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Sony Alpha DSLR SLT A33 Translucent Mirror Digital Camera Kit with 18-55mm Zoom Lens, 8GB SD Memory Card, Camera Case,

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Sony SLT-A33: Picture 1 regular

About Sony SLT-A33

Capture the decisive moment with the world's first Translucent Mirror Technology DSLR. The SLT-A33 a DSLR camera features professional-grade continuous shooting at 7 fps and visibly faster, more accurate focus in Live View and HD Movie modes. Compose your shots on either the LCD monitor or electronic viewfinder with 100% framing accuracy. Advanced features including Auto HDR, Sweep Panorama and 15-point Auto Focus make it dramatically easier to get the best shot.

Sony SLT-A33 Features

  • Translucent Mirror Technology: The SLT-A33 is the world's first DSLR with Translucent Mirror Technology that directs light to both the image sensor and the Phase Detection AF sensor simultaneously.
  • 14.2 megapixel resolution: You get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements. Thanks to the 14.2 megapixel APS-C sensor size and Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS technology, the camera achieves high resolution with no penalty in low-light sensitivity or sensor noise.
  • Full HD 1080/60i movies: This is one of the very few DSLRs with 1080/60i Full HD, exactly the same resolution and frame rate as most broadcast and cable HDTV channels.
  • Auto HDR built into camera: Captures more scene dynamic range than a single exposure can handle-and more range than photo film. Combines the best highlight detail from one shot, the best mid-tones from a second and the best shadow detail from a third for one incredible shot.
  • Eye-level finder for HD Movie: The eye-level finder is one of the reasons people love DSLRs. But that finder goes dark whenever you shoot HD Movies. Until now.
  • 921K dot TruBlack LCD screen: Sony's Xtra Fine LCD monitor has 921K dots for superb resolution. The TruBlack screen includes a special resin layer to suppress internal reflections, increasing contrast compared to conventional LCDs.
  • Phase Detection Auto Focus: While Contrast Detection AF often hunts for correct focus, Phase Detection AF knows exactly where correct focus is and goes straight for it.
  • Sweep Panorama Mode: Capture expansive landscapes automatically. Press the shutter and sweep vertically or horizontally. The camera does the rest, continuously shooting images and stitching them together. Up to 23 MP image size.
  • Compact, lightweight deign: Eliminating the moving mirror also reduces the camera's size and weight. It's not just remarkably advanced; it's notably small and light.
  • BIONZ image processor: The brains of the camera is a refined version of Sony's BIONZ image processor. Its chroma noise reduction delivers high-resolution, low-noise photos even at ISO 12800 sensitivity. Also enables 7 fps continuous shooting at full resolution, Sweep Panorama mode and more.
  • RAW image capture: Saves your pictures as compact JPEG files or ultra-high quality RAW files or both. RAW files save images prior to de-mosaicing, white balance, sharpness and color enhancement. This retains maximum latitude for enhancing the image on your PC.
  • Face Detection technology: The camera can automatically detect up to eight individual faces and adjust focus, exposure, white balance and flash to help deliver crisp, properly lit images of family and friends. Can prioritize children or adults.
  • Eight Scene Selection Modes: These help you get the shot by optimizing the camera for specific shooting situations. Select from Portrait, Sports Action, Macro, Landscape, Sunset, Night View, Night Portrait and Handheld Twilight Shot modes.
  • P/A/S/M exposure modes: The camera offers a full range of controls from the beginner's AUTO+ mode to P/A/S/M: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual. On-screen prompts help you refine your skills, build your confidence and exercise greater creative control.
  • Versatile on-screen displays: Informative displays in the LCD monitor and electronic viewfinder include digital level gauge, graphic display of exposure settings.
  • Index and Slide Show Display: Quickly review your photos using 6- or 12-frame index views, or as an automatic slide show with fade-in/fade-out effect.
  • Quick AF for Full HD Movie Capture: When most DSLRs shoot video, their Contrast AF is slow and visibly "hunts" for focus. The Quick AF Full HD Movie retains the same fast, precise Phase Detection you enjoy for still images.
  • Sony Exmor technology: Conventional image sensors use only a handful of analog-to-digital (A/D) converters, which can slow you down. The Exmor sensor provides more than 4,000 column-parallel A/D converters. This helps enable continuous shooting at up to 7 frames per second.
  • Hand-held Night Shot: The camera captures six images in a fraction of a second. Combining the data with separate algorithms for still and moving parts of the picture reduces blur, minimizes noise and enables extraordinary detail.
  • Eye-Level Electronic Viewfinder: The Tru-finder Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) is super bright, easy to see with 1.1x magnification, ultra-sharp with 1.44 million dots (1.15 effective) and provides 100% frame coverage. Exposure preview and informative overlays make operation easy.
  • Tilt/swivel 3" LCD screen: Tilt it up or down to frame high- and low-angle shots that would otherwise be hit-or-miss. Tilt and swivel under the camera for self-portraits. Fold it flush to the camera with the LCD exposed for shooting or protected for travel.
  • Live View in LCD or EVF: You can use both the LCD monitor and Electronic Viewfinder for composing shots. Both provide a what-you-see-is-what-you-get preview of white balance, focus, depth of field, exposure and 100% framing accuracy, plus informative on-screen displays.
  • Graphic Display: Clarifies the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, as well as the effect each has on photographic results.
  • 1200-Zone exposure metering: Reads exposure directly from the main image sensor. Choice of Multi, Center and Spot metering accommodates a full range of shooting situations.
  • Powerful supplied software: To help you refine and manage your images and video, the camera is equipped with computer software including Image Data Converter SR, Image Data Lightbox SR and Picture Motion Browser (PMB).

