The Sony Alpha 65 single lens translucent camera features the same class-leading 24.3-million-pixel sensor as the Alpha 77, yet costs £350 less. We find out how it performs
The Alpha 65’s autofocus system consists of 15 points in three groups, all in the central area of the frame. Three of the points are the more sensitive cross type. This is the same system as that found in the Alpha 55 and it has more cross-type points than any other system used in a low-end enthusiast-level camera. The Alpha 77 has a more sophisticated system with 19 points, of which 11 are of the cross type.
In everyday use and in good-contrast light, the Alpha 65’s autofocus system is very fast – provided the subject is in the centre of the frame. For fast-moving subjects, activating object-tracking AF helps the camera latch onto the subject.
When used in very low-contrast light, the AF system is slower. Over a number of low-light images, the Alpha 65 has a lower hit ratio of successful focusing than the Alpha 77, although unlike the Alpha 77 the Alpha 65 is not meant for professional use.
It is important to select the correct AF mode in tricky lighting conditions. For example, spot-focus mode selects the central AF point. In local mode any one of the 15 points can be selected, while wide mode automatically selects one of the points.
In zonal mode, one of the three groups can be selected as the AF point. Local works well for a very specific focal point, while zonal is good for larger areas. Any subject outside the central area of the frame must be moved into it, and the frame then recomposed with manual focus selected, to avoid refocusing during capture.