Customer Reviews: Sony Alpha SLT-A57 16.1 MP Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor DSLR with Translucent Mirror Technology and 3D Sweep Panorama (Body Only) (OLD MODEL)
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on June 3, 2012
I FOUND VARIOUS reasons to buy this great camera. I am really happy after purchasing this great item. It has :

* Great IQ & Video. One of the best & well tested Sony Image Sensor used in this camera.

* Dedicated ISO, White Balance, Self timer and other dedicated buttons. Without dedicated buttons it take little a bit time to change those setting.

* EVF is "you get, what you see". This really great sometimes even in manula mode camera told me the correct exposure but EVF was showing a bit underexposed image. Decreased shutter speed a stop and got the correct exposure. We can't do this so easily in Canon or Nikon.

Also, EVF can shows all the camera menu & setting. This way no need to look at the lcd to get the details.

EVF shows rule of thirds grid lines, diagonal lines, labels etc. I don't think all these available in any one Canon-Nikon Camera (at least not in this price range)

* Inbuilt AF motor in Body so I can use all the lens (including the lens lacking auto focus motor). Canon & Nikon does not have inbuilt autofocus motor in their camera for this price range.

* Auto portrait cropping. I did not find it great still Ok.

* Battery life is good compared to a55.

* Dual memory card support (SD & Memory stick). (I know :) who will use sony memory stick ;) still if someone want to use they can use it.

Now some of the negatives :

* ISO, WB & other settings are carried over from Aperture priority/other settings to Manual mode. eg. If ISO set to 200 in Aperture priority mode and if the mode shiwched to manual default ISO is showing 200. Actually manual mode should have default iso set to base (100). WB also has same issue.

* Body & Kit lens material looks a bit cheap to me compared to Nikon.

* Can't set the max ISO limit in Aperture priority mode. Eg. If ISO set to auto then camera can choose any ISO 100 to max, Nikon D5100 we can set max ISO for auto ISO, this way we can instruct camera not to go beyond say 1600 ....

* Kit lens focusing has difficulty focusing in some normal focusing condition. Sometimes lens dancing back & forth to achive focus.

* Images taken on Low light is better than many SLRs but still normal indoor house photography need faster lens like f/1.8 or better.

I will try to update the review soon.
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on February 16, 2013
I did a lot of research before purchasing this camera. Though I've only had it a couple of months, I am convinced it was the right choice for me. This is my first DSLR (type) camera and it works like a dream! I did take the advice of another reviewer and purchased the Sony Alpha SAL35F18 A-mount Wide Angle Lens along with this camera and believe that was a good choice for indoor shooting without a flash. I use the 18-135mm Lens outdoors. Happy shooting and if that takes you into nature, please take all the pictures you want and leave only footprints.
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on August 22, 2014
So far I love it, I was forced to switch from my old Minolta 35mm camera as it was getting hard to find 800 film locally, and the places that I used to get film developed refused to return my negatives (real cheesy of them), so I made the big leap to digital...buying the Sony body allowed me to keep my Quantaray AF lenses, really the Sony was my only option as I did not want to go out and spend another $700-$1000 or more, on additional lenses for a different brand of camera. I went with the A57, as that seemed to be the last camera that my lenses would work well with (I think the A58 would work as well), as far as I could tell the newer Sony cameras might not have been compatable with my older lenses (besides the cost of the newer camera bodies was sky high).
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on May 16, 2013
I've been using this camera for a few weeks now, and I'm very happy with it. I'm an enthusiastic yet relatively inexperienced photographer, and I had previously owned the Sony HX200V. While it was a great improvement from my small point-and-shoot, I started to realize that there was a limit to the quality of the images I could get due to the smaller image sensor. I chose the Sony over a handful of different Canon and Nikon cameras based on very favorable reviews, the in-body auto-focus motor, plus I already owned two Minolta lenses that were compatible with the alpha mount featured on this model. I am very impressed with the image quality, and I've been diving deeper into manual settings to improve the quality of my photography. I'd say this is a fantastic camera, both for the value and the compatibility with a number of different lenses (some new, some old). One feature that I'm in love with is the focus magnifier - it allows you to use the preview button that is conveniently in reach when you're holding the camera for a shot. When enabled in the settings, it enlarges an area of your image so that you can more precisely adjust your focus, and you can change the area that is zoomed in case you wish to have your focal point stray from the center of the frame. This button can also be changed to preview your selected aperture, etc. In any case, the auto and scene modes on the camera are great too. If you are a newcomer and want a camera that will be easy to use that will also grow along with you at a good cost, I'd say you should go for this one! I think more experienced photographers are also likely to find this camera satisfying.