Sony SLT-A33 Specifications

Focus System
TTL phase detection AF (CCD line sensors)
Focus Points
15 points (3 points cross type)
AF Modes
Single-shot AF, Automatic AF, Continuous AF, Manual Focus
Focus Area
Wide, Spot, Local (15 local areas selectable)
Focus Sensitivity
-1 EV to +18 EV (at ISO100 equivalent)
Focus Features
Predictive Focus Control, Focus Lock
AF Illuminator
Built-in flash, Range: approx. 3' - 15' (1m-5m)
Metering
Advanced 1200-zone evaluative metering
Metering Modes
Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Metering Sensitivity
-2EV to 17EV (at ISO 100 equivalent w/ f/1.4 lens)
Exposure Compensation
±2EV (in .03EV steps)
Exposure Settings
Auto (AUTO), Auto Advanced (AUTO+), Program Auto (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter-speed priority (S), Manual (M), Sweep Panorama (2D/3D), Continuous Advance Priority AE
Scene Mode(s)
Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports action, Sunset, Night portrait, Night View, Handheld Twilight
D-Range Optimizer
Yes: (Auto, Level 1-5, off
Auto Exposure Lock
Yes (AE Lock button)
Color Temperature
2500 - 9900 k with 19-step Magenta / Green compensation
Creative Style
Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, B/W (Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness adjustable in +/-3 steps)
ISO
Auto: 100 - 1600; Selectable: 100 - 12800; Multi Frame NR (up to ISO 25600)
Noise Reduction
Long exp. NR: (On/Off, available of shutter speeds longer than 1 sec.) High ISO NR: (Auto/Weak) Multi Frame NR: (Auto/ISO100-25600)
White Balance Mode
Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Setting the color temperature, Custom
Lens Compatibility
Sony A-mount lens
Lens Mount
Sony A-mount
Camera Type
Sony a A-mount interchangeable lens digital camera
Lens Type
Sony A-mount
Lens Mount Type
DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6
Aperture
F3.5 - F5.6
Aperture (Max.)
F3.5 - F5.6
Aperture (Min.)
F22 - F36
Focal Length (35mm equivalent)
27mm - 82.5mm
Filter Diameter
55mm
Lens Construction
Plastic
Lens Groups-Elements
7 groups, 8 elements (2 aspheric surface)
Minimum Focus Distance
9.84" (0.25m)
Angle of View
76° - 29°
Aperture Blade
7 blades (Circular aperture)
Aspheric Elements
2 (3 surface)
Distance Encoder
Yes
Internal Motor
Yes (SAM motor)
Maximum Magnification
0.34x (APS-C)
Viewfinder Type
0.46" Xtra Fine EVF (Electronic viewfinder) (1,440,000 pixels)
Diopter Adjustment
-4.0m+4.0m-1
Field of View
100%
Magnification
1.10x (with 50mm lens at infinity, -1m-1 )
Number of Still Images
Approx. 270 images with viewfinder, 340 images with LCD monitor (CIPA standard)
Advanced User Interface
Easy-to-understand Graphic Display and on-screen Help Guide User-friendly function menu
Anti Motion Blur
6-image layering
Auto High Dynamic Range
Yes, (Off/On, Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure difference Level (1-6 EV at 1.0 EV step)
Sweep Panorama
Yes (2D/3D)
Face Detection
Off, Auto, Child Priority, Adult Priority (up to 8 faces detectable)
Smile Shutter technology
Yes - Off, Slight, Normal, Big
Image Stabilization
SteadyShot INSIDE in-body image stabilization
Imaging Sensor
Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor (23.4 X 15.6mm)
Processor
BIONZ image processor
Anti-Dust
Charge protection coating on Low-Pass Filter and Image Sensor-Shift mechanism
Pixel Gross
Approx. 14.6 megapixels
Effective Picture Resolution
Approx. 14.2 megapixels
Focal Length Conversion Factor
1.5x
Color Filter System
RGB primary color filters
Media Type
Memory Stick PRO Duo/Pro-HG Duo media; SD, SDHC and SDXC memory card
Color Space
sRGB, AdobeRGB
Still Image Mode
JPEG (Standard, Fine), RAW, RAW+JPEG
Still Image Size 169
L size: 4592 x 2576 (12M) M size: 3344 x 1872 (6.3M) S size: 2288 x 1280 (2.9M)
