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Just Posted: Sony Alpha SLT-A57 review

By dpreview staff on Sep 14, 2012 at 00:00 GMT

Just Posted: Our review of the Sony Alpha SLT-A57. The A57 replaces the A55 which co-launched Sony's translucent fixed-mirror SLT lineup. While the A57 retains the same 16MP resolution of its predecessor, it inherits an impressive host of features from more recent NEX and SLT models. A 10fps full resolution burst mode, manual focus 'peaking' and class-leading 1080p60 video headline the specs of a beginner-friendly DSLR that, on paper, stacks up very well against the competition. At a street price of $700 with kit lens, is the A57 a compelling alternative for users looking for an affordable and versatile DSLR? Read our in-depth review to find out.

211
I own it
18
I want it
26
I had it
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Comments

Total comments: 235
12
costinvlad
By costinvlad (8 months ago)

Hi all i own a SLT A57 and recently bought a Tamron 60mm f2 macro for her ....the problem is in manual focus camer still does autofocus i tried everything and even when i switch both lens and camera to MF still does autofocus !! I don't have this problem with other lenses and i tried the Tamron with my older A100 and in the MF mode it works great there..... Any ideas?!

0 upvotes
James A Rinner
By James A Rinner (Sep 16, 2012)

Interesting statement they made when they compared it to other cameras. "and only lags (in image quality) behind the very impressive Micro Four Thirds Olympus OM-D E-M5." What is Olympus doing so well that the smaller sensor out performs this larger one?

0 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 17, 2012)

They're talking about JPEG, which Olympus has always done well. This quote is found on the JPEG comparison page, and does contradict their other overly-stern phrasing of 'mediocre JPEGs' in the Conclusion/Pros/Cons.

Olympus doesn't make the 16MP m4/3 sensor, and it doesn't ultimately quite stack up (RAW) vs the 16.1MP Sony APS-C.

0 upvotes
James A Rinner
By James A Rinner (Sep 18, 2012)

Hmmm...I don't see that except their is less noise on the Sony from ISO 3200 and above, but there is also less detail on the Sony versus the Olympus.

0 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 19, 2012)

They're talking about JPEG (base ISO) where the A57 lags behind the OM-D, and it does. The Oly is also using the 50mm 2.0 Macro vs. the Sony 50mm 1.8, whatever that might mean. Anyway, base ISO JPEG is where I'd expect the pricier OM-D to shine.

As for RAW, the OM-D is well behind the A57 in chroma noise above ISO-800 (check the graph on the noise comparison page).

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Charrick
By Charrick (Sep 19, 2012)

I guess Olympus should be lucky that they could get Sony to make the sensor for their OM-D. It is quite amazing (especially considering that it's smaller). I guess Sony can't be accused of selling its rivals inferior sensors...

1 upvote
James A Rinner
By James A Rinner (Sep 19, 2012)

There is definately more noise in the m4/3 but there also more detail and since this is a Sony sensor I am asking the question; what is Olympus doing so well that the smaller sensor out performs this larger one?

0 upvotes
aim120
By aim120 (Sep 20, 2012)

Look at file size of olympus jpegs both from in camera jpeg to jpeg got from raw,the file size is much higher then the competition and it has always been that way.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Sep 20, 2012)

And it does not rob the light with the translucent mirror which is always in the way.

0 upvotes
Octo
By Octo (Sep 16, 2012)

Why the jpg size of the sample is 4.8 mb against the 6.8mb of the k30? Maybe
Excessive compression is related to the softness of jpgs? I usually set +2in
Sharpness and +1 in saturation, what are your best settings?

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Sep 16, 2012)

DPR, there is something wrong with your DR widget. There are only curves visible.

0 upvotes
Lofi
By Lofi (Sep 16, 2012)

Does it overheat?

0 upvotes
Myari
By Myari (Sep 16, 2012)

This is covered in the review

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-alpha-slt-a57/9

"Sony claims the A57 is free of the overheating concerns during movie shooting that affected the A55 (recording times could drop as low as 6 min at 30°C with SteadyShot switched on). Sony estimates the A57 can shoot for its full 29 minutes at 30°C, dropping to 13 minutes only when the ambient temperature rises to 40°C."

3 upvotes
PhotoKhan
By PhotoKhan (Sep 16, 2012)

I don't get it...all that "real-estate" to the right of the individual items evaluation bars and, still, it gets a "golden award"?

The only individual item where it seems to shine is "Movie / Video mode" whereas something as critical as "Image quality (jpeg) " gets 8/14...far from gold.

This is still a photography site, right?

PK

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
aim120
By aim120 (Sep 16, 2012)

It still outscores the competition in still quality.

2 upvotes
PhotoKhan
By PhotoKhan (Sep 16, 2012)

Broccoli taste "outscores" that of castor oil...It doesn't make it "golden" though...

The A57 outscores the Canon EOS Rebel T4i by, exactly, 1%.

...but the Canon got a Silver Award, which feels just about right, whereas a Golden Award here just does not articulate with the review own findings.

It is hard enough to be a reviewer. They shouldn't shoot themselves in their congruency feet, making things even harder.

Also, they should have always present that manufacturers love these "awards" to stamp them in their ads pages. Any "why, ifs or buts" that might be a factor don't make it there.

2 upvotes
John Koch
By John Koch (Sep 16, 2012)

The a57 is "gold" to anyone without the "plata" to buy an RX1, D7000, GH3, OMD, or even a T4i.

0 upvotes
zos xavius
By zos xavius (Sep 16, 2012)

I'm convinced that dpreview is a sony fansite sometimes...but I could be wrong. I wouldn't place too much worry into their retarded scoring system. Go to dxo and look at some sensor stats for the slt-a55 and that's probably all you need to know. Its a great sensor, but I'm not a fan of the slt design personally. There is obvious loss of detail and resolution due to the design as well as loss of light. It seems like a high tech hack with too many compromises when you have mirrorless solutions that do the same basic task but without any of those compromises. I'll stick to the cameras with real mirrors thank you very much. I'm more than ok with the compromises they have. Seriously. I don't get these slt cameras at all. Why compromise IQ for a hybrid view finder?

1 upvote
aim120
By aim120 (Sep 16, 2012)

@PhotoKhan , Zos Xavius
You forget that the A57 is overall superior to the competition in many ways much bigger viewfinder,superior AF in videos,very good sensor,good battery life,tilt screen,focus peaking,12fps for a bargain price and top it with good image quality.
if you can't digest the fact it got a gold award cry home to your mommy.

What has the canon t4i got poor AF in videos,inferior FPS,inferior video,inferior image quality,inferior battery life.higher price,a much smaller dim OVF.
It however does have a touch screen.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
11 upvotes
zos xavius
By zos xavius (Sep 16, 2012)

@aim120: the k-30 has nice 100% pentaprism viewfinder weather sealing, the same sensor essentially, focus peaking, 7fps, battery life for about 1000 shots.... It costs about the same. Its AF is the same as the k-5 which, I think only sports shooters would find lacking. I could care less about video personally, but the k-30 does 1080p/30 at least with full manual control. The k-5 isn't so awful in the video department either to be honest. Just no shutter control. I don't think the t4i is a good camera at all personally and I certainly am not a fan of any of nikon's crippled entry level bodies.

