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Key Technologies

The core technology of the A37 is, of course, its SLT fixed mirror design. By using an electronic viewfinder, Sony removes the need to reflect light away from the image sensor and into an optical finder. This means that most of the light can be sent directly to the image sensor and there's no need for a complex moving mirror mechanism.

What makes the design distinct from 'mirrorless' camera designs is that the SLT still has a fixed, semi-transparent mirror constantly redirecting light onto the camera's DSLR-style phase-detection AF sensor. This not only means that it can quickly focus all Sony and Minolta A-mount lenses, but can continue to do so both while continuous shooting and shooting movies. Conventional DSLRs have to wait for the mirror to reset before they can take another focus measurement, meaning high speed continuous shooting tends to be reserved for professional level cameras.

The cost of having a mirror permanently in the optical path is a loss of light to the sensor. However, in the tests we've conducted so far, the 0.5EV increase in noise is negligible in real-world shooting.

Although Sony has never publicly stated that improvements were made to the A65 and A77 to prevent the occasional 'ghosting' (an offset double-image visible on where bright highlights were repeated over dark regions), it has hinted that the A37 could logically be expected to see any component improvements that those cameras had.

Viewfinder

Like the A57, the A37 uses revised viewfinder optics to make the most of the same 1.44m dot equivalent display panel. It has has two viewfinder modes, a 'Maximum Magnification' mode and a 'Standard' mode that uses a smaller subset of the screen to give a longer eye-point (the distance from which the entire display can be seen), allowing easier use by wearers of glasses.

The LCD itself is a field-sequential device - it shows red, then green, then blue information rather than being able to show them all at the same time. The result is that you will sometimes see colorful tearing, often in your peripheral vision if you quickly look around the frame or blink. The degree to which you find this disconcerting is likely to be a personal issue, but it's another way in which the A37's viewfinder is inferior to the OLED unit in the high-end SLTs.

Auto Portrait Framing

Continuing the camera's beginner-friendly theme, the A37 gains the 'Auto Portrait Framing' mode we first saw on the A57. This will try to re-crop images containing faces, if it thinks there's a better portrait image to be had from it. Based on a combination of face detection and the rule-of-thirds, Auto Portrait Framing will identify where the subject's eyes are and crop the image, to put the eyes one third of the way down the frame.

This crop frame is shown on the rear display, just after you've taken your picture, so that you can see how the camera thinks you should have composed the shot. It then takes the cropped region of the photo and resizes it back up to full resolution and saves this resized image alongside your original one. The system will attempt to leave more of the background image on the side that the subject is facing, so that you don't end up with pictures of people staring into the edge of the frame.

Original image Camera re-cropped and upscaled portrait image

Clear Image Zoom

The A37 uses the 'By Pixel Super Resolution' we first saw in the A57. In both Auto Portrait Framing mode or in its Clear Image Zoom mode (which offers up to 2x magnification), it uses this technology. The theory is that it intelligently interpolates between pixels as it up-sizes. By comparing each image element to a database of patterns it can attempt to add more detail than simple upscaling would allow.

We'll look at the feature more closely in our full review, but Sony's statement that the quality of this digital zooming is 'nearly equivalent' to optical zooming with the kit zoom is either a rather grand claim or a bit of a dig at the quality of the kit zoom.

Movie shooting

Because the AF sensor needs a fairly wide aperture to make sure it's fully illuminated, the camera will only autofocus in P mode, but if you're happy to do without AF, you can take more control of the exposure settings in A, S or M modes. You have the choice of setting ISO manually (between 100 and 3200), or engaging Auto ISO across the same range. As with stills mode, there's no option to control the range over which Auto ISO operates.

The A37 gains the 'focus peaking' manual focus aid that is particularly useful for video shooting. This highlights high-contrast edges, making it easy to see when you're approaching (and passing) optimal focus. This one feature makes it considerably more practical to manually focus on those occasions when you want to take precise control over the camera's movie exposure. This, along with the option to add an external mic, make the A37 an interesting camera for enthusiast movie shooters.

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Comments

Total comments: 49
LuW
By LuW (6 months ago)

The a37 does not overheat. At least mine does not. I owned a a33 and I know what overheating is.

0 upvotes
newfiebella
By newfiebella (Jul 17, 2013)

Can someone please advise me on how to place my settings so I can take black and white photos ?

0 upvotes
David zzzzzzzzzz
By David zzzzzzzzzz (Jun 20, 2013)

I caution against this camera, have the A35 and am totally underwhelmed by the exposure and color balance. Autofocus is superb and speed is fine, just not happy with white balance.

0 upvotes
manishsharma0604
By manishsharma0604 (Feb 17, 2013)

Can we use external GPS with it?