Still Image Size 32
L size: 4592 x 3056 (14M) M size: 3344 x 2224 (7.4M) S size: 2288 x 1520 (3.5M)
Panorama Still Image Size
Horizontal Wide: 12,416 x 1,856 (23M) Horizontal Std.: 8,192 x 1,856 (15M) Vertical Wide: 2,160 x 5,536 (12M) Vertical Std.: 2,160 x 3,872 (8.4M) 3D Sweep Panorama: Horizontal Wide: 7152 X 1080 (7.7M) Horizontal Std.: 4912 X 1080 (5.3M) 16:9: 1920 X 1080 (2.1M)
Video Format
AVCHD / MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC (H.264))
Video Mode
AVCHD: 1920 x 1080/ 60i (59.94i Interlace recording, 29.97 progressive image sensor output) Approx. 17Mbps (Average bit-rate) MP4 HD: 1440 x 1080/ 30p (29.97 Progressive) Approx. 12Mbps (Average bit-rate) MP4 VGA: 640 x 480/ 30p (29.97 Progressive) Approx. 3Mbps (Average bit-rate)
Video Resolution
1920x1080/60i (59.94i, 29.97p sensor output)
Video Signal
NTSC color, EIA standards
Audio Format
Stereo Dolby Digital (AC-3) / MPEG-4 AAC-LC
Microphone/Speaker
Built-in Stereo Microphone
Supplied Software
PMB (Picture Motion Browser) 5.3.01 Image Data Converter SR 3.2 Image Data Lightbox SR 2.2
Operating System Compatibility
Windows XP SP3 (64-bit and Starter Editions are not supported, Windows Image Mastering API(IMAPI)Ver.2.0 or later is required to use the function for creating discs.) Windows Vista SP2 (Starter Edition is not supported) Windows 7; Mac OS X(v10.4-10.6) (Image Data Converter & Image Data Lightbox only, PMB is not Mac compatible)
LCD Type
3"TFT Xtra Fine LCD w/TruBlack (921,600 pixels)2
Angle Adjustment
180 degrees from the camera back, leftward rotation in 270 degrees with LCD monitor facing forward
Brightness Control
Auto/Manual (5 steps between -2 and +2)/Sunny Weather
Coverage
100%
Live View
Continuous Live View (LCD/EVF Auto, selectable)
Real-time image adjustment display
Reflects: exposure compensation, white balance, creative style
Histogram
Yes (On/off)
Grid Display
Yes (On/off)
Customization
Grid, Histogram display, Digital Level Gauge, Grid Line, Magnified display for playback
Microphone Input
Yes
Accessory Shoe
Yes (Alpha)
BRAVIA Sync
Yes, via HDMI with compatible BRAVIA HDTV
DVDirect
Yes, via USB
HD Output
HDMI (TypeC mini)
Memory Card Slot
Dual memory card slot: - Memory Stick PRO Duo/Pro-HG Duo media - SD, SDHC and SDXC memory card
PhotoTV HD
Yes, with BRAVIA Sync enabled HDTV and HDMI cable
USB Port(s)
USB2.0 Hi-speed (mass-storage, PTP)
Burst Buffer
JPEG Standard (20 shots) JPEG Fine (16 shots) RAW (7 shots) RAW+JPEG (7 shots)
Continuous Shooting Speed
Continuous (up to 6fps) Speed Priority (7fps)
Drive Mode
Single-shot, Continuous shooting (Hi/Lo selectable), Self-timer (10/2 sec delay selectable), Remote commander (RMT-DSLR1 Sold Separately)
Flash Sync Speed
1/160 seconds
Self-timer
2-sec. or 10-sec. delay,
Shutter Speeds
1/4000 to 30 seconds, bulb
Shutter Type
Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane shutter
Flash Compensation
+/-2EV in 0.3EV steps
Flash Coverage
18mm (focal-length printed on the lens body)
Recycling Time
Approx. 4 sec.
Flash Bracketing
3 exposures in 0.3/0.7 EV steps
Flash Metering System
ADI, Pre-flash TTL
Flash Modes
Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Hi-speed sync., Red-eye reduction (on/off selectable for Autoflash and fill-flash mode), Wireless
Flash Type
Built-in, Pop-up Auto
Guide Number
10 (in meters at ISO100)
Battery Type
InfoLitium NP-FW50 (7.2V)
Lens Dimensions (Max. Dia x Length)
2-3/4 x 2-3/4in / 69.5 x 69mm
Dimensions (W x H x D) (Approx.)
Approx. 4-7/8 x 3-5/8 x 3-1/3in / 124.4 x 92 x 84.7mm excl grip & lens mount
Lens Weight
7-4/8 oz / 210g
Weight (Approx.)
Approx. 15.27oz / 433g (excl battery, lens & media)
Approx. 17.35 oz / 492g (w/battery & media)
Mfr #
ISOSLTA33LA
SKU
ISOSLTA33LA

