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The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
The Sony SLT-A57 has the unenviable task of replacing the SLT-A55, which generated huge interest by introducing a ground-breaking translucent fixed-mirror design to the entry-level DSLR market. If you place a premium on the introduction of brand new features and functionality, the A57 contains only two that we haven't already seen in recent NEX and SLT models; an auto portrait cropping feature and a Clear Image Zoom upsampling technology. The 16MP sensor gives the same output resolution as the A55, although it is re-engineered and powered by the latest iteration of Sony's BIONZ processor, offering improved JPEG noise performance.
Despite the similarities though, the A57 is far from being a warmed over A55. In the two years since the introduction of the A55, Sony has rolled out a number of useful technologies in its subsequent NEX and SLT models and a large majority of these have worked their way into the A57. For starters, the A57 sheds the A55's 'mini-DSLR' form factor, for a camera body that is essentially identical to the higher-spec'd SLT-A65. The A57's video specification is identical to more expensive SLT models as well, with 1080p60 output and built-in stereo microphones. A quick look at the pros list at the top of this page will attest to the fact that simply by updating the A57 with features like focus peaking, customizeable AEL and ISO buttons and a high capacity battery, Sony has created a camera with substantial improvements over its predecessor - lacking only the A55's GPS module - and one that is extremely competitive in its class.
One feature that has not, regrettably, trickled down to the A57 is the brilliant OLED EVF seen in the A65. The LCD viewfinder does offer a higher magnification view than any of its competitors but is prone to color tearing which can detract from an otherwise seamless transition from rear LCD to EVF. And, in perhaps the only area in which the A57 is lacking compared to its predecessor, the A55's built-in GPS has been dropped.
While there are certain to be those disappointed that the A57 still offers 'only' 16MP resolution, it's only fair to ask just how many novice-oriented DSLR uses actually need more pixels than that. It's also worth noting that the 16MP sensor Sony introduced with the A55 and which has been re-engineered for inclusion in the NEX-C3, NEX-5N and SLT-A57 is one of the best performing APS-C chips on the market.
The A57 delivers images with pleasing colors, contrast and saturation. White balance is generally well-judged and metering is very reliable, with only more difficult lighting scenarios requiring the use of exposure compensation. JPEG dynamic range performance is class-leading, providing roughly 9 stops EV from highlights to shadows. And Sony continues to offer a number of creative effects for easy image manipulation, as well as features like Sweep Panorama which are just plain fun to use.
We find Sony's JPEG processing leaves a little to be desired, with default results that are slightly softer than we'd like and prone to artifacts at even mid-range ISO sensitivities. Users willing to invest the time in processing raw files, however, will find results that meet and often exceed anything its competitors can offer in terms of detail and noise performance.
Video quality of the A57 is outstanding, delivering crisp, detailed footage at 1080p60 with manual exposure control. The phase-detection AF does an admirable job of locking focus quickly on subjects in a central area of the frame, and only on very rare occasions does focus shift become a noticeable distraction during playback. The AE system also does an impressive job of smoothly adjusting to large changes in scene brightness.
In terms of its handling the A57 behaves almost identically to its bigger sibling, the A65. A comfortably deep hand grip provides a secure hold of the camera. The body is large enough to offer well-spaced control points and the exposure compensation and ISO buttons fall easily to hand while you're in the shooting position. Yet the camera is still light enough to carry around on your shoulder for a full day of shooting.
While the preference for an optical versus electronic viewfinder is clearly a personal one, there's no dispute that shooting with an EVF that offers detailed and customizeable information overlays provides a significantly different handling experience compared to a conventional DSLR. The A57 also provides an equivalent viewing experience whether using the EVF or rear LCD. This means you can not only frame a composition with as much or as little information as you like, but you can even navigate the menu system without removing your eye from the viewfinder.
