for its camera category, GH2 got 79% and A65 78%

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Nov 16, 2011)

We can all read the article for ourselves. You have nothing to say, and you're just spamming the whole site with crap comments.

If you like these cameras, buy one and use it in the best of health. I'm glad you're excited. If you find the right country, you may even be able join one of these new beauties from Sony in a holy matrimony, or at the very least, a civil union.

...but continuing a torrent of annoying comments on here is accomplishing nothing except pisssing people off.

The only thing worse than something with nothing to say repeating themselves, is someone with nothing to say repeating themselves incessantly and loudly.

1 upvote
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Nov 16, 2011)

When Sony release the new FW 1.04, will DP amend their review or re-shoot the studio comparison and samples?

"I got the translation from Asia about the upcoming firmware upgrade changes. It doesn’t get into the detail but I expect this to bring some major improvements. Here is the list (remember it’s translated by an Asian source):

1) expanded the number of automatic compensation of compliant lenses
2) Improvement of Responses
3) Improvement of IQ
4) Improvement of Usability

The firmware 1.04 will be released this week!"

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Simon97
By Simon97 (Nov 16, 2011)

I agree with DPR's assessment. Shoot this thing RAW to get the 24mp resolution expected.

Noise at higher ISOs is a disappointment. Low noise at high ISO is part of the attraction of larger sensors. Compared the other cameras RAW noise is two stops worse and nearly 3 stops vs. the K5. The Sony 16mp sensor seems to be the current APS-C champ. This camera is a victim of the megapixel race. RIP

4 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Nov 16, 2011)

It is too early too tell that it is a victim of MP race. AS you know see, there are so many satisfied owners of A65 and A77 and it is sold out everywhere. The demand is amazing.

0 upvotes
chrswggl
By chrswggl (Nov 16, 2011)

No matter the mass market demand, the sensor isn't producing output that is better than prior sensors in any absolute sense. Marketing hype has beaten out sensor development.

4 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Nov 16, 2011)

A65 and A77 has a better RAW images than D7000 and 7D according to DP Category comparison so I don't know what you are talking about...

0 upvotes
brent collins
By brent collins (Nov 16, 2011)

Hahahahahaha. At 800 ISO it can't even beat my E-PL1 let alone my 7D. And I'm viewing this on my iPad with should surly mask any minor differences. Too bad the difference isn't minor.....it's painfully obvious.

6 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Nov 16, 2011)

so are you saying DP's reviews are not accurate?

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
brent collins
By brent collins (Nov 16, 2011)

no, I'm saying that it's all subjective. Like I said several times before....get a Sony and we will have a challenge. Prove me wrong....

0 upvotes
jasonasselin
By jasonasselin (Nov 18, 2011)

well thats funny.... better noise reduction in body..... almost like there wasnt noise to begin with.... "almost"

0 upvotes
confusedSlrOrSltOrMilc
By confusedSlrOrSltOrMilc (Nov 19, 2011)

As a novice from india, who is still searching for which ILC camera to buy(only camera i have used till now is the nokia n8), I have one question about resolution. If 24MP produces too much noise at high ISO, would downsampling it to for example to 16MP give comparable noise to nikon D5100? There is one article in dxomark, claiming a similar thing. If noise can be reduced to comparable levels by downsampling/averaging, then I am more or less convinced to buy A65.

0 upvotes
enteringthedslrworld
By enteringthedslrworld (Dec 21, 2011)

Hi, I second confusedSLR's question. Can someone please answer whether reducing the megapixel setting on the A65 would result in better quality at higher ISOs and mitigate the 24MP problem?

0 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Nov 16, 2011)

Check this French site (translated to English) talking about why the A65/A77 DP's studio comparison is flawed
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1037&message=39772012&q=french&qf=m

1 upvote
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Nov 16, 2011)

Thanks for the link. It seems logical, even though one would have to do some tests to be sure. I would be interested to know what DPreview guys think about that.