Sony SLT-A33 Reviews Powered by TurnTo®

Review Snapshot®

 
4.4

(based on 8 reviews)

88%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Reviewed by 8 customers

 
4.0

Awesome product Photography is fun again

By

If you shoot in Aperture priority or the Program auto modes you will get great results. The "Auto" setting is okay but the camera really shines when you know how to work the lens you are using. Get an old Minolta 50 mm f/1.7 lens on this body and see some really beautiful color and sharpness. I also have a Minolta 28-85 mm zoom lens that is really pretty good with this camera. Remember that this is a crop body 1.5 times the focal length of 35 mm film lenses. My 50 mm is a 75 mm on this body. the 28 mm lenses are the perfect focal length.

 
4.0

Great price for entry level camera

By

I was looking to step up to a DSLR without making a big money investment. This Sony fits the bill with lots of great features with the added bonus of being able to use my Minolta lenses. Though I haven't had alot of time to play with it I like what I've seen so far!

 
4.0

Excellent Still cam, Video has limits

By

This camera performed as advertised in still mode and is very easy to use. Shutter lag time is probably industry avg. In video mode the exposure cannot be adjusted while recording. You do have good latitude on exposure but backlighting and high contrast situations are things to stay away from when shooting on the fly or with out some assistance.

 
5.0

A33 an A+ camera

By

I find the fact that all my Minolta accessories were compatible was great. I take wildlife and pet animal photo's and find the photo's excellent quality and it stops the motions where you want it. Good camera for beginner or progressive photographer for a DSLR. Easy to learn and fun to use.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Not a Movie camera

By

I bought a 32 GB card hoping this could handle long video recording but sad to say the camera overheated and shutdown about 10 min in video, But it does take nice 6 or 7 FPS depending on what SD card you buy and for how long it can take the high res 7 FPS depends on the card. -Also if you have any old Minolta parts like a flash it really helps night photos on the camera and still works great with the sony camera

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The camera that never blinks!

By

This camera i must say is very impressive, I am very picky when i comes to cameras and i needed one that will react and give me results at my will, THIS CAMERA DOES IT! Ok first the ugly, and im not going to be light on it, BATTERY!!! This camera has so much to offer, the "powerhouse" drains your battery, FAST and im not kidding, 300 shots is your limit until your battery dies. The second Bad thing is the electric viewfinder, it was a sacrifice the camera had to make to get all that speed. If your going to to shoot in sunlight or when light is present, you will have NO problem, but when the light go out your camera goes "blind" when i mean blind i mean, your focus is going to be hard to do, but it shouldn't b e a problem if your going to use a flash. But i like to slow shutter speed and challenge myself in manual focus, but thats just me. Ok time for the Good When they mean 7fps, THEY MEAN IT! its that fast, it actually caught me of guard when i used the 7fps mode! HD 1080 Video IS AMAZING!! im very picky when it comes to video since im a videographer as well, but this does the job! *side note be carefull when composing the shot, it zooms in a bit more but its no big deal because it zooms in by 6mm when recoding (ex. 18mm in photo=24mm in video) The autofocus on BOTH video and picture, Takes my breath away! sooo amazing. It does fairly well compared to PROFESSIONAL 5000$ cameras. Im still messing with the features as we speak, it has soo much to offer. My favorite thing is, What you see is what you get type of pictures. Slow shutter speeds is great i still need to test it. I like how the iso goes extremly high and has fairly amount of noise in return. For 25600 iso and alittle nose is good. Overall, if you want a fast camera this is it! if you have a few money to spair, i suggest buying a battery. Ps i am a 16 year old writting this review. I may be young but i have been told im gifted.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Excellent for Video - Fair for Stills

