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Customer Review

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it after a slight tweak, November 10, 2011
This review is from: Sony SLT-A65V 24.3 MP Digital SLR with Translucent Mirror Technology - Body Only (Electronics)
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 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.

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.

* 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

* 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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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 26, 2011 8:00:59 PM PST
B. Boudreaux says:
From other diagrams the screen is shown to be able to rotate 360 degrees so that a self portrait is possible. Is this not true?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2012 9:09:56 AM PST
sfreez says:
you can if you hand hold, i was referring to setting it down on a table or something you are not able to see the screen.
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