0 upvotes
Fadhil Parewangi
By Fadhil Parewangi (Dec 2, 2012)

hey, I own this camera too.
well, I was in depth, I bought it 3 days ago.
I felt lucky to get a bonus like "ACC-FW1" and a 50mm f/1.8 SAM.
so far I think this camera is pretty good, and and instead chose A57, I can save $ 200 for an extra lens. Great Save!

0 upvotes
Sumedh Gudur
By Sumedh Gudur (Aug 30, 2012)

Got this thin from one of the store in Banglore(India), this has amazing features and much better performance than nikon D3200, canon 600D....Tried all of them live....most important is print quality....its amazing....!!!!go for it.....

0 upvotes
Francis Sawyer
By Francis Sawyer (Sep 9, 2012)

The camera has a printer built in?

4 upvotes
karlitoz
By karlitoz (Aug 23, 2012)

dpreview wont review this camera till 2013.... we are still waiting for the a57 review which was released in march.......sighhh

0 upvotes
Alfmeister
By Alfmeister (Jun 16, 2012)

I'm with you Swede. I ordered the first day Sony had it available on their site and I received it yesterday. All I can say is wow! It totally exceeds my expectations. I use the LCD screen for high or low shots and it's resolution is just fine. It's actually a better match to the original 3:2 aspect ratio. Today I shot with my Minolta 100 f2.8 macro and the results were stellar. The handgrip fits me like a glove and all of the controls are easy to access. I formally owned an A100 and so this is a big step up. Smaller is better!

1 upvote
Albert Ng
By Albert Ng (May 23, 2012)

Does the A37 really not support the RMT-DSLR1 infrared remote control? As I see in the specifications that one of the Drive modes supports the RMT-DSLR1. Also, there is a visible infrared window on the grip, below the shutter.

However, it may be possible for Sony to leave it out as they did with the NEX-3/C3/F3.

1 upvote
Sumedh Gudur
By Sumedh Gudur (Aug 30, 2012)

It does support that remote...I bought it...

1 upvote
sportbiker_kev
By sportbiker_kev (Nov 27, 2012)

It DOES NOT support that remote!!!! I bought the camera, and The Sony Store sold me that remote, and it DOES NOT work. Sony tech support verified this for me. It only supports the wired remote, which has a 5m long cord. NOT HAPPY!

1 upvote
mannyr
By mannyr (May 21, 2012)

But does it have overheating problems??
I had to sell my A33 because it would overheat after about 30 minutes of being continuously on - not even video, just stills.
No good when you are shooting a concert or performance for business.
If that's fixed, I would reconsider an SLT - very good camera except for that deal killer.

0 upvotes
CTaylorTX
By CTaylorTX (May 22, 2012)

Why were you using their entry-level camera for "business" in the first place? It was probably never designed to be used that way, and thus the overheating problem.

0 upvotes
twmcnulty
By twmcnulty (May 30, 2012)

"never designed to be used that way, and thus the overheating problem".What doest that statement mean? Taking pictures? I also own a A33, while it has many good features, The overheating is a definate drawback, especiality in video mode.
It also has a problem bringing up the image after a wait while shooting, have to turn off and on to get the image back in the viewfinder or live view, causing many problems. Have always been a Nikon user and I guess I have to return to Nikon.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
iHedo
By iHedo (May 31, 2012)

it should not overheat within 30mins of shooting pictures. even at entry level overheating is a troublesome, even when not used in business and concerts...why o why...

1 upvote
danjaria
By danjaria (Jun 7, 2012)

I think the overheating problem was fixed with the A-35, my A-35 does not overheat, I have used it to shoot concerts and weddings.

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

hell! this model is so close to the sony slt a57!! gosh!
i was going to buy the a57, but here comes a37 which has again confused me to which model ii should buy!

evn the cost difference is a 100 bucks and the difference between their features is not worth the price change!

really!! sony, the a57 was a drastic change...but, yet another model!

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 18, 2012)

IMHO, A57 is SIGNIFICANTLY better camera. The diff is well-worth $200 if you ever going to shoot sports, for example.

0 upvotes
aliquis
By aliquis (May 19, 2012)

In what ways?

1 upvote
Donald B
By Donald B (May 18, 2012)

what is wrong with DPR cant you put the resolution of the Vf ? same as the g3 no figures. also would be nice if you could tell us weather the hdmi is playback only ? or live view !

don

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 18, 2012)

The database didn't have a category for viewfinder resolution. One has now been added. I shall look forward to populating it.

3 upvotes
CodySLC
By CodySLC (May 17, 2012)

Very disappointing. I was looking for an A55 replacement with focus peaking and electronic first curtain shutter but still in the awesome small sized body since A57 got much bigger vs A55. Too many downgrades here to consider it, though.