By

I bought this camera for video after evaluating and testing a variety of video equipment, including full shoulder mount Canon and Sony HD HD video recorders, and all the interchangeable lens DSLR/P&S cameras I could get my hands on to fully test. I needed a camera to shoot action video of boats, including straight on video of boats coming toward the camera at speed. I also needed to do this with lenses from 35 mm to at least 200 mm long. So fast, very accurate AF performance was required with telephoto lenses. I also needed an ability to adjust exposure settings in video. Before I provide other details, I will list my recommendations for this camera: 1) Highly recommended for 640 x480 and 1140x1080 video performance in all situations except for highly backlit scenes with reflections or white/ dark highly backlit scenes that can cause purple fringing. 2) Video AF performance with most fast moving subjects. 3) Image quality in video - 640 x 480 really does look like DVD/LD quality if you expose and shoot well. 4) HD video Image quality at 1440x1080 really is excellent, that is, if you expose and shoot well. 5) Recommended for users who need to go quickly from a still camera to high quality video (such as local news photojournalism or travel). 6) Quick Panoramas - Details below 7) Recommended for the novel things it does very well (video) and pretty well (quick panoramas). STILL CAMERA PERFORMANCE While image quality overall is very good, noise is higher than for instance, my Canon 40D. Noise is visible in blue skies at 200 ISO. Despite 12mp, the Canon's 10mp results in the same amount of fine detail at high magnification. The older Canon still has less moire effects, and much more accurate color using AWB. The A33 can take excellent pictures in most situations, but not as high of quality as some of the competitors in the price class. If you want excellent, professional grade still imaging for prints over 12x18 get one of the following: any Canon DSLR, most Nikon DSLRs, Olympus E-3 or E-5, or possibly even a new Pentax, or new Sony DSLR with a conventional SLR optical viewfinder. However, compared to any of the compact interchangeable lens non SLR cameras such as the Sony NEX and the Olympus models, the A33 had better imaging when I tested them. That is, with one serious exception. The semi silvered mirror really does allow the Sony A33 some advantages in AF capability, but at least for now, it comes at a cost. Very Serious Purple Fringing on many types of backlit subjects. (Note: does not seem to effect sunrise/sunset images.) This may be due to the semi silvered mirror as I have not come across this complaint on conventional Sony DSLR's. This flaw drops image quality far below other DSLR's in still image quality. It also drops it below cameras such as the high quality P&S Canon G11/G12 in such situations. The 7 FPS SOLUTION If you use the camera on single shot, the viewfinder blacks out after a shot. Most annoying. When using continuous modes, this can happen momentarily, but most of the time, you will be able to see without the distraction of either blackout, or a swinging mirror. While Sony has a dial setting for the 7 fps continuous shooting mode, this leaves you wanting for control as it only works as an auto exposure mode with restrictions. There seems to be no advantage to using this. As it turns out, set the camera on continuous in the FN menu, or by the four way controller, (easy access) and the camera still runs 7 fps, but you can use any of the PASM modes for full creative control. You can take one shot by just not holding down the shutter. But, guess what. The viewfinder/screen still goes black immediately after your shot, which is really annoying if you are trying to follow a subject. Hold the shutter down and you usually get to see your subject without any blackout, that is, until you release the shutter. The limit of the buffer is about 13-15 images at full size and quality in jpg. While certainly not useless, most other DSLR cameras can do better. AUDIO Never expect to use the built in mic for video. Noise from the AF system intrudes badly. This is not unusual at all. Most onboard mics are substandard. Best to use an