Sony brings an updated version of its former entry level Translucent Mirror Technology DSLR : the SLT-A37 is the succeeding to the SLT-A35. In Sony’s range, you have Alpha DSLRs and EVF DSLRs, the SLT-A57 and SLT-A77 for instance. The SLT-A37 has an EVF of 1.44 million dots with WYSIWYG LiveView and this technology makes it possible to use a phase detection autofocus system in video mode instead of contrast AF : both for LiveView and video recording. The offset of this is the loss of the optical viwfinder which is something some may not be able to bare and the loss of a few Lux of light, the portion of the light beam filtered by the translucent mirror.
The Sony SLT-A37 receives the brilliant Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor designed by Sony, the 16MP version with ISO settings ranging from ISO 100 to ISO 16,000, oddly less than its predecessor which could reach ISO 25,600. The camera offers Full HD movie recording at 50i/60i or 25p/30p and an external mic line in.
Like the NEX-F3 announced also today, the SLT-A37 gets the Clear Zoom function that crops the image with a 2x factor and computes the image to recreate the missing pixels (by pixel technology) and therefor get a better looking cropped image than with an average digital zoom. We saw these intelligent zoom coming on compact cameras like the Panasonic Lumix ZS line of 2010. It is the first time this appears on a DSLR though. Can come in handy when traveling light and need extra zoom power. This is also used by the camera to propose a new portrait composition when the DSLR detects a face that is not located on an optimal rule of thirds crossed line. Smart.
The Sony SLTA37 main assets, to me, are :
- The APS-C 16-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
- A 15-point AF with 3 cross-type sensors, that is better than any other entry level Digital SLR.
- Full HD 1920×1080 pixels movie recording in en 50i/60i or 25p/30p with an external microphone line in which is rarely seen on entry level cameras.
- CCD-shift image stabilization embedded. That is priceless.
- A 7 fps burst rate with subject tracking. Not bad for a cheapDSLR.
- A tiltable screen, neat, but a bit small (2.7″) and with a pretty modest definition (230,00 dots). But the camera is among the most compact and light DSLRs.
- Superior Auto, Auto portrait framing and swipe panorama modes
- The SLTA37 will be bundled in a kit with the new 7.5x zoom lens, the SAL 18-135mm f/3,5-5,6 SAM which will be an equivalent 27-200mm once mounted on the Alpha 37.
Sony SLT-A37 : price and availability
The Sony SLT-A37 will be available this month at prices that are €100 cheaper than the SLT-A35 when it was released :
- Sony A37 + 18-55mm lens : €600 / $600
- Sony A37 + 18-135mm lens : €800 / $800
- Sony A37 + 18-55mm lens+ 55-200mm lens : €800 / $800
Main technical specs of the Sony SLT-A37
- 16MP APS-C Exmor sensor
- CCD-shift embedded image stabilization
- 100 to ISO 16 000
- 15-points AF with 3 cross type sensors
- Shutter speeds : 1/4000s to 30s (and Bulb)
- Pop-up flash : guide number of 10
- Flash synch speed : 1/160s
- Full HD 50i/60i and 25p/30p movie recording with full time autofocus
- Burst rate : 7 fps with AF-tracking
- Processor : BIONZ
- Superior Auto mod
- PSAM modes
- 2D and 3D swipe panoramas
- D-Range Optimizer
- 1,440,000 dots EVF – 100% image covering – 1.04x magnification
- 2.7″ / 230,400 dots tiltable screen
- USB 2.0
- Microphone line in
- 448 grams (without battery, nor memory card)
- Battery life : 500 images