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Sony announces SLT-A57 and HVL-LE1 LED panel for movie lighting

By dpreview staff on Mar 13, 2012 at 04:00 GMT

Sony has announced the SLT-A57, a replacement for the original A55 fixed-mirror, electronic viewfinder DSLR. The A57 still features a 16MP sensor and LCD viewfinder but incorporates them into essentially the same body as the more expensive A65. Use of the latest Bionz processor means the A57 offers a wider-than-ever selection of photographic features and image processing modes. There's also an optional HVL-LE1 video-lighting LED panel.

The A57 will have an MSRP of $799/€849, bundled with an 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 lens.

The HVL-LE1 has an output of 1800lux/0.5m with a color temperture of 5500K. It can be adjusted down to 10% of this output if needed. It comes supplied with both a Sony Alpha and ISO standard flash shoe connector, allowing its use with non-Sony cameras. Its MSRP will be $249. The LE1 comes with a warming filter (taking the output to around 3200K, and is compatible with AA batteries or Sony M or V series rechargeable battery packs.

Jump to:


Press Release:

Sony Brings Pro-level Performance to Mainstream SLR Users with New High-Speed α57 Camera Featuring Translucent Mirror Technology

Advanced Feature Set Includes 12 fps Shooting, Full HD (60p) Video Capture, New Auto Portrait Framing and more

SAN DIEGO, March 12, 2012 -- A wider palette of creative options is now accessible to more shooters with the α57 camera, the newest addition to Sony’s popular line of A-mount cameras employing Translucent Mirror Technology.

The innovative Translucent Mirror design directs incoming light to the CMOS image sensor and the AF sensor at the same time, allowing full-time continuous AF during both still and video shooting.  Users can also frame, focus and preview shots in real-time on the high-resolution Tru-Finder™ electronic viewfinder, which offers a wide viewing angle and 100% field of view. This allows photographers to capture exactly what they see on the screen.

A natural successor to Sony’s acclaimed α55 camera, the α57 is positioned for a wide audience of DSLR users. It can shoot still images at up to 12 frames per second, capture full HD video at 60p, 60i or 24p frame rates and has a variety of creative modes including Auto Portrait Framing, a world’s first technology

“Today’s DSLR consumer is looking for a higher level of control and flexibility in their camera,” said Mike Kahn, director of the Alpha camera business group for Sony Electronics. “With the introduction of the new α57, we’re bringing blazing fast response rates, enhanced artistic capabilities and other advanced features to the mainstream DSLR marketplace, offering professional-grade performance at affordable prices.”

With the α57 camera, shooting speeds of up to 12 frames per second are achieved in new Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE mode, maintaining continuous auto focus and auto exposure with fixed aperture. Magnifying the central portion of the sensor’s image by 1.4x, it’s perfect for capturing split-second action close-ups with a burst of sharply focused images, even when the subject is moving. In this shooting mode, aperture is fixed at either f/3.5 or the maximum aperture of lens in use (whichever is smaller) and image size of photos is about 8.4 megapixels. 

Additionally, the α57 camera lets people create powerfully expressive Full HD movies. Responsive full-time continuous phase detection AF ensures that moving subjects stay sharply focused, just like with still shooting. Support for the AVCHD™ Ver. 2.0 (Progressive) format means that Full HD resolution movies can be captured with 60p frame rate: ideal for capturing smooth, blur-free action. Shooting in 24p is also available to give footage a rich, cinematic look. Movie-making options are enhanced further with full control over P/A/S/M shooting modes for virtually limitless creative expression.

The α57 model shares the α65’s 15-point AF system with three cross sensors delivering fast, accurate TTL phase detection autofocus. Newly enhanced Object Tracking AF keeps faces or other selected objects in sharp focus – even if a target is obscured momentarily by another passing object.

Even the novice photographers can now easily create pro-style portraits with the α57 thanks to new Auto Portrait Framing, a world’s first technology. Using face detection and the compositional ‘rule of thirds,’ the camera identifies a subject’s position, trimming the scene to create tightly framed, professional-looking pictures in portrait or landscape orientation while maintaining a copy of the original image. Saving both the original photo plus the adjusted version allows for easy comparison between the two images, offering photographers inspiration to refine their portrait skills.  

To get closer to the subject, 2x Clear Image Zoom digital zoom technology doubles the effective magnification of your lens and is a highly practical alternative to travelling with a bigger, bulkier telephoto lens. The camera uses Sony’s “By Pixel Super Resolution Technology” to ensure that cropped and zoomed images retain full pixel resolution.

Additionally, the model’s range of popular in-camera Picture Effect modes includes 11 different effects and 15 total variations – offering a generous palette of ‘PC-free’ artistic treatments, including Pop Color, HDR Painting, Miniature Mode and much more. Results can be previewed directly in live view mode on the LCD screen or in the new Tru-Finder™ electronic viewfinder while shooting either Full HD video or stills.

Still and video shooting, framing, focusing and real-time preview of exposure adjustments are a pleasure with the new Tru-Finder™ electronic viewfinder. With ultra-detailed 1440k dot resolution and a 100% field of view, it rivals quality optical viewfinders. There’s a choice of selectable high-resolution information displays with a wide viewing-angle to help consumers shoot with confidence, including a digital level gauge and framing grid. Information can be displayed either directly in the viewfinder or on the angle-adjustable 7.5 cm (3.0-type) Xtra Fine LCD™ display.

Ensuring detail-packed images, the 16.1 effective megapixel Exmor® APS HD CMOS sensor is teamed with a latest-generation BIONZ® engine. Refined by Sony during the development of its flagship α77 and high-end α65 cameras, this powerful processor effortlessly handles large amounts of image data for flawless, low-noise images and Full HD video.

