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130 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To A65 or to A55? That is the Question..
Sony A55 vs. A65: is Newer Really Better?

When Sony released info on the Nex-5N, NEX-7, a65 and a77 models, I decided that the technological leaps on the new line was enough to make me a believer. What really put me into the Sony system over Canon and Nikon was the lower price points on the Sony lenses. Yeah, they don't have as many lenses as the Big Two, but I...
Published on November 14, 2011 by Alex Parker

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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars could have been a great camera
This camera could have been wonderful, but unfortunately, it is so overloaded with useless function and special effects options, that it makes taking straightforward photographs a chore. the buttons designed to provide easy access to functions such as White-Balance, Drive Mode, Special effects, and View, are situated so that they are easy to activate accidentally, just by...
Published 16 months ago by daniela


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130 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To A65 or to A55? That is the Question.., November 14, 2011
Sony A55 vs. A65: is Newer Really Better?

When Sony released info on the Nex-5N, NEX-7, a65 and a77 models, I decided that the technological leaps on the new line was enough to make me a believer. What really put me into the Sony system over Canon and Nikon was the lower price points on the Sony lenses. Yeah, they don't have as many lenses as the Big Two, but I don't know any photographers with 25+ lenses in their closet, either. The NEX-5N looked nice but I like viewfinders and didn't want to be gouged on that accessory. The NEX-7--while pricey--still doesn't have a release date. The a65 was priced below the a77 by almost $500, so that was a no-brainer, but was it $200-worth more than the a55, a camera that--for the most part--touts a devout ownership?

I actually bought the a65 and the a55 at the same time, opting for the a65 because of its corrected overheating issue while filming video (the tie-breaker for many) and the a55 because, aside from the overheating issue (a "logical" deal-breaker for many with the arrival of the a65), it offers just about everything else the a65 does, minus some cosmetic differences and a handful of megapixels most of us will never use or need.

First, the differences. The a65's swivel LCD is a nice little touch over the a55's traditional vertical flip-out. With the rotating swivel I was able to take shots by holding the camera down low and high over my head. The LCD view on this unit is crystal clear. The electronic viewfinder on the a65 is superior to the a55. (**I'm not going to get into the differences between the OVF and Sony's EVF; if you are reading this, it's because you're either used to EVFs in general, don't mind them, or think Sony cameras are cool, regardless.) The EVF here offers a FULL view of my shots. Also, if you use the EVF instead of the LCD, there is a level meter that basically tells you if your shot is in focus, and if your horizon/vanishing points are perfectly level; this is invaluable if you're taking landscape or wide shots. When shooting people it eventually recognizes redundant faces and will instantly articulate in on the principle person you're shooting automatically if they are in a crowd or shot with multiple people; this I also found to be a rather nice innovation and would be tremendous if I were shooting a wedding and only cared about the bride, for example. The thing that I liked most about the a65 over the a55 however was completely unexpected: on the a65 there is a dedicated ISO button next to the aperture/shutter wheel, and next to it is a dedicated exposure button that will give you accurate adjustments in the EVF before you shoot. AWESOME. After a couple hours of shooting with this unit I could easily toggle between the Aperture, ISO and exposure intuitively by simply moving my finger slightly from one button to the next. In this regard, making on the fly adjustments while shooting on the street was a snap.

One cosmetic/function quirk that really bugged me on the a65: the frame-zoom button is in a weird place. Located in the top right behind the wheel and shutter button, I kept hitting it by accident and it was quite annoying. I also didn't like how it basically took me a day and a half to 1) find the playback function for video and 2) toggle back and forth between video and regular picture playback mode. After two days I still didn't know how to download the video off of the card. It was like Easter egg hunting! Also, some of the novelty shooting camera modes looked like fun when I first powered up, but I quickly realised that the shooting potential of this camera was so great that I'd actually be doing a disservice by being too cute with the toy functions. The regular shooting and BW modes were all I truly needed to get really impressive results.

