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Sony Alpha 57 review

April 14, 2012

Overall Rating:

3

Sony Alpha 57


  • Autofocus:
  • Noise/resolution:
  • LCD viewfinder:
  • AWB Colour:
  • Features:
  • Metering:
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Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

Price as Reviewed:

£700.00

With its 16.1-million-pixel sensor, 15-point AF and 10fps with continuous AF, Sony’s Alpha 57 may suit aspiring wildlife and action photographers

White balance and colour

Image: Skin tones are accurate and sharpness is impressive in this image recorded with the Sony Alpha 57 and 16-50mm f/2.8 lens 

There are six colour modes, comprising standard, vivid, portrait, landscape, sunset and black & white, all of which can be adjusted ±3 for contrast, saturation and sharpness. As with other Sony Alpha cameras, the standard colour mode produces strong but realistic colours.

The saturation can also be tweaked to add punch, but it is easier to change to the vivid setting. I found the auto white balance in daylight to be a little on the cool side, but for most purposes it works well.

The process of creating a custom white balance reading is simple. Take a custom reading by pointing the spot focus at a white area in a scene, then accept the suggested Kelvin temperature. Manual Kelvin adjustment is also available along with nine white balance presets, of which four are varieties of fluorescent light.

In the drive mode menu, white balance bracketing is available over three frames at ‘Hi’ and ‘Lo’ settings.

  • Video: 1920x1080 pixels (at 50fps, 25fps or 24fps), 640x480 pixels (at 25fps), AVCHD 2 with MPEG-4 AVC H.264
  • White Balance: Auto, 6 presets, Kelvin, plus custom setting
  • External mic: Yes
  • Built-in Flash: Yes – GN 10 @ ISO 100
  • Shutter Type: Electronically controlled focal-plane shutter
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
  • Output Size: 4912x3264 pixels
  • Viewfinder Type: Electronic LCD, with 1.44 million dots and 100% frame coverage
  • White Balance Bracket: Yes, 3 exposures
  • AF Points: 15-point with 3 cross-type, auto or manual selection
  • LCD: Articulated 3in LCD with 921,600 dots
  • Focal Length Mag: 1.5x
  • Sensor: 16.1-million-effective-pixel APS-C (23.5x15.6mm) CMOS sensor
  • Exposure Modes: iAuto, program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, scene selection, sweep panorama, 3D sweep panorama
  • Weight: 618g (with battery and card)
  • File Format: Raw, JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion NP-FM500H battery, up to 550 shots
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/4000sec in 1⁄3EV steps plus bulb
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Drive Mode: 12fps in tele-zoom mode, 10fps in continuous advance priority AE, continuous 8fps high or 3fps low, single-shot, self-timer
  • Lens Mount: Sony Alpha mount
  • RRP: £749 (with 18-55mm kit lens)
  • ISO: 100-16,000 (expanded to ISO 25,600 in multi-frame NR mode)
  • Focusing Modes: Manual, single-shot AF, automatic AF, continuous AF, face detection
  • Dimensions: 132.1x97.5x80.7mm
  • DoF Preview: Yes
  • Metering System: 1,200-zone evaluative metering, centreweighted and fixed centre spot
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, HDMI
  • Compression: 2-stage JPEG
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV in 1⁄3EV steps
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