1 upvote
aim120
By aim120 (Sep 16, 2012)

Well if the K30 is good ,then no doubt it will get a gold award.

0 upvotes
PhotoKhan
By PhotoKhan (Sep 16, 2012)

aim120, the unnecessary meta-insult is border line, under my standards. Still, I will reply, for now:

The review own findings, themselves, contradict the final Golden Award.

Is this succinct and to-the-point enough for you?

PK

1 upvote
aim120
By aim120 (Sep 16, 2012)

PhotoKhan
Please provide the review own finding .
If you are talking about jpeg,see the studio comparison shots in dpreview and imagingresource.com compared to the competition from canon and nikon its better.

Even the gold award winning canon 5Dmk3 has the following cons
"Destructive noise reduction results in mushy JPEGs, even at base ISO"
"Visible sharpening artifacts at default settings"
"Heavy-handed noise reduction leads to lack of low-contrast detail at higher ISOs."

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Myari
By Myari (Sep 16, 2012)

K30 isn't free of problems. The focus peaking on K30 is disabled during video mode. K30 cannot AF in video mode either. The audio is mono, but there is no mic input. A57 has stereo builtin mic and mic input, both. The battery life is low on K30 for a DSLR. K30 doesn't have 1080p60. K30 doesn't have articulating screen like A57. K30's jpegs are not good with low DR in jpegs -- that part of K30 review was posted by DPR a week ago

The RAW buffer on K30 is much smaller than A57 (something like 8 for K30 vs 21 for A57), despite lower frame rate (6 for K30 vs 10 with full resolution on A57). K30 doesn't have hand-held multi-shot NR, no incamera panorama, and other nice software stuff like that ..

And K30 launch price was $100 to $200 higher than A57 ..

A57 is a one good camera for the price. A class on it's own. Anyone claiming it doesn't deserve gold is just a troll from other brand

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Banhmi
By Banhmi (Sep 16, 2012)

The A57 may only receive a marginally higher score than the T4i, but you have to consider that it costs ~20% less too. In DPR's words, "the A57 is an excellent camera at a compelling price, and as such it earns our top honor, the Gold Award."

3 upvotes
Thomas W CK
By Thomas W CK (Sep 16, 2012)

There is so many comments on the Gold award of A57
But do you notice that A57 is classified into entry level under DPR
In this class, A57 surely has a superior performance over others
I think that is why A57 got a gold award, and i do agree with DPR that A57 is a very good entry level camera

When compared the test photo in DPR, it is easily found that the RAW, Hi ISO, performance of A57 is even in a very good quality in Mid level,

So, according to its pricing, it deserve the gold award

3 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 17, 2012)

The amount of fanboy whining that the A57 award is in itself is 'Gold'.

I paid $650 for mine, found a $20 thrift store 50mm 1.7 Minolta AF and so far it churns out excellent sharp JPEG with the right settings and extremely clean ISO-1600. Steadyshot + 50mm 1.7 + 1600 = fantastic low light performance, and the camera is blazing fast. After owning Oly, Panasonic, Nikon and Canon I can see why this got gold. If you haven't used it, you're just talking out your fanboy posterior.

0 upvotes
cesaregal
By cesaregal (Sep 16, 2012)

DPR: "At base ISO, the SLT-A57 displays accurate colors, pleasing contrast and renders high-contrast edges with a minimal degree of sharpening-induced halos".
It seems better than all other DSRL in the market (see studio scene comparison JPEG in particular the eyes of the girl in the right hand).
A good in-camera processing, lack of mirror's vibrations and SteadyShot image stabilization probably can help.
Very interesting camera!

4 upvotes
zos xavius
By zos xavius (Sep 16, 2012)

is mirror vibration really that much of an issue? I mean they make these things called tripods. I routinely get very sharp shots at 1/10-1/20 (edit) handheld with my k-7 which has inbuilt stabilization as well. Mirror slap and all.....

The only speeds where the mirror slap causes harmonic resonance (which is common to all mirror designs) is between 1/50-120 or so. Its just something to be aware of. I usually take two shots at higher shutter speeds and three or so at lower ones. Usually at least one is sharp where I have mirror induced blur. To be honest, anything below 1/100 has a far better chance of being tack sharp on a tripod. SR is good for compensating, but nothing beats a completely stable camera.

edit: I must also add that with dslrs I've shot down to 1/4 with bracing and had nice sharp results. I never could do that with my mirrorless lightweight bridge camera because it had no weight to help stabilize it. I never could get much below 1/10 with that one.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Sep 17, 2012)

Interesting theories, but with my bridge cameras I've shot sharp shots at 1/2s at the equiv. of 430 and 504mm, handheld. Good luck trying that with anything that is a DSLR and involves a mechanical shutter.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
1 upvote
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Sep 15, 2012)

With substandard JPEG IQ (as per dpr) AND for an introductory DSLR user, it seems the dpr reviewers must have scored lots of points tossing this cam into a basket 20' away.

1 upvote
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 15, 2012)

Another troll.

No, that isn't quite what they said. The A57 JPEGs may not be the sharpest at default settings but I've owned two E-Pens and several other DSLRs. Now, my A57 for over two weeks and the JPEGs aren't bad at all. Just bump saturation and sharpness by +1.

6 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 15, 2012)

Another camera defender! LOL!

0 upvotes
aim120
By aim120 (Sep 15, 2012)

Diehard troll

4 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 15, 2012)

Let's see: 'defender' in this case are those who own the camera and may well have owned more cameras of varied manufacture than you. 'troll' in this case are about three people with so much time in their hands that they're spamming these review comments about how bad A57 JPEGs are...when they have zero experience with the camera at all and go strictly on one offhand remark by DPR despite a gold award). Oh, one picked one up for a minute at Best Buy. My bad.

Wow, people will clearly be torn between the two camps.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
6 upvotes
Thomas W CK
By Thomas W CK (Sep 15, 2012)

SONY A57 deserve the Gold award

7 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Sep 15, 2012)

I think dpreview will soon have to create a platinum award for all the camera's that are going to outdo this one. Looking forward to it.

3 upvotes
mick232
By mick232 (Sep 15, 2012)

The award represents the situation on the market at the time it is awarded. It doesn't have to consider whatever camera may be released at future times.

3 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 15, 2012)

I never realized there was so much Sony hate on this site.

5 upvotes
photo_oasis
By photo_oasis (Sep 15, 2012)

The review criteria should be technology agnostic and time less, so 78% is a fair 78%, not a floating benchmark based on technology and market to avoid any subjective opinions especially those commercially endorsed. Can dpreview publish benchmark criteria and testing process?

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Sep 15, 2012)

Reviews are *subjective* by nature. If the scores were time agnostic, every couple of years you will have cameras that go well above 100%. This isn't dxomark.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
1 upvote
D1N0
By D1N0 (Sep 15, 2012)

I'm not talking about new camera's but ones that are already there. @sensibill when you perceive the slightest hint of critiscism as hate you must be a bearded Sony fanatic with a scimitar.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 15, 2012)

Problem is when it's not a criticism but rather blind repeating of slight issues and making a dragon from the mouse. Not even saying about simple blind hate towards camera and looking for issues in strong points of it or totally forgetting that other manufacturers in similar price tag do much worse.

