Previous news story    Next news story

Just Posted: Sony SLT-A57 preview with real-world and studio sample images

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

We've been able to borrow a pre-production Sony A57 and have prepared a preview that includes both real-world and studio sample images. Many of the camera's features - 16MP sensor, 1.44m dot LCD viewfinder are familiar but they all come wrapped in a larger, more comfortable body, powered by a larger battery. We've shot samples in a series of the A57's modes, including its Auto Portrait Selection Framing mode - in which the camera crops an image with a face in, in-accordance with the rule-of-thirds.

Although the A57 we borrowed is a pre-production unit, Sony has told us the image quality is final standard, so has allowed us to publish its output. Our preview includes a selection of real-world images, shot in a variety of situations, using a selection of settings and shooting modes, and under a range of lighting conditions.

211
I own it
18
I want it
26
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 63
Zastavia
By Zastavia (Mar 22, 2012)

Have had an SLT A33 for 15 months and its never once over-heated. Picture quality with kit lens is outstanding, warmer and sharper than Canon equivalent 18-55 kit lens. Also close-up focus is outstanding making a near-macro lens. EVF is an absolute delight and I cannot imagine going back to an ovf and having no real-time feedback on exposure and when changing metering etc. Also live view is phase-detection and is ultra-fast, leaving canon and nikon in the dust. HD movies with auto-focus and stereo sound, but most impressive of all is the speed of this camera and the image quality from the sensor, not to mention the amazing results of in-built stabiliser. I am very much considering the A57 if I can sell my A33 on and gather the rest of the money. I have no idea why people think micro m4/3rd is better! The iq from SONY's sensors is outstanding...thats why nikon uses them. My only gripe is the price of the A57...

2 upvotes
nenoanen
By nenoanen (Mar 16, 2012)

Any chance you could test the A57 for overheating?

I'm planning to get a GH2 for amateur videography but Sony seems to have a wider selection of lenses. The only major issue I see with their cameras is overheating, something that only Panasonic have been able to solve. Even though the GH2 (and even the GH1), has a better IQ and detail, the SLTs' better amateur-friendly autofocus and wider lens selection and even the larger body would suit my needs better. If Sony has managed to solve the 20-30 minute overheating limit for video recording, I'm gonna wait for the A57.

1 upvote
Artpt
By Artpt (Mar 16, 2012)

I understand the reservation with purchase. It seems like an investment that is hard to transition out once the cost of lenses and accessories are accounted for. The same can be said for loyalty to the brand after such a commitment.

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

The a57 will probably will have less sensor heating than any of Sony's other SLT models out there now. BUT -- if you are doing a 3-hour concert or whatnot, alternating between 2 camera bodies is probably a good idea.

Alpha-mount lens line-up is a good 8-10-times better than what is out there for M4/3s, especially when it comes to zoom optics.

I'm getting this Alpha 57 primarily for its improved video capabilities and as a "Thank You" note to Sony for having the guts to come out with a brand new APS-C sensor camera that only has a 16MP imager.
Only way for me NOT to get the a57 would be if by next month, Panasonic would be releasing an amazing DMC-GH3. I am pretty sure video in that one will be sublime.

0 upvotes
Artpt
By Artpt (Mar 14, 2012)

Hi...new to the forum, are these images in standard compression or fine with the given samples? I use a GH1 and love the articulated LCD, for casual photos and video....interesting camera review so far.

Thank you!

Art

0 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Mar 14, 2012)

SLT-A99... when?

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 19, 2012)

SLT-A57... in April.

0 upvotes
rsf3127
By rsf3127 (Mar 14, 2012)

I am really satisfied for leaving Canon for Sony Alpha a couple of years ago.
No other brand seems to make major advances in the technology of their products recently.
For me, this affordable camera has the same IQ than some of the flagship from Canikon and much better than their products in the same price point.

4 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Mar 14, 2012)

Not quite. The raw studio samples of this camera have about the same level of high ISO noise than Panasonic G1X which has a m4/3 sensor.