external mic MOUNTED FAR AWAY from the camera. Better yet, record sound on a dedicated sound recording system. ______________________________________________________________ PRIME ADVANTAGE - FAST & ACCURATE AF IN VIDEO MODE TRACKING FAST MOVING OBJECTS This camera, mostly due to the use of a translucent mirror combined with Sony's AF system, has by far, the best video AF of any of the interchangeable lens DSLR/P&S cameras available from Sony, Canon, Olympus and Nikon. While certainly not perfect, the A33 is capable of focusing on and usually maintaining focus on fast moving objects, such as cars, boats, people, and larger animals. Using a telephoto lens to shoot video of small birds in irregular flight can be tedious or impossible, but that was far better than any other camera even remotely in this camera's class could hope to do. Most of the others could not even maintain focus on fast moving boats or cars with the standard length zooms. I have found the Sony can easily maintain focus on fast moving cars and boats with a 200 mm telephoto even coming straight toward the camera. It can also track focus on small moving objects at near macro distances. To test this, I shot video of a tiny Z scale locomotive coming toward the camera until the train reached the minimum focusing distance of the A33's 18-55 mm kit lens. The camera could even maintain focus on the tiny subject, the focusing motor constantly making tiny corrections to keep in focus. In comparison, I could find no other larger sensor (4/3 or APSC size) camera that could focus as accurately in video mode as this camera. I tested all the other cameras on a rather simple test. How well could they focus on a person walking toward the camera. Most failed this simple test, but the A33 never had a problem with this. Curiously, the Sony NEX 3 and 5 would barely focus on moving subjects and frequently lose focus. The NEX had trouble maintaining sharp focus on someone walking toward the camera from across a room, but at least it would not lose focus too often. The A33/55 AF system performs much better than this. The Olympus could not track accurately. The Nikon and Canon DSLR's can't auto focus once you start filming. Pure video cameras can usually do this well, but the larger sensor size offered in these still cameras really does offer the ability to obtain very high quality video. In short, the A33/55 offers a large sensor for video that provides very high quality and excellent focusing, at least by current standards. Exposure in Video The A33 has various odd choices in how much control it will give the user in various modes. For instance, there is no compensation available in Sweep Panorama Mode. In video, you can set the exposure compensation + - up to two stops in 1/3 increments simply by accessing the exposure compensation button. And you can even change the setting while shooting. HEAT IN VIDEO No, I'm not referring to some illicit website. The sensor and processor can get hot enough to shut down the camera. This supposedly happens after about 10 minutes of shooting, though I have only had this happen twice in about 10 hours of raw video shot. Since the camera was ready to go again after only a couple minutes, I would consider this only a minor issue. So far, the warmest day I've shot video on has been about 85º, so this could be more of an issue in our nice cool summer days of 105º. SWEEP PANORAMA Sweep Panorama Mode - IF you are expecting the quality of panoramas you can get by carefully shooting and hand stitching manually shot panoramas, forget it. This will not provide images of that quality. Frequently, it can overlap or double parts of the image from the overlap, even still subjects. This can be a problem shooting subjects like trees in a forest. Sometimes it does a perfect job of stitching, sometimes not. Still, it can do a pretty good job, and it is very quick. I've noticed many complaints on blogs about panning the A33 or 55 at the right speed during the shooting of the Sweep Panorama. Since I am used to smooth panning in my work, I have rarely had any problem with this. I suspect we will be seeing improved versions of this system in future cameras, probably from all