Thanks to the BIONZ processor, creative shooting opportunities are boosted by an outstanding sensitivity range of ISO 100-16,000. Users will experience consistently natural, low-noise images – whether shooting at fast shutter speeds to freeze dynamic action or handheld without flash in low light.

Pricing and Availability

The new α57 interchangeable lens camera will be available this April with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens for $800 (model SLT-A57K).  It will also be offered as body-only for about $700 (model SLT-A57). 

Sony will also be introducing a new battery-powered LED video light, model HVL-LE1, which broadens options for recording video indoors or in low light. This new accessory will be available this month for about $250.

The camera, camera kit and a wide variety of Alpha accessories are sold at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.

Sony SLT A57 specifications

Price
MSRPBody only: US $700, with 18-55mm lens: US $800
Body type
Body typeCompact SLR
Sensor
Max resolution4912 x 3264
Other resolutions4912 x 2760, 3568 x 2368, 3568 x 2000, 2448 x 1624, 2448 x 1376
Image ratio w:h3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filters
Image
ISOAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 16000 (25600 with boost)
White balance presets9
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal
File format
  • RAW
  • RAW + JPEG
  • JPEG Fine
  • JPEG Standard
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampBuilt-in Flash type
Digital zoomYes (2x Clear Image Zoom)
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points15
Lens mountSony/Minolta Alpha
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size3
Screen dots921,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeXtra Fine TFT drive with TruBlack technology
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.04×
Viewfinder resolution1,440,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modes
  • iAUTO
  • Flash Off
  • Superior Auto
  • Scene Selection
  • Sweep Panorama
  • 3D Sweep Panorama
  • Continuous Advance Priority AE
  • Movie, Programmed AE (P)
  • Aperture priority (A)
  • Shutter-speed priority (S)
  • Manual (M)
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Macro
  • Sports Action
  • Sunset
  • Night Portrait
  • Night View
  • Hand-held Twilight
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range10.00 m (@ ISO 100)
External flashYes (Hot-shoe, Wireless)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High Speed Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in, Wireless
Flash X sync speed1/160 sec
Drive modes
  • Single Shot
  • Continuous (Hi/Lo)
  • Self-timer (10/2 sec. delay)
  • Bracketing (Cont., Single, White Balance), Remote Control (with optional RM-DSLR1)
Continuous drive12 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames, H/L selectable)
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60p, 24p), 1440 x 1080 (30p), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
Videography notes1080p60 or 24 on NTSC models, 50p or 25p in PAL countries
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini Type C)
WirelessEye-Fi Connected
Remote controlYes (Optional)
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionRechargeable NP-FM500H battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)550
Weight (inc. batteries)618 g (1.36 lb / 21.80 oz)
Dimensions132 x 98 x 81 mm (5.2 x 3.86 x 3.19)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone

Additional images

HVL-LE1 image

211
I own it
18
I want it
27
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 126
karlitoz
By karlitoz (Aug 21, 2012)

why is it taking so long for a slta57 review... the eos650d only came out a month ago and it got reviewed, slta57 has been out since april... bet you that they will review the camera after the sony cashback is expired

0 upvotes
kushal raj patnaik
By kushal raj patnaik (May 18, 2012)

hey guys...new here...

i am planning to buy this, the a57 but have come across the a37so i am confused as to which model to take..

moreover, i want to know the best lenses available for telephoto giving 11x zoom or something near to it, within 10000INR (200$ apprx.)...it would be very good if that lens can do macro too....

i know it is stupid to ask for 2 things in a single lens for such small amount, but still....plz recommend that is very near...i'd be glad to take your help...

0 upvotes
pixel_colorado
By pixel_colorado (Mar 15, 2012)

A37 please...and don't forget about the rotating LCD this time. Oh yeah...please keep it small!

0 upvotes
VipinJoshi
By VipinJoshi (Mar 17, 2012)

I think they will want to keep it smaller, considering the fact that every other model, starting for the A57 are much bigger in size. The idea would be to keep one small (unintimidating) model for beginers & enthusiasts who prefer the smaller size for convenience. I second the articulate LCD point, which should have been retained in the A35 as well!

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 19, 2012)

Sony's SLT ALpha line-up have 2 camera sizes, as follows:

1. Small.

2. Larger.

Not hard to select and get, I would hope to think.

0 upvotes
VipinJoshi
By VipinJoshi (Mar 15, 2012)

I still think Sony has a long way to go, but most of the effort needs to be in educating the masses. People need to know that DSLRs were primarily evolutions of film SLRs, with the film giving way to Digital sensors.

The mirror mechanism has remained the same over the years, even though the DSLRs have become multitasking devices, what with live view, video recording et al. The mirror is almost a deterrent in the performance of the camera nowadays, as it has to physically move everytime live view is engaged or a photo is clicked. The OVFs will be replaced with EVFs in the near future for sure, though it will take some more time for people accept the change.

I think it is more the people's perception, of Sony not being a camera company (and Nikon & Canon being synonymous with SLRs) which is the reason for not preferring the Sony SLTs. Also, with the new range of models A35/A57/A65/A77 there are far more choices, which will only get better with the full frame SLTs in the near future.

0 upvotes
Burbclaver
By Burbclaver (Mar 15, 2012)

I tried an A77 and hated the dark electronic viewfinder.

I'm not sure that it's just perception. Sony can't seem to get it together regarding their distribution channels. As the head of one camera dealership recently told me, "They're in, they're, out, next minute, they're in again. Sony don't seem to have their act together."

