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Body & Design

The A37 looks a lot like the A33, A35 and A55, but the hand grip has been redesigned. It protrudes slightly further and the finger grip cuts back deeper into it. The result is a camera that's more comfortable to shoot with for long periods of time, despite making almost no difference to the camera's overall size.

The flip up/down screen is the only obvious step backwards for the A37 - the 2.6" screen is smaller and, at 230k dots, lower in resolution than the A35's. However, because its 4:3 aspect ratio is closer match to the shape of the camera's sensor, the displayed image is actually the same size as it was on the A35. Sadly, given how many other movie-friendly features it has, this change to a squarer aspect ratio means the A37 offers a tiny preview for video shooting.

The A37 will be welcomed by everybody put off by the A57's size - it's essentially as compact as the original A33 and A55 but with an improved, slightly deeper hand-grip, making it comfortable to hold and shoot with.

Maddeningly, for every step forward Sony takes, it also seems to feel the need to retreat a couple. For instance, the A37 allows you to customize the depth-of-field preview button on the front of the camera. It also provides many more options (26 instead of 14) for what you wish to apply to this or the AEL button. Which is great - we welcome a little bit of button customization, as we realize different shooters want quick access to different functions.

However, having changed the A35's 'D-Range' button into a 'Zoom' button, it has also decided that it should no longer be customizable. Which is a perverse decision, not only because it's hardly inconceivable that someone might not need constant access to the camera's different types of digital zoom, but also because as soon as you engage Raw capture, the button loses all function (beyond displaying a message saying it isn't working). This wouldn't be the first time Sony has devoted a well-placed button to a non-essential feature, but it is the first time it has actively removed the option to change it.

Options that can be assigned to the AEL or Preview button:
• Exposure Comp.
• Drive Mode
• Flash Mode
• Autofocus Mode
• AF area
• Smile/Face Detection
• Auto Port. Framing
• Metering Mode
• Flash Comp.
• White Balance
• DRO/Auto HDR
• Creative Style
• Picture Effect
• Image Size
• Quality
• AEL Hold
• AEL Toggle
• [Spot] AEL Hold
• [Spot] AEL Toggle
• Object Tracking
• AF Lock
• Aperture Preview
• Shot. Result Preview
• Zoom
• Focus Magnifier

Body Elements

The A37 features a rather small and low-resolution 2.6", 230k dot rear LCD. On the plus side it is now mounted on a tilt-flip hinge, making overhead or waist-level shooting easier. And this is handy on a camera that doesn't suffer from the DSLR drawback of focus slowing down when you try to shoot in live view.
The A37 uses the same NP-FW50 battery as Sony's NEX-series compact mirrorless cameras. It has a relatively low capacity (for its class) of 7.8Wh, but Sony has managed to squeeze 450 shots out of it when used with the viewfinder (30 up from the A35), and 500 shots when using the rear LCD.

A dual purpose SD/Memory Stick slot sits just behind the battery.
Hidden under a rubber door on the left of the A37 are a HDMI port and a USB 2.0 socket. Images (still and moving) can be played back directly on Sony's Bravia televisions via the HDMI connection.
The A37 is able to offer DSLR autofocus with full-time live view thanks to its fixed, semi-transparent mirror. Early models could be provoked into exhibiting 'ghosting' - a duplicate of bright details. This has been resolved on more recent models so the only cost is around 0.5EV of light (which we've not found to have a significant impact on image quality).
The A37 can't be used with an infrared remote control but there is the option to use a wired remote (also allowing the use of third-party intervalometers).
In a move that's still unusual in this class, the A37 features an external mic socket. (The Nikon D3200 also offers one, but its list price is an extra $100)

First impressions:

The A37 is more interesting camera for the marketing department than it probably was for Sony's engineers - it's essentially familiar parts and technologies assembled in an order that helps make the company's camera line-up make more sense. But this doesn't mean it's not an interesting camera for potential customers. After all, the result of effective marketing is a product that well suits the needs and expectations of a particular group of customers.

The A37 offers access to one of the best sensors on the market, combined with a host of user-friendly features that no other brand offers. Add to this the SLT technology that we think does a great job of providing DSLR capability with a shooting experience that will be immediately familiar to compact camera shooters. The result is an impressively small, well-specified camera at a price that significantly under-cuts most of its rivals.

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Total comments: 49

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

1 upvote

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

David zzzzzzzzzz

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.


Can we use external GPS with it?

Fadhil Parewangi

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!

Sumedh Gudur

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.....

Francis Sawyer

The camera has a printer built in?


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


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

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

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

1 upvote

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

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.


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.


"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

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

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.

kushal raj patnaik

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!


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


In what ways?

1 upvote
Donald B

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 !


Richard Butler

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


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.


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?


Sony, just how many bodies do we need?


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

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.

Richard Butler

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

kushal raj patnaik

for a57 it is 4:3

1 upvote
perry rhodan

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

I like the A57 better :-)

Rooru S

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) can do better.

Aleo Veuliah

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


...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.


Doesn't A55 have built in HDR function?


Yes, it does.


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.


wait what?


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

Richard Butler


Great overview.


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


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
Richard Butler

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.

Richard Lewis Ireland

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


The finder is 1.44M dots on the Japanese Sony website spec sheet.

Richard Butler

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

Bernie M

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.

Total comments: 49