While I find many of the tests available online helpful, at the end of the day I just pick a few full size images from the candidate cameras and have them printed at the size relevant to me - and for that the DPreview studio shots are quite good.

3 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Nov 16, 2011)

BMWX5, you seem obsessed! The final images back up what DP Review has shown.

If you've got a link to actual images, show it.

Otherwise, the charts and graphs are just measurebation that has no bearing on reality.

2 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Nov 16, 2011)

Real images (crops) taken with equal parameters (not up to 2/3 EV exposure differences, not at different resolutions):
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=39781029

0 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Nov 16, 2011)

Unfortunately, DP did not clean their studio test environment. You could clearly see dust all over that could affect comparison the images. See sample http://g1.img-dpreview.com/5B92620ED889444F80CBD44D71768E68.jpg Note the fingerprint on the 7D photo. This dust could be mistaken for noise!

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
cxsparc
By cxsparc (Nov 16, 2011)

Sorry folks, but when JPG at ISOP 100 can't compete with the Nex 5N, and RAW at 400 is already visibly worse, then this camera sensor is NOT an improvement in terms of Image Quality.

I had the same issue with the SLT-55: My test shots showed mushy OOC JPGs and strange color rendering.

I can not really understand the reason why, especially with the 55 having a similar sensor.

Is the SLT product handled by different firmware developers at Sony? The 5N pictures look so real-world like in contrast.......

2 upvotes
whtchocla7e
By whtchocla7e (Nov 16, 2011)

ISO100 can't compete with NEX 5N?
in a different world lol..

3 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Nov 16, 2011)

If a camera in this price range cannot compete at 1600, 3200 and 6400 ISO, it can't possibly deserve the kudos DPR is laying on it. Wiz-bang and pixels...where's the beef? Silly, silly conclusion. What the heck are you guys doing?

8 upvotes
tazztone
By tazztone (Nov 16, 2011)

"Conclusion - Pros
Fast and responsive operation
Conclusion - Cons
Slightly 'laggy' menu system and UI"

contradiction anyone?

7 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Nov 16, 2011)

No, the camera is in most respects (continuous shooting, focusing, shutter lag etc ) very fast. BUT: The UI can at times be a little laggy.

2 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Nov 16, 2011)

The Sony system is very attractive but for one issue: none of the pro/semi-pro zoom lenses have great bokeh, and some are downright awful. Canon lenses thrash Sonys at bokeh.

I really do want to buy in to Sony but this issue is a show-stopper.

2 upvotes
grafli
By grafli (Nov 16, 2011)

what about the 135mm F1.8?

8 upvotes
Atarandas
By Atarandas (Nov 16, 2011)

This is huge statement to make. You obviously dont own any of the lens.

6 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Nov 16, 2011)

or 135 F2.8 STF, offering some of the smoothest bokeh you can wish for.

8 upvotes
pppqqq
By pppqqq (Nov 16, 2011)

Canon 70-200 2.8 L IS II USM review (dpreview):

Background Blur ('bokeh'): This is one aspect of the lens's character which looks like a step back compared to the older version - the bokeh has a tendency to be somewhat more 'busy', with harsher edges and less-smooth transitions between out-of-focus elements.

Sony 70-200 2.8 G review (dpreview):

Background Blur ('bokeh'): On the whole the 70-200mm F2.8 G produces very pleasing bokeh across a wide range of real-world shooting conditions - we'd consider it one of the nicer fast telezooms in this regard. About the only time it trips up is when faced with complex distant backgrounds, and shot slightly stopped down, at which point the bokeh can look a little harsh.

And Sony 135 STF is the King of Bokeh. Canon/Nikon does not have anything like that.

3 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Nov 16, 2011)

Have You ever tried any Zeiss lens with A850/900?
Note this thing: only 4 lens get GOLD AWARD in DPR tests, and 2 of them are Sony/Zeiss :))

2 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Nov 16, 2011)

To be fair, he did say "pro/semi-pro zoom lenses"; the 135mm STF is a wonderful thing, but it's not a zoom.