0 upvotes
Hugo600si
By Hugo600si (Mar 16, 2012)

I have an a77 and nex-7 and love the bright electronic viewfinder (don't forget to boost it). Now if people would stop buying them availability would be a lot better ;)

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 16, 2012)

@ VipinJoshi: I haven't read this much farrago hogwosh in quite some time now. Thanks for posting it!

@ Burbclaver: Have you perhaps tried to TURN UP THE BRIGHTNESS of the EVF? No? Then I can easily see how it could have been rather on the dark side. I guess like Sony, maybe you also "didn't have your act together" on that one, huh?

0 upvotes
VipinJoshi
By VipinJoshi (Mar 17, 2012)

@Francis Carver: An excerpt from dpreview continuing the farrago hogwash (or hogwosh as you spell) for your entertainment!

"Sony is certainly confident about the finder in the A77, for good reason; it is close enough to the quality of a high-end optical viewfinder that the advantages (the ability to preview exposure and white balance, or to gain-up for working in low light), outweigh the areas in which it isn't as good."

"After extended use, we're confident in saying that it is the best EVF we've ever used."

"The other great advantage of EVFs is that they aren't constrained by the size of the camera's sensor - even the best APS-C sensor cameras have small viewfinders when compared with inexpensive film SLRs. Trying to magnify the APS-C-sized reflection from the reflex mirror results in a darker viewfinder. With an electronic viewfinder, there is no such connection, so the size and brightness of the finder is dependant only on the current state of the technology."

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 19, 2012)

Too much talk about a simple EVF. When you take off your sunglasses, the image in the EVF will probably become brighter, anyhow.

0 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Apr 24, 2012)

Burbclaver - don't forget, that in the EVF You see the picture You'll get with Your settings. Don't You try to change shutter speed/ISO/aperture? If You don't like it, turn it off in menu, and You will see the picture in EVF just like in OVF. By the way, A77's EVF is much brighter than OVF of any APS-C camera, I've checked it ))

0 upvotes
VipinJoshi
By VipinJoshi (Mar 15, 2012)

The best part is the inbuilt 4 stop Stabilizer, allowing me to shoot in low light with my prime/macro lens, without a tripod. Incidentally, there aren't/hardly any stabilized prime/macro lenses in Canikons! More pros than cons i'd say, especially if you are an enthusiast and not a professional (which is a given if one's considering these models).

Infact, contrary to popular beliefs, the lens availability isn't a problem and cost is surprisingly affordable. Anyone thinking of investing in the Sony body would definitely have an edge in terms of lens & accessories. The flashes are far more reasonable (less than half the cost of Canikons), don't need triggers & receivers (built in flash acts as a transmitter). The G.No.43 HVL-F43 flash costs just $330!

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 16, 2012)

Three-legged tripods are useful gadgets for professionals and enthusiasts alike.

0 upvotes
VipinJoshi
By VipinJoshi (Mar 17, 2012)

@Francis Carver: Tri(Three)pod is a self explanatory nomenclature suggesting three legs, and i happen to use it generously on planned shoots.

Camera for me is primarily to capture the spur of the moment shots, which are better clicked on a Sony as against Canon/Nikon. I agree the Images would be better on a Tripod, but then with a tripod all cameras would be alike. It is an extra advantage on a Sony SLT!

You might not be, but i am a candid clicker myself, shooting family & friends alike and carrying a Tripod everywhere (atleast for me) isn't possible. At social gatherings, a tripod wouldn't give you the benefit of getting natural microexpressions & smiles. If you ever get a chance to compare Canon/Nikon & Sony with a fast prime lens, in less than perfect light, with a slower shutter, without a Tripod, you'll see what i mean. A Macro shot is near impossible to shoot with a Tripod as the height, proximity etc. keep changing. BTW, what kit do you use?

0 upvotes
VipinJoshi
By VipinJoshi (Mar 15, 2012)

The Sony SLTs need to be seen to believe. IMHO this camera should be compared to its nearest competitors like the Nikon D5100 & Canon 550D (T2i) and not the higher end ones. I am currently using the A55 & the AF speeds during Live View is beyond belief. It hardly takes any time to focus, whereas the Canikons (Canon & Nikons) hardly focus! This is even more evident while shooting in less-than-perfect light situations, where the Canikons don't work at all! During my trip to South Africa, i was able to use the Live View to capture 7 shots of a wildebeest in less than a second, including the focusing time! This comes in handy even more so during video recordings with my 50mm f/1.8 lens, where acheiving the 'rack focus' effect (subject focus/defocus) is child's play.
The A57 looks amazing and the bigger size means a better grip as well as a better battery. The EVF pixels have been increased as well. I'm definitely considering an upgrade to the A57 (or maybe the A65 or A77).

0 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (Mar 15, 2012)

Not speaking specifically of this camera, but as Sony is to implement your product.
For me it is the brand that has boomed and with quality. Not the pocket line, but the DSLR and NEX line for example.

Has the best prices that Canon and Nikon, and are very good products. Selecting a new system today, I now chose the Sony system.
The Sony DSLR still will give much to talk about in this world of photography. I'm not a Sony user, no. Or not yet :)

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 14, 2012)

Ha-ha-ha-ha. Looks like a REAL CAMERA -- but it isn't. And just why someone would not spend the 100 bucks or whatever extra and get the SLT Alpha 65 instead of this wannabe-cam?

And that little LED light is priced at $249? Heck, I had seen much better looking ones in the same size or larger for less than half price.

Sony.... what you doing.... again?

0 upvotes
Sam Carriere
By Sam Carriere (Mar 14, 2012)

12 fps is technology for the sake of technology. I would be happy with 12 seconds per frame, secure in the knowledge that it took Ansel Adams a lot longer than even that to produce a photograph.

