Previous page Next page

Body & Design

The polycarbonate-bodied SLT-A57 is a larger, more bulbous camera than its predecessor, the SLT-A55. Despite sitting below the 24MP SLT-A65 in Sony's lineup, the A57 is, in terms of body design, virtually identical to its higher-resolution stablemate. The only visible difference, aside from the model name, is the labelling of the 'Zoom' button on the camera's right shoulder which toggles the camera's Clear Image Zoom function.

Top of camera controls

Along the top of the camera you see an exposure mode dial and just visible, the 'menu' button, nestled above the rear LCD screen. The A57's exposure mode dial is where you'll find access to the traditional PASM shooting modes, as well as its sweep panorama (2D and 3D) and movie mode.

There is slightly more going on over on the right hand side of the A57's top-plate. This is where you'll find the integrated on/off switch and shutter release, as well as dedicated exposure compensation and ISO buttons. The ISO button can also be re-assigned to any one of 26 possible functions, to access features ranging from DRO dynamic range optimization to image quality settings. You can also see the camera's front dial positioned just forward of the shutter button.

To the right of the A57's viewfinder hump is a finder/LCD button for manually switching from the electronic viewfinder to the rear LCD screen, and just behind it, on the slope down to the A57's south face can be found a small outcrop of three more buttons. These are (from left to right in this view) a dedicated movie record button, a customizable AEL button and the 'zoom' button, which can trigger either normal digital zoom or the new Clear Image zoom per the menu configuration.

In manual exposure mode the AEL button is also used (in combination with the front dial) to change the aperture value. During image playback, the AEL and zoom buttons are used to change magnification of images (as indicated by their associated magnifying glass icons).

Rear of camera controls

The SLT-A57's rear control layout is identical to that of the SLT-A65. The rear four-way controller is a simple X/Y axis pad. You use the central AF button to initiate manual AF point selection and then use the rear controller (or front dial) to select the desired AF point. The Fn button is used to call up the camera's 'quick menu' when in shooting mode as well as rotate an image during playback. At upper left you'll find the main menu button and lower-right the playback, and delete/? buttons. This latter button calls up a 'Shooting Tips' help guide; the same one that can be accesed via the main menu. In addition to offering direct access to this guide, however, the '?' button takes you to a section related to the camera's current shooting mode. With the cameras set to Sweep Panorama mode, for example, the screen opens on its page with panorama information.

Front controls

The front of the camera hosts three controls. Along one side of the lens throat you have an AF/MF switch, and a small button to pop up the built-in flash above the lens release. On the opposite side of the camera near the bottom of the lens mount is the small round DOF preview button. This can also be configured to activate magnified focus assist, which can be helpful for achieving precise manual focus.

Compared to Canon EOS 650D/Rebel T4i

The Sony SLT-A57 is fractionally smaller and actually a bit heavier than the Canon EOS 650D, despite the fact that the Sony lacks an optical viewfinder. Both cameras house an APS-C sized sensor and built-in flash units.

Both the Sony SLT-A57 and the EOS 650D follow a traditional SLR design and control point layout. The mode dials reside on opposite shoulders of the cameras and the A57's shutter button sits behind its control dial, while the 650D reverses those positions.
Both cameras feature a 3.0 inch articulated LCD, but the bottom-hinged (versus side hinged) design of the A57 makes it less useful for shooting from high angles in portrait orientation. Its centered hinge can also make it difficult to preview self-portraits or group shots when using a tripod. The electronic viewfinder of the Sony A57 makes it (slightly) shorter than the 650D, and allows for a more gently-contoured shape.
Outfitted with their respective 18-55mm kit lenses, both cameras would occupy a similar amount of space in a camera bag. This view also highlights the wider and more deeply-recessed hand-grip of the Sony A57.
Previous page Next page
240
I own it
20
I want it
37
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 4
atoal

recently got a sony a57 when shooting with a minulta lens the image on the display is crystal clear for about 2 seconds and then goes blurry. does anybody know how to stop this?

0 upvotes
BobFoster

As I know a lesser lens might introduce coloured fringing around sharp, fine contrasts in an image such as this -- particularly in the upper-left corner where the branches overlay the sky -- but the SAL1855 passed with flying colours

1 upvote
m Anthony

My friend has a Sony A 57, he uses the Fast frame mode, I think the "T" setting to take pictures of his daugher's sports activities, but the images are blulrred, I advised him to set a shutter speed of 1/800 or even higher, but I do not see how to do that with the "T" setting. Can this be done?
Sorry I do not own a Sony camera, this seems like a nice feature and I'm just trying to help a friend.

Thanks Much
m Anthony

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
tohydrom

Tell your friend to force the camera to shoot at higher shutter speed by raising the ISO, which you can control while in the T mode :)
good luck,

0 upvotes
Total comments: 4