1 upvote
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Nov 16, 2011)

PPPQQQ: "And Sony 135 STF is the King of Bokeh. Canon/Nikon does not have anything like that."

HAHAHAHAH! Hilarious!

I'll see you're 135 STFu with a 135/2 DC and raise you a 200/2 VR!

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Nov 16, 2011)

Photozone called the 135 STF bokeh more smooth than from any other lens they had tested, which includes the Nikkor 135 DC.

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Nov 16, 2011)

The STF does look quite nice, but I don't see any place where photozone makes that claim. Nor have I seen any images out of the STF that I don't think can't be surpassed (techincally at least!) by the 135DC. It can be made to look very bad if used wrong, but there really isn't anything else like it in anybody else's line.

And Sony still doesn't have anything like the 200/2.

0 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Nov 16, 2011)

I said 'zoom' lenses, folks. I agree the primes can have good bokeh but I won't be using those for much of my activities.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Nov 16, 2011)

Photozone on the analysis page about bokeh:
"the bokeh is smoother than on any other lens tested to date" (a year after they tested the Nikon DC).
The STF design can affect both fore and background bokeh positively at the same time, while the DC design can only do one or the other at the same time. Also, the special DC bokeh control can affect sharpness too, while the STF design does not.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
jasonasselin
By jasonasselin (Nov 18, 2011)

almost sounds like someone hasn't tried said lenses but is sure that canons are better because they start with c.

0 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Nov 20, 2011)

You don't need to try lenses to see bokeh. To my eyes it;s quite clear: Sony zoom bokeh is fairly poor as a rule, while Canon bokeh is good to exellent as a rule.

0 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (Nov 16, 2011)

I don't care about the gold, diamond or silver award. I want to get the best for what I pay. Unfortunately anyone with around thousand dollars to spend on a camera has to look away from this camera. The jpeg versions look over-processed even apparent on ISO 1600. It's obvious that there is a lot of noise underneath to deal with. The jpeg engine tries very hard to recover the detail by re-producing them rather unsuccessfully. The compared Canon, Nikon and Pentax have much more natural looking pics without the color smear. And finally, it looks like 24mp sensor has no real life benefits in terms of fine detail. A big and successful company like the Sony has to come up with better image solutions I am afraid. They are doing the same mistakes the Canon used to do, playing the high megapixel count game.

3 upvotes
woonwoon1
By woonwoon1 (Nov 16, 2011)

The best in what? In everything? I dont' think there is a camera like that. This camera may not have the best hi-iso IQ but it excels in other areas.

0 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (Nov 17, 2011)

Well, the purpose of a camera is to take pictures. If high ISO is not a priority one might buy this camera on the basis of it's megapixels or 10fps or something else one might think important to them. I agree every camera has it's strengths and weakness. But on every aspect there is a better camera than this one though some may be more expesive some even cheaper. This is where we come in to the compromise territory. If a camera has high ISO shooting option same as the competition it has to do at least as well. If you say I have to shoot RAW to get the best resolution out of the sensor then doesn't that mean an extra cost for a software. If you are pro making enough money this may not be a problem. But do you think pros will choose to work with this camera? All in all whichever angle you look from it is an expensive camera for what it is. And I think Dpreview also should scrap it's ratings all together so people can draw their own conclusions and decide according to individual needs.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Nov 16, 2011)

Perhaps it's good this camera goes with a Diamond Award — awarded to anyone who frankly and without any doubt and hesitation can explain his or her choice to buy this camera after comparing it personally with hundreds of similar DSLRs and ILCs currently on the market.

0 upvotes
SETI
By SETI (Nov 16, 2011)

Ack... Golden Award! The photos are very soft and inert. No volume, no life. I will not start a war, just tell you my opinion.

3 upvotes
Tihomir Rusanin
By Tihomir Rusanin (Nov 16, 2011)

Awful body and very soft images ,nothing good to make me happy with it.I see few good features but nothing at all.

