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CNET First Look
Sony Alpha SLT-A37: fast camera for frugal shootersThis solid $600 camera will serve the family photographer.
Sony's Alpha SLT-A37 is a relatively an inspiring update to the A35 which is the company's entry-level fixed Mirror Camera. It's not a bad camera. In fact, it's one of the fastest models in its price class and it's capable of producing very nice photos through ISO 800. I have mixed feelings about the A37's design which is the same body as the A35. It's relatively compact for its type and over all the control layout interface deliver a pretty streamline shooting experience but the camera has the dimmest EVS I've ever seen even with the brightness boosted. So despite having a decent resolution, it's not very enjoyable to use. And though this model has a tilting LCD which the A35 lacked, it's pretty small and low resolution. The camera has the usual assemblance of Sony features. New to this generation is the Auto Portrait Framing feature. In superior auto mode, when you frame a picture of a person in a landscape or annotation, it will automatically create a crop the more attractively positioned the person in the photo and it will save both it and the original. This is a really clever and useful idea for newbies. However, after cropping it, Sony feels compelled to load it back up to 16 megapixels which if there's noise, it will exacerbate the noise and even at low ISOs, it will just mush up the regular detail within tribulation. If you're planning on shooting video, keep in mind that you can only use the manual exposure settings with manual focus. If you wanna use auto focus, you give up the ability to set shutter speed or aperture. That said, the video looks pretty good and the photo quality is exactly what I expected, very good at eye so 100 and 200 and usable up to ISO 800 or ISO 1600 depending upon your fee. Coloring exposure consistent, relatively accurate as well. I'm a bit disappointed with the new kit lens. The 18 to 135 millimeter F35256. I tested it because I think it's gonna be a popular choice and because it has a similar design to one of my favorite Sony Lenses, the 16 250F (2AU?). Unfortunately, it's not very sharp and it can't focus as close as the 18 255 millimeter kit lens. It is pretty well designed for manual focus and in conjunction with the peaking capability in the camera. It actually makes it possible to manually focus despite the problems I mentioned before with the LCD and the View Finder. That's for performance. The camera focuses and shoots very quickly in both bright and dim conditions and the processing over had doesn't bug down shot to shot performance. Although, the continuous shooting is relatively faster this (co-work?), I found the auto focus tracking couldn't keep up. The A37 is solid entry level DSLR class camera that will serve anyone on a tight budget who's looking for something to shoot active kids and pets. I'm Lori Grunin and this is the Sony Alpha SLT-A37.