2 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 15, 2012)

I agree, I really can't see anyone needing more than 8 FPS for even the fastest sports. The FPS has just become an easy number in the specs to try to have bigger than the competition.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 16, 2012)

3 pictures PER HOUR is all any real photographer should ask of any camera (irony intentional).

0 upvotes
harrisoncac
By harrisoncac (Mar 14, 2012)

I was opt for the Sony A580. This one even is cheaper by $50 compared with A580 at B&H.
Well done SONY!
Now Canon T3i price is falling.

0 upvotes
pixel_colorado
By pixel_colorado (Mar 14, 2012)

Could it BE any bigger? ;-)

0 upvotes
NowHearThis
By NowHearThis (Mar 14, 2012)

A57: 132 x 98 x 81 mm
..
T3i: 133 x 100 x 80 mm
60D: 145 x 106 x 79 mm
D7000: 132 x 105 x 77 mm
D5100: 128 x 97 x 79 mm
K5: 131 x 97 x 73 mm

So to answer your [rhetorical ;-) ] question... yes, yes it could. It could be larger like the Canon models or one of the Nikon's listed above. But even the 2 other cameras listed arent much smaller, and one of them is heavier. I think it's just the right size. I've really liked the A65 body far more than my T2i, the grip and ergonomics just feel so much better.

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (Mar 14, 2012)

I don't get it.
What is the purpose of up to 12fps is the camera's AF.C system isn't up to the task. Or what's the purpose of SLT at all then?

I refer to http://multimedia.fnac.com/multimedia/editorial/labo/reflex_2012.pdf
which tested that A77 AF.C can't compete with 7D or even a K-5. Even the NEX7 beats the A77 when it comes to keep focus on an arriving subject (all according to the source above).

I think AF.C performance is crucial for the SLT system to succeed as it is it's raison d'etre. I wonder why Sony doesn't invest more in this area then ... It seems they don't believe into the long-term future of SLT or SLR ...

1 upvote
World Peace
By World Peace (Mar 14, 2012)

and you based it on one review above? A77 has one of the fastest AF according to many reviews!

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 14, 2012)

If you want to see bad Continuous AF in action, go to You Tube and check out the video clips done with the Fujifilm X-S1. I don't know how bad the Sony SLT AF.C is, but I bet it is markedly better than what the Fuji can deliver.

Supposedly the best Cont. AF performance today is that done by the 2 Nikon 1-series cameras.

0 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (Mar 14, 2012)

Forget sub $1000. The only other camera that can do 10 fps and more with AF is the Canon 1D MK IV costing $5000 and Nikon's D4 at $6000.

Plus the Canon 1D MK IV has a buffer of 26 RAW shots and the Sony A57 has a buffer of 21 RAW shots so the Sony isn't too shabby at $699.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Octane
By Octane (Mar 13, 2012)

12 fps sounds so impressive until you realize it's only in crop mode meaning lower resolution, with the aperture locked (which will also locks the AF operation once you go lower than f/5.6). On top of it you always loose almost half a stop due to the mirror.

Funny how they call it 'tele mode'. It's a crop mode at half resolution.

3 upvotes
ZeevK
By ZeevK (Mar 13, 2012)

So if this does not suits you, use the 10FPS with full continuous AF. I do not recall many other sub 1000$ DSLR able to do that.

11 upvotes
Miwok
By Miwok (Mar 13, 2012)

No more little camera? I know a lot of people who, like me, was loving the size of the A33/A55.
I don't want big (and heavy) camera anymore!.
I Don't want to pay +1k for a NEX7.
Please, Sony, do not give up on your small and inexpensive cameras!

0 upvotes
ZeevK
By ZeevK (Mar 13, 2012)

One of the main criticizm of A55/33 was about the smallish size. I checked the A33 and felt very unconfortable to hold and operate - too small for me, and I have small hands...

2 upvotes
Miwok
By Miwok (Mar 14, 2012)

Criticizm maybe on forum, where "serious" photog can only work on big camera. But AFAIK the A33/A55 as been the most successful sale of all their models. (Big hit in Japan)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
pixel_colorado
By pixel_colorado (Mar 14, 2012)

The A35 is the perfect size, if it only had a rotating LCD I would own one. Maybe they will come out with an A37?

0 upvotes
NowHearThis
By NowHearThis (Mar 14, 2012)

No worries then. The A57 is a meager 4 oz heavier than the A55. It is only 8mm longer, 6mm deeper, and 4mm shorter. That's not much all around IMO.

0 upvotes
Donald B
By Donald B (Mar 13, 2012)

can you live view with hdmi connected ? if so for how long.

0 upvotes
freeelectron
By freeelectron (Mar 13, 2012)

Why no GPS??

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
World Peace
By World Peace (Mar 14, 2012)

Cost saving!

0 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Mar 13, 2012)

Where's the info on the movie lights?

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Mar 13, 2012)

I've now added it.

1 upvote
World Peace
By World Peace (Mar 13, 2012)

where is the preview for HVL-LE1 LED panel?

0 upvotes
NowHearThis
By NowHearThis (Mar 13, 2012)

you can find it on sonystyle.com

0 upvotes
World Peace
By World Peace (Mar 14, 2012)

I want to read reviews before buying it! Hope you get it!

0 upvotes
Atlasman
By Atlasman (Mar 13, 2012)

Why can't Sony develop a simple product line?

The A57 should have been their top-of-the-line with the 16.1MP sensor.

Is Sony afraid that this segment would cannibalize the A77?

The "great divide" seems to be between high resolution and high ISO performance.

The exclusion of the OLED viewfinder, IMO, is a deal-breaker.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Mar 14, 2012)

Until you realize it doesn't really perform noticeably better at high ISO than say the A65 at a given output size and your theory falls flat.

