Previews

April 28, 2012

Sony A57 is in the Lab and I have some High Res Photos and HD Video of the Camera and 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens!!

Sony A57 w/ Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens

I received the Sony A57 and the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens the other night from my UPS buddy, and had the opportunity to shoot it yesterday in the Lab!

From what I can tell so far Sony has improved both the build quality and design of the camera body specifically by making it more rigid feeling and beefing up the screen big time. The A55 had a flimsy screen in comparison to the screen on the A57. Check out my Hands on review of the Sony A55 over (Click Here). The A57 also has a really nice improved grip that partially houses the larger NP-FM500H battery. The grip is deeper and has a better contour to it that allows you to hook your fingers around and in a little bit more. Also, where your thumb touches on the back upper right, there’s a bump out, similar to the Nex-7, that helps you support the camera easier. Really nice subtle, but significant improvements on the ergonomics side in my opinion.

A57 Intro HD Video from the Lab

I put this together pretty quick, but its still a pretty cool intro video to the A57 with the 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss lens attached.

Be sure to select the 1080 HD option for the best Full Screen Sharpness, although it may take a minute to load at max quality.

 

Check out these Product Shots From  The Lab

This review is courtesy of BHPhotoVideo.com as they send me the equipment I review. They also have the best customer service of any retailer I’ve dealt with and an incredible superstore in NYC that I really need to get down to again asap ;)

Also, be sure to Click on the photos for the Large Crisp Full Size version!

Courtesy of BHPhotoVideo.com

Courtesy of BHPhotoVideo.com

Sony A57 (slt-a57) w/ 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens - In Box

Sony A57 (slt-a57) w/ 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens – In Box

Sony A57 (slt-a57) w/ 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens

Sony A57 (slt-a57) w/ 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens

Sony A57 (slt-a57) - Left Side

Sony A57 (slt-a57) – Left Side

Sony A57 (slt-a57) - Back

Sony A57 (slt-a57) – Back

Sony A57 (slt-a57) - Right Side

Sony A57 (slt-a57) – Right Side

Check out the Sony 24mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss lens up close! It came with a nice padded pouch as well that was hiding/ holding the lens hood inside the box. When I first picked up the 24-70mm lens I was initially surprised at how much it weighed. It felt really heavy to me for whatever reason at the time. First impression mind you ;) It makes sense that it’s heavy though as it’s a f/2.8 lens with a 70mm zoom, so it’s going to need some large glass in order to make that happen!! Build quality is excellent on the Lens as you would expect.

Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens

Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens @ 70mm

Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens

Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens @ 24mm

Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens

Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens

Here’s the full package and killer camera/ lens combo!! The Sony A57 and the Sony 24-7-mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens.

Sony A57 w/ Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens

Sony A57 w/ Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens @ 24mm

Sony A57 w/ Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens

Sony A57 w/ Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens @ 70mm

Sony A57 w/ Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens

Sony A57 w/ Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens @ 70mm

Sony A57 w/ Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens

Sony A57 w/ Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Lens @ 70mm

 

