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...
Build and handling
The Alpha 37 is of a similar size and shape to the previous Alpha 33 and 35 models, but has a more pronounced indent on the grip, which surprisingly makes a notable difference to holding the camera. The body’s compact size means most users will only be able to fit two fingers around the grip, so this indent, combined with an indented rear grip for the thumb, is more appreciated.
The body is light but feels solid and well made. The numerous buttons are large and well spread. A dedicated exposure-compensation button allows the front dial to swap its control from aperture or, in manual shooting, changes from shutter control to aperture control. However, the angle of this button makes it difficult to operate without altering your grip.
An Fn button provides access to most controls, bypassing the main menu, and it is nice to see the ISO and white balance controls both accessed via quick buttons on the four-way control dial. The centre button also allows access to the AF control, from which the point can be adjusted in the local and zonal modes.
One clever feature present on many Sony models is Eye-Start, which activates the camera’s focusing when the viewfinder is put to the eye, reducing the time needed to take a shot. The only downside is that when the camera is held at waistlevel, Eye-Start can activate when the sensor is shaded, which causes the AF motors to whirr away as you walk along. This can be quite noisy with the kit lens mounted and the focus beep turned on, and it eats away at the battery.