1 upvote
D1N0
By D1N0 (Sep 15, 2012)

@Plastek Problem is you haven't read what I said at all, talking about blind assumptions.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Sep 16, 2012)

Dino I know you are a Pentax fanboy with a long history of leaving sarcastic comments on all non Pentax cameras. I have seen you around. A57 got gold. K01 got nothing. Both well deserved

1 upvote
D1N0
By D1N0 (Sep 16, 2012)

@ET2 You are an impudent little brat going around calling everybody with critical remarks fanboy. maybe you should use some real arguments for a change.

0 upvotes
pentaxination
By pentaxination (Sep 15, 2012)

It is laughable that the Raw files used here look to have far more chroma noise that the a55 output. First, I abhor chroma noise. Secondly, how can you post this comparison and then fail to acknowledge this difference?

1 upvote
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 15, 2012)

The A57 doesn't exhibit more chroma noise at all. The graph and comparisons (and studio shots) show slightly less than the A55 across the board.

But then, you name is 'pentaxination', so...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 43 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
zos xavius
By zos xavius (Sep 16, 2012)

sensibill: yeah, its too bad pentax took the same sensor and got better results out of it than the sensors own manufacturer. Yeah, pentax sucks.

I just looked at the noise comparisons and pentaxination is right. Def more chroma noise. It looks like the a55 is smoothing the raw even at down to iso200. There is more detail in the newer sensor, but at the expense of more chroma noise. Chroma noise is no fun! Luma noise at least looks more like film grain if processed properly. Blotchy colors suck.

0 upvotes
aim120
By aim120 (Sep 16, 2012)

Well you forget its a SLT camera the ISO is boosted to compensate for 1/3 stop disadvantage of translucent mirror

Look at the NEX5n it has the same sensor its better then the A57 in higher ISO,the same applies to the pentax K30.

But the SLT has other advantages faster FPS,fast PDAF when using live view in lcd and video ,these are the advantages which outweigh the disadvantage.

2 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Sep 16, 2012)

Since K30 (Like all Penrax cameras) use RAW noise reduction, I will ignore that. Yes, 5N is exactly 1/2 stop better but this is trade off. A57 offers more lens option and better AF tracking for sports/kids etc.

1 upvote
zos xavius
By zos xavius (Sep 17, 2012)

The pentax raw nr only kicks in @ 3200. Most manufacturers are cooking raws @ high isos. Troll away! The k-5 has cleaner iso 1600 than this camera with no raw nr being applied. Draw your own conclusions.

0 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 17, 2012)

So the K-5, which has been said to have the best high ISO performance of any APS-C camera, has slightly cleaner ISO-1600 than the A57 and then starts applying destructive NR at 3200.

..What's your point, again?

0 upvotes
Mannypr
By Mannypr (Sep 15, 2012)

I concur with RedFox88 . I'm not saying that DPreview doesn't have credibility . If that were true I would not be reading their reviews . But a camera that has vague JPG output does not deserve a gold award . Maybe a silver award would be more for it . In any event it does seem to be a really nice camera and for the price it's feature set is great .

2 upvotes
Myari
By Myari (Sep 15, 2012)

If jpegs are so bad, why Nikon D7000's and D5100's jpegs look worse than A57 in DPR studio shots? Hmm ... Something to wonder about. Jpegs can't really be that bad, can they?

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
11 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 15, 2012)

Cause they are from Nikon. And this is Sony. Sony is worse then Nikon, period.
Lol :D

2 upvotes
aim120
By aim120 (Sep 15, 2012)

Look at studio shots from both DPreview and imaging resource the Sony A57 jpegs are superior to the competition from nikon and canon,its only inferior to that of the Sony own NEX-5n.

12 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 15, 2012)

Does DPR have any credibility left? Giving a "gold award" to a camera that has "mediocre JPGs with mushy details". Yikes! And yes the majority of users of this camera will probably be shooting JPG as RAW is for those with lots of time of who many are on here but most shooters don't have time for RAW nor internet forums.

What good are silver and gold awards if 66% of reviews get one!?! Sony uses them for magazine ads to convince buyers their products are good. Canon and Nikon don't need to advertise awards for buyers to know their stuff is good. ;)

1 upvote
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Sep 15, 2012)

Well no they don't if you are only looking at one single aspect of a cameras performance. But I think they do have plenty of creditbility because the camera was judged on multiple criteria, not just one aspect. Just remember that its easy to forget everything else when you have tunnel vision, as you apparently do. Every camera has its quirks but not all cameras are as well rounded. That's why it got a Gold award.

Use your head.

C

9 upvotes
Charrick
By Charrick (Sep 15, 2012)

cgarrard is completely right, of course.

Being pretentious doesn't make you right, RedFox88, although many people who comment on this website seem to think it does.

3 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 15, 2012)

Who says 'the majority of A57 users will be shooting JPG'..? Anyone buying a camera like this who isn't at least passing familiar with RAW processing is throwing money away. I own an A57 and while I don't think the JPEGs are bad at all (look at the comparisons), I shoot mostly RAW. Having come from most recently from an NX200 and T2i, I think I can safely say this camera has solid IQ performance.

Sounds to me like someone was just looking for a reason to criticize the A57 getting Gold.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
8 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Sep 15, 2012)

Since RedFox is a Canon fanboy, three of the cons on 5D Matk III were

* Destructive noise reduction results in mushy JPEGs, even at base ISO
* Visible sharpening artifacts at default settings
* Heavy-handed noise reduction leads to lack of low-contrast detail at higher ISOs

I wonder why he wasn't protesting the Gold award for 5D Mark III

17 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 15, 2012)

That's because you're in the "DPR" bubble which is not representative of camera users as a whole. In my local camera club, of those that use an SLR it's about 50/50 JPG to RAW shooters. But if you go to the masses, which are parents soccer moms, it'll be the vast majority JPG as they don't have time to tinker with RAW developing. They buy a camera to deliver good JPGs.

0 upvotes
aim120
By aim120 (Sep 15, 2012)

RedFox
You still haven't answered to ET2 above post on 5dmk3.

1 upvote
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Sep 19, 2012)

He won't either because he knows his view is flawed as evidenced above and few people admit fault publicly.

C

0 upvotes
James A Rinner
By James A Rinner (Sep 14, 2012)

Interesting statement they made when they compared it to other cameras. "and only lags behind the very impressive Micro Four Thirds Olympus OM-D E-M5."

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Sep 14, 2012)

Well I suppose one would need to find out in what context an A57 lags behind an E-M5. Certainly, if you need solid AF Tracking, it would be an E-M5 that's lagging behind the A57. If your talking about low-light, high ISO performance, you might find both lag behind other cameras in the test like the Pentax. If your talking HDSLR video performance, the better codec and frame rates of the A57 would put it ahead of the others. The point is a statement of ranking like DPRs needs context to have any meaning.

5 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

Boy, oh boy, if one lives long enough. Since when is an AVCHD codec that everybody else under the Sun also uses "better" in a Sony A57 than in any other AVCHD codec camera, marike6?

I guess there is no reason to be even a little bit factual here, hmmm?'

I was under the impression that Sony was selling decent cameras at great prices, but ever since they decided to price out their Alpha 99 at $2,800 versus the Nikon D600's $2,100 price, I am no longer sure.

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 15, 2012)

Why is that? A99 is by far better camera then D600, it's a competition for Canon 5D mk3 - and it's priced accordingly. D600 might be a competition for A89 if it ever gets released.