P.S. Ex Sony A900 owner unfortunately :(

1 upvote
hippo84
By hippo84 (Nov 16, 2011)

Is Canon 600D better? if You are former A900 owner, it is hard to find something to satisfy(we are with my girlfriend have 2 A850 and 1 A55 and I understand You, but...this camera is sure worth money One asks for it)

0 upvotes
teos
By teos (Nov 16, 2011)

I am not a professional photographer, just an enthusiast, I have DSLR and a couple of lenses. I never printed any of my photo in poster size, what I am looking for is 6MP-8MP camera with A65 sensor & features, so that high ISO capability would be much better and I can take amazing shots in low light, also can take sports/action photos with bumping the ISO easily. I believe most of the consumer are like me but strangely producers follow the race over MP count for pro guys(minority of the overall consumer) who need to print large-size photos :(

8 upvotes
mediman30
By mediman30 (Nov 16, 2011)

Don't worry about the Silver Award for the A77, Dpr will change it to Gold once the rumoured firmware version 1.04 is out this week! lol (to dream is free)

Am I right sirs?

0 upvotes
Roman Stedronsky
By Roman Stedronsky (Jan 13, 2012)

No. Frimware 1.04 is rather old (29/11/2011).
http://www.sony.co.uk/support/en/product/SLT-A77V/downloads/FW_A77_V104_WIN

0 upvotes
FredSpain
By FredSpain (Nov 16, 2011)

It seems there is another mistake in the number of shots available in AE priority mode, it says 11 in JPEG and 14 in raw. With the rest of the figures for raw and raw + JPEG, I thing it should be 21 and not 11.
Many thanks for correcting the figures

0 upvotes
aarif
By aarif (Nov 16, 2011)

silver to A77 and gold to A65 ??? so tomorrow if any one makes a really poor camera for 5$ it will automatically get the gold award ! don't get me wrong I agree with your conclusions but not the award thing

0 upvotes
NorthwestF
By NorthwestF (Nov 16, 2011)

No, a poor camera that cost $5 won't get an award. The awards are given if the reviewers like the camera, regardless of rating or price.

1 upvote
aarif
By aarif (Nov 16, 2011)

then you didn't understand my point. the A77 is better but it got silver just because the price

0 upvotes
Ronald de Bruijn
By Ronald de Bruijn (Nov 16, 2011)

Just curious; Why is the a65 compared to the 600D and D5100? Although there is nothing wrong with the actual comparison. From a price point the a65 is more comparable to the 60D and the D7000.

There actually is a substantial price difference (bodies):
- Where I live all 3 around 800 euros while the 600D and D5100 are around 550 euros.
- A quick check of dollar prices shows a similar case, around $1000 for the a65, 60D and D7000 and $650 for the 600D and the D5100.

2 upvotes
NorthwestF
By NorthwestF (Nov 16, 2011)

You are comparing street prices of older camera with MSRP price of a new camera. When 600D was first launched, it was $900 MSRP. 60D body-only was $1100 at the launch date.

1 upvote
NorthwestF
By NorthwestF (Nov 16, 2011)

And D7000 at the launch date was $1200 (body only). Actually, DPR did it right.

2 upvotes
Ronald de Bruijn
By Ronald de Bruijn (Nov 16, 2011)

Thanks for the info.
It's probably due to the flooding in Thailand that the a65 street prices are so high at the moment. I was actually in the market for either a 600D, a D5100 or a a65 but because of the price I did not buy the a65. (bought a 600D)

0 upvotes
FredSpain
By FredSpain (Nov 16, 2011)

A little mistake in this overall good review: the A 65 does NOT feature extrafine JPEG as the A77 does.
Also, another problem which is on philosophical level : On all DPreviews, we have comparisons at pixels levels but never at acceptable printing sizes. I would say then that it should be called Digital Photoscopic Revew as graphy from the Greek graphein refers to an image or text on paper. Fortunately, other sites take this appproach.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Camp Freddy
By Camp Freddy (Nov 16, 2011)

I agree with brendon: higher quality base ISO in dr and tonal depth is preferable to hard wired NR and different pure-sensitivity in the chip. Sony have put their blue chips on mpx ( debatable benefit for many!) and DR / TD.