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Rmano
By Rmano (Mar 13, 2012)

I was hoping they corrected the silly AE bracketing range (and that this could percolate down to my A55V in a firmware upgrade). A pity.

0 upvotes
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Mar 13, 2012)

If I count the number of Sony DSLR/SLT currently not discontinued,
I get to 18!
as someone already wrote,
I reckon Sony has more cameras then lenses in their catalog...!

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
NowHearThis
By NowHearThis (Mar 13, 2012)

I counted 38 lenses just from Sony's catalog...

2 upvotes
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (Mar 13, 2012)

Their current DSLR/SLT list is:
A77, A65, A57, A55, A35, that's five.
We know the A57 replaces the A55, so we're down to just Four...!

5 upvotes
antares103
By antares103 (Mar 13, 2012)

There is the A35,55,65, and 77 onthier site. With the 57 replacing the 55, that leaves 4 cameras. They have only made 20 DSLR/Ts in thier existance, so the 18 count of not discontunued is absurd. Also, considering they already have sensors developed for other companies, why not mix and match existing bodies and sensors to offer more choices?

0 upvotes
Gionni Dorelli
By Gionni Dorelli (Mar 13, 2012)

Have you seen how many models and flawors of laptops they have?
They should just consolidate and propose less models like apple does.
Same for the Dslr.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Mar 13, 2012)

The DPR database lists 18 Sony DSLR/SLTs as not discontinued, but surely that needs to be updated. I don't think Sony has any DSLRs in production anymore.

1 upvote
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Mar 13, 2012)

Nice Camera.

2 upvotes
Archer66
By Archer66 (Mar 13, 2012)

Ping DPR,

Any info if there will be a battery grip available ?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Mar 13, 2012)

We've heard nothing about one. There are no connectors in the battery compartment for one, either.

0 upvotes
Archer66
By Archer66 (Mar 13, 2012)

Ok, thanks.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 14, 2012)

This looks great, I most welcome the brain power exhibited by someone at Sony Skunk Works to put a 16.1MP APS-C sensor into this Alpha 57. Instead of the huge 24.3 million pixel sensor found in the Alpha 65/77. This new baby will perform markedly better in low light, for sure.

Main reason I did not get the Alpha 65/77 was due to the over-crowded APS-C sensor with 24.3 million photosites on it, phew... Finally, we have got a down-to-earth 16.1MP imager in a top-notch capability APS-C sensor camera, hurrah!

Other may want to spend the 100 bucks or whatever extra and get the SLT Alpha 65 instead of this Alpha 57. For me, the price Sony is going to be peddling this new one for is a bona-fide steal, however.

Specs above does not mention a direct DC power input jack and a direct 3.5mm external microphone input.... but if you zoom onto the photos, you'll see the markings on the left size accessory jack door. A most welcome, pleasant surprise from Sony!!!

0 upvotes
Anfernee Cheang
By Anfernee Cheang (Mar 13, 2012)

DPR, will you update your spec table? You have mentioned the "2x Clear Image Zoom digital zoom technology", but "Digital zoom" in spec table is No...

Oh BTW, this camera is quite nice and balance in terms of price, quality, features, weight and size. It's in my shopping list, definitely.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
ogl
By ogl (Mar 13, 2012)

I don't understand this camera

0 upvotes
Azfar
By Azfar (Mar 13, 2012)

Why not ?

1 upvote
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Mar 13, 2012)

Okay I'll help you understand: It's by far the best piece of imaging equipment that $700 can buy you in this day and age.

4 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (Mar 13, 2012)

What about the K-5? ;-)

5 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (Mar 13, 2012)

I can't understand what is the main difference between all this a57, a65, a55,a35 and e.tc.

3 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Mar 13, 2012)

What's the difference between Canon EOS 1100D, 550D, 600D, 60D and 7D? It's just different models with different specs and feature sets for different market segments.
A33 and its successor A35 are budget entry-level cameras, A55 and its successor A57 are upper entry-level, A65 is enthusiast-level, and A77 is enthusiast/semi-pro. Or something like that.

3 upvotes
Tech Talk Tony
By Tech Talk Tony (Mar 13, 2012)

it really looks like a decent camera that might be good if it isn't a noise machine like the a65. If it could perform IQ-wise near the 5n(doubtful) it would be an excellent camera. I don't think the whole losing light to the sensor thing is proving itself worthy as of yet given the negative effect on image quality.
The camera is going to compete with the Canon T4i...good luck with that.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (Mar 13, 2012)

T4i is a mythical camera as of now. Compare it to existing Canon APS-C cameras and I have no doubt its going to perform a bit better. High iso performance is IMO one of the most overhyped features I have ever seen as I have seen few good photos clicked at high ISO levels (only talking about APS-C and not FF).

I am more concerned about everyday low ISO performance and most Sony cameras have tuned it so that the DR for highlight performance outdoes the competition. That (IMO) is far more important than good high ISO performance.

If fast AF during live view, fast AF during movie recording and fast burst modes don't excite you then of course the camera isn't really for you. But a lot of other people do like those features and are willing to sacrifice a bit of high ISO performance for that.

0 upvotes
NowHearThis
By NowHearThis (Mar 13, 2012)

ogl here are the differences between the A65, A57, A55, & A35:

The A65 (& A77) is the highest resolution APS-C DSLR on the market. It's designed for those wanting max print size and/or cropability. It features a larger, better OLED EVF than any of these other Sonys.

The A57 is a what the A55 should have been (IMO) a small - but not too small body - A.K.A. the A65 body but with the features of the A55. You can think of the A57 as an A55 but with a better hand grip, ergonomics, and video mode.