The a55 by contrast shoots just a clip slower¬¬--though the AF is just as snappy--with little discernable difference, unless you put the camera in review mode to look at shots after you take them, then it sorta bricks out for longer seconds than its successor. (**On the a65 the review mode is default to OFF.) The a55 is also decidedly lighter in weight. I will note that because I have egregiously long fingers, it was actually a less comfortable handle than the a65, and I almost felt like the two models are specifically tailored to different hand-types. Actually, this is a BIG DEAL if you don't care about cute functions: if you have little hands and generally prefer light equipment, the a55 (at $200 less I remind you) carries more value in day-to-day carrying and shooting. If you have bigger hands, the a65 is an absolute must, you will thank me later.

Finally, the video mode. On the a65 the quality on the 60i is far superior to anything I've ever seen on a DSLR, hands down. I actually wanted the a65 because it shot in "cinematic" 24p, but I can attest that compared to the 60i on this unit it left a lot to be desired. If you are mulling the a65 specifically because it has a 24p option, do yourself a favour, save your money and get the a55, just trust me on this. One more thing on the video: I know some (well, a LOT) of a55 users have complained about the sensors overheating at about 5-10 continuous minutes of filming. When I tested the a55 out of the box (it was the first thing I tested, actually), the camera copped out at just over 8 minutes at room temperature. I ran the same test on the a65 and made it nearly 20 minutes without any issues whatsoever. That being said, this is an SLT/DSLR-type camera. You should know that it is extremely UNSATISFYING to hold an SLT/DSLR camera to shoot video for more than a couple of minutes, period. In that sense and in retrospect, the 5-10 cap on the a55 seems pretty negligible. Honestly, if you are leaning towards the a65 only for its longer shooting time capability, don't. Unless you're currently trying to get 15+ minutes of continuous film out of your DSLR (and really, you shouldn't be), the video capabilities and shortcomings between the two units should be the least of your worries.

Finally, a lot has been said about Sony's poor performance at high ISO levels. Indeed, on the a65 when I shot a band performing in a club the background noise left a lot to be desired past 1600. On rendering the blurs and noise actually turned to mud and many of those photos were simply unusable. I did not test the a55 in this regard; I feel if having a great performer at super high ISOs is your thing, Nikon is probably way to go. (**I REALLY wished this a65 performed better here.)

All this being said, the a65 is a winner over the a55 in every category if money is not an issue. If money IS an issue, or if you want to get more bang for your buck, the a55 body-only plus a better-than-kit lens will give you awesome value and you won't be missing anything it doesn't offer over the a65 if your only concern is taking fantastic pictures. In doing a side by side comparison of well-lit indoor shots using the same 35mm 1.8 lens stopped down to f2, the a55 curiously produced sharper photos, while the white balance on the a65 appeared to be slightly more neutral. My reaction: Huh . . .

So what did I pick? Ultimately, I went with the a65. Really, the ISO button and ergonomical fit for my big hands were the things that really swayed me. I shot on both cams at 12MP so I didn't get full reso use out of either body. But I had to ask myself: Is the ISO button alone worth $200? Absolutely not. But the a65 fitting better in my bigger hands, that was worth $200. That won't be worth $200 to everybody. If you have smaller or normal-sized hands and just want top notch performance and super sharp pictures the a55 is a sneaky good pickup. You can always fix balance in post.

***UPDATE***
This cannot be overstated, but if want to get a nice and cheap prime lens, I HIGHLY recommend the Sony 35mm1.8f. It is the 50mm equivilent on the A65 (if you buy the 50mm your shots will be too tight to take on the street). The lens costs $50 more than the Sony 50mm but it truly rivals glass more expensive than this. People are blown away by rather standard shots I've taken with this. If you don't care about the so-so kit lens and want to save some dollars, buy the body only and get the 35mm.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it after a slight tweak, November 10, 2011
By 
sfreez (Olathe, KS USA) - See all my reviews
Picture/Video quality:
Coming from a Canon Rebel XSI and having a friend who bought a Nikon D5100 recently I have some decent comparisons. I'm an amatuer and don't wanna mess with RAW which means my initial impression was based on JPG quality. My primary use is home movies and pics of my kids, mostly indoors/low light. With the default settings I was very disappointed with the results in mid-low light (Firmware 1.03). Something in the sharpening algorithm makes everything look swatchy and unnatural, probably because of too much noise suppression. I took the same pics with XSI and they looked smoother and nicer to me even after downsizing the a65 pics to 12mp. But, on sonyalpharumors.com they mentioned JPG's might improve in some new firmware and in the meantime using -2 contrast, -2 sharpening helps, I tried that and it is dramatically improved for my taste. I also shot in RAW a little prior to that change and could tell there's plenty of detail so there's obviously room for JPG improvement. After playing around with it for a while I'm starting to like it more and more. The autofocus and steadyshot work great during movie mode, a little slow in mid-low light. Kit lens autofocus noise is present but fairly minimal. 60p greatly reduces rolling shutter. Video quality is AMAZING. Exposure, ISO, and AF Modes can all be adjusted during videos. Pictures are great up to ISO 1600. 3200 is fairly decent, 6400 and on degrades quite a bit. Starts up so fast most of the time. Not sure why but sometimes takes 4-5 seconds, most of the time it's less than 1 second from off to pic. Battery life is decent. Took it on a weekend trip, used it about 1/3 of each day for a couple hundred pics and a dozen 1-2 minute videos and got home with 22%. I felt like I had to use it a little conservatively to last the weekend but might be able to improve that by turning GPS off.