Someone will no doubt post the Nikon 1 high ISO as outperforming the IQ of this too!

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Nov 16, 2011)

Thanks for spotting this. It's corrected now.

0 upvotes
raztec
By raztec (Nov 16, 2011)

Wow, some of the worst jpeg images I've seen from a DSLR and the nosiest high ISO images in its class, and still it gets your highest award? Surely you guys haven't lost your marbles?

5 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Nov 16, 2011)

A bit noisy at the ISO above 1600, but... Do You think, that Canon 600D, which has much worse color depth and DR than any APS-C camera, is better?

5 upvotes
wmac
By wmac (Nov 16, 2011)

Worst? I would not expect that from Sony after A580 but it still is better than 60D and 600D.

And considering the excellent dynamic range and color depth, I would definitely prefer that to lower end Canons (if I want to compare bodies).

0 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Nov 16, 2011)

Everybody talks about noise, ISO, and so on... Visible difference in noise level begins at ISO1600 and above, but You have much worse DR and colours at every single shot!

3 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (Nov 16, 2011)

Exactly. How many shots you have taken at ISO 1600 and above ? I am willing to bet that no is very very low. Better DR and colour depth is something that will be very beneficial at low ISOs which is something a lot of people will benefit from.

7 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Nov 16, 2011)

No camera is going to be best at everything. So if your game is to pick on whichever parameter is worse that some of its competitors, and hence slate the camera as rubbish, then all cameras are rubbish.
Why not judge the camera by what it can do, and how that portfolio of technical talents complements your own photographic needs.

3 upvotes
Rmano
By Rmano (Nov 16, 2011)

Maybe I am not an expert, but... shouldn't a good comparison one that rescale (with a good algorithm) all the images to the same pixel count (say, 10MP) and then compare that? I mean, going from 24 to 12 MP should give you a good boost on signal/noise ratio... just to compare apples with apples...

0 upvotes
Prognathous
By Prognathous (Nov 16, 2011)

The lack of AF micro-adjust and the single cross-type AF point are deal breakers as far as I'm concerned. Too bad I have to pay $500 more for the A77 to get these features. The A65 is otherwise more than sufficient.

0 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Nov 16, 2011)

There are 3 cross-type points, similar to those at A33/55. I have A55 in addition to A850 and can say, that AF at this cameras works very well ))

3 upvotes
Prognathous
By Prognathous (Nov 16, 2011)

I stand corrected. Still, there should be at least 9 cross-type points to make me interested.

0 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Nov 16, 2011)

Which camera at this price range is better?

4 upvotes
Prognathous
By Prognathous (Nov 16, 2011)

Where did I talk about "better" or "worse"? I was very specific about features that the A65 lacks that I personally consider to be deal-breakers. Other people may have a different opinions, preferences and needs.

The Pentax K-r contains both two features, and at $550 it costs little more than half of the A65. Nikon D7000 also contains both features and is priced between the A65 and the A77. Too bad the Pentax and Nikon can't take my A-mount lenses, because they're both very nice cameras.

0 upvotes
Argote
By Argote (Nov 16, 2011)

To all the people wondering why this got Gold and the A77 "only" got Silver:

The A77 is comparable to other cameras in its class/price range (7D, D7000, etc); however, the A65 is undoubtably superior to other cameras in its class/price range (600D, D5100, etc).

This makes it easy to recommend other over cameras for almost all situations while the same cannot be said for the A77. In a way this could be a bigger victory for Sony since a lot more cameras are sold at this price point.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
12 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (Nov 16, 2011)

I wanted to point this out, but you beat me to it. :)

1 upvote
wmac
By wmac (Nov 16, 2011)

Definitely not comparable to D5100. D5100 has the best sensor rate (noise, DR, color depth) among its class. It actually blows the competition away.