When it comes to making between-shot adjustments, a well-placed exposure compensation and ISO button make quick work of two of the more common changes you're apt to make. Sony's Function menu provides easy access to nearly any other parameters you'd need such as AF mode, object tracking, creative styles and picture effects, limiting your trips to the more tedious-to-navigate main menu. The 4-way controller also provides direct access to drive mode and white balance settings.
In nearly all instances, whether using the rear LCD at arm's length or shooting in the traditional through-the-viewfinder position, configuring the more common shooting settings to the task at hand is not a complicated affair. Adjusting aperture when shooting in manual mode is a bit less intuitive than we'd like, and requiring a non-obvious button press in addition to rotating the front dial. Yet once you've figured it out, it works perfectly well.
The SLT-A57 is a camera that is straightforward in operation with good handling ergonomics. It does many things well and boasts a feature set that rivals its stiffest DSLR competitors. A tried and true 16MP APS-C sensor delivers pleasing images across most of its ISO range, with pixel-level Raw image quality that ranks among the best of its class. The A57's high-end video specification is backed up by a strong AF system and very good AE algorithms which produce great-looking video with minimal user input. A full-resolution 10fps shooting rate is well beyond most of its peers, and the camera tracks focus reasonably well for subjects moving towards the camera at a moderate pace.
Outside of our wish for JPEG output that more closely matches the potential of its 16MP sensor, our complaints with the A57 fall largely along issues of improved efficiency in operation and a higher quality EVF. These are hardly make or break issues for those in the market for a beginner-friendly DSLR. And at a street price of around US $800 with the 18-55mm kit lens, the A57 fits well into most any novice DSLR user's budget.
At its core, the A57 is a well put-together compendium of Sony's technology advances since the introduction of the A55 two years ago. This makes it a solid and proven performer for anyone stepping up to a DSLR from a compact camera or ILC, and one that concedes little in terms of either value or performance to its competitors from Canon, Nikon and Pentax. We'd love a touch-sensitive screen and a more sensibly articulated LCD (and the OLED EVF from the A65/77 would be lovely) but the A57 is an excellent camera at a compelling price, and as such it earns our top honor, the Gold Award.
Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category.
Click here to learn about the changes to our scoring system and what these numbers mean.
Category: Entry Level Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Ergonomics & handling
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Movie / video mode
The A57 combines a high-quality 16 MP sensor, easy access to shooting parameters, and class-leading video performance. And does this while providing an equivalent shooting experience, whether composing images via the EVF or rear LCD.
When the Fujifilm X-T2 arrived, it was more than just a modest upgrade to the already impressive X-T1. While the new X-T3 hasn't changed the overall design of the camera, this model is way more than an upgrade; rather, it's a quantum leap.
The Movie Maker is a compact, motorized slider designed for phones, action cams and small mirrorless cameras. We think it's a fun little kit and a good value proposition for the cost, provided you can work around a few of its weak points.
Nikon's Z7 is the first camera to use the all-new Z-mount, the company's first new full-frame mount since 1959. We've put together our first impressions based on quality shooting time with a pre-production camera - check out what we've found.
What's the best camera for a parent? The best cameras for shooting kids and family must have fast autofocus, good low-light image quality and great video. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for parents, and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting landscapes? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best.
What’s the best camera costing over $2000? The best high-end camera costing more than $2000 should have plenty of resolution, exceptional build quality, good 4K video capture and top-notch autofocus for advanced and professional users. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2000 and recommended the best.
|_ERN9064 by ernesto juarez|
from Shoot yourself ! (with your camera)
|walkersons fields by George Veltchev|
from -Waiting for Autumn- (in Full Colours Only)
There's no mistaking the Nikon Coolpix P1000 – with a 24-3000mm equivalent zoom, it really is in a class of its own. It's a conspicuous-looking superzoom with one main job: getting you really close to far away subjects. We've put together a gallery showing the kind of results you can expect from it.
A new report from The Verge claims Instagram is currently testing a feature that allows users to re-share posts to their own account feeds.
GoPro has announced its HERO7 camera lineup. The updated action cameras feature new HyperSmooth and TimeWarp modes, as well as improved video and photo specs.