Novelties:
2x Smart teleconverter is nice but no different than cropping a picture down after the fact, would be way more useful if enabled for video. It's nice novelty to be able to review photos/access menus in the EVF, and the quality is great for both the EVF and LCD. Can set camera down with Articulating screen facing you for self portrait because the screen folds out to the bottom. Smile detection didn't work with large group (15 people) probably because faces become too small to detect. Also, if you try to do a self portrait it's so fast that sometimes only one person is smiling and then takes about 5 seconds to automatically start detecting again. HDR/Panorama/Bracketed shots work well. I'm not a big fan of separate folders for pics and videos in review mode. Takes 3 "clicks" to switch from one to the other.

Positives:
* Autofocus during video/live view works great, a little slower in lower light.
* EVF/LCD quality is amazing
* Haven't noticed overheating
* 60p video virtually eliminates rolling shutter
* Super fast startup
* No EVF/LCD blackout during burst mode
* Menus very user friendly and presentable
* Like the AF Zone option (XSI didn't have this. Uses left, right or center AF points)
* Exposure, ISO, and AF Modes can all be adjusted during videos
* Menus and photo review accessible in EVF
* Articulating screen
* GPS works well and locks fairly fast
* Battery life good enough

Negatives
* Default JPG settings disappoints, but can be improved
* No smart teleconverter during videos
* Pics and videos are separate in review mode
* Wish max ISO was configurable in P/A/S modes and video mode
* After 10-12 pic burst at 10 fps, slows to 1.5 fps while buffer is clearing. Can still see LCD/EVF tho (just can't burst as fast)
* Slow shutdown, although not really a problem
* Screen folds out to the bottom so can't set it down facing you for self portrait
* Deleting pics a little slow. Takes about 1 second per pic, although multiple delete is available.
* Hand grip is a little cramped for my big hands, but not too bad
* Not as big of a "newer" lens selection as Canikon. Lots of great older minolta's, but not as many newer budget options that generally have quieter autofocus motors which would be nice for videos.

All in all i'd definitely recommend it. I don't think I could justify the a77 personally since there's very few differences I care about. More cross-type AF points, configureable max ISO in P/A/S modes, lens AF micro-adjust and weather sealing are the main ones, but not enough to justify the price. Definitely prefer it over my Canon XSI and friends Nikon D5100 though.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compared to the Sony A55, April 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had a Sony A55 for just over two years. Unfortunately it failed twice and I've had to send it out for several weeks to a repair shop both times. I do think this is unusual and it is the first camera I've ever had that failed on me. I decided to step up to the A65 and keep the A55 as a backup. I'm a little miffed at Sony for the poor A55 reliability but I do think it isn't common. I'd have a hard time switching away from Sony. First I have a large investment in three lenses. Second I really like the translucent mirror technology and all it brings to the party. I think Sony is pushing the envelope and the camera has some really nice features.

Here are my observations on the A65 compared to the A55.

There are a number of web sites that you can use to compare the A55 to the A65 so I won't elaborate on the specification differences. But I did find some things about the camera that I had not read about, and of course there are my personal observations too.

1) The weight difference between the lighter A55 and the A65 is quite noticeable to me. I used the A55 a lot and was very familiar with how it felt hanging from my wrist by the wrist strap. The truth is the three lenses I have add so much weight that the overall weight difference with the new body isn't really that much. I'll get over it.