4 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Nov 16, 2011)

The D5100 is no better than the A580 in this regard, but the latter has a much larger feature set (in bodu IS, in body AF motor, fast live view AF, DOF preview etc etc.).

1 upvote
hippo84
By hippo84 (Nov 16, 2011)

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonyslta65/page18.asp - take a look at the playing cards, for example... A65 has much better dynamic range and more "pleasant" colours...or not?

0 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Nov 16, 2011)

Dynamic range is hard to compare in JPEG samples due to differing amounts of noise reduction. And colors are just based on "default jpeg settings". You can typically change the default settings to suite your taste

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Nov 16, 2011)

JPEG quality at this price range is very important IMHO :))

4 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Nov 16, 2011)

Waiting for the DXO results :))

0 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Nov 16, 2011)

Canon 600d has 65, and Sony A77 has 78! I don't think that A65's and A77's score will differ ))

0 upvotes
Shane Pope
By Shane Pope (Nov 16, 2011)

This is all good for overal competition. I wonder what Canon are thinking.

1 upvote
WarrenPeas
By WarrenPeas (Nov 16, 2011)

Thank you DPR. Been touting my A65 to those like me in a target audience. Not to take anything away from the A77, because surely I'd like to have one, but for what I get for a $900 body (already have the lens), frankly I think it's a steal.

2 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Nov 16, 2011)

Haha. The moment I saw the Gold Award for A65, I knew there would now be a storm about why it got the Gold Award and not the A77 :)

Why do people even care about the Awards or the scores. These might be a rough guide to beginners who don't have a clear idea of how to compare one mode to other. But for experienced users on these forums, the right thing to do is to read the review or at least the detailed conclusion page and make your own conclusions. The opinion of DPReview staff is significant because they handle so many cameras and get a great idea of their relative merits. But it is still an opinion influenced by their likes, dislikes and subjective preferences. But the good thing is that they do a great job of presenting to you all the details and then you can decide for your own whats good for you.

And they explain why they think a camera deserves an award. So you can read it and decide if the factors that they considered matter to you or not :)

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Nov 16, 2011)

So do the gold and silver awards just relate to best VALUE? In terms of price vs performance? And the score is just looking at all the features without considering price? That's what it seems like. Except it looks like price is included in the list of things that the score is based on. I think the ratings make sense if they are done the way I am guessing, but I am not sure if that is the case. Still not sure why the A77 only got silver when it has the 2nd best score of any APS-C camera ever and costs a lot less than a 7D and K-5 and D300s did when they came out.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
NorthwestF
By NorthwestF (Nov 16, 2011)

No, gold and silver awards relate to subjective opinion/like of DSLR staff. If they like something, they give it an award. It's that simple.

0 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Nov 16, 2011)

So why did they like the A65 and not the A77??

And regardless that makes no sense because the percent scores are subjective opinion too, they are scoring each category subjectively before plugging it into whatever formula they have.

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Nov 16, 2011)

actually a significant part of the score is based on image quality, and a significant part of that is quantifiable.

8 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Nov 16, 2011)

Man I just remembered you told me last time not to skip ahead and get hung up on the number at the end...and that's exactly what I did! :(

0 upvotes
NorthwestF
By NorthwestF (Nov 16, 2011)

"So why did they like the A65 and not the A77??"

There doesn't have to be a reason. It's subjective, remember?

0 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Nov 16, 2011)

Then what's the point of the award if they can be given out for no reason?

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Nov 16, 2011)

Who says we did not like the A77?

0 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Nov 16, 2011)

Whoever didn't give it a gold review!

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Nov 16, 2011)

wow, Sony's got a lot of hits lately: c3, 5n, a77, a65.. and the nex7 to finish it off

4 upvotes
SonyA77
By SonyA77 (Nov 16, 2011)

how could A65 with less features and specs get a "GOLD AWARD" and A77 "Silver Award"? They have the same sensor and IQ! Please explain!

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Nov 16, 2011)

We've explained many, many many times that there is no intrinsic connection between a camera's final score, and its award (if any). The awards are subjective. There is a lot more to a camera than sensor and IQ.

