Sony A37 Micro Four Thirds rival shoots 7fps and HD video

The Sony Alpha SLT-A37 is a lens-switching, hi-def video-shootin' snapper somewhere between an SLR and a Micro Four Thirds camera.

Sony's new entry-level SLT Alpha camera, the Sony A37, is a lens-switching, hi-def video-shootin' snapper somewhere between an SLR and a Micro Four Thirds camera.

The SLT-A37 packs a 16.1-megapixel APS CMOS sensor and shoots 7 frames per second -- great for capturing action shots.

The LCD screen flips out of the back so you can shoot by holding the camera above your head or down by your knees -- or out to the side -- while still seeing what you're doing. The screen measures 2.7 inches, down from the previous model's 3-inch screen. And there's a high-resolution electronic viewfinder up top too.

It shoots 1,920x1,080-pixel 50i high-definition video in AVCHD format. As well as the usual scene modes, there's a mode that automatically frames portraits by cropping pictures for you.

The A37 is the newest entry to Sony's range of SLT cameras. SLT stands for single lens translucent, as opposed to the single lens reflex camera, or SLR. The single lens bit refers to the fact that a mirror in the camera makes the viewfinder work like a periscope, so you can look in the eyepiece and see what the lens sees.

The traditional reflex camera flips the mirror out of the way for a fraction of a second to take the picture, whereas the translucent model lets light pass through the mirror to fall on the sensor and capture the snap.

Because the mirror doesn't have to flip up out of the way, the camera can continually focus and shoot without any delay. That's both continuous phase-detection autofocus and continuous live view, to be precise.

The A37 arrives at the end of this month, with prices yet to be confirmed. Are you impressed by the new Alpha dog? Shoot from the hip in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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