Sony A57 Full Specs and Features

Key Features

  • From corner to corner, every detail of your scene is beautifully captured by Sony’s proprietary Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor
  • Create movies of amazing clarity that play extra smoothly by recording them at Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) in the AVCHD Ver. 2.0 (Progressive) format – at the extremely high frame rate of 60 -NTSC (50 PAL) fps
  • P/A/S/M modes (Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual) let you flexibly adjust aperture and shutter speed to modify the depth of field and achieve effects like defocused backgrounds when shooting movies in the manual focusing mode
  • Sound is captured clearly with minimal noise thanks to a high-performance stereo microphone on the mirror housing and advanced noise reduction that effectively suppresses AF lens drive noise via innovative NR algorithm
  • With one press of the Movie button, the alpha 57 is ready to roll. The camera immediately enters movie recording mode even if you were shooting photographs continuously or in single-frame mode. It’s the quick and easy way to capture every moviemaking opportunity
  • Face Detection technology ensures that facial features are clearly focused and skin tones are accurately reproduced by fine-tuning parameters such as exposure, white balance, flash and D-Range Optimizer
  • Smile Shutter captures smiles at just the right moment by automatically releasing the shutter when smiles reach the desired level. And Face Registration lets you register up to eight people for the camera to prioritize when detecting faces in groups
  • Dramatically enhanced Clear Image Zoom utilizes proprietary By Pixel Super Resolution Technology to zoom the center of your image up to 2x with nearly imperceptible degradation
  • Give your photos and movies a creative look with Creative Style settings. Depending on the scene and your creative intentions, select any of 6 customizable settings (Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Black/White) and the camera will adjust color and other image parameters accordingly
  • Ordinary scenes become extraordinary photos and movies with Picture Effect. Choose from 11 customizable modes and 15 effects that significantly increase visual impact by adjusting camera parameters and applying advanced processing techniques
  • The Tru-finder electronic viewfinder delivers class-leading viewing ease thanks to sharp 1440k-dot (SVGA) resolution, a 23.1mm eye-point and a notably wide 31.9deg. viewing angle that leaves competing optical viewfinders behind
  • The brightness and clarity of Sony’s big Xtra Fine LCD monitor brings out every detail of your scene, setting you free to clearly shoot in challenging shooting environments
  • You can preview the depth of field, motion blur and other effects of your camera settings by pressing the Preview button. The Tru-Finder and monitor display the scene almost exactly how it will appear in your photos and movies
  • Two buttons can be customized to enhance shooting convenience. You can reassign the AEL or ISO button to activate any of 24 assignable functions, including Drive Mode and Flash Mode
  • Two finder magnification ratios are selectable, allowing you to switch from the default (max.) mode to the standard (lower ratio) mode to support an extended eye-point. At the maximum 23.1mm eye-point, the entire frame is easy to see even when wearing glasses
  • Essential shooting information can be displayed in the viewfinder and monitor at high SVGA resolution for confirmation at a glance. Simply press the DISP button to display the information you desire
  • Simply sweep the camera to capture breathtaking vistas. The alpha 57 automatically records and seamlessly stitches a sequence of photos to create a spectacular image. 3D Sweep Panorama records separate right- and left-eye images to bring scenes alive when viewed on an HDMI-compliant 3D television
  • With one press, the instant High Dynamic Range mode takes three exposures at different settings and composites the best details from each – in the highlights, mid-tones and shadows – to create a single image with wider dynamic range than any single exposure could possibly capture
  • By suppressing noise, the Multi Frame NR mode lets you clearly capture scenes that would normally be challenging even for seasoned professionals
  • DRO uses proprietary Sony technology to bring out details in the highlights and shadows and deliver naturally bright images. It can be used during continuous shooting and provides five user selectable levels of compensation
  • Relax and enjoy the convenience of point-and-shoot operation. Superior Auto mode automatically detects and analyzes shooting conditions and adjusts camera settings accordingly to achieve optimal results
  • Simply choose one of 8 Scene Selection modes (Portrait, Sports Action, Macro, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Handheld Twilight or Night Portrait) & the camera will automatically optimize aperture, shutter speed, white balance & other settings to provide the best overall image quality for the scene
  • Photos can be taken in your choice of four drive modes (single-shot, continuous, bracketed or self-timer shooting), which are selectable via user-friendly icons. You can shoot continuously at 8 or 3 fps, shoot with a 2 or 10-second delay, or bracket your choice of exposure, white balance or DRO
  • The alpha 57 compensates for the shading and aberration characteristics of the lens you mount. This includes vignetting, lateral chromatic aberration and optical distortion, which can each be activated or deactivated through the MENU as desired
  • The powerful built-in flash unit automatically pops up to illuminate dark scenes. It offers various modes, a guide number of 10 (ISO100 m), an irradiation angle that covers the angle of view of a wide 18mm lens and a maximum sync speed of 1/160 sec