4 upvotes
James A Rinner
By James A Rinner (Sep 16, 2012)

marike6,
It was under the jpeg image tests, which is pretty obviouswhen you compare the files.

0 upvotes
James A Rinner
By James A Rinner (Sep 16, 2012)

Right here under image quality...
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-alpha-slt-a57/16

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

"If you want to take advantage of the A57's full-time AF during video, you'll have to shoot in program AE mode, at which point the camera will not select an aperture smaller than the lens' maximum (or f/3.5, in lenses with a maximum aperture greater than f/4). This simply reflects the fact that the AF system will stop working if the aperture is stopped-down smaller than f/5.6."

The way I read this, the Sony Alpha 57 is an autofocus camera -- provided you are shooting at high noon on the beach.

Autofocus will STOP WORKING when iris gets to F5.6 or below, although text also states that AF will always force the lens to its maximum wide open aperture, which F3.5.

Not much use overall then, is it? And this is the SAME LIMITATION that the $2,800 priced Alpha 99 also has, correct?

Supposedly with Nikon D600 AF will happily keep on focusing down to F8.0.

Oh well, at least you can shoot video w. the A57 in manual mode, that's something.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Sep 14, 2012)

D600 AF in video mode, even if it does AF in video mode, would be even worse than $100 p&s cameras ...

A57 has a far superior AF during the video, despite the limitation, than D600 or any other DSR

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Sep 14, 2012)

Here is D7000 AF during video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1FdFkhg8e0

D600 would be similar.

Compare that to DPR's A57 video samples . It's not even close. D600 AF during video will be junk ..

7 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

@ ET2: I love how you were able to find a camera moron's hilarious video clip on You Tube and presented it here as "Exhibit A" about the Downfall of the Nikon Empire.

Why is Sony AF better than Nikon D600 AF? Because the Sony press release/hype says that it is?

Also, not everyone is spending money on a camera just because it has autofocus.

Sorry, I am just not buying how a $670 camera like the Alpha 57 is suddenly going to be so superior to a $2,100 camera, just because you (and who else?) says so.

0 upvotes
Charrick
By Charrick (Sep 15, 2012)

@Francis Carver: Nobody is saying that a $670 camera is superior to a $2,100 camera. What people ARE saying is that having phase detect autofocus during live view and video mode (in program mode) is superior to DSLRs with contrast detection.

And in my experience, DSLRs with contrast detection, even expensive ones, somehow can't do it as fast as even point and shoot cameras, also with contrast detection.

As phase detection moves to sensors, we can see an improvement, but I will tell you the truth...live view autofocus and video autofocus on this $670 camera ARE better than on a $2,100 camera.

3 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Sep 15, 2012)

I did not say A55 has better AF. I said A55 has better AF in video mode. Only an idiot like you would deny that fact. You mentioned F3.5 limitation. That applies only in video mode. Neither A99 nor A55 has any such limitation in still mode, so you obviously were referring to AF in video mode. Nikon's AF is not usable in video mode. Period.

3 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 15, 2012)

Hahaha, someone is trying to say that Nikon got AF in video that work? Oh ignorant people... Sony beats crap out of anyone on the market, including even Nikon 1 mirrorless (that one doesn't work in anything but perfect light conditions, Sony doesn't struggle even in artificial light). Yea, it does have problems, but AF in video is it's strongest point of all and currently it's miles ahead of anyone.

3 upvotes
hoxton fives
By hoxton fives (Sep 14, 2012)

I am sure that this is a great camera, however I am suprised by your comparison tool. If you compare the sony to the new nikon d3200, the nikon d3200 gets a higher score for image quality raw, but a lower one for image quality jpeg whereas dpr says in the review that the jpeg renderings yields mushy detail. and the sony gets a higher score for iso low light performance, whereas the dxo mark score reveals that the nikon is much better (not surprising, as the translucent mirror takes away light). so I think that this review is not altogether balanced.

3 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 15, 2012)

DXO doesn't "reveal" anything. They just got a different method of measurement - with their calculations higher MPX sensor with denoising even in RAW always wins - we've been through this with D90 already and every Nikonian told it's BS till cameras with new 16mpx sensors came out, got scored identical to D90 and somehow got more details and and more natural noise structure then it did. DXO can be cheated - don't get fooled it's otherwise - every test can be. But I thrust dPreview more.

So to sum up - DXO got it's own maths, dP got it's own. But there's no result that's more right then the other - if anything: there can be result you personally find more accurate. But don't force your POV on others.

3 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

A little late coming, isn't it?

Anyhow, I only "tested" the Alpha 57 in the store. Could not do much, but I did do some panning tests looking through the LCD EVF, and the A57 failed that test most miserably.

I would definitely not need such an EVF as this on my camera, of course that still leaves OVF and external EVF as options.

Oh year, I also "tested" the supposedly much better OLED EVFs omn the other 2 Alpha models. They were maybe 10% better overall, but still an EVF nonetheless.

0 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 15, 2012)

Hyperbolize, much?

All you post to this site is how everything sucks except Pentax. DPR shills for and is clearly paid off by every company but Pentax.

I've owned this abominable A57 for two weeks now and seem to be getting along just fine with the EVF that 'failed most miserably' for you. Maybe the spittle from your fanboy frothing had got on the finder when you were testing the camera in the store so very thoroughly.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
WarpedHorizon
By WarpedHorizon (Sep 14, 2012)

I have an a57 paired with the Tamron 18-270 and I love it! Video is awesome, Pictures look great, even in low light, and the AF is awesome. Great camera for a first time dslr owner!

6 upvotes
Kirk Tuck
By Kirk Tuck (Sep 14, 2012)

This is a great camera for the price. I added two of them to my two Sony a77's as low light shooting cameras for live theater and other available light uses. I'm pleased to see that many of the things I thought about it were verified by this review. It's a wonderful low light camera and it does everything else well too.

And by the way, I mostly shoot raw.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
kodachromeguy
By kodachromeguy (Sep 14, 2012)

I am surprised how well the venerable (and low-cost) Olympus PL1 competes with this and most other recent cameras , both for jpeg and RAW. Just look at the comparison tool.

1 upvote
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 15, 2012)

Huh? The E-PL1 was a great camera (I had two), and it does indeed have slightly sharper JPEGs at low ISO, but the A57 walks away in RAW and at 3200+ is about a stop better. Neither has very good high ISO JPEG but I'd give the nod to the 16.1MP A57 despite the light loss of the mirror.

1 upvote
kodachromeguy
By kodachromeguy (Sep 15, 2012)

I should have mentioned, I meant at low ISO. For my type of photography, I do not need high ISO performance.

0 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 15, 2012)

The E-PL1 base ISO still has less DR and more highlight clipping.

0 upvotes
Simon97
By Simon97 (Sep 14, 2012)

Compare the higher ISO RAWs. The K30 has a really fine grain and retains high detail. Very interesting since it uses a Sony sensor.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Sep 14, 2012)

K30 and other non-SLT cameras should be half-stop better, but in the case of K30 it also uses RAW NR

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/DxOMark-review-for-Pentax-cameras

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Myari
By Myari (Sep 14, 2012)

A lot of comments about "jpegs" but if you look at the studio shots, the jpegs are clearly better than Nikon D5100

2 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 15, 2012)

JPGs in the studio shots are from converted RAW files. Always have been. They are not out of camera JPGs.