2) Size. The A65 is larger but not so much as to resemble one of the huge bodies of other DSLR cameras that just look obnoxious to me. The main benefit of the larger body is the hand grip now is comfortable. The A55 grip was initially too small for me (I think I have average man's hands) and it never felt better with time.

3) The extra megapixels. I've never been chasing megapixels. I was quite happy with the image quality of the 16MP A55. So I was quite surprised when I took the first few photographs with the A65 and it's 24MP sensor. I was blown away with the quality improvement, something not born out by all of the technical reviews on the camera. After several hundred photos I've taken over the week I've had the camera I continue to be impressed. The other big benefit is I can crop images on my computer and still have really good image quality even if I've zoomed in 4x or so. Very nice.

4) Expecting a lot from the OLED viewfinder that is so highly touted in the reviews it just didn't jump out at me. I'll have to wait until the A55 comes back from repair and compare the two. It does look larger but if I didn't know there was a published big difference I might not have noticed. I am quite pleased with both the A55 and A65 EVFs. After a week of use I have to say the EFV is good, but not so I marvel at it.

5) Sony did move some buttons around a bit and for the most part I like the changes. The Video, AEL and tele-converter buttons are moved off the top a bit more and are easier to access and depress. The other buttons on the top of the camera near the shutter have been moved closer to the shutter so they are easier to access.

6) I see Sony decided to put a dedicated ISO button by the shutter button, but they removed the D-Range button. This is a big disappointment to me. It may be that more sophisticated shooters play with ISO a lot but I don't do it often enough for a dedicated button on the top of the camera. On the other hand I did use the D-Range button a lot. I find a lot of high contrast shots are better handled by the Auto HDR feature. Gratefully I was able to reprogram the ISO button to activate D-Range but now my D-Range button is labeled ISO!

7) I'm so glad the stereo microphone is colored black rather than the silver shown in many photos of the camera.

8) The A55 has an infrared focus assist while the A65 uses the flash. I don't know which has better performance but I really like the infrared action over the flash. It is much more subtle.

9) The On/Off button on the A55 has a nice crisp snap to it whereas the A65 feels soft and mushy.

10) Placement of the small red Access Lamp (used to show when files are accessed on the SD card) is better on the A65. The A55 was too low and small. No big deal either way though.

11) I REALLY like the shutter sound. The camera comes with the Front Curtain Shutter ON. When ON the first shutter action is electronic instead of the physical curtain moving. This means there is only one shutter sound per shutter release where as the A55 has a double click. The camera has a nice crisp sound for each photo. A big bonus is the shutter will have 1/2 the operations this way which should extend the life of the shutter. It was a fail of the shutter on the A55 which has it in the repair shop presently.

12) When the A65 processes the Auto HDR images it takes much longer than on the A55. I suppose this is due to the larger image size. It is quite noticeable to me.

13) I may be wrong about this but when reviewing images on the A55 holding the Zoom In button would automatically step through zooms until it reached the limit. On the A65 I have to manually push the button several times to effect the same result. I'll double check this when the A55 comes back from the repair shop (assuming they do fix it!). 7/18/13 True the A55 auto zooms while holding the buttons but the A65 does not. Annoying.

14) As noted in almost every review I've read the noise of the sensor is more than anyone would like. Most reviews said it wasn't good above 1600 or 3200 ISO but I've noticed it in all images. I think the A55 is better in this respect. It is most noticeable in lower light situations. I'm happy with the overall image quality but this forces me to think about ISO and make adjustments to compensate. Not good. This is the reason I rated the camera 4 stars instead of 5 stars. In the end I keep the A65 set to ISO 100 about 99% of the time which provides the minimum noise. The two lenses I use the most are both f2.8 zooms across their whole zoom range so they capture light well enough to keep the camera at ISO 100. Noise isn't an issue and images are astounding.

15) Being able to reprogram/reassign some buttons to other functions is very nice. I can customize the camera to my liking.

16) Improved battery life on the A65 is already noticeable and appreciated. However I never felt the battery life of the A55 was hindering me. I rarely had to change batteries during a single day and I'm often likely to take several hundred photos in a day.

