Sony SLT-A65 Review
The A65 comes with the same video specification as its bigger sister model A77. It is capable of recording full 1080p video, with the ability to record at 60p. The new AVCHD 2.0 format is now compatible with the newest Blu-ray players, as well as many older players after a firmware update. The newest version of Sony's PMB software allows for lossless editing of your movies, and can write your 60p movies directly to a Blu-ray disc.
Full manual control of shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation is possible when shooting video but there are some restrictions. You can only take manual exposure control in the A65's dedicated movie exposure mode (found on the main exposure mode dial), and this is incompatible with AF. If you want to take advantage of the A65's full-time AF during video, you'll have to shoot in program AE mode, at which point the camera will not select an aperture smaller than the lens' maximum (or f/3.5, in lenses with a maximum aperture of greater than f/4). This simply reflects the fact that the AF system will stop working properly if the aperture is set smaller than f/5.6.
Pressing the Movie button when shooting in one of the PASM modes on the A65 will begin recording video in program AE mode, with AF operating continuously. AF can be locked using the center button of the four-way controller (assuming it is so assigned in the custom menu), while ISO, AF area and object tracking can all be adjusted during recording. A wind cut option is available.
Video quality options
1920 x 1080 60i/50i Avg. 24 Mbps (high quality)
1920 x 1080 60i/50i Avg. 17 Mbps (standard quality)
1920 x 1080 60p Avg. 28Mbps (highest quality)
1920 x1080 24p/25p Avg. 24Mbps (high quality)
1920 x 1080 24p/25p Avg. 17Mbps (standard quality)
1440 x 1080, 1080p (30/25fps), Av. 12Mbps
640 x 480 (30/25fps)
|Audio||• Dolby Digital Audio
• Stereo audio capture via optional external mic.
|Format||AVCHD / MPEG4|
|Max file size per clip||2.0 GB for Motion JPEG, card capacity for AVCHD (new file is created automatically after file size has reached 2.0 GB)|
|Recordable time||Approx 29 minutes (around 13 min when temperature exceeds 40 degrees C)|
Handling in Video modeThe A65 handles very well in video mode. The tiltable screen allows you to hold the camera at waist or chest height and view the LCD from above, just like you would do with a dedicated video camera. You cannot control exposure settings and use AF at the same time but the camera still offers a very fluid shooting experience. Compared to a conventional DSLR, the convenience of being able to compose video using either the viewfinder or LCD screen with equal ease cannot be overstated, and we love having full-time phase-detection AF available during movie shooting too, albeit only in program AE mode.
Just as the original SLT-A55 was, the A65 is one of our favorite stills cameras for casual video work. The addition of a 60p capture mode might not mean much to the average consumer, but it has the potential to make the A65 more interesting to more 'serious' video professionals, although the complicated method of setting and using manual exposure during filming might take the shine off a little.
This short clip shows the A65's video performance in good light. The motion is smooth and image stabilization is working well, keeping things steady while the camera is hand-held. The built-in microphones are doing a decent job at capturing the engine sounds of the motorbikes.
|1920x1080 60i, MTS, 11 sec, 22.3 MB Click here to download original file|
In this panning shot you can see the very slight focus 'jumps' as the camera's AF sensors try to lock onto different subjects. The sound of the AF motor is also picked up but the built-in microphones. In a situation like this manual is arguably the preferrable focusing method. In low light some image noise becomes visible but it is well within acceptable limits.
|1920x1080 60p, MTS, 14 sec, 45.2 MB Click here to download original file|
When shooting videos in very low light the SLT-A65 does not make use of its full ISO range which can result in underexposed footage, as seen in this sample clip. At the minimum shutter speed for 30p video (1/30 sec) the camera could not push the sensitivity high enough to expose the image correctly.
In this clip you can also hear that the built-in microphones are picking up quite a lot of background noise. For more directional recording of sound we recommend you invest in an external microphone.
|1920x1080 30p, MTS, 12 sec, 39.0 MB Click here to download original file|
Kodak has restarted production of one of its most famous film emulsions - Ektachrome. Popular Science editor Stan Horaczek recently go to take a look inside.
The Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD is an affordable F2.8 standard zoom for full frame Sony E-mount cameras. What's it like, what are the trade-offs, and what are the alternatives? Chris and Jordan take a closer look...
We've updated our Best Drones buying guide and there's a new winner. Find out which drone was our favorite and learn more about all current models in our updated guide.