EOS 600D has better shadow detail at 3200 ISO.

0 upvotes
ashwins
By ashwins (Mar 14, 2012)

Not quite rsf, Sony's Translucent Mirror system (SLT), is limiting the high ISO performance (although has some nice benefits at the same time).

2 upvotes
bookmatch
By bookmatch (Mar 13, 2012)

I'd appreciate some advice. I was just about to order an A65, after a couple of months of research. Now I see the A57 preview, and I'm torn. The one complaint I'd seen about the A65 was the 24 megapixel density of the sensor, which some people felt gave increased noise. So, it seems like the A57 possibly has a better sensor, while the A65 has a better viewfinder. How much of a difference between the two sensors is there likely to be in terms of image quality?

0 upvotes
rsf3127
By rsf3127 (Mar 14, 2012)

Check the viewfinder.
Yet, I would go for the a57.
Same IQ, lower price.
Unless you really need that GPS...

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Mar 14, 2012)

No the high ISO noise performance between the A77, A65, and the A55 is virtually identical. The two 24 mp sensor have slightly better DR. Between the A65 and A57 I'd probably choose the A65, as it seems the least expensive way to get Sony's flagship, highest resolution APS-C 24 mp sensor that's in the NEX7, A77, and A65.

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
1 upvote
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Mar 14, 2012)

As long as you're shooting in daylight or in well lit interiors you should have no problems. If you use a flash... again, no problem. All those pixels with current technology do have issues at super-high ASA's. I would go for more pixels.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
EricoftheNorth
By EricoftheNorth (Mar 14, 2012)

The viewfinder completely DESTROYS the a55 unit. I have an a55 and have to open the rear screen to check exposure and color after a shot. The a65/77/nex 7 you can check it in the viewfinder. Huge difference.

0 upvotes
Aaron MC
By Aaron MC (Mar 13, 2012)

I am happy with this camera. I didn't much like the A77 because of noticeable degredation in sharpness and ISO quality in comparison to the same sensor in the NEX-7. I don't know what they have done, but they appear to have licked the sharpness issue, and the ISO problem is small enough to not matter.

I run the risk of sounding like a Sony fanboy, which is funny since I don't own any of their gear, but bravo, Sony. Bravo.

1 upvote
Tape5
By Tape5 (Mar 13, 2012)

Digital zooming nearly equivalent to optical zooming?
Well, like De Niro said ,'' You're talking to me?''

0 upvotes
Kirppu
By Kirppu (Mar 13, 2012)

What is this :D "shoot 1080p video at 60 or 24 fps (50 or 25 on European models)" European users get 10fps less... for why, how hard it's to make settings NTSC/PAL to the video settings menu?

Marketing department has been taken of the leash "Sony's statement that the quality of this digital zooming is 'nearly equivalent' to optical zooming" or they have really come up with some revolutionaly upscale method.

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

It has something to do with US vs Europe video standards...

http://www.paradiso-design.net/videostandards_en.html

1 upvote
Kirppu
By Kirppu (Mar 14, 2012)

Jeah I know that, but the camera can clearly support both, so why handicap it this way and not just make both videomodes available?
I have the understandin that most of the tv-sets support both formats now days.

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

60 Hertz vs. 50 Hertz AC mains. Of course you can have the frame rate selectable in the camera. But Sony won't do that for you.

Just go on the Sony Professional web site. They still have tape-based VTRs listed there for sale that cost US$45,000 for the NTSC video standard. Then, you also need to get the PAL version of it for even more money than that. Seriously.

0 upvotes
Stefan Fuhrmann
By Stefan Fuhrmann (Mar 13, 2012)

No micro AF adjust (I think, not mentioned anywhere, and missing on the 65 as well), so not relevant unfortunately. Also, if Sony wants to push eletronic viewfinders, then they should just avoid the lesser variants and give all models the best technology available.

