And so it’s here

PivoinesToyThe Sony SLT A37 got here this morning.

It’s a deceiptive little camera. From specs and pictures you think it’s tiny. But it makes up for its small height and width by an unexpected depth, it’s actually well thicker than my Nikon D90, a better specified and overall bigger cam, placed higher in the food chain.

AlmightyJuin13-01Immediately the question is : how does it perform ? How does it handle ? Feels ? Sounds ?

MarlaJuin13-53It performs reasonably well, given its entry line-up positioning. For the price paid, there is little to flaw. That being said, I’m not overly fond of it, and don’t intend to keep it. Why ? Because in my household it has two very serious contenders, and it can’t seem to top either in any critical area.

MarlaJuin13-59The NEX 7 is still king of the moment, able to capture life and its emotions as I see them, when I see them.

MarlaJuin13-51The Nikon D90, despite being 5 years old, which is a pretty long time in digital technology, remains a fine camera that does everything pretty darn well, and offers much better performance than the NEX for any action/fast autofocus needs. I don’t think the A37 would beat it here, though I yet have to test them side by side with similar lenses…

GwenJuin13-05So the A37 went to the stables today, and shot various situations in, and outdoors.

MarlaJuin13-52Marla found a young (and very handsome) boy there who was kind enough to play along and share her lesson, for a spree of “poney games”

MarlaJuin13-39They both needed a hand as she’s only 4.5 yr old and it was her partner’s first time on horseback (he did absolutely great), but they had a total blast.

MarlaJuin13-46The idea was to grab various elements and bring them from point A to B in minimum time, with imposed stops in some places.

MarlaJuin13-47And here’s Marla victoriously crossing the line. She sort of won two rounds to one.

MarlaJuin13-45And look at her teasing him from across the arena !

MarlaJuin13-41The race rages on !

MarlaJuin13-43Before that she’d had a proper lesson to warm up, looks pretty serious here

MarlaJuin13-48MarlaJuin13-49That was pretty fast !

MarlaJuin13-50Really starting to get the hang of it and control her poney by herself pretty well…

MarlaJuin13-44And feeling good about it

MarlaJuin13-40Post game with a big grin on her face

MarlaJuin13-42Going for a dip is always a treat, especially on a muggy hot day

MarlaJuin13-54I was using the Tamron 17-50/2.8 standard zoom at max aperture.

BaiJuin13-02A lady was schooling her large bay and gave me permission to shoot

BaiJuin13-04The A37 performed well in manual mode, giving me a faithful reproduction of the exposure with both the LCD (too crapy to see much though) and the electonic viewfinder.

BaiJuin13-01BaiJuin13-03BaiJuin13-05I was pleased with the output, but have many quibbles about the camera.

ColtJuin13-09Although looking at the files there’s little to complain about.

MathisCaramiel-01Oh, Marla managed to fall in love with that boy in one minute flat..

MarlaJuin13-60I think I can’t get over the NEX 7’s goodness, and nothing looks worthy of it in my eye right now

MarlaJuin13-56MarlaJuin13-57MarlaJuin13-58MarlaJuin13-55MarlaJuin13-61ColtJuin13-10I’d have to try the A37 with a proper fast prime to really be able to compare.

MathisetChat-01He IS really cute πŸ˜‰

So after that boatload of pictures, a few thoughts on the camera. I find it too thick for it’s small footprint, and therefore weirdly proportioned. The low res screen actually is really crappy. It is hinged and does tilt, but the resolution is so bad it’s useless because it’s bad enough to look at flat, let alone at any angle. It’s also smaller than any competition these days. The grip of the camera is comfortable and the whole thing feels plasticky, but solid. The EVF is ok, it’s subtle enough and not over contrasty, allowing fine judgement of manual exposure. The shutter sound is ugly and wheezy, dragging on for what seems a full second. It sounds cheaply electronic and is very unpleasant. The menus make solid sense, once you’ve used them for a few days I guess you intuitively know where to find what. There is a Fn buttong that conveniently gives access to frequently needed options. The Tamron 17-50/2.8 zoom I’m using on the camera has a reputation of great optical quality, which is rather justified, but I find it a big, ugly and awfuly loud squeaking lens that makes me ears cringe.Output wise the files are pleasantly contrasted with beautiful color reproduction, though nailing proper white balance is not the easiest. Sharpness is excellent with that specific lens, and I left the Creative Style at the unalterated Standard setting.

So here’s my opinion so far on the A37, it’s a low priced and lower feeling entry level body that gives better output that it has the right to, but will give you a discounted shooting experience, with a lot of things feeling a bit “cheap”. The size/weight gain is marginal at best compared to a better specified DSLR like a D90, and I have yet to test but I’d be very surprised it the Sony beat the Nikon for action shots. The answer, next week. Stay tuned πŸ˜‰

About marla2008

Shutterbug. Shallow DOF nut. Mother of Child. Student of the Horse.
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3 Responses to And so it’s here

  1. Laurent says:

    picture #13 is truly special…..thanks for sharing it

    My first attempt to repair my canon LCD has been unsuccessful, so I am reading your review with interest. A37 is definitely on my short list (along with A55/57). I like the availability of the old Minolta lenses (and their apparent build quality), so that might be the one.

  2. marla2008 says:

    Laurent I would suggest you pony up for the A57. My friend Tracy had one and did wonders with it. The A37 has very solid IQ, but the little LCD screen is really shitty and will rob you from enjoying the camera, at least it does me 😦 I’d consider the A57 instead, it looks like a very lovable camera…

  3. Laurent says:

    Oh well, I just managed to replace my LCD, so I guess I need to find another excuse if I want to switch to!

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