Full Specs

Camera type Interchangeable-lens digital camera with built-in flash
Lens compatibility Sony A-mount lenses, operation with Minolta/Konica Minolta lenses confirmed
Image sensor Type APS-C size (23.5 x 15.6 mm), Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with primary color filters
Number of pixels (effective) Approx. 16.1 megapixels
Number of pixels (total) Approx. 16.7 megapixels
Image sensor aspect ratio ‘3:2
Anti-dust system Charge protection coating on Low-Pass Filter and Image Sensor-Shift mechanism
Recording format: Still JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver. 2.3, MPF Baseline compliant), RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format), 3D MPO (MPF Extended compliant)
Image size: Still (3:2 aspect ratio) L: 4912 x 3264 (16M), M: 3568 x 2368 (8.4M), S: 2448 x 1624 (4.0M)
Image size: Still (16:9 aspect ratio) L: 4912 x 2760 (14M), M: 3568 x 2000 (7.1M), S:2448 x 1376 (3.4M)
Image size: Still (Sweep Panorama) Wide: horizontal 12,416 x 1,856 (23M), vertical 5,536 x 2,160 (12M), Standard: horizontal 8,192 x 1,856 (15M), vertical 3,872 x 2,160 (8.4M)
Image size: Still (3D Sweep Panorama) Wide: 7152 x 1080 (7.7M), Standard: 4912 x 1080 (5.3M), 16:9: 1920 x 1080 (2.1M)
Image quality modes RAW, RAW & JPEG, JPEG Fine, JPEG Standard
Picture Effect 11 modes (15 effects): Posterization (Color, B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R,G,B,Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft High-key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature
Creative Style Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, B/W (Contrast -3 to +3 steps, Saturation -3 to +3 steps, Sharpness -3 to +3 steps)
Dynamic range functions Off, Dynamic Range Optimizer (Auto/Level), Auto High Dynamic Range: Off, Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure Difference Level (1-6 EV, 1.0 EV step)
Color space sRGB, Adobe RGB
Recording format: Movie AVCHD 2.0 (Progressive) / MP4
Video compression MPEG-4 AVC (H.264)
Audio recording format Dolby Digital (AC-3) / MPEG-4 AAC-LC
Image size (movie): NTSC AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (60p/28Mbps/PS, 60i/24Mbps/FX, 60i/17Mbps/FH, 24p/24Mbps/FX, 24p/17Mbps/FH)
MP4: 1440 x 1080 (30fps/12Mbps), VGA: 640 x 480 (30fps/3Mbps)
Image size (movie): PAL AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (50p/28Mbps/PS, 50i/24Mbps/FX, 50i/17Mbps/FH, 25p/24Mbps/FX, 25p/17Mbps/FH)
MP4: 1440 x 1080 (25fps/12Mbps), VGA: 640 x 480 (25fps/3Mbps)
Media Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card
Slot Memory Stick Duo/ SD memory card
Noise reduction “Long exposure NR: On/Off, available at shutter speeds longer than 1 sec.
High ISO NR: High/Normal/Low
Multi frame noise reduction Auto/ISO 100 to 25600
White balance mode Auto WB, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm white/Cool white/Day white/Daylight), Flash, C. Temp 2500 to 9900K, C Filter G7 to M7, 15-step, Custom, AWB micro adjustment
Two-axis fine adjustment Available in all modes
Bracketing 3 frames, H/L selectable
Focus Type TTL phase-detection AF
Focus sensor CCD line sensors
Focus point 15 points (3 points cross type)
Sensitivity range EV -1 to 18 (at ISO100 equivalent with F2.8 lens attached)
Focus mode Autofocus, Manual Focus
AF mode Single-shot AF (AF-S), Continuous AF (AF-C), Automatic AF (AF-A) selectable
Focus area Wide (auto,15 points), Zone, Spot, Local
Metering type 1200-zone evaluative metering
Metering sensor Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor
Metering sensitivity EV -2 to EV 17 (at ISO 100 equivalent with F1.4 lens attached)
Metering Modes Multi segment, Center weighted, Spot
Exposure modes iAUTO, Flash Off, Superior Auto, Scene Selection, Sweep Panorama, 3D Sweep Panorama, Continuous Advance Priority AE, Movie, Programmed AE (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter-speed priority (S), Manual (M)
Scene Selection Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night View, Hand-held Twilight
Exposure compensation ±3.0 EV (1/3 EV steps)
AE bracketing Bracket: Cont., Bracket: Single, with 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV increments, 3 frames
AE lock Available with AE lock button. AE is also locked when focus is locked in multi-segment metering mode
ISO sensitivity (Exposure Index) ISO 100-16000 equivalent, AUTO (ISO 100-3200 )
Viewfinder Type SVGA 1.2 cm (0.46 type) electronic viewfinder (color), Xtra Fine
Viewfinder: Total number of dots 1,440,000 dots equivalent
Effective number of dots Maximum: 1,440,000 dots equivalent, Standard: 1,253,280 dots equivalent
