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Showing 1-10 of 93 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 113 reviews
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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on March 28, 2013
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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on December 25, 2013
I tried the T4i (650D in Asian countries) by Canon. However, I and my wife both missed a lot of shots during kids parties as that live view of the Canon was not suitable for fast focusing ability. This Sony SLT-a65, however, is stunning in that regard. Plus, after using Lightroom 5 for final touch ups, WOW !!! The photos are clear, noise-free, detailed, and carry no noticeable noise up to ISO 1600 or even ISO 3200. We also purchased a Sony A-mount 50mm f 1.8 prime lens. That really comes in handy at night and depth-of-field or bokeh are great and smooth as well.

We are not pro level at all, we just love taking interesting shots and doing some touch-up of photos, and that's about it. This Sony SLT-a65 is wonderful and easy to work with. We still are yet to experience its video side though. I have also purchased the SLT-a77 with the f2.8 18-55mm Sony lens. We are also thinking about getting the NEX-5t since sometimes we do want a smaller alternative when we have a long trip. My uncle is buying the new full-frame A7r mirrorless camera from Sony also.

Anyway, thanks Sony. Keep on innovating .....
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on June 30, 2014
I bought this as a surprise gift for my husband because it was compatible with some lenses he already had that went to an old 35mm camera. He is a very good photographer, and he figured out all of the bells and whistles this camera offers quickly and easily. The pictures he has taken with it are portrait quality. I am not typically a good photographer, but the quality of the photos that I have taken is astounding as well! The 24.3MP's are great! Each photo has a clarity unlike any I've ever seen with the smaller digital cameras I've used in the past. The camera is quick action too. We have great photos of our daughter in mid-jump doing a cannon- ball into the pool. The resolution is perfectly clear. All in all, it was a great surprise for him and he loves it! Definitely a great buy!
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on January 1, 2014
I consider myself a novice when it comes to photograph although I've been taking pictures as an amateur for decades now. So, I wanted a nice DSLR (smart) camera that can take nice pictures and videos without having to do too much in terms of adjustment in the process. After some extensive research, I decided to settle for the Sony A65V for a couple of reasons, first, the price has stabilized in the past year or so compared to other cameras on the market with the same features, second, it supports all my old Minolta lenses which means that I won't have to dish out hundreds of dollars more to buy lenses ....sweet.
When I received the camera I immediately charged the battery for about 6 hours straight, then affixed the a Minolta lens to it while I study the different features in the menu. Once I had enough knowledge of most of the features, I took it outside and started taking pictures using different settings including the use of the GPS which is a nice feature to have to impress your friends (lol). I found this camera to be light, easy to carry, and ergonomically fit for my big hands which means that I can reach any button of the camera while looking through the viewfinder. The pictures are crisp, colorful, vivid, one might say they are of Post Card quality. I also took a 30 minute video at Epcot Center of a Choir performance which turned out quite well. As we speak, I am still evaluating the camera, but as of now, I must stay that I am very pleased with its performance. I'll upgrade this review if I experience anything negative in the future. Would I recommend this camera to a friend? YES. Absolutely.
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on February 20, 2014
I read all the reviews about people not liking the quality of the low light photos.

However for my use case, (mostly fast moving kids in a darker home), this works wonders compared to other cameras we've used. As mentioned elsewhere, it can take 4 pictures in rapid succession in low light and then merges them into one to deal with noise. I'm sure getting a lens with a larger aperture will also help when I have money for that.

Otherwise, pictures are incredible and I'm so glad I got the camera. The video is also incredible. Generally speaking, people say that video on a dslr isn't very good compared to a handheld camcorder. However, because of the autofocus (yes I'm aware that "real" photographers/videographers don't uses autofocus, they like manual), the video quality is incredible. It's worlds better than our panasonic HC-V100M that's only a year or so old. Other brands like Canon and NIkon supposedly don't have this same feature and the video quality suffers because of it. We wanted one machine for high quality images and video.

Lastly, my wife was concerned because it wasn't as simple as a point and shoot. However, she also loves it now, even though she is just using the auto settings. Her pictures are turning out great. Only downside is the size and weight of the camera. But I think it's worth it.
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on December 26, 2013
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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on January 27, 2014
My previous camera was my first DSLR, a Sony A700. I always had to keep in mind that the viewfinder wasn't 100% accurate in terms of framing, but I loved that camera. It went around the world with me, and served me very well. When I started to hear about Sony's new prisms and electronic viewfinders (EVFs), I had my doubts. Call me old fashioned. I was particularly concerned about how it would perform in low light; photographing dance performances, for example.

But I recently got an A65 at work, and also received one as a gift, and it didn't take me long at all to become a total convert. This is a great camera. It's smaller and lighter than my A700 was, but it still fills my hands well. If you have really big hands, you might find it a bit cramped, but for medium/average hands it should feel good.

The sensor is fantastic. Doubling the megapixel count hits you in the hard drive, but you can crop the living daylights out of the image and still have fantastic quality. The focus performance is very good, and the button layout makes a lot of sense. It was a very smooth and easy transition from the older Sony. The autodrive speed is amazing; the prism is worth it's weight in gold if you need fast autodrive in a moderately priced camera.

