Sony’s latest entry-level SLT camera shows that a tight budget need not mean compromising on specification. We find out if it hits the mark. Read the Sony Alpha 37 review...

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Sony Alpha 37

LCD viewfinder:
Build/Handling:
Dynamic Range:
Autofocus:
Noise/resolution:
Features:
Metering:
AWB Colour:

Product:

Sony Alpha 37 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£399.00

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Sony Alpha 37 at a glance:

  • 16.1-million-pixel CMOS sensor
  • Bionz III processor
  • ISO 100-16,000
  • 2.7in tilting LCD monitor
  • 7fps continuous shooting mode
  • Street price £399

Sony Alpha 37 review – Introduction:

Launched in tandem with the NEX-F3, the Sony Alpha 37 is designed to be the more ‘serious’ of the two cameras. The specifications of the two models may be similar, but Sony claims the type of photographer who will buy each product is notably different. While the NEX-F3 is aimed at the family user looking to document their children and holidays, the Alpha 37 user, according to Sony, has an ambition to be a photographer and to create photos rather than take snapshots.

To the unsuspecting eye, the Sony Alpha 37 looks indistinguishable from the rows of other entry-level DSLRs that line the shelves of camera stores. The principal difference, however, is that this is not a DSLR – not officially – as it lacks the crucial pentaprism optical viewfinder and moving mirror arrangement. Instead, this SLT (single-lens translucent) camera uses a fixed, semi-transparent mirror that directs 30% of the light to the AF sensor while allowing the remaining 70% to pass straight through to the sensor, which provides the electronic feed for the viewfinder display.

Sony now features SLT cameras in its beginner, intermediate and advanced ranges, with only two remaining DSLR-type cameras in the intermediate (Alpha 580) and professional categories (Alpha 900). SLTs, it seems, are the future for Sony’s A-mount cameras, but can they now compete with the best DSLRs?

  1. 1. Sony Alpha 37 at a glance:
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and handling
  4. 4. Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  5. 5. Dynamic range
  6. 6. White balance and colour
  7. 7. Metering
  8. 8. Autofocus
  9. 9. LCD, viewfinder and video
  10. 10. Our verdict
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  • Mach III

    Stupid article.. No score for noise reduction…

  • Chris Munden

    A bit late in the day for a now discontinued camera. However, forget the tech for a moment and look at the real world pictures. Stunning, colours and superb detail in the shots. The info on the EVF from the Fn button puts Nikon to shame as nearly all your quick adjustments can be done while up at the eye with big easy to read symbols and letters. Also the big bonus is all those great Minolta AF lenses that can be found for very little money to enhance your kit. This camera is unbelievable for the price if you can still find one that is.

  • LisaLasVegas

    I have had the A37 for a little over a month and I just love it. I have had a NEX-3 for about a year and a half and made enough money snapping portraits, company parties and birthday parties and such to outfit a home studio and pay for the A37 and a 50mm fixed and a 70-200 zoom, both Minolta Maxxum. The availability and lower cost of A mount lenses is a big reason to go Alpha over NEX. Plus you get an easier menu, all dem buttons and the phase detection autofocus. My dream is to make enough with the A37 to go A99. You gotta dream big! As for the LCD, I just connect a 23″ monitor with the HDMI and compose off that.

  • Cleyber

    Agreed ross. practicality is key for me. Im a phgpeorathor, not a videographer. I dont enjoy paying a premium for a feature thats of no use to me. That proccessing capability could be used to produce in camera HDR.I’ve no interest in going full frame until sensor dynamic range and noice performance are grossly improved. I’d like to see sensor developers focus less on how many pixels can be crammed onto an APS-C size chip with acceptable’ noice (In my vew, there is NO level of acceptable noise), and more on improving IQ (Note, IQ does NOT equate to resolution alone) I own 2 canon Eos DSLR’s (450D and 7D). The 450D is just as capable as taking an image as the 7D, one only loses out slightly on print quality for LARGE prints- the 7D does however have other capabilities and features that make it vastly superior. Sensor resolution is were it needs to be. Sensor sensitivity and Dynamic range however need ALOT of work.

  • Momin

    Jennie takes amazing photo’s and is tlurey dedicated. I remember when she took my engagement pictures she was rolling on the ground and everything and I thought to myself man she means business about taking these pictures and in the end i think if she hadn’t rolled around and got dirty they wouldn’t have turned out like they did:)

  • Yvonne

    Your review of the a37 is useless because you have allowed all the side ads to run over the edges and block out large parts of the article. Why would you do this and call yourself any type of magazine with a website? USELESS and very discouraging. Hope others can find the willpower to bother to read anything on your website.