User review of Sony A33

Started Sep 20, 2010 | Discussions thread
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normsmith Veteran Member • Posts: 3,372
User review of Sony A33

These are just some brief observations, as I do not feel that I have had the camera long enough to give deeper analysis. My A33 is mated with the Sony 18 - 250 lens. I went to my local wildlife park today. it was very overcast and the light levels were poor. The images produced here are illustrative only, they are HEAVY CROPS OR HAVE BEEN RE-SIZED fast downloading, so pixel peeping will not really help you. All pictures are JPEG, with levels adjusted and some sharpening (except the first landscape shot)

HANDLING - Pretty much the DSLR experience, though the body feels smaller and lighter than the typical DSLR. I have large hands, my middle two fingers wrap the grip, the little finger goes under the camera, the forefinger wishes the firing button was set further forward and on a downward angle for better comfort but that is a minor quibble. Plenty of buttons and the FN buttons give you direct access to plenty of functions.

FRAMES PER SECOND - this is fast and at full resolution for each shot, the below SWAN was the second shot in a burst. The blanking out of the EFV (typical of all EFV's) is very brief, in fact, the fastest I have seen on any EFV camera and was not an annoyance to me. In multishot mode, shooting at 6 frames per second means you can track motion. I did birds in flight today and got good results. people talk about a slide show effect and I think that is a good term. As the buffer fills and needs to empty out, the EFV does not black out, so you can continue to track until the buffer clears enough for more shots. Obviously not equal to optical for tracking, but pretty amazing.

FOCUSSING - very functional and impressive, mainly because it is working all of the time, as I tracked birds with the 15 focal points, each one was lighting up as birds crossed the various focal points, pretty fast I thought. In movie, you can zoom and the focus is always adjusting for accuracy. Doesn't seem quite as fast as my Nikon D5000 was, but I had a better lens on that.

BAD BACKS AND OLDER JOINTS - It's a few years since I was 21, so the flip down LCD is great for getting low down shots (MUSHROOMS below) without having to get down on the floor.

PRESERVES HIGHLIGHTS - the two pictures below show (1) the shot holding onto the highligts but as picture 2 shows, there is plenty of detail in the shadows for PP to bring out. One thing, this causes is my birds in flight shots, were darker than I would normally expect and PP is needed, again, I was in poor light (note the shooting info on the landscape shots), so it will be interesting to use the camera in the same location on a brighter day.

MOVIE - I am not really a movie user, but I am impressed by this and will be using it more often, the auto focus is excellent as is the image quality and metering. sound is OK, I could hear a slight rustle (not too obtrusive) and I think that might be the image stabilisation working, i think the manual says you should turn it off for movie, I will try that. There is a dedicated on / off button for movie, which is placed safely away from accidental activation - very helpful.

IMAGE STABILISATION - seems fine, I like the strength bar in the viewfinder that shows how much you are moving the camera, best shots come when the bar goes low.

WHITE BALANCE - I was in poor light and thought Auto WB was shifting slightly blue, I had to use manual for some shots, particulary on tree bark etc (always a fussy subject for WB).

EFV - This one is very good. it is large and it is great to see all the info displayed, including a spirit level and histogram if you want them. I mainly shot with the LCD locked away, just using the EFV to shoot and review shots.

SOME ODD THINGS - in scene mode, my flash popped up in Lanscape mode (it was bad light), I had to manually switch it off. In scene mode, my manual macro was better than scene mode macro because of shake. but than manual does suggest a tripod. When i review images and press the + button, the image jumps straight to something like 10x, I am sure there must be a way to stop this, but I haven't found it yet.

That's really all for now, I will come back with more info as I explore the camera further.

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