17) Programmable buttons. I really appreciate that the AEL and ISO buttons can be assigned to one of many other functions. I only wish that capability would be extended to the Control Button (4 way rocker). I'm okay with WB, Display, and Drive mode but the bottom of the rocker is assigned to Picture Effect which I will never use. It sure would be nice to assign that button to something I would use.

Overall I'm pleased with the A65.

Update April 23, 2013.
I've now had the camera for almost two weeks. I've taken perhaps 2,000 photos and I am very pleased with it. Not only is the image quality very good but I also find that photo processing algorithms work better on my computer with these high pixel count images. The photos are quite sharp to begin with but when I use a sharpen feature on the computer it does a better job than when I did it with the A55 images.

I posted three images on this Amazon web page. One of my grandson playing soccer, another of a black vintage car, and a third of the inside of a vintage restored car.

April 26, 2013 update
I now wish I had done a bit more research on the A77 before I made this purchase. It is $200 more than the A65 but there are some things I'd like to have. I watched quite a few A77 reviews on youtube and learned some things. First the A77 can save images to the SD card almost twice fast as the A65 with the right SD card. Second the A77 body is sealed so it isn't likely to be damaged by water or dust which would complement my sealed Sony 16-50 f2.8 lens. Third it has more focus points which I now understand makes it focus faster. There is more but these differences will remain out of my reach because I'm unlikely to buy another camera for about 5 years. I'm still very happy with the A65.

May 31, 3012 update
I've just received my A55 back from Sony repair today and it is fixed and working as new again. So I'm able to make just a few more observations now that I have both the A55 and A65 in hand.

1) Indeed it is true that when reviewing still photos and wanting to zoom in the A55 buttons will automatically step through zoom in and zoom out levels just by holding the buttons. With the A65 I have to successively push the zoom buttons manually. This is a disappointment as I use this feature often. I'm concerned about wearing the button action out.

2) The A55 LCD screen is a 16:9 format while the A65 is a 3:2 format. I don't know why Sony decided to make that design change but I do prefer the A55 16:9 format. I posted a photo on this A65 page so you could see the difference. Sorry I only had my iPod Touch camera to take the photo so it isn't the best.

3) The OLED viewfinder of the A65 is indeed superior. It is brighter and the text showing camera setup is outside the frame whereas the A55 lays the text on top of the image being viewed. Still unless I have both cameras in hand the better A65 viewfinder didn't jump out at me.

I sure do like the grip (one of my few real complaints about the A55)on the A65.

In the A65 I finally own a camera that takes the kind of photos I always wished I could. My talent is lacking but the camera isn't.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best camera I've ever owned, March 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Photography has been a hobby of mine for the past three years, and I've been through several Sony alpha series cameras. I started with the a330, sold that to upgrade to the a550, and then sold that to upgrade to the a65. I also own the a37. More on that in a bit.

I primarily use this camera for concert photography, as live music is another hobby of mine. While the a550 was excellent at low-light photography, the a65 pretty much blows it out of the water in terms of shooting at high IS0 (usually at 1600) and its super fast 10 shots per second feature. Even shooting at ISO 3200 will produce usable results.

The video feature, however, is where this camera truly shines. I've gotten more and more into video production in the past year, and the cinematic quality that this camera produces matches top tier Canon cameras at a much lower price. Seriously, if you are considering shooting video with a DSLR, this is the wisest and most affordable purchase you'll ever make. I highly suggest shooting in Manual mode with a shutter speed of 1/50, and shoot at 24p if you can. You will be blown away by how "filmic" the results are. This camera paired with my a37, has produced some pretty amazing footage.

The high resolution swivel screen is also a major plus. You can view the screen from any angle and it always looks beatiful. I suggest you keep the screen in its closed position (with the screen facing the camera) when you store it in your bag. The screen, although somewhat resistent to scratches, CAN get scratched, so be careful. Buy a screen protector if you don't think you can remember to close it every time you're done using the camera.

Some people don't like the electronic viewfinder. It's a matter of taste. I loved the optical viewfinder on my a550, but honestly the electronic viewfinder is pretty awesome. Get with the times, this is where photography is heading.