1 upvote
Dennis
By Dennis (Mar 13, 2012)

According to that logic, shouldn't the companies trying to "push" optical viewfinders avoid the lesser (small pentamirror) variants and give all models the best technology available ?

6 upvotes
EinsteinsGhost
By EinsteinsGhost (Mar 13, 2012)

Tape5, from what I gather, the digital zoom is for manual focus assist only. On A55, I have 7x-14x zoom option. Looks like there are improvements to that in the A57, which would only be welcome (since I use 7x zoom a lot with manual focus lenses). Additionally, focus peaking (which my A55 doesn't have), would also have a new friend for fine tuning the focus. Whether it matches (or not) optical zoom isn't worth sweating on.

0 upvotes
itev
By itev (Mar 14, 2012)

Yes, nowadays who wants pay for a camera without micro focus adjustment ?

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 15, 2012)

@itev

People who just want to get pics of their kids and have no idea what an f stop is let alone micro focus adjustment. You know, the majority of people who buy cameras.

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

What is this "micro focus adjustment," anyhow?

0 upvotes
BeanyPic
By BeanyPic (Mar 13, 2012)

What an average camera. If your serious about IQ at this type of price stay away from this new Sony Camera. All they seem to have done is push spec out without considering IQ. What a complete waist of their time.

0 upvotes
aim120
By aim120 (Mar 13, 2012)

Are you high.

8 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Mar 13, 2012)

It seems to have the same sensor as the A55, D7000, K-5. What are you talking about "if your (sic) serious about IQ"? This group of cameras with the Sony 16mp CMOS sensor have class leading IQ.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
11 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Mar 13, 2012)

''What a complete waist of their time.''
Yeah, I wonder what Sony's waist to hip ratio is.

3 upvotes
Aaron MC
By Aaron MC (Mar 13, 2012)

Yeah, I'm confused. The images appear very good to me. The light loss from the ST mirror appears to barely effect the IQ, which is great.

0 upvotes
ZeevK
By ZeevK (Mar 13, 2012)

Just compare the IQ with the 1200$ D7000 or 60D and see how far from reality your comments are.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 19, 2012)

@ BeanyPic: "What a complete waist of their time."

Yes, your waist line is indeed bloating, and your are wasting time for us as well, to boot. Nasty...

0 upvotes
JayJackson
By JayJackson (Mar 13, 2012)

Clever design and innovations aside the IQ isn't terribly impressive, and almost all of the images look underexposed.

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

Why don't you take up the cello, then?

0 upvotes
Ace Disgrace
By Ace Disgrace (Mar 13, 2012)

I really admire how Sony is doing great specs for a budget priced camera. one thing that is holding me back is the hot shoe [having to put an adapter to it makes it look like a tower] and the ridiculous positioning of the swivel LCD. but still the inside is a mean machine. i will patiently wait for your future release Sony!

0 upvotes
NorthwestF
By NorthwestF (Mar 13, 2012)

The studio samples (especially jpegs) look better than A55, D5100 and 60D.

2 upvotes
ashwins
By ashwins (Mar 13, 2012)

Very aggressive jpg compression... loss of details.

1 upvote
NorthwestF
By NorthwestF (Mar 13, 2012)

aggressive or not, the IQ and detail is sill better than A55, D5100 and 60D.

0 upvotes
harumpel
By harumpel (Mar 13, 2012)

Agree, studio samples look better!

1 upvote
ZeevK
By ZeevK (Mar 13, 2012)

Looks to me Sony figured-out correctly the JPEG engine parameters, providing a correct ballsnce between "cleanliness" and details. As a A700 and A850 DSLR user, I am really glad to see that now I can get a DSLT that can provide me with same High-ISO IQ as my NEX-5n.

But I will probabely wait for the A99...

2 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.

2 upvotes
SDF
By SDF (Mar 13, 2012)

A65 body with 16MP sensor?

