Sony A33 DSLR Camera First Look – Just received a Sony A33 today when I was expecting to get the A55 but you know what? The $699 A33 is a FANTASTIC little camera! I was not a big fan of the last set of Sony ALPHA DSLR’s but the A33 is actually VERY VERY good for the $749 price tag (AVAILABLE AT B&H PHOTO or AMAZON). I like it MUCH better than the NIkon D3100 which I was very lukewarm with. The Sony A33 is jam packed with goodies like a 14.2MP CMOS APS-C sensor, a 3″ tiltable LCD screen, FULL HD 1080 P video that is implemented VERY well, Quick AF for HD Movies and Photos, 7 FPS shooting and wonderful low light abilities. The A55 is similar but ups the ante with more resolution, built in GPS and a little bit faster FPS.
The A33 is $749 and Sony’s new DSLR that features an EVF as well as Translucent Mirror Technology which is not new but Sony seems to have fixed the old light loss issues with it in these cameras. NO MIRROR in this guy and the AF is blazing fast and accurate. I will be shooting with this for the next couple of weeks and will be posting my full review soon. I can say right off the bat though that I would take this camera over a Nikon D3100 or 5000 in a HEART BEAT! It feels great in the hand, is fast, the IQ looks great, AWB looks good and the kit lens is actually VERY sharp and contrasty – better results than I was able to get with the Nikon D3100 in regards to sharpness and color. This one is actually inspiring me to get out and shoot, so that right there is a good thing :)
While I am not a huge fan of standard DSLR’s these days, it is cool to see Sony taking a fresh approach. The A33 is small and the kit zoom seems quality, which is usually not the case with cameras under $1000. I will be shooting this guy at the AZ state fair tomorrow night so I will be testing the higher ISO, lower ISO, panoramic modes, video, AF, and handheld twilight mode which worked very well on the NEX 3 and 5. At the under $1k mark, the Sony A33 and A55 may be the ones to beat if you want a DSLR style camera with an APS-C sensor. In the M4/3 world I still love the Olympus E-P2 and Panasonic G2. These little Sony cameras offer the best of both worlds..small size, mirrorless, SUPERB EVF, great tilting LCD, awesome HD movie implementation, great low light performance and the ability to attach some great Zeiss glass on to the body. It’s like a beefed up and improved NEX 5 (much bigger, different style of course) with better menu and control. The NEX has size going for it though so it will be interesting to see if I prefer this or the NEX 5 after a coupe of weeks. Ahhh, so many great cameras these days but so little money!
The Sony A33 shutter sounds exactly like the NEX series shutter with a pleasing gentle swoosh sound. As I use this camera more and more for the next two weeks I will find its strengths and weaknesses. I already really enjoy the hand held twilight mode which allows you to shoot hand held in very low light and get cleanish results at high ISO. Here is one at ISO 3200 at night, in my office with just the over head light on.
Handheld Twilight Mode – ISO 1600 at NIGHT
and one with some lighting at ISO 100 in standard shooting mode. This is an out of camera JPEG BUT YOU MUST CLICK THE IMAGE TO OPEN THE FULL SIZE VERSION.
and for comparison, the same image with the Nikon D3100 and its kit zoom – Looks good but not as sharp and the standard Nikon color is a bit more vibrant. Yes, it is in focus. I took each shot 8 times. The Nikon 18-55 Kit zoom is not as sharp as the Sony 18-55 Kit Zoom.
Look for the full review soon of the Sony A33 and the A55. This will be a more thorough review than the D3100 because I knew right off the bat that the D3100 was not a camera I could fully enjoy. In the same price range, the Sony wins on handling, speed, video and IQ with its kit lens. Nikon has much more glass to choose from but Sony has some amazing Zeiss glass available for the A mount as well. More soon!
CHECK OUT THE FEATURES OF THE SONY A33
14.2 Megapixel Resolution
You get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements. Thanks to the 14.2 megapixel APS-C sensor size and Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS technology, the camera achieves high resolution with no penalty in low-light situations.
Translucent Mirror Technology
Other DSLRs can shoot. Or they can focus with the speed and precision of Phase Detection AF. They cannot do both at once. The SLT-A33 is the world’s first DSLR with Translucent Mirror Technology that directs light to both the image sensor and the Phase Detection AF sensor simultaneously.
Full HD 1080/60i Movies
This is one of the very few DSLRs with 1080/60i Full HD, exactly the same resolution and frame rate as most broadcast and cable HDTV channels. Records in 1080/60i AVCHD format, 1080/30p high definition in PC-friendly MP4 format and standard definition 480/30p in MP4 format.
7 Frames Per Second Continuous
The translucent mirror makes it far easier to capture the decisive soccer kick or your baby at her absolute cutest. The Sony SLT-A33 camera shoots full, 14.2 MP resolution pictures at up to 7 fps while maintaining continuous auto focus and auto exposure.
Quick AF for Full HD Movie Capture
When most DSLRs shoot video, their Contrast AF is slow and visibly “hunts” for focus. The Quick AF Full HD Movie retains the same fast, precise Phase Detection you enjoy for still images. It’s a decisive advantage for tracking fast-moving subjects and a major benefit of Translucent Mirror Technology.
APS-C Size HD CMOS Image Sensor
With 19.5 times the area of the typical camcorder image sensor, APS-C makes the difference between amateur and professional-looking video, delivering an exceptional combination of high resolution, high sensitivity and gorgeous, blurred backgrounds.