I can't reccomend this camera more if you're very much into photography/video but don't want to spend thousands of dollars on pro equipment. It really isn't necessary when you can get a camera of this quality for under $700.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars impressive images, May 8, 2012
By 
brazosshooter (Grand Prairie, TX) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I purchased this camera as an upgrade from my original Sony a100. The two main reasons I wanted this was 1) the increased resolution on the sensor and 2) the buffer built into the camera for recording the image. I shoot quite a bit in low / "no" light situations. I photograph storms frequently, and the problem I ran into with my older body is that when shooting storms at night with long exposure times, I had to wait 30 seconds or so for the camera to process and record the file. Hence, I had to wait while the action was still going on before I could fire the camera again.

Here are my initial impressions for my situation:

I can tell you that both of the reasons I was looking to upgrade are more than satisfied with this product. The images are DYNOMITE, and I can fire 30 second exposures repeatedly without delay. That is the best news I could have had. They more than overcome the following negative I discovered for my work:

Unfortunately one of the advancements that comes on this camera seems to work against when shooting storms...the OLED viewfinder. For shooting during the day, it is awesome, I especially like the built in level indicators and ability to choose what information is displayed. BUT, this weekend on a camping trip we were awakened by thunder in the distance. Time to bust out the camera!!! Well, in the dead of night you can't see anything thru the viewfinder. In optical viewfinders, you can at least make out a shape of a tree in the foreground to compose your frame. Not with this. It was an unexpected discovery...one that I didn't see coming. It may be possible for me to use a flashlight to shine on the scene and compose, but I will have to wait for the next opportunity to find out.

I would purchase this camera again. Any serious photographer knows that the perfect camera does not exist. I am looking forward to learning more about this one. The pics I got from the storm this weekend were really good, so I'm not terribly discouraged with the viewfinder situation. I am confident I will overcome that with practice.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome camera review from amateur, November 13, 2013
By 
John B (las vegas NV) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
To start, this will be a review from a newbie. I have no experience in photography what so ever. I have always used a decent point and shoot but never seemed to get a properly focused shot. I decided to finally spend the money and invest in a DSLR. After receiving this Sony, I was immediately impressed with the overall build quality and overall ease of use even though I have no experience with the unit.

Between yesterday and today, I have taken approximately 500 shots, some in light, some in dark with flash. Let's just say that this camera can NOT take a bad picture. The details in every single picture that I have taken are awesome. Keep in mind I have no clue when it comes to professional photography, what they would be looking for. The viewfinder itself is amazing to look through. It has the built in level and grid showing focus points and the image is crystal clear. The lcd screen is also very crystal clear and easy to use. I really like how it automatically switches from LCD to viewfinder when you put your face close to it.

I find the 18-55mm zoom kit lens to be very nice. I took a few images of some landscaping from about 100 feet away and was able to get some really clear shots. The auto tracking focus does a great job for snapping shots on the go.

From power off position to actually taking a picture is lightning fast. Pretty much as fast as your hand can switch it on and then take a picture is how fast it will process the first image.

Movie mode I tried a couple of times and it takes AMAZING audio and video. Between movements, there is no sudden jerks or jolts shown in video. Audio is crystal clear.

Battery life seems decent. After taking 300 shots and playing with different menu functions and taking video, I still had about 33% left. I will probably pick up a second battery just to be safe.

Overall I am very happy with my purchase and look forward to learning the art of photography.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Camera, June 14, 2013
First of all Sony has come a VERY long way in the Dslr/Slt world. I have a a100 as-well as the a65. If you are a previous Sony owner and you weren't impressed with their older cameras, I guarantee this one will change your mind. I was a bit iffy on getting it because they are newer to the game and not as seen,so it was a battle between the Sony a65 and the Canon 60d and I'm glad I choose the A65.To make it simple you get very vibrant color,tack sharp images even in larger scale prints, you get the mighty 10 frames burst rate, awesome 1080 60i video and much more. Now the electronic view finder... Honestly I love that as well!You get to adjust all your needs though it, you get what you see, and my favorite you can use it during video! The camera feels very sturdy even so it is plastic, the grip is the best Ive used and it is my favorite camera in the class(maybe in in a couple above it) So get this camera you will not be disappointed!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sony Alpha A65 SLT + EVF = Incredible!, March 24, 2013
I have owned many cameras in the past 20+ years from different manufacturers. I've never had a Nikon but always used Kodak, Fuji, Canon and as of late Sony. All camera manufacturers have the ability to produce nice to excellent image quality, it is important to have the right tool then go get creative with it. Now for my review.

