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  • Alpha NEX system • Re: An Interesting Dilema For The Future April 28, 2016
    Different preferences,different solutions. Now I don't often go over 300mm let alone 600mm so it's a matter of choice, and I can't justify upgrading to say a Series 11 70 - 400 mm A mount or any FE similar lens that may become available. The quality of the Sony 1 inch sensor is acceptable to […]
    peterottaway
  • Alpha NEX system • Re: An Interesting Dilema For The Future April 28, 2016
    I still have my 5d's I like the idea of bridge cameras, but back in 35mm days you could get them (good ones) for a similar price to a 35mm SLR and basic lens.For that reason I went for one, though I regret it longer term starting off it was a solid move.The problem with […]
    bfitzgerald
  • Give it Your Best Shot • Re: Flowers 2016 April 26, 2016
    The Tammy will give you some more reach for sure. Sounds like a plan! Statistics: Posted by Birma — Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:41 pm
    Birma
  • Give it Your Best Shot • Re: Flowers 2016 April 26, 2016
    Unfortunately my Sigma70-300 died with af gear stripped down. I am taking a 28-200 Tamron that is in "stock pile". Hopefully a tad more reach but it is not 300mm FL. It is now too late to acquire any new lens. SuryStatistics: Posted by sury — Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:34 pm
    sury
  • Give it Your Best Shot • Re: Flowers 2016 April 26, 2016
    Ah, it was Peru, not Cuba, I was thinking of. A77M2 and the 16-80 will be an awesome combo. I can understand you not wanting to lug around the 70-400; it is a beast. If you think you may want some extra range over 80mm then I would suggest something such as the Sigma 70-300 […]
    Birma

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A57 – no GPS

A57 announced today does what was needed and updates the A55 to have a decent EVF, plus a few bells and whistles. It’s got a 77-style microphone, and also a mic input socket for external mic moved to a better position than the A55. It has full 1080/50p video capability, 12 fps burst mode (with the usual restrictions and more*), a 15-point 3-cross AF sensor like the A65.

This camera is not an A55 body revision – it uses the NP-FM500H battery, the larger size found in the earlier A5xx-series Alphas and the A77/65. This should give it far more shots (well, OK, 550) per charge than the smaller ’50’ size battery used by the NEX and A55/33/35 etc. Sony’s new accessories include an LED video light, HVL-LE1. The rear screen is similar to the 55, reversible to the body (one of the major points missing from the NEX-7, which cries out to be configurable that way but can’t be).

Exposure bracketing remains limited to the inexplicable and disappointing 1/3 or 2/3 (0.7EV) steps and just three frames, so for HDR you are obliged to work manually or use the camera’s  JPEG-only function.

*You only get 12fps in the ‘tele-zoom’ mode which is effectively a 2X crop to a mere 4 megapixel image, optimistically interpolated up by Sony in-camera to create a redundantly oversized not quite sharp enough JPEG in ‘tele-zoom’ mode. Otherwise, you get the usual and impressive 8fps regular and 10fps ‘advance priority’ modes, plus a 3fps Lo speed.

But they have dropped GPS, unless someone has managed to miss it out from the specs. Oh well. Not that interested now. Disappointing. Potentially much improved travel camera – one I would prefer to the Alpha 77 for size, weight, and sensor – turned into a family camera with some neat joke functions like automatically cropping portraits and then blowing up the cropped area to 16 megapixels. This uses face recognition, a variation of the tele-zoom kludge, and what could be a very annoying Rule of Thirds composition adjustment – at least it also saves the original file with the face/s placed where you intended. The best thing about features like these is that you can turn then off, the worst thing is that Sony probably think this is more useful than GPS.

Available end of April, and we shall be rushing out to avoid this model and wait for the next bus to arrive. Everyone has been saying – we’d love an A77 or even an A65 with the 16 megapixel sensor. Or we’d love an A55 upgraded with the better viewfinder. So what do Sony deliver? Neither…

Hopefully I should have put ‘yet?’ after that last remark.

– DK

1 comment to A57 – no GPS

  • r_mano

    Thanks for the post… as a new Alpha user, owner of a A55V, I hoped that the A57 could correct the silly bracketing options… and that it could percolate down to my camera via a software upgrade.
    I think all alpha users should write to Sony asking for a decent AE bracketing option. I did it… maybe we can convince them to issue a firmware upgrade.