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Sony Alpha 57 review

April 14, 2012

Overall Rating:

3

Sony Alpha 57


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  • Noise/resolution:
  • LCD viewfinder:
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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

Noise, sensitivity and resolution

The Sony Alpha 57 has a sensitivity range of 71⁄3 EV at ISO 100-16,000, which can be extended to ISO 25,600 in the multi-frame noise-reduction setting.

With virtually the same sensor as cameras such as the Alpha 55, Nikon D7000 and Pentax K-5, it comes as no surprise that the Alpha 57 is capable of resolving a high level of detail. At ISO 100, the camera reaches the 26 marker on our resolution charts in raw and JPEG format.

Levels of luminance noise are inevitably higher than equivalent DSLRs at higher ISO ratings, due to the use of a fixed translucent mirror. However, luminance noise is only really noticeable at ISO 1600, and images are usable at this setting.

Higher levels of noise affect the resolved detail at higher ISO ratings, and for both raw and JPEG files the camera reaches the 24 marker at ISO 3200 and only 20 at ISO 12,800.

These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, captured using the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 macro lens. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution at the specified sensitivity setting.

  • 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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