Now, on to the EVF. It's fantastic. The level is extremely useful to me; I don't know how much time I've spent straightening a photo by half a degree. No more. The best feature for me is focus peaking. I'd read about it, and it sounded interesting, but now that I've used it, it might be my favorite feature on this amazing camera. My right eye is a bit weak, and I never felt like I had the diopter set right on my A700, so I almost never used manual focus. Focus peaking, made possible by the EVF, shows you exactly which pixels are in focus. It's a fantastic feature. I'm using manual focus more than I even have, and getting great results. Yes, Sony has some of the best autofocus in the business, but there are times when manual focus is just faster, more intuitive, and more creative. And now, for me, it's very sharp and accurate too! I love sweep panorama and the tilting LCD, but focus peaking might just be my favorite feature on this camera. It's changed the way I shoot. Proofing photos without taking your eye away from the viewfinder (again, only possible with an EVF) is also great.

So, I'm thrilled with this camera. If you've been wondering, or maybe skeptical, about the latest generation of Sony SLTs, take the plunge. I'm really, really glad I did.
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on May 27, 2014
This is a really nice camera. I have been taking pictures for 45 plus years and use this camera to produce really great photography. It has a very rich feature set, take great detail pictures that are accurately color balanced. You have some really great options with this camera as it offers a wealth features to aid in doing almost any type of photography you want. To me the result is a great picture whether taken in raw or J-Peg. After all is that not what you buy a camera for?
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on January 4, 2013
Got the camera body by itself rather than with the so-called "kit lenses" since I want to have a better choice of lenses than what comes in the kit.

Along with this camera I purchased the following lenses and external flash unit:
Sony 55-200mm f/4-5.6 SAM DT Telephoto Zoom Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Cameras
Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 Standard Zoom Lens for Sony A-Mount Cameras
Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Camera
Sony HVL-F43AM Sony Alpha System HVL-F43AM Flash Unit for Alpha DSLR

I didn't purchase everything at the same time so I'm still waiting for the macro lens and flash to arrive.

I've tried the telephoto lens and the standard lens already but only on inanimate objects. The combinatin of the camera and these two lenses was fantastic! I'm hoping to do some portrait shots once the macro/portait lens arrive and the flash unit.

I'm not a pro by any stretch of the imagination but do have some basic knowledge of photography. Like most people that are not making a living as a photographer, I cannot justify spending thousands of dollars on a camera body and thousands more on lenses so this camera and the lenses I bought fit my budget knowing full well I'm not going to see super professional results but the results are excellent for the money invested compared to other cameras.

The only drawback I see so far is the somewhat high noise level with ISO settings of 1600 and higher. I'm trying to stay around a maximum of 400 ISO. I haven't tried the noise reduction feature yet so maybe wtih that I can get good results at least at 1600 ISO. I won't be taking that many photos in low light conditions and with the lenses I have I should be much better off than with the kit lenses in low light conditions.

I'll add to this review as I get more experienced with the camera but for now I'm perfectly happy with my purchases.

January 31, 2013 - Here is my follow up review after having received the Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens and Sony HVL-F43AM flash and having put more hours of use on the camera trying out various features.

My wife and I and one of our daughters went to a local botanical gardens this past weekend (yeah, middle of winter is not the best time to look for flowers to photograph!) and I took along the camera with the 50mm f/2.8 macro lens mounted on the camera in hopes of finding insects and flowers on our hike thru the gardens. I did manage to find two bushes that had flowers on them (but no insects) and was amazed at the macro shots when I got back home and viewed them on the computer monitor! Colors were natural with no saturation problems and the image was very sharp in the focal plain region. Since the lens also is a 50mm fixed lens I took photos of the surrounding landscape and a few portrait shots of our daughter which turned out fantastic as well.

The GPS feature of the camera is not mentioned in the owners manual beyond telling the user how to turn it on and off. I was clueless in what to look for to find the GPS location data until doing a bunch of searching on the Internet. As far as I can tell, the GPS data is not visible in real-time; it is only available AFTER you take a photo and shows up in the display of the camera when viewing stored images. The data is also embedded in the RAW and JPG files which can be used with Google Earth to show the location where the photo was taken. It may take about 10 minutes outdoors with the camera before the camera locks in on the GPS satellites in a fairly open space with some trees around. This feature was not on my list of features I was particularly looking for but it is nice to have.

The Sony HVL-F43AM flash unit was tested out taking photos of our black cat and, using the macro lens, taking photos of some small troll dolls my sister-in-law wanted to sell on eBay. No complaints on the flash pictures or the flash unit.

The panoramic photo feature was tried out and it did a very good job of stitching the photo frames together but because you have to continuously move (pan) the camera to use this feature there is, of course, some motion blur when you zoom in close in the resulting panoramic photo. This is a feature I don't see me using very often so this doesn't bother me.

Battery life is great on the camera and I do recommend buying a spare battery if you are going to do a lot of photos at one time and can't wait for the battery to recharge. Be careful of Chinese made fake "Sony" batteries. I bought mine from B&H Photo since they do cary the real McCoy Sony battery (with Amazon you are taking your chances from what I have read in the reviews).

The memory card I bought with the camera is the SanDisk model SDSDX-032G-AFFP which is working out real well for both video and 10 shots/second stills.

BTW, I set the camera to store both RAW and JPG images just in case I'm not happy with the way the camera's JPG image is created. So far the JPG images have been excellent 90 percent of the time so haven't done anything with the RAW images. Some people had complained of the JPG quality but that must have been in the first release of the camera before all of the firmware updates because I don't see any issues with the JPG results myself.

Hope this review helps you in your decision on buying or not buying this camera along with the lenses and flash unit I also purchased.
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