Even when shooting in challenging conditions, the accelerated speed, supreme sensitivity and cutting-edge functionality of the Sony Alpha SLT-A57 Digital SLR Camera ensures beautiful results. The Translucent Mirror technology simultaneously directs light to the image sensor and AF sensor on a full-time basis to realize full-time live view shooting and accelerated full-time continuous face-detection autofocusing even during HD movie shooting.
The large Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor provides an extremely wide sensitivity range of 7 1/3 steps. You can use AUTO ISO (100-3200) for outstanding results in most lighting conditions or manually raise sensitivity up to ISO 16000 when lighting is low. Even at high sensitivity settings, the alpha 57 captures every detail with natural tonal gradations and extremely low noise. This makes the alpha 57 perfect for shooting indoor athletes at high shutter speeds without a tripod or reproducing the mood of candlelit rooms without supplemental lighting.
When you press the shutter button, the alpha 57 responds in 0.05 second - a blazing speed that rivals professional cameras. Made possible by an innovative electronic front curtain shutter, this accelerated response lets you capture decisive moments with utmost confidence. The electronic front curtain shutter also produces less shutter noise and vibration than a mechanical front curtain shutter (which can be activated if desired through the MENU).
Reviewed by 3 customers
good size, nice heft
The biggest issue and complaint I have about the 57 is that Sony was in no way clear about computer and software system requirements. To be successful using this camera with Adobe Lightroom you will need at Lightroom 4.x or better. This also implies that if you are a Mac user, that you need a processor post Intel Core 2 Duo, as Lightroom 4 has specific processor requirements. All of this is based upon that Sony has introduced a new .arw format, that Adobe will not include as a file conversion plug-in for Lightroom 3. Don't bother with the adobe arw to dng conversion utility either, as it is full of noise when the conversion is done. It would have been nice to know what daisy chain of madness I was getting myself into with the new camera, especially with the 55 being fully compliant for Lightroom 3 and not requiring a new Imac, new Lightoom to be able to process .arw. The camera physically though is chock full of amazing, and works beautifully with all my old lenses.
I owned a couple of Minolta SLRs in the 80s and 90s. In fact, we've had our old Minolta AF camera locked away in a closet since we switched to digital in the late '90s. But now that my son is playing high school basketball, our very good point and shoot just isn't cutting it anymore. I agonized for weeks between this camera, the Nikon D3100, D3200, D5000 and the Canon T4i and T3i. There are a lot of review sites and comparisons and opinions on all sides. Although I had used Minolta in the past and still had a few lenses I could use, I really didn't have a dog in the fight, and would have gone with whatever seemed like the best choice. It was a close choice between the Nikon D5000 (the cheapest option), Canon T4i, and this model. In the end, I was swayed by the passionate reviews of people WHO'VE ACTUALLY USED THIS CAMERA, the big, pixel-dense display, and my few minutes with it in my hands at a store. The fact that I could save some money in lenses by using my old Minolta AF lenses again was a nice side benefit, but wasn't the decisive factor. I would have made the switch if it's what I thought needed to happen. Now three weeks into my decision, and I have to say I couldn't be happier with my choice. Instead of the stock 18-50 mm lens, I chose the 50 mm 1.8 fixed length lens, and I'm in love. The improvement in camera technology since my last use of an SLR body is stunning and the results we've achieved are fabulous--even though we're just re-familiarizing ourselves with this type of photography. Obviously, I haven't used every digital SLR on the market. And I'm sure any of the models I considered would have been more than adequate for what we need. But to say we're happy with this camera is an understatement. We've found it very easy to use, and are gradually expanding our knowledge at each opportunity. If you knew me, you'd know I'm not normally effusive. But I love this camera and the accessories we've purchased so far.