Viewfinder: Brightness control Auto / Manual (3 steps between -1 and +1)
Viewfinder: Field coverage 100%
Magnification Maximum: Approx. 1.04x, Standard: Approx. 0.97x
Diopter adjustment -4.0 to +3.0 m-1
Eye point “Maximum: 23.1mm from the eyepiece, 18 mm from the eyepiece frame at -1 diopter (CIPA standard)
Standard: 25.2 mm from the eyepiece, 20.1mm from the eyepiece frame at -1 diopter (CIPA standard)
Viewfinder Display Histogram Display, Graphic Display, Digital Level Gauge, Shooting Data Display, Simple Display, Grid Line
Real-time image adjustment display Exposure Comp, White Balance, Creative Style
LCD Type Xtra Fine, 7.5 cm (3.0 type) TFT drive with TruBlack technology
LCD: Total number of dots 921,600 dots
LCD: Brightness control Auto/Manual (5 steps between -2 and +2)
LCD: Field coverage 100%
Adjustable angle Tilt angle: Downward 180 degrees. Rotation angle: Leftward 270 degrees from the position in which the LCD monitor is facing forward
Display Selector (finder/LCD) Auto/Manual
LCD Display Histogram Display, Graphic Display, Digital Level Gauge, Shooting Data Display, Simple Display, Shooting Information For Viewfinder, Grid Line
LCD: Real-time image adjustment display Exposure Comp, White Balance, Creative Style
Focus Magnifier 4.8x, 9.5x
Peaking MF Yes (Level: High/Mid/Low/Off, Color: White/Red/Yellow)
Zoom Clear Image Zoom: Still images 2x
Smart Zoom (still images) M: 1.4x, S: 2x
Digital Zoom (still images) 4x
Digital Zoom (movie) 4x
Shutter Type Electronically controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane type
Shutter speed 1/4000 second to 30 seconds, Bulb
Flash sync. speed 1/160 second
Electronic front curtain shutter Yes, On/Off
SteadyShot INSIDE: System For still images: Image Sensor-Shift mechanism, For movies: Electronic
SteadyShot capability For still images: Approx. 2.5-4.5 EV decrease in shutter speed (varies according to shooting conditions and lens used)
Flash Type Auto popup, built-in
Guide No. 10 (in meters at ISO 100)
Coverage FOV coverage up to 18 mm (in the focal length)
Control ADI flash / Pre-flash TTL
Compensation ±2.0 EV (1/3 EV steps)
Flash Bracketing 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV steps, 3 frames
Modes Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Rear sync., Slow Sync., Red-eye reduction (On/Off)
Recycling time Approx. 3 sec
External flash Sony alpha System Flash compatible with Auto-lock accessory shoe
Wireless control Yes (wireless flash with lighting ratio control)
Drive modes Single Shot, Continuous (Hi/Lo), Self-timer (10/2 sec. delay), Bracketing (Cont., Single, White Balance), Remote Control (with optional RM-DSLR1)
Continuous shooting speed Hi: Maximum 8 frames per second, Lo: Maximum 3 frames per second
Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE: Maximum 12 images per second
Continuous Advance Priority AE: Maximum 10 images per second
Max. continuous shots Tele-zoom Continuous Advance priority AE: Fine: 23 images, Standard: 25
Continuous Advance Priority AE mode: Fine: 23 images, Standard: 27 images, RAW & JPEG: 18 images, RAW: 21 images
Continuous shooting: Fine: 25 images, Standard: 29 images, RAW & JPEG: 19 images, RAW: 21 images
Playback mode Single (with or without shooting information), RGB histogram and highlight/shadow warning, 4/9-frame index view, Enlarged display mode (L: 13.6x, M: 9.9x, S: 6.8x), Auto Review (10/5/2 sec, Off), Image orientation (On/Off), Slideshow, Panorama scrolling, Folder selection (still), Forward/Rewind (movie), Delete, Protect
PC interface Hi-speed USB (USB 2.0): Mass-storage, MTP
HD output HDMI mini connector (Type-C), BRAVIA Sync (link menu), PhotoTV HD
Other interface Sync. Terminal, Auto-lock accessory shoe, Microphone jack, DC IN terminal, Remote terminal
Compatible OS (USB connection) Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Mac OS X (10.3-10.6)
Microphone Built-in stereo microphone or ECM-ALST1 / ECM-CG50 (sold separately)
Speaker Built-in, monaural, volume settings in 8 steps
Print Compatible standards Exif Print, Print Image Matching III, DPOF setting
Battery Rechargeable battery pack NP-FM500H
Still images Approx. 550 shots with viewfinder and 590 shots with LCD monitor (CIPA standard)
Movies Approx. 180 min. with viewfinder and 180 min. with LCD monitor
Operating temperature 0deg.C to 40deg.C (32deg.F to 104deg.F)
Dimensions Approx. 132.1 x 97.5 x 80.7 mm (5-1/4 x 3-7/8 x 3-1/4 in.)
Weight With battery and Memory Stick PRO Duo: Approx. 618 g (1 lb 5.7 oz)
Body only: Approx. 539 g (1 lb 2.9 oz)
 