The latest Samsung midrange smartphone offers a super-wide-angle lens in its triple-camera setup.
The Sony 24mm F1.4 is the latest lens to join the company's premium G Master lineup. We've been shooting with one for a couple of days - here's what you need to know.
Apple released iOS 12 a few days ago and some iPhone X users are less than happy with how the new operating system has made their phones look.
Camera bag manufacturer Lowepro has introduced mark II backpacks for its ProTactic AW range with models that are said to feature an improved handling experience as well as a collection of accessories that can be attached to the outside.
Canon has announced its latest superzoom camera, the PowerShot SX70 HS. Compared to the SX60 that came before it, the SX70 has the same lens but offers a higher resolution EVF, 4K video capture and support for Canon's new CR3 Raw format.
Cosina has announced its eighth lens designed specifically for Sony's E-mount system. The Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 lens is due out October 2018.
Sony has taken the wraps off of its new 24mm F1.4 GM full-frame lens, which the company claims is the lightest in its class. Despite its fast aperture, the 24mm F1.4 is remarkably light, weighing just 445 grams (15.7 ounces). The lens will set you back $1400 when it ships next month.
In this episode of DPReview TV we take a look at Sony's brand new 24mm F1.4 GM lens, a desirable focal length for many photographers. How does it perform? Chris and Jordan give us their first impressions.
We've had a little time to shoot with Sony's new wide/fast prime, both close to home and on the water in San Francisco. Check out our initial sample images.
Fujifilm released a firmware upgrade for its X-T3 mirrorless camera that addresses issues with distortion compensation and the mechanical lock on SD cards.
The app's algorithms have been trained using using 200 million cropping data points from real photographers.
Thanks to a software update, the Loupedeck+ editing console can now be used for video editing.
British photographic engineer MTF Services is claiming the world’s first third-party lens adapters for the new Nikon Z system with a collection of four units designed to allow cinema lenses to be mounted on the mirrorless full frame bodies.
Think Tank Photo has updated its line of heavy-duty rain covers and introduced a new, compact version for emergency situations.
The X-T3 is our first opportunity to analyze what's likely to be Fujifilm's next generation image sensor. Take a look at how it performs next to the competition in our studio test scene.
Canon's new normal is seriously sharp wide open. After shooting with it for a few days, we've prepared a gallery of real-world sample images.
Nikon will cease offering Brazil-based customer service and technical support, though the company stresses that it will still offer technical assistance and warranty repairs for valid warranties.
Two years ago, CatLABS of JP announced a plan to save Packfilm from the dead. Now, it's announced it's giving up its efforts to better focus its resources elsewhere.
The GoPro Fusion is designed to make it easy to capture 360-degree video and stills. We took it out recently on a typically hot Seattle summer day to see what it can do.
We've got our hands on a full-production Nikon Z7 camera and have updated our gallery with additional samples.
A new Kickstarter campaign seeks funding for Chroma Chrono, a programmable RGB camera flash that emits multiple colors during long exposures.
Think Tank Photo has launched a new lineup of six dual-access, water-resistant protective lens cases it calls Lens Case Duo.
Canon and Nikon finally entered the full-frame mirrorless market this summer with the brand-new RF and Z mounts. Now that we've had some time with the cameras, we wanted to revisit our earlier predictions and take stock.
The devices' camera specs look pretty much identical to last year's iPhone X but under the hood a number of important improvements have been made.
Blackmagic Design has announced the public beta of its new Blackmagic RAW video codec. The company says the new format combines the benefits of shooting Raw video with the ease of use and smaller file sizes usually associated with non-Raw video files.
Serif, the company behind the Affinity suite, has announced the latest update for its mobile Photoshop competitor Affinity Photo for iPad.
The Atomos Ninja V external video recorder and monitor will be ready to ship at the end of this month. The 5.2in Ninja V is designed to provide a smaller option, while still offering many of the features of the larger 7-inch models.