Sony Alpha A57 Brief Review

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REVIEW SUMMARY

Specifications

  • 16.1 megapixels CMOS sensor
  • 1080p HD video with stereo sound
  • 3-inch articulating LCD
  • 12 fps continuous shooting
  • Manual modes
  • RAW capture
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Release Date: 2012-04-30
  • Final Grade: 91 A

A
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Sony Alpha A57
16.1 megapixels CMOS sensor; 1080p HD video with stereo sound; 3-inch articulating LCD; 12 fps continuous shooting; Manual modes; RAW capture; Optical image stabilization; Lithium-ion battery
By , Last updated on: 5/18/2014

Sony's A57 falls under the A65 and A77 as Sony's 2012 mid-level SLT. Specifications are remarkably similar to the aging A55; the A57 uses the same 16 megapixel sensor yet trades the former's small form factor for the A65's chunkier styling. A55 users might not find any compelling reasons to upgrade here, especially because the A57 lacks a GPS, but that larger body does make room for a battery with 50% more juice. The kit is only $800 list, another blow to Canon and Nikon's mid-range lineup. Image quality tends to be a bit better than Micro 4/3's cameras and comparable to other mirrorless cameras with the same sensor size. The 12 fps burst mode is the highest we've seen in this category lately and a big plus.

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Sony Reviews

Sony has been at the forefront of the market for consumer electronics for the past 30 years by offering innovative imaging products in response to changes in the market. Sony has made cameras that are ideal for casual users, hobbyists, and professional photographers through their dedication to implementing the most current technology with a sleek and minimal style, resulting in an end result of the highest quality.

Sony was the first to put a full-frame sensor inside of a mirrorless camera, the A7 and A7R, and a little later, the A7S. While the first-of-its-kind cameras aren't without flaws, Sony executed their ideas fairly well and made some pretty solid cameras to start the new line.

Speaking of first-of-its kind, Sony also designed a “camera-without-a-camera,” the QX10 and QX100. These cameras have a sensor and lens, but no operating system—instead, consumers use their smartphone via wi-fi or NFC to operate the camera. While the cameras certainly have flaws (mainly in the slow response due to operating through wi-fi), we still have to applaud Sony for the way they've responded to the rise in smartphone photography (plus the cameras have actually sold remarkably well).

Sony has also been highly successful with the RX compact camera line that began with the RX100, a compact camera with a 1” sensor, excellent image quality and full manual modes. The camera has since seen some solid updates, and remains a good option. Sony also added the RX10, a camera with a 1” sensor but instead of focusing on compact size, adds a much bigger zoom.

While their focus is on more advanced models, it’s usually a pretty safe bet to pick up a Sony compact, even a budget priced one, and still get a lot of bang for your buck. We're also big fans of Sony's designs, making their cameras easy to use and adjust, like the HX400 that has an automatic sensor on the electronic viewfinder as well as a control ring around the lens.

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