2 upvotes
Dodge_Rock
By Dodge_Rock (May 17, 2012)

Is it just me or do the sample images of auto portrait framing look washed out? Is this the best that could be produced for the preview?

0 upvotes
tkpenalty
By tkpenalty (May 17, 2012)

Sony, just how many bodies do we need?

2 upvotes
Wally626
By Wally626 (May 17, 2012)

4

5 upvotes
Babya
By Babya (May 17, 2012)

The A390' which I own has the same 230k res LCD as the just-announced A36 is 2.7" compared to 2.6" on A37, not too much of a difference and tilts just like the A33 and last entry-level OVF Alpha, my A390.

The grip design is A33 or A390 like, a nice change-with a small black strip part (a bit like my A390's grip-though that one accepts a RM-DSLR1 remote so the black strip for remote sensor is a larger).

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (May 17, 2012)

The screen aspect ratios are wrong for the A65 and A77 (and presumably A57). The A33/55/35 all had 16:9 screens, the newer SLTs are 4:3.

3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 18, 2012)

You're absolutely right - I should have checked, rather than trusting the spec list I was given.

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

for a57 it is 4:3

1 upvote
perry rhodan
By perry rhodan (Sep 9, 2012)

still incorrect figures for the screens. Come on Richard, takes a minute.
But thanks for the fast and nice previews! That's great!
regards perry

1 upvote
Jim in AZ
By Jim in AZ (May 17, 2012)

I like the A57 better :-)

5 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (May 17, 2012)

Sigh...7fps but with cropped picture? What the heck?! A33 and A35 were better. 2.6" screen? A33 and A35 were better, Although some will appreciate the tilting screen (although it tilts only, not swing)

Sony..you can do better.

2 upvotes
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (May 17, 2012)

It seems a good camera, the Sony sensors are good they have to make more lenses

0 upvotes
Rmano
By Rmano (May 17, 2012)

...and again, they did not change the crippled AE bracketing. I bought an A55 hoping they will fix such a stupid thing in firmware, but no... so if you like HDR, stay away.

0 upvotes
AmaturFotografer
By AmaturFotografer (May 17, 2012)

Doesn't A55 have built in HDR function?

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (May 17, 2012)

Yes, it does.

0 upvotes
VipinJoshi
By VipinJoshi (May 17, 2012)

Finally, the Tilt LCD of A33 makes a comeback in the entry level model, the LCD Size & Resolution reduces though. Have been using the A57 for quite a while now and the low light High ISO JPEGs are mind boggling! They seem to outperform almost everything from Canon & Nikon, barring the Full Frames.

The icing on the cake is the SAM 18-135 bundle (across the range), making for a versatile kit at at amazing price. The (exceptional) EXMOR sensor finally gets a better lens to show its true colours (pun intended), as the 18-55 quality wasn't upto the sensor's potential.

Haven't been this surprised since i saw the Olympus OMD-E5 samples. The features set seems exactly the same as the (amazing) A57, which is a good thing. This one looks like a segment beater to me.

0 upvotes
tkpenalty
By tkpenalty (May 17, 2012)

wait what?

0 upvotes
tbcass
By tbcass (May 17, 2012)

What 18-135? I've heard rumors but nothing concrete.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 17, 2012)

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/05/17/Sony-launches-SLT-A37-16MP-DSLR

0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (May 17, 2012)

Great overview.

0 upvotes
ybizzle
By ybizzle (May 17, 2012)

What a downgrade from the 33 and 35 models...Come on Sony!

2 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (May 17, 2012)

In the intro page's comparison, you list , "Continuous shooting rate (no AF)" That's not true. A77/A65/A57 all do continuous AF in 12//10/12 fps mode.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 17, 2012)

Sorry, I mis-described speed priority mode in the table. It's now been fixed. We're still waiting for clarification on the number of effective dots in the viewfinder - the specs on our page are consistent with the latest information provided by Sony.

0 upvotes
Richard Lewis Ireland
By Richard Lewis Ireland (May 17, 2012)

Any idea when the full review is going to be done on the sony a57 and this camera the a37 ?

0 upvotes
seachicken2000
By seachicken2000 (May 17, 2012)

The finder is 1.44M dots on the Japanese Sony website spec sheet.
http://www.sony.jp/ichigan/products/SLT-A37Y/spec.html

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 17, 2012)

We've seen a series of different specs from Sony on this. We're waiting for clarification.

0 upvotes
Bernie M
By Bernie M (Jul 5, 2012)

I was looking for the article to help me decide between a Sony A65 and a Nikon D5100. I will also include an additional prime and tele lens.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 49