Hmmm maybe we will see a NEX-7 body with 16 MP sensor soon. :P

4 upvotes
Sekura Drops
By Sekura Drops (Mar 13, 2012)

It is like 5N with VF added on it

1 upvote
Uri Ben
By Uri Ben (Mar 13, 2012)

Its not like the 5n - its less, 5n has better IQ at any light level.

0 upvotes
Winston Loo
By Winston Loo (Mar 13, 2012)

@uri
But at least this has lenses. The 5n doesn have many lenses. So i think this is much better than the NEX 5n

0 upvotes
h0tsauce
By h0tsauce (Mar 13, 2012)

the 5n can use any lenses this a57 use, with the adapter.

2 upvotes
ebrandon
By ebrandon (Mar 13, 2012)

The first comment about how getting a bunch of great features for less $$$ is "major BS" is the single dumbest thing I've seen in almost a decade on DPReview.

9 upvotes
tanmancs
By tanmancs (Mar 13, 2012)

What a lovely surprised. I like it. Hopefully no more delays on the pre-order.

2 upvotes
rttew
By rttew (Mar 13, 2012)

so, sony, how many firmware updates will it take to get this one right???

1 upvote
hippo84
By hippo84 (Mar 13, 2012)

Any problem with A57? Or a stupid joke?

1 upvote
Archer66
By Archer66 (Mar 13, 2012)

Probably a lot less than Canon to get it right with 7D .

1 upvote
RawthenticFilms
By RawthenticFilms (Mar 13, 2012)

this is a kick in the balls for any A77 user, most of the A77's unique features are no available in a camera that is selling for less than $900.00 that is some major BS!

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

That's true.

So long as you don't value the magnesium alloy build, twin dials, extra resolution, greater articulation of the rear screen, higher res viewfinder... (off the top of my head)

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
15 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (Mar 13, 2012)

Also more AF points (including more cross AF points) and far more external buttons.

3 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Mar 13, 2012)

@RawthenticFilms - if that's your simple-minded attitude, then expect to be kicked in the balls for the rest of your camera-purchasing life because new models are constantly being updated and upgraded with better features for less money. LOL.

6 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Mar 13, 2012)

If you think the A57 is just as good then sell the A77 (it's still going for $1400 new) and make a nice profit for a camera that for you is just as good.

1 upvote
Eleson
By Eleson (Mar 13, 2012)

Nothing new in that. In the film days any camera regardless of price could hold the same film and mount the same lens.
But there was still people buying the Nikon F3 and F4 ...

1 upvote
CFynn
By CFynn (Mar 13, 2012)

Happens all the time. The Nikon D5100 has better video features than the much more expensive D7000. I guess you'd say that was a kick in the balls forD7000 users.

0 upvotes
mbot
By mbot (Mar 14, 2012)

Value for money wise, the a57 is brilliant, it is better cost wise and feature wise than both a D5100 and a 600D, but i can't see Canon and Nikon sitting back and taking this lying down, the a57 has the potential to do some serious damage to both Canon and Nikon's reputation, and market share. However, i myself am not happy with Sony's decision to put a compromised LCD viewfinder, i'm quite annoyed about that, but all in all, the a57 will be huge. I myself am seriously considering the Olympus OMD EM-5 as an alternative, go do a comparison with the initial release test shots here on Dpreview and compare the shots side by side with the 5DmkIII, the new Olympus OMD usurps the Canon easily right up to ISO3200, go look at it yourself, make sure you look at the Olympus shots with Noise Reduction switched off, and look how the noise is not only lower, but the grain structure is superior, and the colours more accurate, plus the per-pixel sharpness beats out the 5DmkIII, quite amazing really.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 19, 2012)

@ mbot: You are buying all seven of those camera brand you had just mentioned?

0 upvotes
sam051
By sam051 (Mar 24, 2012)

It's a Very fantastic post.Great information,I got lucky and found your site from a random Google search.Read all your articles from weary and your writing very attractive waiting to continue.Thanks.

<a href="http://www.logodesignsstudio.com">Logo design company</a>

0 upvotes
Total comments: 63