Sony A37 Review

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Sony A37 Review

Postby H2o » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:15 pm

Hope this the right way to post a review.

I recently upgraded from A350 to A37, from optical viewfinder to electronic viewfinder, EVF. I had read several postings about the pros and cons for both viewfinders. In the end, I decided to buy the A37, for a few reasons:

1 - Focus Peaking: helps with manual focusing. The H2 has this feature and I was surprised to see that Sony brought it back for the A37.
2 - Playback in EVF: allows you to see images and movies in the viewfinder, a nice feature during bright viewing conditions.
3 - Higher ISO: clean images up to 800 ISO and acceptable images 1600 - 6400. (review from photography blog) I find that I am spending less time with noise reduction editing. In comparison, A350 was quite noisy at 800 ISO.
4 - White Balance: Auto setting is quite accurate. I have made some corrections in PSE11 using camera raw. The readings for equal parts of red, green, blue using the auto wb comes very close to the readings in ACR. So for my workflow, it reduces the need for white balance adjustments.
5 - DOF preview button: It's a nice feature to have if you are looking to improve your technique. Not usually provided with camera models at this price point
6 - Low light: I take a lot of photos at a reception hall, usually with available light. This is the one area I was truly worried about with the EVF. However, I have found that the viewfinder is bright enough for manual focusing and auto focusing.
7 - Tilt LCD: I got used to having this screen with the A350. I did try the A57 but didn't like the feel of the LCD hinge at the bottom of the camera. The A37 has the tilt LCD which feels like the LCD sits near the center of the lens, not at the bottom of the camera.
8 - DRO: The A37 has 5 levels plus auto. I believe this is one feature it has in common with the A700.

1 - It is an EVF which means the camera will turn off the viewfinder, black screen, in order to conserve power. It can be a pain at times, but it comes back on with a half press of the shutter. (it is not a deal breaker for me.)
2 - The EVF goes through a refresh cycle: the salesperson warned me that some photographers are bothered by this. It hasn't bothered me, but it is a valid reason for trying the camera before buying.
3 - Course/Grainy viewfinder: the live view in the viewfinder can appear course or grainy, but it does not appear in the photo.

As you can see, my experience has been mostly positive. There are a few features I have not discussed such as HDR, Sweep Panorama, Handheld Twilight, Movies. They are features I seldom use, but have to admit they might come in handy.

Hope my review helps someone who's interested in the A37.
Sony A37, Minolta 70-210 F4, Minolta 50 F1.7, Sigma 28-105 F2.8-4, Zenitar 16mm Fisheye 2.8, Sony 35mm 1.8, Tamron 18-200 and Sony 18-55 kit lens
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