The A55 and A35 are similar but the A55 shoots 10fps, the A35 only 7fps and does so in a 'crop' mode. The A55 has a hinged LCD the A35 does not. The A35 which came out after the A55 has added a few picture effects that aren't on the A55.

continued...

0 upvotes
NowHearThis
By NowHearThis (Mar 13, 2012)

The A35 is a good entry level camera one that people wanting something more feature packed than a T3, D3100, K-r should consider looking at. It's about the same size as the entry level models from other companies, but it does cost a little more due to adding things like built-in Wireless flash control, faster FPS, better/faster AF system, and better video.

The A55 used to compete only against the T2i, T3i, and D5100. Although it had plently of features to compete against the something like a 60D its handgrip made it feel to toy-ish (for lack of a better word). Now with the redesign it will appeal to a broader group of people than the A55 which it replaces.

The A65 will stay at the top of Sony's consumer line for people wanting max resolution instead of superior low light performance (which from my sales experience is a great many consumers).

Sony's APS-C SLT line, with the new A57 is better situated to compete against Canon & Nikon than it was prior to today.

0 upvotes
EinsteinsGhost
By EinsteinsGhost (Mar 13, 2012)

ogl, what do you want to understand? The A57 appears to be a logical evolution of A55 (which I own), so I should be in a position to help.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 14, 2012)

I welcome the brain power exhibited by someone at Sony Skunk Works in Nipponland to put a modest 16.1MP APS-C sensor into this Alpha 57. Instead of the huge 24.3 sensor found in the Alpha 65/77. This new baby will perform better in low light, for sure.

Main reason I did not get the Alpha 65/77 was due to the over-crowded APS-C sensor with 24.3 million photosites on it, phew... Finally, we have got a down-to-earth 16.1MP imager in a top-notch capability APS-C sensor camera, hurrah!

Other may want to spend the 100 bucks or whatever extra and get the SLT Alpha 65 instead of this Alpha 57. For me, the price Sony is going to be peddling this new one for is a bona-fide steal.

Specs above does not mention a direct DC power input jack and a direct 3.5mm external microphone input. But if you zoom onto the photos, you'll see the markings on the left size accessory jack door. A most welcome, pleasant surprise from Sony!!!

Fully articulated LCD monitor -- another amazing gift. Thanks, Sony!

0 upvotes
Matrox
By Matrox (Mar 13, 2012)

Whoa, great news!

This camera is incredible. I'm considering selling my A35 to buy it. 1080p in 60p is amazing, even Canon or Nikon don't have it :)

3 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Mar 13, 2012)

Because 1080p @ 60 FPS is not necessarily better than 1080p @ 30 FPS.

You have to shoot at 1/120th of a second shutter speed with 60 FPS footage. That is not easy to do without buying their larger and more expensive wide aperture lenses.

Also the 1080p @ 60 FPS footage in the Sony cameras has been very soft so far. Not even comparable to the Panasonic GH2's 1080p @ 30 FPS.

1080p @ 60 FPS is only good if true resolvable resolution stays high and the camera is capable of shooting at faster shutter speeds without introducing too much noise.

4 upvotes
Dan
By Dan (Mar 13, 2012)

Video in a DSLR is overrated. Noisy, abrupt AF, poor image stabilization, no powered zoom... I obsessed about it until I came to the realization that my current DSLR is just fine, so I bought a Sony HX9V which is awesome (but nowhere nearly as awesome at video as my Sony HDR-CX350V). But I guess if you're after the DOF, there's no way around it.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 14, 2012)

@ mpgxsvcd: Agreed. 60p = 60fps should be used in this camera only for slow motion effect, i.e. over-cranking. This is a Long GOP codec camera with 24Mbit/sec in 60i (30p) and only 28Mb/sec ion 60p. So yeah... the 60p image quality will not shine.

And spot-on with the shutter speed. Shooting video at 1/120th of a second shutter speed with an F/3.5-6.3 zoom lens? To be attempted only in daytime exteriors or in very well lit interiors.

BTW, DP Review specs in the above tabulation fail to mention 60i capability, which would be closest to 30p in quality.

A Dan: Video in DSLR and all other digital photo cameras are superb. In comparison to the large sensor sizes, video camcorders today use 1/6-inch, 1/6-inch. and 1/3-inch sensors, and only the creme de la creme shoulder-mounted broadcast machines costing $20,000 and up will have the 2/3-inch size sensor. Which is the largest sensor size you will find in a professional camcorder. Past that, you need to go w. a digital film camera.

0 upvotes
Dan
By Dan (Mar 26, 2012)

If you hand the average consumer a Handycam and a DSLR, I assure you that video from the Handycam will be much better. What do I mean by better? Stable. Nothing beats Sony's Steadyshot with Active Mode, and none of their large-sensor cameras have this feature except for their VG10/20. I don't doubt that you CAN get good video from a DSLR, but I certainly wouldn't grab a DSLR over a Handycam for shooting video, and of course you can have it all with the VG10/20, kind of.

0 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Mar 13, 2012)

Although this is not a high-end model, Sony should also consider using the OLED viewfinder for this camera. The color tearing effect of the phase-sequential LCD viewfinder really makes the eyes very uncomfortable; compared that with their newly developed OLED viewfinder, the new one eliminates the uncomfortable to the eyes.
Since Sony is focusing on electronic viewfinder, they should use the one which is good for the human eyes; and prevents any potential harmful to the eyes.

3 upvotes
Klipsen
By Klipsen (Mar 13, 2012)

Yes. If they were only probing the market to assess the interest in EVFs, they could be forgiven for cutting corners, but since they've committed both themselves and their users to EVFs, they ought not to use obsolete technology.

0 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Mar 13, 2012)

The advanced EVF is probably one of the more expensive components of the camera and they wanted to keep the price down, so it's understandable.