Also, shortly after buying I realized I wanted to expand my lens collection, as the lens is just as important for image quality as the camera body is. Here are some lenses I ended up buying or considering heavily (be sure to compare prices on ebay vs. amazon, it's a coin toss as to where you'll fetch the better price and this can change daily).

For a great zoom lens: (I found it muuuuch cheaper on Ebay - fast and quiet autofocus with good image quality)

Portrait lens: (Also found much cheaper on Ebay, and this lens is unbelievably sharp and fantastic for low-light non-flash photography. This lens is great for portraits, walk-around shots, and macro-esque shots (not true macro, but the sharpness and the small minimum focal distance can have surprising results))

Macro: (Look for the Minolta (first link) on ebay and snatch it up if you find a good cost (under 180 is very reasonable), and check out some of the shots on the image gallery that is linked on the review page - mind blowing. The Sony (second link) is a close second for me to the Minolta. It's very sharp, has a smaller focal length which results in a wider field of view, and a shorter minimum focal distance so you can get incredibly close to your subject)

Also, be sure to take a look at reviews on [...] for any lenses that you're considering - they have photo galleries and many very helpful reviews. Happy shooting!
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on February 13, 2013
My husband and I are brand new to the DSLR line of cameras, so this review will be for the hobby/mommy photographer.
My husband and I researched cameras for about a month before settling on the Sony SLT-A57M. My mom is a big time Nikon fan; my sister-in-law has a Canon. After spending hours and hours researching and reading reviews, we went to Best Buy to check out the Nikon, see how it handles, etc. We ended up trying all three brand (Nikon, Sony, and Canon) models at Best Buy. What made me lean more towards the Sony was the shutter speed. Because Sony uses the transparent mirror, I can snap up to 16 shots (which doesn't sound like that many until you actually start snapping) of my "active and always fast moving" 5 year old son ensuring that at least one shot will be a great one :)
My camera traveled with us to Keystone, CO over the New Years holiday when the temps didn't get over 20 degrees while we were there. I was worried about its durability in the cold (but was willing to try having the warranty). My Mom, the Nikon fan, was worried about my lens fogging up with the temperature change; she did NOT bring her Nikon for that reason. The Sony was a champ. I had NO problems at all. It took wonderful pictures in all environments - freezing temperatures, in the 70+ mph car, dusk, daylight, full sun, etc.
Another perk that was just an extra bonus is the panoramic picture mode. We visited the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, and that feature was wonderful to use for taking pictures of the beautiful landscape.
The final reason that we decided on the Sony was its compatability with the Minolta lenses.
We've had the camera for almost two months now, and I wouldn't trade it for any other brand! I love it!
As a side note, my sister-in-law with the Canon has had it for a year, hardly uses it (only for select special occasions around the house), is having major issues with it turning on, the flash working, the LCD screen, etc. Not sure which model it is though.
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on August 3, 2014
I purchased this camera a couple of years ago as an upgrade to my Sony A350 photo cam, and to finally get into the Full HD DSLR video boom that recently took off worldwide. I'm glad with my purchase, and I have shot thousands of photos and videos with it, from family pictures, to reference pictures for my digital artwork, to small experimental films, to music videos, to 30 minute documentaries. The EVF, the 60 FPS FHD recording have proved to be really useful. Of course I haven't only used the A57 to do all this work (I have also purchased some Sony Flashes, external audio recorders, Manfrotto monopods, etc), but the camera has been key. I honestly believe at the time of my purchase, this Sony beat it's equivalents in both price and technical achievements in comparison to similar Canon and Nikon models. The camera has paid for it's usefulness a long time ago, and I will keep on using it as long as possible, or at least until I can get enough saved to buy one of the new Sony A7 series cams. Regarding the lens, well, make sure to buy yourself a good prime lens (I have the 50mm F1.4 Sony lens), or if you really have the dough, buy yourself one of the fancy Carl Zeiss lens Sony has in their lineup, specially the 24-70mm F2.8. The kit lens isn't really good.
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on February 12, 2014
A great camera that looked brand new and has been working great for now. I did a lot of research before purchasing the camera, I was specifically looking for a $400 -ish camera which would shoot good video and from what I ready the sony SLT technology does just that.. so I'm loving it.. and it was a great price too
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on June 7, 2013
I am a home video enthusiast and decided to buy this camera mainly for the 60p/24p capabilities, fast auto focus, and the fact that you can use Minolta lenses! The video quality is amazing. I have received numerous compliments from family and friends on the video quality. I had done so much research in buying the right camera for my needs and at reasonable price which was more important. Initially, my very first pick was the canon T4i dslr, but when I discovered that the Sony A57 had a faster auto focus and a other bells & whistles for much less money, the decision was very clear to me. I cannot comment much on the photo quality, because I mainly use this camera for video. The photos that I have taken are clear and satisfy my needs.

