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Sony SLT-A57

A quick and feature-packed fixed translucent mirror replacement for the A55
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This Article Features Photo Zoom

The new A57 replaces the A55 in Sony’s line of fixed-translucent-mirror SLT cameras. With a number of refinements and some features taken from the new A65, the A57 is poised to take its place as a next-generation, fixed-mirror reflex camera with fast AF, top-quality video and top still-image quality.

16.1 MP APS-C Sensor
The A57 features essentially the same highly regarded 16.1-megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor as the A55 (and NEX-5N) and combines it with the latest-generation BIONZ imaging engine developed for the A65 and A77 cameras to provide improved image quality, better full HD video and quick operation. The ISO range is from 100 to 16,000.

Pop-Up Flash
The A57’s built-in flash appears to be the same as the one in the A65, with an ISO 100, GN of 10 (in meters), 3-second recycling and covering an 18mm lens’ angle of view.

Translucent Mirror Technology
Sony’s Translucent Mirror Technology in the SLT cameras solves some problems inherent in conventional SLRs where the mirror must flip out of the way to make an exposure. Since conventional phase-detection AF systems can’t function with the mirror in the up position, they can’t provide continuous phase-detection autofocusing during live-view or video operation, and must alternate between focusing and exposing even for non-live-view sequence shooting. Sony’s SLT Translucent Mirror Technology eliminates those problems, speeding operation, eliminating mirror vibrations and providing continuous phase-detection AF with eye-level viewing even for video—while saving the complexity and cost of the SLR’s moving mirror and the bulk of a pentaprism or pentamirror viewfinder.

Sony A-Mount Lenses
Besides Sony’s A-mount lenses, you can use legacy Konica Minolta Maxxum lenses with the A57. Sony currently offers around 30 lenses, from a 16mm ƒ/2.8 fisheye and 11-18mm superwide zoom to a 70-400mm telezoom, including true macro lenses. A new 500mm ƒ/4 supertelephoto is due soon.

SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
Like all Sony DSLR and SLT cameras, the A57 features SteadyShot INSIDE sensor-shift image stabilization, which works with all lenses. And you can see the effects in the eye-level electronic viewfinder—an advantage over sensor-shift stabilized conventional DSLRs with their optical viewfinders.


Image Sensor: 16.1-megapixel (effective) Exmor APS HD CMOS
Sensor Size: 23.5×15.6mm (APS-C)
Lens Mount: Sony A-mount
Image Stabilization: Sensor-shift, Super SteadyShot
LCD Monitor: 3.0-inch, 921,600-dot TFT
Viewfinder: 1.2cm SVGA Tru-Finder
Video: AVCHD Progressive v2.0, 1920×1080/60p, 60i & 24p; MP4 1440×1080/30p; 640×480/30p
AF System: 15-point, 3 cross-type
Shutter Speeds: 1⁄4000 to 30 sec., X-sync up to 1⁄160 sec.
Flash: Built-in auto pop-up, GN 10 (in meters, ISO 100); wireless control
ISO Settings: 100-16,000
Continuous Firing Mode: 8-12 fps
Recording Format: JPEG, RAW, RAW + JPEG
Metering: 1200-zone evaluative, CW and spot
Storage Medium: SD, SDHC, SDXC, MS Pro Duo, MS PRO-HG Duo
Power Source: Rechargeable InfoLITHIUM NP-FM500H battery
Dimensions: 5.2×3.8×3.2 in. (body)
Weight: 19.0 oz.
Estimated Street Price: $700
Contact: Sony,

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Improved Video
Like the higher-end A77 and A65, the A57 employs the new AVCHD Progressive v2.0 standard, which allows it to shoot 1920×1080 full HD video at 60p as well as 60i, plus the traditional movie-like 24p, with continuous phase-detection AF and convenient eye-level viewing when desired. You also can shoot 1440×1080 and 640×480 video in MP4 format at 30 fps. There’s a built-in stereo mic, and a jack for an external stereo mic.

Image Enhancers
The A57 features a number of Sony “image enhancers,” including Sweep Panorama, 3D Sweep Panorama, Multi-frame Noise Reduction, Dynamic Range Optimizer, Auto HDR, Handheld Twilight mode and 15 in-camera Picture Effects for video as well as still images.
Improved EVF
The A57 has a 1,440,000-dot resolution EVF with a wide dioptric correction range of -4.0 to +3.0, plus the ability to show the actual image in real time. The EVF can display several critical image aspects, including the histogram, digital level, grid lines, shooting data and more.
Improved Tilting LCD Monitor
In an upgrade from the A55, the A57’s 3.0-inch, 921,600-dot LCD monitor tilts and swivels like that of the SLT-A65 instead of just tilting up and down.
Auto Portrait Framing
Travel and street shooters will enjoy Auto Portrait Framing, which uses face-detection technology and the compositional “rule of thirds” to identify the subject’s face and crop the image with good portrait framing (leaving more room in the direction the subject is looking, for example)—while maintaining the original shooting resolution despite the crop, thanks to the By Pixel Super Resolution Technology.

The A57 uses the NP-FW500H battery, the same one used by the SLT-A77. This provides more shots between charges, important for a camera that’s always in live-view mode.

Dual Memory Media
The single slot accepts Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo and PRO-HG Duo media, as well as SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards.

Essential Accessories

Fast SD Card
The A57 has dual memory card slots. For best performance, use a fast SDXC card like this Kingston Class 10 model. It’s perfect for still or HD video shooting.

Stereo Mic
The Sony ECM-ALST1 is an ideal companion to the A57’s microphone jack. It’s compact and powerful, and matches the camera’s styling.

Cool Effects Lens
The Lensbaby Composer is available for the Sony Alpha mount. These accessory lenses can create some interesting effects. Many photographers find them to be addictive.