Sony Alpha 37 review

August 25, 2012

Overall Rating:


Sony Alpha 37

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Price as Reviewed:


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...

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?

  • External mic: Yes
  • Video: 1080 50/60p HD (AVCHD), 1080 25p (MP4)
  • White Balance: Auto, 9 presets, custom, manual
  • Dioptre Adjustment: -4 to +4 dioptre
  • Built-in Flash: Yes (GN 10m @ ISO 100)
  • Memory Card: MemoryStick Pro Duo, SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Shutter Type: Focal-plane shutter
  • Viewfinder Type: 1.44-million-dot equivalent EVF
  • Output Size: 4912 x 3264 pixels
  • Field of View: 100%
  • LCD: 2.7in, 230,000-dot LCD
  • AF Points: 15-point system (3 cross-type)
  • Weight: 506g (with battery)
  • Exposure Modes: Program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, iAuto, iAuto+, 8 scene modes, sweep panorama, 3D, tele-zoom continuous, movie
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/160sec
  • Sensor: 16.1-million-effective pixel Exmor CMOS
  • White Balance Bracket: Yes (3 frames)
  • Power: Rechargeable InfoLithium NP-FW50
  • File Format: JPEG, ARW (raw)
  • Drive Mode: 5.5fps (7fps in tele-conversion mode)
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/4000sec, plus bulb
  • Lens Mount: Sony A
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • ISO: 100-16,000
  • Focusing Modes: Single, continuous, auto, manual
  • DoF Preview: Yes
  • Dimensions: 124.4 x 92 x 84.7mm
  • Metering System: 1,200-zone evaluative, multi, spot, centreweighted
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0, HDMI (type C)
  • Compression: 2-stage JPEG
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV
  • RRP: £419 (body only)
  • Tested as: Entry-level SLT

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