2 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Mar 13, 2012)

I guess it's because they want to differentiate their entry-level models from the enthusiast/pro-level ones. Canon, Nikon and Pentax do something similar with their DSLRs: entry-level get pentamirror OVFs, while the enthusiast/pro models get pentaprism.

1 upvote
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (Mar 13, 2012)

It's said that A57's EVF is an evolution of the one on the A55 ( higher resolution ) and I find my A55 EVF is quite good for the price ( certainly better than a "tunnel" pentamirror ). Therefore it may just be a matter of getting used to.

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 14, 2012)

Regarding the omission of the OLED EVF. Well, I played with the Alpha 55 LCD EVF and the Alpha 65 OLED EVF, and found the OLED type only marginally better. Therefore for me, the SLT Alpha 57 not having OLED and only having LCD EVF will not be any sort of a 'deal breaker' for me.

However, Sony is not stiffing you here, 'cause if you really must have the OLED EVF, just spend a mere 200 dollars more and get the Alpha 65 model. That one has the OLED EVF.

It also has the 24.3 megapixel APS-C sensor instead of this 16.1 megapixel sensor here in the new Alpha 57. Having the lower pixel count APS-C censor is actually a huge plus for me, so even if the a57 would cost the same or slightly more than the OLED EVF equipped a65 does, I would probably pick the Alpha 57 for the realistic 16.1MP sensor.

I am expecting a whole lot less noise and better low-light performance out of this one than what the a65/77 have been able to deliver so far.

0 upvotes
SDF
By SDF (Mar 13, 2012)

Man the Sony entry model DSLT cameras are getting better and not breaking the bank.

6 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Mar 13, 2012)

Where's Canikon's new models? STILL WAITING!!!

4 upvotes
artnaz
By artnaz (Mar 13, 2012)

D800 and 5DIII are announced already!

1 upvote
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Mar 13, 2012)

Do they cost $700? Do they have 12 FPS? 1080/60P? SteadyShot?

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Nismo350Z
By Nismo350Z (Mar 13, 2012)

Having in-body image stabilisation seems unlikely in the near future for Canikon but the other features are possible.

0 upvotes
BeanyPic
By BeanyPic (Mar 13, 2012)

This camera is just a toy and not a serious product. As usual Sony bring something out that will be average. As all their imaging products have been. There's never been a star product that lives up to the spec's the put up.

3 upvotes
Dan
By Dan (Mar 13, 2012)

IcyVeins, apparently Sony has wowed you by their numbers, which is exactly what they wanted to do. There are reasons why the whole world hasn't switched to Sony. Cost is pretty much the only advantage for Sony. Nikon and Canon does pretty much everything else better.

0 upvotes
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (Mar 13, 2012)

BeanyPic and Dan, have you guys ever had a latest Sony DSLR?
Read a bit more about them, try them and you may think otherwise...

2 upvotes
EinsteinsGhost
By EinsteinsGhost (Mar 13, 2012)

BeanyPic, I would bet on my toy (A55) against your "serious product". Bet on?

1 upvote
hippo84
By hippo84 (Mar 13, 2012)

Dan - Canon hasn't made anything new for years... Compare colour depth and DR - Canon sensors are the worst among all APS-C cameras. I can't see any advantage of, for example, 600D compared to A57. Video without AF or Live View with CAF? :))) By the way, what SLT have U tried? I guess, You're talking about the things without having used them.

1 upvote
mick232
By mick232 (Mar 13, 2012)

@BeanyPic: you did hear about the NEX product line, didn't you?

0 upvotes
String
By String (Mar 13, 2012)

As usual, Sony makes another product for gadget lovers while Nikon/Canon make "systems" for photographers.

0 upvotes
ZeevK
By ZeevK (Mar 13, 2012)

String, you are right! Providing less features and no innovation for years, and still demanding for more money - makes the camera "system" for photographers...

3 upvotes
String
By String (Mar 13, 2012)

Actually no ZeevK, I'm talking about buying into a system as opposed to "features". You know; thinks like glass, flash, modifiers, etc...

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 14, 2012)

@ beanyPic and Dan: I just love the assorted and sordid Canikon Lovers congregating here on these blogs, every time someone other than Canikon releases something.

Whereas Nikon is actually coming up with some cool new stuff, Canon is treading water in the old still pond. They really have nothing of any interest to match the high-tech competition sweeping by them.

@ String: Whereas I have zero clue what sort of "modifiers" Canon and Nikon are selling than nobody else does, if you go to the SonyStyle store or Sony USA or to B&H, for example, you will see that just like the Canikons, the Sony cameras also come as part of a "system:" camera bodies, optics, adapters, power options, camera flashes, video lights, microphones. Really, they do, you know.

0 upvotes
lilia24
By lilia24 (Mar 13, 2012)

too big...

4 upvotes
Gary Martin
By Gary Martin (Mar 13, 2012)

My sympathy for your teenie, tiny hands.

21 upvotes
migus
By migus (Mar 13, 2012)

Martin: This ain't about hand size... Plenty of large, muscular folks (soldiers, 'extremes' and climbers included) who crave FF sensors in compact cameras. When i run the trails in snow and fog every ounce matters. Not always can we afford to haul our gear by car, or walk casually w/ it in the park. Mitch

2 upvotes
antares103
By antares103 (Mar 13, 2012)

Then get the A35.

0 upvotes
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (Mar 13, 2012)

Well, there were lots of complains about the too small size of the "Camera of the Year" A55! Now what?

0 upvotes
morganb
By morganb (Mar 14, 2012)

@Gary Martin, my sympathies go to your significant other.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 14, 2012)

If someone does not have the required $700 or $800 pecuniary outlay for this camera, it dopes not automatically mean that there is something major-league wrong with it. Does it?

