a57. My initial impressions.

Started Apr 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Joe Przybylski
Joe Przybylski Regular Member • Posts: 110
a57. My initial impressions.

I'm no expert, but my friends call me a camera snob because i'm always trading up cameras to try out the next one. I swear I should start my OWN blog...

I just bought an a57 last night. So I've been playing around with it. Last year I had a d5100, Sony NEX5n and an a55. Recently, I've tried the Pentax K-5, Canon 60d and a t3i. I just sold my K-5 to get the Olympus OM-D when it comes out but thought I'd give the a57 a try in the mean time. All of the camera's i've tried were kept in my home for a trial period of 1 week to several months before I sold them on eBay or other means.

a57: My initial reactions: Nice body style. I like how it feels in my hands, but doesn't feel overly strong like the Pentax K-5 and I would NOT trust this thing in even the most mild rainfall or mist.

The camera is blazingly fast and super responsive. Shots appear almost instantly in the preview window, which is wonderful compared to the K-5 - that was a great camera but slow as hell to preview and write to cards. Focus is plenty fast... especially with the 1.02 firmware upgrade available now.

The options on the a57 are mind boggling. There's literally nothing you CAN'T do on it. It's one of the few cameras I thought "Man, it would be great if it only had... (FOR EXAMPLE: in body stabilization... got it! focus peaking... got it! manual video control... got it! 60p progressive for slow motion... got it! microphone input... got it! high burst rate... got it! the gimmicky but sometimes helpful digital zoom for video... got it! EVF... got it! tillable screen... got it!... and the list goes on and on.) I've yet to find something on another camera that this one doesn't have. The only one I can think of is a higher quality EVF like the NEX or a65/77.

I've done the usual around the house shots, and all of them were quite good. It hunts a bit in low light, but honestly - don't they all? This is something even the highly praised K-5 did.

Another thing I'd like to mention is the built-in flash. Impressive. This is one flash that bested all of the camera's built-in units that I've owned over the past year. They all seemed very weak - and while this is no powerhouse, it certainly gets the job done and I'm surprised me by it's reach.

JPG rendering seems to leave me wanting a bit, so I'll have to wait a while before the RAW update is released for Aperture. But from what I'm seeing in the image previews, detail is pretty great. Low light performance is not as good as the K5 but the a57 has SO many tricks up it's sleeve (multi frame exposures, handheld twilight) that anything that needs to be shot in challenging low lights situations could easily be resolved.

As a previous NEX 5n and a55 owner, I'd say any Sony fan's sitting on the fence for this camera can make the plunge. I've had it for less than a day and I'm already impressed.

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