0 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 15, 2012)

Care to provide actual proof of that?

2 upvotes
aim120
By aim120 (Sep 15, 2012)

At redfox88 please provide the proof for that.

The Raw files shown are the ones actually converted to jpeg

The Jpeg comparison are jpegs straight out of the camera.

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 15, 2012)

I meant the JPGs being seen in the studio comparison for the RAW option becaus web is JPG.

0 upvotes
aim120
By aim120 (Sep 15, 2012)

But you where the one who was talking about jpegs straight out of the camera which if you look at studio shots is clearly better then the nikon and canon competition.

0 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 17, 2012)

So in other words, this was a fabrication: 'JPGs in the studio shots are from converted RAW files. Always have been. They are not out of camera JPGs.'

0 upvotes
Mannypr
By Mannypr (Sep 14, 2012)

The mayority of the people that will use this camera will most likely be shooting JPG's .

3 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (Sep 14, 2012)

And you know this how ? All DSLR users I know shoot RAW exclusively or at least RAW+JPEG.

The only JPEG shooters I know off use entry level cameras or P&S cameras. This is a $899 camera and a definite step up from entry level.

2 upvotes
aim120
By aim120 (Sep 14, 2012)

If you compare the Jpeg its still better then competition from nikon and canon.It is inferior to the Sony NEX-5n .
You can also compare it in imaging resource
http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM
http://216.18.212.226/PRODS/sony-a57/FULLRES/AA57hSLI00100.JPG
http://216.18.212.226/PRODS/canon-t4i/FULLRES/T4IhSLI00100NR2D.JPG

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 14, 2012)

"The only JPEG shooters I know off use entry level cameras or P&S cameras. This is a $899 camera and a definite step up from entry level."

On the contrary, Alpha 57 can be had now for only US$670, so for people who are not living on Skid Row, that is pretty much an "entry level" price for a digital camera, you know.

No clue where you got your "$899" price for this camera, Friend. it was never that. Why, is that how much you had paid for it?

0 upvotes
Joe Shaffer
By Joe Shaffer (Sep 14, 2012)

I've had an A57 since a week after release and I've NEVER shot in anything but RAW.

1 upvote
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 15, 2012)

Shaffer: as I said in my post a few minutes ago, those posting on here are not the majority of dSLR users. There are many, most actually, that are parents and maybe out of college kids who don't spend the time and don't have the time to spend hours developing RAW files. RAW is essentially an "advanced" seting and MANY dSLR users are not advanced users.

1 upvote
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 15, 2012)

RAW takes hardly any more time to pull from the camera/card and convert/save to your HD than dragging and dropping. It can be a fully automated process if you want. The only people who use OOC JPEGs are those who either don't care about best possible control and quality over their image, or don't know better.

1 upvote
Mannypr
By Mannypr (Sep 14, 2012)

Just one thing...can somebody tell me how can you give a gold award to a camera that has subpar JPG's ? Maybe a silver award , but gold ?

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Sep 14, 2012)

The editorial staff have no information about advertising and none about Amazon's sales or stock. It wouldn't make sense to throw away the reputation of the site for one ad campaign, if it meant the readers couldn't trust us and other manufacturers felt they couldn't get a fair review.

The fact is it's a good camera. That's the sole reason it got a good review.

9 upvotes
Kirk Tuck
By Kirk Tuck (Sep 14, 2012)

The Jpegs are only "sub par" if you are too lazy to go into the menus and customize them for the way you'd like them to look. Same as the Panasonic GH2. Not everything needs to be served up like baby food.

4 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Sep 14, 2012)

@R Butler:
> The fact is it's a good camera.

I wish there were some way for people to have a say what is a good camera.

Reviews give some cameras a sale push what makes them in retrospect "good." But some of the cameras remains sitting on the fringes, never getting even a decent preview, remaining dark horses.

Practically speaking. E.g. a popular vote/poll by the users of the site to nominate a piece of photo gear for a review (excluding the stuff which is on your list already). One poll/vote - one review slot - every 6 month could be a good start.

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

"Reviews give some cameras a sale push what makes them in retrospect "good." But some of the cameras remains sitting on the fringes, never getting even a decent preview, remaining dark horses."

Yeap. Personally, the last thing I would want is a superstar camera. You know, the ones that get all the pushing, here and elsewhere.

Much more prefer to go with one of those "dark horses" you had mentioned.

1 upvote
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 15, 2012)

Butler: a good camera with mediocre mushy JPGs? Come on! Digital cameras are ALL about the quality of the images and JPG is important! I've often read that many sports and PJ shooters only do JPG and send them off to editors.

1 upvote
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 15, 2012)

Have you whiners noticed the 'user review' section of DPR? Of course, now you'll probably post fake negatives to 'tip the scales' since you already think the A57 has an unfair gold.

"Any fool can criticise, condemn and complain—and most fools do." — Dale Carnegie

1 upvote
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Sep 14, 2012)

A really nice camera, and a good choice for people who prefer a larger size cameras. Personally, I will keep my A55 because I like the smaller size and lower weight, and the built in GPS feature.

But you really have to hand it to Sony. They have completely gone SLT and are leading the pack in innovation.

As for the price.... our dollar just isn't worth as much as it was a few years ago. $800 is now the "new $600."

4 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Sep 14, 2012)

As Mr. Bernanke buys all those bonds and pumps more money into the economy, we all feel "richer", right?

In inflation-adjusted terms, though, consumer electronics are cheaper than ever, especially after taking into account qualitative changes. Well, maybe the pictures people shoot don't get any better, but the cameras offer more ISO and other features for pixel-peepers to ponder.

0 upvotes
jon404
By jon404 (Sep 14, 2012)

Interesting! Inflation makes dollars worth less, but high-tech keeps giving you more for your dollar. There's a PhD paper in this for somebody, with wondrous whiteboard-stretching equations demonstrating that, probably, we ARE getting more for our money than yesteryear...

0 upvotes
EmmanuelStarchild
By EmmanuelStarchild (Sep 14, 2012)

Are Sony cameras overpriced like their TV's? Just askin'

3 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Sep 14, 2012)

$700 for an a57 with lens is not much different than the prices of comparable Nikon or Canon basic DSLR with lens.

But, hey, bargains abound. Perhaps you can find a $50 Vizio, Minox, or Haier camera. If not, perhaps ones somehow bearing the "GE" or "Polaroid" names.

5 upvotes
Kirk Tuck
By Kirk Tuck (Sep 14, 2012)

No. I've shot with the a57 since it came out and as a still camera it is definitely worth what I paid for it. My son shoots video with one as well and finds it to be a great camera for the price.

2 upvotes
brent collins
By brent collins (Sep 14, 2012)

"Mediocre JPEG processing with mushy detail and visible artifacts" does not equal a score of 78. MANY people shoot only jpeg.

5 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Sep 14, 2012)

One might ask why a person selecting such a capable camera would not learn good RAW processing skills. If one just shoots JPG one could choose from any camera and be satisfied.

I guess you missed the part about where the best photographs are made by people irrespective of the camera.

3 upvotes
John De Bord Photography
By John De Bord Photography (Sep 14, 2012)

I have never understood why some people don't use their cameras to their full capability. If I am dropping a grand towards a set up, I am shooting it at it's highest potential. Perhaps for those who buy a dslr only to shoot JPEG, a P&S would have been a better choice.