Theoretically, a camera could score relatively low, but still get an award if we think that it meets the needs of its audience very well, for example.

1 upvote
Visualiza
By Visualiza (Nov 16, 2011)

Different classes of camera, of course. You get A77 IQ for less money, that equates to better bang for your buck.

*EDIT*
To Barney above: What would you think of just doing away with the award system completely? It's a double edged sword IMO, because as we can see here, there will be people who never bother to look at the content of the review(which is of course what matters), and will instead focus on an a score or an award.

It's a rather silly suggestion I know, but it seems that we got to that point a long time ago.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Nov 16, 2011)

Probably the most meaningful issue is that of value. In this case the combination of features, actual performance and price make it a winner.

0 upvotes
SonyA77
By SonyA77 (Nov 16, 2011)

So are you are saying "78pts" for less features and specs and "Gold Award" because of the value in comparison to A77?

0 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Nov 16, 2011)

Maybe partly because the A65 is $999 and the A77 is $1800?

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Nov 16, 2011)

It has to do with the competition. Look at the description above:

"On paper, it appears significantly more capable in some respects than peers such as the Canon EOS 600D / Rebel T3i and Nikon D5100."

So compared to a 600D, it's a gold. Compared to the Canon 7D, the a77 gets a silver. Basically they are boxing in a different weight class.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Nov 16, 2011)

a77 is $1399 (body) which is a bargain for its specs and features

1 upvote
SonyA77
By SonyA77 (Nov 16, 2011)

Now I get it...

"There is no direct link between the overall score and the awards: they are not given automatically to cameras reaching a certain threshold. Crucially a camera can get an award even if a camera with a higher overall score didn't."

http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Guides/dpreview_scores_and_ratings_01.htm

0 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (Nov 16, 2011)

I know you don't take criticism well Barney but no, there really isn't anything more important in a camera than image quality.

It can have a body like rock and 25 frames per second but if the IQ isn't there it's rubbish.

I expect I'll get banned for saying that

0 upvotes
Fish Tank
By Fish Tank (Nov 20, 2011)

Ummmm.... Barney Britton (from DPR) you said, and I quote "There is a lot more to a camera than sensor and IQ." As a new owner of an a77, I couldn't agree more, which makes an interesting point. If, as you say, there is a lot more, then this camera offers more than any other, and once you eliminate the much-debated "sensor and IQ", that would leave you with a fast-focusing, well-designed, nice feeling, video perfection, technologically super-advanced camera with the right number of dials and buttons that would (without that silly IQ and sensor to muck things up) surely get a gold ;-)

0 upvotes
Marslerouge
By Marslerouge (Nov 16, 2011)

Tne Nex-7 review, when?

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Nov 16, 2011)

Soon :)

7 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (Nov 16, 2011)

I am glad to see production resumed so quickly too, will be nice to get those out before Christmas and other competition heats up :)

Eric

4 upvotes
atanphotography
By atanphotography (Nov 16, 2011)

Currently I'm checking Dpreview twice a day in hoping to view the NEX-7 review.

0 upvotes
Robgo2
By Robgo2 (Nov 16, 2011)

No doubt, the 24MP APS-C sensor is a significant achievment for Sony, and there are certainly people who need that much resolution (or at least think they do). But if you compare raw samples from the A65 with those from the Samsung N200, which sports a new 20MP sensor, the N200 comes out on top IMHO. At low ISO, the two cameras are very close, but at ISO 1600, the Samsung pulls ahead. I believe that Samung applies in-camera NR beginning at ISO 3200, but even so, detail is well retained.

I am not a Samsung shooter, but I think that their new sensor is being overlooked amidst all the hoopla over the 24MP Sony sensor. As a Pentaxian, I hope that Pentax will give it serious consideration for the camera that will succeed the K-5.

Rob

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Nov 16, 2011)

Wow Gold award, really nice.

2 upvotes
Total comments: 159