Very well designed body with
excellent ergonomics and well thought out button placement in a
smaller and lighter package compared to most traditional dSLR models
with optical viewfinders.
High resolution 3" LCD with
Bright 0.46" EVF (Electronic
Viewfinder), providing 100% frame coverage with 1.10x
Magnification, making it a pleasure to use compared to the smaller
optical viewfinders that are typical on traditional dSLR models in
this price range.
Fast and accurate 15 point
Detect Autofocus system that works while shooting with both stills
and video without any "mirror flipping" to interrupt the Live
View Feed, thanks to Sony's Translucent Mirror Design
Faster frames than you'd expect
find in models in this price range, combined with innovative
features like Sweep Panorama, Multi Frame Noise Reduction and hand
held Auto HDR.
Ability to use any Minolta or
A Mount Autofocus lens, while taking advantage of Sony's sensor
based SSS (Super Steady Shot) stabilization system to reduce blur
from camera shake.
No way to turn off high ISO Noise
Reduction for JPEG images (although you can set it to weak versus
The EVF doesn't offer a full
of bright to dark in all conditions, as its dynamic range is
limited in harsher lighting (but we were still very pleased with
the fastest 6 to 7fps
drive mode settings, Sony gives you a sequence of still images in
the EVF versus the fluid live view you get using Low Speed drive
mode at 3fps, making it more difficult to follow action using an
EVF in some conditions.
battery life was better
than expected given it's CIPA ratings, it's still lower than most
dSLR models with more traditional designs using an optical
Sony has taken a bold step in launching
a new breed of interchangeable lens digital camera via their Single
Lens Translucent (SLT) design that offers some unique abilities like
giving you Live View with fast Phase Detect Autofocus for both stills
and video. We were impressed with the A33's usability, image quality
and performance oriented features during our testing, especially when
you consider it's attractive price point, and we have little doubt
that this camera will appeal to a wide variety of photographers. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
Sony has announced a new technology built into two new alpha series cameras for 2010, the α33 (SLT-A33) and α55 (SLT-A55V). Translucent Mirror Technology is built into the two models and basically raises continuous shooting and focusing speed compared to the design used by your typical dSLR camera. While the α33 allows for up to 7 frames per second, the α55 can take photos at up to 10fps.
In addition to the TFT inclusion, Sony has equipped these new Alpha models with a 15-point autofocus system that allows for more accurate tracking of moving objects. Other features include 14.2-megapixels, 1080i HD video recording, full time live view, a rotating 3.0-inch LCD screen, and sweep panorama mode (3D mode included).
Sony α33 DSLR key features:
APS-C (23.5x15.6mm), 14.2-megapixel Exmor HD CMOS image sensor
Sony's new Translucent Mirror Technology (aka TMT)
Sony/Minolta A bayonet lens mount system
Full Time Live View
(Super Steady Shot) image stabilization built into the body
Sweep Panorama Mode (Regular & 3D)
3-inch, articulated LCD screen with 921,600 pixels of resolution
Smart Auto capture mode
Records AVCHD video at 1920 x 1080 (1080i, 60fps) with stereo sound
Face Recognition Technology, can detect up to 8 faces
7fps burst mode continuous shooting
Li-ion power source (Rated 330 images with viewfinder, 380 images with LCD monitor)
Memory Stick PRO Duo, Pro-HG Duo, PRO-HG HX Duo media as well as SD, SDHC and SDXC memory card slots
The Sony SLT-α33 is available now for around $699.95 US for the camera body and 18-55mm lens kit. Purchasing the body alone will cost you around $599.95 US.
What's in the box?:
SLT-A33 camera body
SAL-1855 SAM lens, lens cap (when kit is purchased)
Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.
David Busch's Compact Field Guide for the Sony Alpha SLT-A55/A35/A33