The beauty of the Sony Alpha line, is that you can attach any Minolta lenses!!! You can find theses lenses anywhere and very cheap these days.

For those who are undecided between the A57 and the A58, I would go for the A57. Do some research. You get more features for the same money.
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on August 24, 2013
This camera is a marvel. The features give more bang for the buck than any other camera in it's class. It's a shame that Sony discontinued it, as it is head and shoulders above the a58. The trade off in camera quality and shooting speed is not worth the extra megapixels, especially if they end up being essentially useless.

The .jpg engine could definitely use an overhaul, and the kit lens...well, it's a kit lens. Get yourself a nifty fifty prime, and you'll end up with the best photos you've ever taken. The low light capabilities are absolutely superb, and you can push this camera into the higher ISO ranges without an obscene amount of noise. The button layout is sensible and easy to learn and operate.

The video on the a57 is stellar. It shoots in full HD and allows you to capture stills while filming. You can also film in full manual mode, which is great for those that want to get better control of their subject matter.

The viewfinder is nothing short of amazing and allows a 100% field of view. Basically, whatever you see through your viewfinder ends up in your photos. Many other DSLRs in this price range offer subpar viewfinders that end up giving cropped versions of your images.

The abundance of automated features on this camera are great to learn from, but the real jewel in the feature set is the Sweep Panorama mode. By far the easiest to use of any camera in any class. You just press the shutter and swing the camera around. No trying to line up inside a series of onscreen dots or any of that goofy stuff. This is just point, press and swing around. It provides amazing results, too.

If you're looking for a light, easy to tote camera, I wouldn't recommend this little beast, as it's pretty hefty. The a37 might be better for an everyday carry type camera, if you absolutely need one of the SLT series cameras. The NEX series is also great for everyday shooting and portability.

I've had my a57 for three months now, and I've shot a few thousand photos with it. It's a fantastic camera, and despite the fact that it's been discontinued, it will remain a solid camera that will provide outstanding results for years to come. That's what anyone on a budget should always consider. The longevity of the camera and how well it will stand up to the newer models rolling out. It's a priority for me, and if you take care of it, it will provide years of enjoyment and great shooting.
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on December 3, 2012
I bought the Sony A57 from the amazon marketplace for 440, and I'm loving it! It is a fantastic camera.I was torn between this and the Nikon d5100, but I'm so glad I went with the Sony. I agree with everything that has been said about the camera and only want to add what I find the most amazing for myself. My favorite thing about the camera is that when you change shutter speed or f-stop or iso etc, it shows you a live preview on the screen! The other most important thing is the built in vibration reduction and focus control, making the lenses for the camera a lot more affordable.
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