3 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 14, 2012)

Right... first spend 100 pounds on 50 f/1.8 and then shoot JPGs?
Seen that - and always laughed from it.

1 upvote
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 14, 2012)

SLT/SLR cameras aren't for JPEG shooters. If you never intend to touch RAW, then you're throwing your money away on something that just gives the impression of knowing what you're doing.

As for their comment, I can see slight softer focus in the front of the image vs. others, but it doesn't seem to me to be any worse than the others. In fact I think it does better that the T4i above 1600 and employs less smoothing than the K-30.

1 upvote
Miike Dougherty
By Miike Dougherty (Sep 14, 2012)

For scenics, RAW is it. For fast moving sports at 10 FPS, the viewer is interested in peak action and could care less about a an artifact of rwo.

0 upvotes
aim120
By aim120 (Sep 14, 2012)

Still better then most competition Jpeg.

2 upvotes
brent collins
By brent collins (Sep 14, 2012)

Not a matter of learning. I shoot RAW almost all the time, but when my Epl2 can crush the Sony at jpeg with a higher selling price I then have reservations. To attack a persons choice to shoot jpeg and expect quality is idiotic

1 upvote
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 15, 2012)

Plastek: many people buy a camera for the CAMERA to give the images not require the camera user to do all the work! What percentage of film SLR shooters developed their own color photographs? Very small percentage. Why should they be forced to do it now?

1 upvote
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 15, 2012)

Hyperbole like 'crush' paints you as a fanboy, brent. And your posting history is extremely combative and brand-biased.

I've owned two E-PL1s. They do excellent low ISO JPEG. The A57 takes the IQ bragging rights in every other aspect - including high ISO JPEG, overall DR, RAW, resolution, you name it. Not to mention it's blazing fast.

What's idiotic is to whine incessantly as though the gold award for the A57 is somehow undeserved or 'unfair'. Like a child throwing a tantrum, actually.

2 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Sep 15, 2012)

When getting to know a camera, I start out with jpeg. You'll learn how too shoot within it's boundaries. When you can do that. Switch to raw, and you'll be able to get even more from it. Jpeg should not be an afterthought. (not that I would consider a camera without an ovf and with a stopping down mirror).

0 upvotes
brent collins
By brent collins (Sep 15, 2012)

Sensibill,

I own several brands and have zero bias. Each one has it's strengths. My posting history? Really? It's simple math. Why would I buy a camera of lesser IQ for more money. My EPL2 beats the Sony at jpeg. That matters to me and many others who use these cameras for quick easy outings when the DSLR is more than needed. Whine? I made a comment and gave some opinions. The only one acting like a child is you.

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 15, 2012)

Raising questions for discussion is not at all childish. What is childish is feverishly "defending" a camera on an internet forum.

0 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 15, 2012)

You have 'zero bias' but find the time to troll this Sony review and aggressively chime in your uninformed views on A57 JPEG performance and how most people buying it will be shooting JPEG? Interesting.

Your E-PL2 doesn't 'beat' the A57 at anything. It has comparable JPEG at base ISO but lacks DR and clips highlights. It also has lower MP, produces red dot flares... To say nothing of other relevant performance like AF, buffer, optional VF, etc.

I cut my enthusiast teeth on Olympus and also owned Nikon, Canon, Samsung and Panasonic in recent years so I can spot brand bashers a mile away. Or did someone else just use your computer to post the several other comments under your name in this section? RedFox: You're also a veteran brand bashing troll. Both your posting histories speak far louder on the subject that I could.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
brent collins
By brent collins (Sep 15, 2012)

Wow, just wow. What a hypocritical person. And also one who obviously LOVES to exaggerate. I read a review and gave MY opinion. I didn't realize that only certain people can respond to Sony reviews. Fanboy calling fanboys....too funny.

0 upvotes
Simon97
By Simon97 (Sep 14, 2012)

DPR, The high ISO jpeg page shows the the competitive cameras still set with low ISO. At least it does on my computer.

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Sep 14, 2012)

Should be working properly now. Thanks for pointing it out.

0 upvotes
loranfrfr
By loranfrfr (Sep 14, 2012)

If it is constantly compared to the T3i/T4i in the article, why should it be categorized as an "entry level" DLSR?. I thought the a37 is the entry level model.

Great review thanks. This is the one for me. I knew it.

1 upvote
Myari
By Myari (Sep 14, 2012)

A57 is cheaper than T4i .. almost $250 cheaper

2 upvotes
senn_b
By senn_b (Sep 14, 2012)

sorry but .. who cares ? .. 6 months after the announcement

1 upvote
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Sep 14, 2012)

Better late than never! I applaud this detailed and thorough as always review.

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 14, 2012)

Care to remind me if there's a successor or any competition that would smash this camera out of the sky? No? Then great - thanks dPr for a review!

2 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Sep 14, 2012)

A new review of the "old" a57 at least gives one some perspective on the "new" FF devices being rolled out. The oldie gives one perhaps 85% of the bang for 25% of the buck. The 15% performance difference won't be tangible in most cases. The 75% price difference sets you back perhaps the equivalent of 3 lenses or the better part of one month's rent.

1 upvote
Revenant
By Revenant (Sep 14, 2012)

When I'm looking to buy a new camera, I research all the alternatives currently available in the market, not just those recently released. Therefore this review is useful at least until the A57 is replaced.

2 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 15, 2012)

Any fanbois who wanted the camera bought it regardless of what others thought. People buy camera for quite a while even after it is replace aka discontinued so it's a reference for non-DPR buyers really.

0 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 15, 2012)

I waited a good long while and was very skeptical of the pellicle. I've been converted. It's an excellent rig for the money, regardless of how big a hissy fit you throw over the gold award.

1 upvote
AP7
By AP7 (Sep 14, 2012)

I wish if SONY A57 had flash sync speed 1/200 or 1/250 sec like its competitors (Canon T4i, Nikon D5100, etc). What is the barrier here (patent, SONY technology, etc)? Why does SONY love 1/160 sec? Also, A57 has weaker built-in flash (10m A57 vs 13m T4i). I don't get it.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Bryannagirl
By Bryannagirl (Jan 2, 2013)

If you use a manual strobe or a remote wireless snyc - pocket wizard or others it will sync to 1/250 with no issues at all. I am doing it with an A37. Dedicated flash you are stuck with 1/160 because camera will not let you do more

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 14, 2012)

Fun fact!
Go to section 12 - dynamic rage. Pick "no camera" for all of the cameras in comparison, now:

- Pick Nikon D800 - not only it has slightly smaller dynamic range (difference on the margin of error though) but also by far steeper highlights so in theory A57 should have easier life pulling details from them. It's the same with roughly every Nikon camera (just remember to turn-off any ADL and leave DRO at off)

- On the other hand - Most of Canon cameras bring a very nice graph, in some cases identical to what Sony does (5D MKIII being one example)

- Pick RX100 - you can clearly see the disadvantage of small sensor

- Pentax is probably even worse in pulling highlights then Nikon. lol

- All Sony cameras seem to be tailored towards same, natural dynamic range curve.

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 14, 2012)

Now - go to Section 11 and compare noise graphs - seems like A57 beats crap out of Nikon D3200 - Even at lowest ISO settings it got slightly better performance. It also seems to be better then D800 (aside from enormous difference in picture size), and even a little bit better then Pentax K-r.