A teardown of a Nikon D850 has provided proof that the camera's sensor is made by Sony Semiconductor. The chip's design and performance already strongly supported this, but the confirmation also gives a hint about how the industry works.
Leica Camera has announced a new compact camera that features a 24-360mm F3.3-6.4 zoom lens and a 20MP 1” MOS sensor. Essentially a re-badged Panasonic Lumix ZS/TZ200, the Leica C-Lux will save Raw and JPEG files, will offer 4K video and has a viewfinder with a 2.33 million-dot resolution.
Leica has launched a limited edition M10 with a contoured handgrip designed by luxury car manufacturer Zagato. And, to celebrate the opening of a new part of the company's Wetzlar factory, a pair of Leica-made watches are due this autumn.
The new Mijia gimbal provides 3-axis stabilization and can charge the battery of the attached device.
YouTuber George Tomlin explains the concept of sub-framing and details how you can use it to take not only make the composition more interesting, but also provide context for the scene you're shooting.
British photographer Drew Gardner tells us how his gigapixel image of the queen's birthday parade came together.
YouTube channel Company Man has shared a 12-minute video explaining the history of Kodak and the factors that led to it going from industry leader to bankrupt business.
Neewer, a photo gear brand out of China, has launched a new budget APS-C lens for Fuji X and Sony E mounts. The Fuji X mount lens offering has appeared on Amazon as a new release with a $119.99 price tag, but is currently listed as unavailable.
Two years after launching its first photo filter, Aurora Aperture is back at it again with the Kickstarter launch of its PowerXND Mark II filters.
Nikon has announced the development of the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm F5.6E PF ED VR lens. Thanks to its use of 'phase fresnel' optics, Nikon claims that the lens will be small and light enough to be used handheld.
MIOPS has opened up a Kickstarter campaign for its latest product, the Capture360. This pocket-sized device is a versatile motion control box designed to be as simple or robust as your needs desire.
Lowepro has released the FreeLine BP 350 AW, an all-new daypack that features Lowepro's adaptive interior divider system it calls QuickShelf.
Currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, the Instant Magny 35 supports Fujifilm Instax Square film and doesn't require any camera modifications. The instant film back is described as ideal for rangefinders and SLRs from Pentax, Leica, Olympus, Canon, and Nikon.
Utah-based tripod manufacturer Really Right Stuff has updated all 17 of its tripods with updated features and better ergonomics.
The new Technical Camera app offers comprehensive manual controls and a range of features for users who prefer to take control of the capture process.
Someone finally made a 1"-sensor compact with a fixed prime lens that can take great photos, but it's aimed at Scuba enthusiasts more so than land-based photographers and has a few operational quirks.
Leica has released details of the twelve finalists for this year’s Leica Oskar Barnack Award, one of who will take the €35,000 (approx. $41K) top prize. Organizers say that 2500 photographers submitted work to the competition this year.
One week after it was first seen in leaked images, Samyang—also known as Rokinon in the US—has unveiled a ‘tiny but wide’ 24mm F2.8 lens for full-frame Sony cameras.
Whether you're hitting the beach in the Northern Hemisphere or the ski slopes in the Southern, a rugged compact camera makes a great companion. In this buying guide we've taken a look at seven current models and chosen our favorites.
Every photographer knows about APS-C sensors, but what about APS film? This week, Chris and Jordan take a stroll down memory lane and try out the original APS format, a technology that promised to streamline the film workflow, but which ultimately lost out to digital technology.
It's not every day you have the opportunity to shoot with a lens like the Hasselblad XCD 21mm F4. It's currently the widest lens in the company's medium-format lineup and as we discovered, incredibly sharp.
Although it wasn’t a stand-out detail during the keynote, Apple is bringing new features and improved performance when working with Raw photos on iOS 12. We break down a few of the updates we’ve come across in the iOS 12 Beta 1.
Our existing Sony RX100 VI sample gallery has been updated with more images from our initial outings with the camera.
Manfrotto has updated its travel tripod range with three new tripod models: the Befree Advanced Carbon Fiber, Befree GT, and Befree Live Carbon Fiber. The first two models feature Manfrotto's M-lock twist lock, and the Befree Live Carbon Fiber is designed for recording video.
Parrot has launched its latest consumer drone, the Anafi. This folding drone will retail for just shy of $700 and features a 21-megapixel camera capable of 4K HDR capture at 30 fps.
DPReview's Technical Editor Richard Butler was in New York for the launch of the new Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI. Find out his first impressions of Sony's powerful new pocket zoom.