I won't go into great detail but I can tell you that I was always a big fan of Optical Viewfinder's. They let you see through the lens and the image is not an electronic representation of what you're shooting. When the SLT's first came out, I thought I would never get one but boy was I surprised! I like being able to make changes and knowing what the picture will look like before I take it. This is one of the benefits of the electronic viewfinder, also it has an overlay of information regarding the camera's functions, or you can tailor it to your liking.

At 10 frames per second, it's really fast. I haven't had any lag issues with the electronic viewfinder when panning my shots, "i.e. birds in flight". But it helps to have a fast shutter speed trust me! The focus speed is also very quick and it will auto track the subject that is in motion. I haven't had an issue with this, except for the very rare out of focus shot.

ISO performance is where this camera loses ½ star. You would be fine up to ISO 1600, but after that details in lowlight get a bit mushy. Also, it depends what you call acceptable. For my purposes, I can print up to ISO 3200 on 8 x 10 and still be happy. Those extreme pixel peepers might want to look elsewhere, but you would be happier with a better lens "wider constant aperture".

The JPEG's are for me very acceptable, but for even better image quality you should be shooting in RAW which is where this 24 megapixel sensor excels. Image quality is a matter of opinion for most, but this is not an issue for me.

As for the cameras construction, it is mostly made of polycarbonate plastic, with a nice, firm rubber grip and it does feel well-built. This camera is not weather sealed, so if you do purchase this make sure to buy a good camera bag. For that, I purchased the Lowepro Nova 170 AW which is an all weather bag that also has a bonnet to pull over in case of heavy rain.

In conclusion, I would say this camera has been worth the purchase for me. You would benefit from buying a good lens and perhaps Carl Zeiss is not out of the question. I hope I have helped "somewhat" with your decision on this camera and if you do purchase, that it will serve you just as well. I couldn't be happier :-)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very happy with Sony, February 1, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'll have to admit, I was a little apprehensive in purchasing a Sony brand camera. Perhaps because I've always known that Nikon and Canon are the brands the pros use. Well, I'm not a pro but I did take a basic photography class in college and I must say this camera is truly an amazing piece of equipment. Before purchasing, I went to the Houston Camera Exchange store and compared the Canon 60D to the Sony A65. (Having in mind I was going to purchase the Canon or perhaps a Nikon of similar quality). Both having a similar quality lens, the pictures on the Sony were significantly better looking in terms of color. The Canon seemed to loose the true color images i was shooting. The Sony also felt better in the hand and I really liked the explanation of the shooting modes when you move the dial. The translucent mirror seems to be an outstanding concept. I believe the other brands will soon do away with the reflex mirror and use the translucent mirror technology. It just seems the less moving parts, the better. The Sony Alpha is not an SLR. It's an SLT. Single lens Translucent (mirror). The mirror does not move as with the SLR's.

I purchased the body only and additionally purchased the Sony SAL 18250Alpha DT 18-250mm lens from Amazon as well. Although the lens was almost as expensive as the camera body, it's much better quality than most lenses that come with camera package deals. The 18-250mm covers just about anything I'll ever need it for. I might get one more lens in the future.

I've only had the camera two weeks so I'll make a promise to update this rating in the future in terms of longevity. However, at the moment, I'm more satisfied than I thought I would be. I like shooting in low light situations and this camera is outstanding in that category. I've taken some cool night time pics without flash. With and without tripod and all pics were really great quality.

I would recommend purchasing David Bush's Sony SLT - A65 Book. It's 386 pages and very comprehensive yet very easy to read for beginners as well as seasoned photographers. The book along with a SanDisc Extreme 32 GB will provide you with an outstanding camera package.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very nice camera, great photos., December 26, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this for my wife to upgrade from her A700. Her first DSLR was an A100 and all have been excellent cameras. She likes the A65 because it is a little smaller and lighter. Her main interest is wildlife and insect life and I think this camera will work out well. The 10fps will really help with the hummingbirds and dragonflies. So far it has performed flawlessly. Very fast to auto focus. Also, compatibility with all her Sony and Minolta lenses is a big plus
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