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 14, 2012)

So, to sum it all up - don't put too much pressure into reading raw numbers. They can be very misleading.

1 upvote
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Sep 14, 2012)

To be fair, the DR section just looks at RAW converter curves and camera metering compared to middle grey. Not the real available DR (mostly defined by the sensor). For example, pushing shadow information reveals that the RX100 has slightly more usable DR than a Canon 5DMKIII (pattern noise being the largest culprit).
Which goes to show that metering lower than the camera does and adjusting in RAW, will shift DR from the shadows to the highlights, in which case the tables as discussed here will look completely different.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 14, 2012)

You sure you really understand what these tables actually show? They ain't a settings from RAW converter comparing to middle gray.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Sep 14, 2012)

My bad, I thought they also still included the RAW tonecurves from Adobe asside from the jpeg ones.

In that case it's just limited to jpeg curves and metering compared to middle grey that defines the visible DR. Could be interesting for jpeg shooters, doesn't tell much if anything about the cameras "real" DR capabilities. The jpeg format alone limits the available DR already.

1 upvote
andywhoa
By andywhoa (Sep 14, 2012)

I'm not really sure how a 78% gets this camera a gold award when the Sony DSC-RX100 gets a 78% (and is clearly the best pocketable compact on the market) and gets a silver. And the Fuji X-Pro1 gets a 79% and a silver to boot.

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 14, 2012)

Different categories, different competition, different requirements for awards. Awards aren't related to camera score.
It's not like there's magical 77% point where every camera will get gold award. lol How did you came up with comparing RX100 to A57, again?

1 upvote
daishi424
By daishi424 (Sep 14, 2012)

It is interesting that DPR has positioned A57 as Entry Level DSLR in Summary and placed it right near the A37. Meanwhile, A55, predecessor of this camera, is listed under Mid Level DSLR class. I can't understand, why?

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Sep 14, 2012)

"Value," perhaps? $700 gets you an a57 with its APS-C sensor and a kit lens. $650 gets you an RX100 with a 1" sensor and a fixed lens whose aperture narrows quickly over a limited zoom range. If you tote it about bare in your pocket for very long, lint, skin cells, or other gunk are bound to creep into the lens seams and foul the sensor with specs. If you protect it in a case, it's no longer in your pocket. An a57, meanwhile, can be cleaned. Value-wise, there are P&S models similar to the RX100 in all respects but the sensor, and with wider and longer zoom range, for half the price. High price may also be why the RX1 will receive favorable remarks, yet still be zonked in the final score: lots of glitter, but no "gold." Occasionaly, a gear-geek needs to come to his senses: "Gad, that X is too expensive!"

0 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Sep 15, 2012)

Strange picking on the RX100 zoom when it has more range and is faster across the range than standard dslr kit zooms. Sure, some compacts have more zoom range and are faster, but only with much smaller sensors. I think Sony made great tradeoffs in the RX100 design. I think the objections that kept it from a Gold Award were overstated. It stands out in its category and this update doesn't. Very nice but not a standout.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 15, 2012)

Well, I suppose that if it'd be Nikon it'd stand out and meet more warm welcome then D7000, but hey, it's playstation, right?
Anyway - RX100 is excellent camera with very specific aim and I think the reason why it didn't got a medal is... Category. It run for Large Sensor Compact - and these tend ot offer many features that are not present on RX while can be of a key importance for photographers. I can perfectly understand that. RX are cameras of their own class - either you want them or you don't care about them. Either it's gold ot it's "great but limited" - depending on your needs.

0 upvotes
rsf3127
By rsf3127 (Sep 14, 2012)

After using for years an a700, I was on the verge of switching to Nikon. Then this body showed up.
It does not have the formidable UI nor the build quality of my old a700. As bodies have become more affordable and disposable these days, I think this is the future.
It is indeed user friendly and a very responsive camera.
The IQ is on par with the current competitors in RAW and it has much more features for the money then the Nikons I would buy for the same money.
Movies are astounding.
Well deserved Gold Award.

2 upvotes
Scott Nicol
By Scott Nicol (Sep 14, 2012)

Nice review of a great little upgrade - although as an a55 user, I would really miss the GPS function.

One question - does this camera overcome the studio light problem (i.e. if you try and use it under studio strobes, the viewfinder is too dark to see unless you find a work around (i.e. find a way to pop up the flash to compensate for the lack off light until the strobes fire)?

0 upvotes
Sam147
By Sam147 (Sep 14, 2012)

In the menu, turn setting effect to off

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 14, 2012)

You can always use one of Sony's external GPS units. They got few in offer.

0 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (Sep 14, 2012)

Makes me wonder if the new cams with wireless connectivity can utilize a cell phone for GPS information. Not ideal, but that would still be quite useable.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 14, 2012)

Sony could do this as they make smartphones, but it seems like there's completely no interaction or will to cooperate between these two. Otherwise we'd be able to use Xperia as external wireless LCD screen for ages.

0 upvotes
Blondesailor
By Blondesailor (Sep 14, 2012)

Perhaps the lower resolution results from using the kit lens instead of the normally used (sharp) Sigma 50mm 1.4. No word on which lens was used, so there's confusion.

0 upvotes
Blondesailor
By Blondesailor (Sep 14, 2012)

I wonder whether the translucent mirror blunts detail rendering - seems that way, since the resolution is actually low even in RAW. The D3200 is leagues ahead in rendering fine detail, both RAW and JPEG. Resolution is not about pixel peeping but the capability to crop and recompose. So if you do only smaller prints and video this seems a lovely camera.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Sep 14, 2012)

The resolution charts show resolution is comparable to other cameras with this sensor (those without SLT).
If you're staring at the studio samples, keep in mind that the focal plane sometimes varies and sharpening does the rest.

1 upvote
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 15, 2012)

The focal plane variance has been the fuel for many a fanboy fire on these forums...

0 upvotes
zos xavius
By zos xavius (Sep 17, 2012)

I've seen pictures with the mirror removed and yes, there is a difference. Maybe 5% or so.

0 upvotes
Photoviewer
By Photoviewer (Sep 14, 2012)

I was still remember clearly when the 1st time I compared a65 review vs a57 preview images I was impressed how vivid, clear and sharp the a65 images are. Further learning here and forum, I realized the a65 images (some) were taken by Sony G lens. The so so IQ from a57 preview was taken by kit lens.

But the a57 full review samples just posted impressed me and was taken by the kit lens!!

Thanks again Dpr for this nice review.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Sep 14, 2012)

You got this out just in the nick of time. :)

0 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Sep 14, 2012)

Just curious, is the ISO of Sony SLT cameras adjusted for the light loss resulting from the semi-transparent mirror?!
i.e. for the same ISO and aperture, will Sony cameras give the same shutter speed as other cameras? Or will it be longer?

1 upvote
mick232
By mick232 (Sep 14, 2012)

Will be the same. They just increase sensor gain a little.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Sep 14, 2012)

Yes, sensor gain is boosted, so you will get the same shutter speed and aperture as other non-SLT cameras ...

0 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Sep 14, 2012)

Thanks for the explanations.

0 upvotes
ZeevK
By ZeevK (Sep 14, 2012)

Thanks for the great, detailed and informative review.