Closing remarks

So far I’m loving the A57 and 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss camera and lens combo. The battery is charged and I actually took a few pics yesterday, so I’ll try and post them later today if possible. I shot using the New Superior Auto feature which basically takes advantage of every feature the camera has and then decides what to do for you. This mode includes AutoHDR though and it works!!

Stay tuned for some sample pics and more impressions as I explore the Sony A57. Also if you have any requests, ot you want me to try something with the camera specifically, simple add a comment below and i will try my best to accommodate ;)

 


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Thanks,
Jay

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About the Author

Jay
Hello, I'm the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;) Google+ | Twitter | RSS-feed | Email Updates!!




8 Comments


  1. Mike

    Two-axis fine adjustment – available in all modes

    I read that in the specs. What exactly does that mean?


    • Jay

      Mike,

      I honestly don’t know, but I think it might be the horizon level indicator that overlays on the screen. It’s a really cool feature and I will verify that for you ASAP ;)

      Best,
      Jay


      • Jay

        Mike,

        I can’t find it anywhere other than in the specs on the Adorama site. Its gatta be referring to the horizon level overlay I believe. I can’t see what else it could mean as It’s not on Sony’s site or BHPhoto’s specs either.

        Best,
        Jay


  2. Jasper Tan

    I need help please – just bought SLT-A57 with 50mm SAM F1.8 and when trying out video mode it – noticed when switch dial to video mode it started with clicking noise including when recording-wonder why? Any firmware update available at this stage.


    • Jay

      Hey Jasper,

      Sorry to hear about that! Something does not sound right to me? Does it do it in any of the other modes besides video? Is it the lens or the camera? Do you have another lens you can try? There is a firmware update and you can get it (Click Here), but it supposedly addresses high speed shooting.

      Best,
      Jay


  3. Gordon

    I shot the a55 for 1 1/2 years and am very pleased with the upgrade Sony gave us in the a57. I like everything about the camera especially 1) in body stabilization, 2) focus peaking, 3) auto HDR, 4) the larger size with the bigger battery, 5) adjusting exposure in the EVF in manual mode, and 6) the clear zoom feature. I live 8 miles from a waterfowl management area and enjoy cycling and birding there. I feel that the clear zoom feature works well. It is not a gimmick. Paired with the Sony 70-400mm SSM G the Sony SLT-a57 is a very nice “birding” camera. I found myself hitting that zoom button all day long. I am very pleased with the IQ.


  4. Jay,
    I’m still using Sony a57. I am experimenting with using the Paint program and the Paint OFF but HDR +-3. When I look at the properties on the picture using Windows Live Photo Gallery, it does show that I am using Aperature and the fstop. It shows the ISO. Where or what program can I use to see if picture was made with the Paint program or the HDR? I have also tried Adobe Photoshop Elements 12.
    Ginny



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