manufacturers. The user sweeps the camera in a pan of the scene as the camera trips the shutter at roughly 7 fps. Then the processor in the camera magically combines it all together in one smoother panorama. Well sort of. First, you have to pan smoothly without changing the angle of the camera at a fairly constant speed that the camera likes. This really isn't as difficult as it sounds, but it also doesn't everyone is just going to pick up an A33 and instantly get good pans. If you aren't already familiar with panning a camera, you will probably have to practice a bit. The Sweep Panorama images themselves can range from pretty good to unusable, and that is if you do everything correctly. It is best to figure on shooting several of them because the stitching doesn't always work out correctly, sort of like what you would get out of a piece of commercial stitching software. This is a quick and fun little feature to use. It won't replace doing it manually, but when it works without overlapping a branch or a light pole, it really is quite useful. It is best for outdoor scenes in good daylight, though I have successfully shot some sunsets and interior views with it. When you want a panorama quick, and you are using it on the web, or not going to try to make a large print, it will work. Exposure in Sweep Pan Mode is a bit tedious though. The camera defaults to a really primitive totally automatic P&S mode that won't let you set anything. The only thing you can do is try to lock the exposure on some area that will give you the focus point and exposure that works for the entire pan. It can be done well, but it would be nice to have control of the ISO and exposure. Maybe that will be in a future model. BATTERY USEAGE This camera is hungry. The battery charge life is very short. You can expect only about 150-200 stills or about 1 to 1 1/2 hours of video on a charge. Whereas my Canon 40D or my Pentax K10D will still operate for about 2000 frames on a battery that is over 3 years old, the A33 will go through a charge in very short time. On top of that, a depleted battery takes several hours to charge, unlike any of the other 6 different type DSLR system cameras I have owned. Fortunately, I use this camera only for incidental purposes to my primary Canon system and secondary Pentax system. Otherwise, I would need at least 4-5 batteries and a charger for every battery to complete a long day of shooting in the field, and get ready for the next day. LEVEL The A33 has a very nice level in the camera that shows up on the display if you want it to. This is very useful for leveling superwide angle lenses, video work, and keeping the camera level when shooting sweep panoramas. DURABILITY I doubt this camera is a very durable device. The rear swivel screen has a great view, but is very fragile. This is no hockey puck. This camera should be handled with care. CONTROLS Accessing most functions on this camera is fairly easy. The menus are all easy to get to. The placement of the button controls on the top plate leave a lot to be desired though. I've never accidentally hit the movie record button while trying to fumble my way to the exposure compensation button, but I can see it happening. The ex comp button is difficult to feel for without taking your eye from the viewfinder. Other than that, this camera is easy to use. Overall, the A33 is a novel and useful camera with excellent video features. I highly recommend it for video, and as an incidental or secondary still camera to a better still camera system. I would give it higher marks if it didn't have the serious purple fringing problem in backlit conditions. I would recommend it to anyone as a vacation or travel camera. If you want to shoot video, get good stills, and shoot some quick panoramas, I can't think of anything that would perform better at this time. And you should get great video.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

It's a winner

By

This is one great little camera. Beautiful picture quality, very speedy focus,menu is easy to use and the price is right for what you get. The big two better watch their back. There is new kid in town.

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