0 upvotes
tanmancs
By tanmancs (Mar 13, 2012)

I like it. Great body and features, and very affordable price 699 body. I wish they make a grip for it too.

3 upvotes
Intermittentoverexposure
By Intermittentoverexposure (Mar 13, 2012)

What I'm really anxious to see is the low-light performance. I bought an a65 as an upgrade for my a33, but returned it because it's still sooo noisy. It didn't feel like an upgrade in IQ. The 16-50mm ssm I bought at the same time helped a lot. Even with that, compared to my brother's K-5, low-light performance is still lacking. I've been looking at the a580 the last week or so even though it's older and discontinued. For $180 more I can get the K-5 though. Hopefully this is the answer though...

1 upvote
RadPhoto
By RadPhoto (Mar 13, 2012)

I think it's the SLT technology. It's not there yet.

1 upvote
ageha
By ageha (Mar 13, 2012)

The K-5 will be still better for sure.

0 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (Mar 13, 2012)

Go for the Pentax. For the money it sells nowadays you cannot gat anything better.

1 upvote
EinsteinsGhost
By EinsteinsGhost (Mar 13, 2012)

Can't speak for A65, but A77, NEX-7 (both using same 24MP sensor), and NEX-5N (probably shares sensor with A57) all rank very high in DXO ratings, at the top of the market segment, as far as high ISO performance, Color Depth and Dynamic Range go.

My A55 isn't too far behind either. I've taken considerably sharp handheld shots at 1/5s and ISO6400 in virtual darkness without much hint of noise. You just have to figure out the best settings to work with. Besides, noise is becoming less of an issue and especially with post-processing options.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Intermittentoverexposure
By Intermittentoverexposure (Mar 15, 2012)

Einstein- I don't know how you figure 801 dxomark in Sports / low light ISO to be top of the market. The K-5 comes in at 1162 and the discontinued a580 even comes in at 1121.

I suppose if you're taking pictures of statues in the dark, and you don't mind horrible noise, yes, the SLTs can do that. However you can't post-process to recover detail and sharpness that was lost due to poor ISO. The sample below at 6400 inspires one word: Yuck.

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/1807810/dsc00863?inalbum=sony-slt-a57-preview-samples

I take lots of action shots, and these camera suck at that. I understand why Sony has gone the route they have, but to ignore the customer base that wants great IQ seems short-sighted.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (May 13, 2012)

The difference between Dxomark lowlight score, ISO 800 for SLT and ISO 1150 for A580 is only 1/2 stop. To be full one stop better, A580/K-5 would have to score 1600 on dxomark, but they don't.

1/2 is not that big difference, not something you will notice in every day usage.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
NowHearThis
By NowHearThis (Mar 13, 2012)

Image for the HVL-LE1 can be found here:
http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StoreSearch?storeId=10151&langId=-1&catalogId=10551&in_dim_search=&Ntk=&Ntx=&Nrt=&Nrr=&Nrk=&Nrm=&keyword=HVL-LE1

1 upvote
LeeR
By LeeR (Mar 13, 2012)

To RadPhoto... Sigma and Tamron make some very nice lenses for Sony...

2 upvotes
RadPhoto
By RadPhoto (Mar 13, 2012)

I didn't mean it literally, but it seems to me that they do release lots of cameras with little deferences.

1 upvote
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Mar 13, 2012)

You mean differences. But who are you comparing them to, Canon? The T3i was an almost identical copy of the T2i and they haven't changed their sensor in like 3 years. Sony has come much farther technology and performance wise in the past 2 years, since they began with SLTs, than Canon. Nikon has made some decent improvements too but not any more notable than Sony, maybe even slightly less.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 14, 2012)

Canon is moving BACKWARDS compared to the others you have mentioned. They must have fired their entire R&D team save for a few stalwart oldtimers. :-((

0 upvotes
NowHearThis
By NowHearThis (Mar 13, 2012)

I really like the A65 body, glad to see that the A57 share the same design - including the larger hand grip.

5 upvotes
RadPhoto
By RadPhoto (Mar 13, 2012)

There is more Sony cameras than lenses.

16 upvotes
KingDon
By KingDon (Mar 13, 2012)

which is of course false:

Fixed focal length
http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/results.asp?IDLensType=1

Macro
http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/results.asp?IDLensType=2

Zoom
http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/results.asp?IDLensType=3

20 upvotes
Torode
By Torode (Mar 13, 2012)

*are

6 upvotes
futile32
By futile32 (Mar 13, 2012)

battle of the Likes

5 upvotes
Klipsen
By Klipsen (Mar 13, 2012)

There's a considerably larger number of current lenses than of current bodies.

The total number of lens designs also exceeds that of camera body designs by a wide margin.

2 upvotes
windmillgolfer
By windmillgolfer (Mar 13, 2012)

Ok, unless I'm blind/have missed it, what is the resolution of the EVF?

0 upvotes
Archer66
By Archer66 (Mar 13, 2012)

"With ultra-detailed 1440k dot resolution and a 100% field of view, it rivals quality optical viewfinders. There’s a choice of selectable high-resolution information displays with a wide viewing-angle to help consumers shoot with confidence, including a digital level gauge and framing grid. Information can be displayed either directly in the viewfinder or on the angle-adjustable 7.5 cm (3.0-type) Xtra Fine LCD™ display."

2 upvotes
EinsteinsGhost
By EinsteinsGhost (Mar 13, 2012)

The viewfinder is 1.44m pixel.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 14, 2012)

@ RadPhoto: you "contribution" here on the new Sony SLT Alpha 57 digital camera has been nothing short of fabulous. Well.... maybe a little less so?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 126