As a RAW only shooter I am now quite sure which APS-C SONY backup I will go for, if I drop the A99 option, for the too high cost of upgrading from my A850. Looks like the A850 is to stay for the near future.

Now I gust have to decide which "kit" zoom to adopt to the A57 - Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 DT SSM or DT 18-135 F3.5-5.6 SAM

0 upvotes
Fraxinus excelsior
By Fraxinus excelsior (Sep 14, 2012)

You could sell your a850. I am sure you can get a lot of money for it.
I am thinking about selling my a900 and will maybe buy an a99.

0 upvotes
Ulfric M Douglas
By Ulfric M Douglas (Sep 14, 2012)

Surely Conclusion - cons
should include ;
"SLT-A57 is a larger, more bulbous camera than its predecessor, the SLT-A55"
That's the first thing that struck me seeing one of these in the shop, and what a waste of opportunity not to keep the smaller size and pack in the better features.

2 upvotes
Amateur Sony Shooter
By Amateur Sony Shooter (Sep 14, 2012)

there is A37 available, which use the same sensor, same EVF, but smaller size (much just like A55), all for $200 cheaper with kit lens.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 14, 2012)

It's not a con. It's a pro - you get MUCH better handling with this body.

6 upvotes
Roman Stedronsky
By Roman Stedronsky (Sep 14, 2012)

Exactly!

0 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Sep 14, 2012)

Seriously? Almost everybody complained about the small size of A55, specially while handling bigger lenses... Now with the A65/A57 body, that's a good thing! If you still want to go small, pick the A37.

0 upvotes
Bryannagirl
By Bryannagirl (Jan 2, 2013)

I depated between the two the A57 and A37 my previous was an A35 - in the end I chose the A37 becasue it had almost the exact same feature set and does have the exact same sensor and I was used to the A35 body so it felt similar. If the A57 is a great deal the A37 is a steall. There is not anything that comes close for the price. Less then 500 with kit lens.

0 upvotes
George Veltchev
By George Veltchev (Sep 14, 2012)

I am not the biggest Sony fan around but let me say ..... Well done Sony , for this little gem .... competition is our best friend indeed! Bravo!

4 upvotes
Digital Suicide
By Digital Suicide (Sep 14, 2012)

SLT-A57 - 78% - Gold
RX100 - 78% - Silver

Hmm.. :)

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Sep 14, 2012)

This has been covered a million times. There is no correlation between awards and scores. Awards and scores are separate things. A camera can score high but yet receive no award. See A77 that got silver despite scoring pretty high in it's class. Same thing for D7000

3 upvotes
Amateur Sony Shooter
By Amateur Sony Shooter (Sep 14, 2012)

A57 is priced well within the mainstream DSLR, RX100 is priced above every other pocket compact. Think Consumer Report, think DPR.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Sep 14, 2012)

what do you gain by constantly whining about RX100? Anything? I don't think so. It's not like whining will change the award for RX100.

Also, remember RX100 was reviewed as "Enthusiast large sensor" camera. The other cameras in the category were Fuji X100 and Canon G1X. None of them got gold ... and RX100 was given higher overall score than the other two.

2 upvotes
Amateur Sony Shooter
By Amateur Sony Shooter (Sep 14, 2012)

Not whining, just point out what I think the reason behind, in response to Digital Suicide (what a name BTW).

0 upvotes
maxnimo
By maxnimo (Sep 14, 2012)

Digital Suicide has a perfectly logical, reasonable question, so why the nasty reaction? Personally, I think having "no correlation between awards and scores" is illogical, retarded and moronically idiotic.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Sep 14, 2012)

Well, thanks for the review .. I know you guys got some slack for the delay ;)

0 upvotes
SouthElginDad
By SouthElginDad (Sep 14, 2012)

Great assessment, thank you. I have had the A57 since launch (even went to Best Buy to get it before the masses) and I've considered it a Gold Award camera the whole time. Nice to get validation from the pros.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Sep 14, 2012)

I don't care for the chubby body design, but this is one of the better 16 mp Sony cameras in recent memory. It performs particularly well in video mode. Looking at the Studio Scene Comparison (RAW), my little K-30 beats up on all 3 other cameras pretty good. I fully expect come K30 review time though for DPR to find some arcane reason why it's not even a Silver Award, but we will see.

Anyway, just messing around. Thanks DPR for the review.

1 upvote
robbo d
By robbo d (Sep 14, 2012)

Whilst I am a Pentax user and presently see no reason to change, its the sum total of all the areas of a camera that must be taken into consideration when reviewing.
Canon and Sony offerings are well rounded packages that perform.better on video. And a few other little tricks, whilst our beloved Pentax produces excellent IQ at a gazillion ISO. Most people don't shoot there. They also don't review based on excellent kit lenses like the 55-300.
I am looking forward to the completion of the K30 which is taking a bizarre length of time.
I expect it to score around the same ball park. Dynamic range on K30 was not top score either, and WR wont suddenly make it a winner.
It's a horse's for courses choice for most people.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Sep 14, 2012)

The K-30 will at least be a good for DR as the K-01 which was over 13 EV on DxOMark. The only cameras better are those with 14 bit raw - D7000 and K-5 which get around 14 EV DR.

Anyway, I was just kidding about the DPR review. I don't see how it's possible for the K-30 to get less than Silver, but none of that really matters as the K-30 works to me.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 14, 2012)

There we go! Use camera because you like it, not because some random website in the internet put a sticker under the review or not.

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Sep 14, 2012)

What a stupid decision by SONY to make the body bigger. SONY would have a chance if they fit A99 into a A65 and sell for $1700 but they would never do that.

EDIT: Thank you, thank you DPreview team for including viewfinder comparison chart on this review.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Roman Stedronsky
By Roman Stedronsky (Sep 14, 2012)

What a wise decision by Sony to make the body bigger. Better handling, better stability when using bigger lenses, more hardware controls...

Wishful thinking often brings dissapointment.

6 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Sep 14, 2012)

If you want to go small, pick A37. A57 body offers better grip and handling overall. That was one of the main reasons to go bigger because they received several "complains" about handling when using bigger lenses.

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Sep 15, 2012)

@ Roman Stedronsky & Rooru S
Isn't that how Nikon F3 became D4? "I want bigger body and direct everything". Damn those people that worries about ergonomics and ease of carrying.

EVIL/mirrorless is taking off for a reason and it is time to abandon those full-size-SUV way of thinking.

2 upvotes
migus
By migus (Sep 16, 2012)

"What a wise decision by Sony to make the body bigger." Wrong, as proven by the recent trends to reduce the body to its minimal size, still manageable. Most of us, except the pros and those who can afford to drive to their shooting locations, often leave home the bigger dSLRs and accept a compromise in handling (IQ is an issue anymore since NEX-5/7, Fuji-X etc.; big lenses do work on tiny bodies).
PCs and mobile phones shrunk since the 80s; so will multi-pound bricks with a tiny 36mm sensor inside ;-)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
TxCamFan
By TxCamFan (Sep 14, 2012)

I keep getting an error message when I try to click on either of the galleries.

0 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Sep 14, 2012)

In the conclusion:

The good: Users who frequently switch between EVF and rear LCD viewing

O...come on Dpreview, you can't think of better things to say for a gold award camera?!
Anyways, thanks for the great review.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 235
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