Experience incredible low-light shooting without a flash. The camera captures six images in a fraction of a second. Combining the data from all six, it creates a single image with a reduction in noise equivalent to two additional steps of ISO sensitivity. Sensitivity selectable up to ISO 25600. (Recommended for still subjects.)
Sony Exmor Technology
Conventional image sensors use only a handful of analog-to-digital (A/D) converters, which can slow you down. The Exmor sensor provides more than 4,000 column-parallel A/D converters. This helps enable continuous shooting at up to 7 frames per second.
Hand-Held Night Shot
Get cleaner and sharper nighttime pictures-beyond the capability of traditional cameras-without using flash or a tripod. The camera captures six images in a fraction of a second. Combining the data with separate algorithms for still and moving parts of the picture reduces blur, minimizes noise and enables extraordinary detail.
Auto HDR Built Into Camera
Captures more scene dynamic range than a single exposure can handle-and more range than photo film. Combines the best highlight detail from one shot, the best mid-tones from a second and the best shadow detail from a third for one incredible shot. Captures in a split second. (Recommended for still subjects.)
3D Sweep Panorama Mode
Capture vast scenic vistas and 16:9 shots in spectacular 3D. As you sweep across the panorama, the camera records separate right-eye and left-eye images that make landscapes come alive on your 3D television3. Records both JPEG and MPO file formats.
Eye-Level Electronic Viewfinder
The Tru-finder Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) is super bright, easy to see with 1.1x magnification, ultra-sharp with 1.44 million dots (1.15 effective) and provides 100% frame coverage. Exposure preview and informative overlays make operation easy.
15-Point Auto Focus
To maximize the value of Translucent Mirror Technology, Sony incorporates Phase Detection AF of great sophistication. Three cross sensors maximize precision.
Tilt/swivel 3″ LCD Screen
Tilt it up or down to frame high- and low-angle shots that would otherwise be hit-or-miss. Tilt and swivel under the camera for self-portraits. Fold it flush to the camera with the LCD exposed for shooting or protected for travel.
Main Sensor Quick AF Live View
This is the world’s first DSLR to combine the optimum focus of Phase Detection with high quality Live View images right from the main sensor. This is made possible by Sony Translucent Mirror Technology. You get accurate images and 100% framing on the LCD monitor or eye-level viewfinder.
Eye-Level Finder for HD Mov
The eye-level finder is one of the reasons people love DSLRs. But that finder goes dark whenever you shoot HD Movies. Until now. The Sony SLT-A33 enables you to shoot movies with the added stability you get holding the camera up to your face and using the eye-level finder for framing a scene and focus.
921K Dot TruBlack LCD Screen
Sony’s Xtra Fine LCD monitor has 921K dots for superb resolution. The TruBlack screen includes a special resin layer to suppress internal reflections, increasing contrast compared to conventional LCDs. Sunny Weather mode boosts visibility even further in bright sunlight.
Phase Detection Auto Focus
While Contrast Detection AF often hunts for correct focus, Phase Detection AF knows exactly where correct focus is, and goes straight for it. The Sony SLT-A33 is the world’s first consumer camera to provide Phase Detection AF when capturing HD movies as well as during still image capture, either using the viewfinder or Live View on the LCD.
Sweep Panorama Mode
Capture expansive landscapes automatically. Press the shutter and sweep vertically or horizontally. The camera does the rest, continuously shooting images and stitching them together. Up to 23 MP image size.
Main Sensor Quick AF Live View
This the world’s first DSLR to combine the optimum focus of Phase Detection with high quality Live View images right from the main sensor. This is made possible by Sony Translucent Mirror Technology. You get accurate images and 100% framing on the LCD monitor or eye-level viewfinder.
ISO 12800 Sensitivity
Incredibly clear low-light pictures without sacrificing detail, made possible by the low-noise Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor and refined BIONZ image processor.
Live View in LCD or EVF
You can use both the LCD monitor and Electronic Viewfinder for composing shots. Both provide a what-you-see-is-what-you-get preview of white balance, focus, depth of field, exposure and 100% framing accuracy, plus informative on-screen displays.
AUTO+ (Advanced Auto) Mode
Get cleaner, more dynamic pictures and fewer missed shots. Unifies and simplifies Sony intelligent technologies, the camera automatically recognizes the correct scene mode, then quickly shoots and combines up to six shots to produce images with greater clarity, optimum dynamic range using Auto HDR technology and lower image noise using 6 shots layering technology.
Pro-Style “Rack Focus” Movie Effect
A hallmark of today’s movies is the “rack focus” effect, when the cinematographer changes focus between background and foreground subjects. This usually involves careful planning, a tape measure and dedicated a crew member for “pulling” focus. With the SLT-A33, you can perform this pro-style effect simply by changing the selected AF Area within the frame.
Provides ready reference to advanced camera functions, helping to develop your confidence and skills as a photographer.
SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
Image stabilization reduces blur by compensating for camera shake. Typical DSLR systems build image stabilization into selected lenses only. SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization is built into the camera body itself. You’ll reduce blur with every a-mount lens, including macro and wide-aperture standard zoom lenses.
BIONZ Image Processor
The brain of the camera is a refined version of Sony’s BIONZ image processor. Its chroma noise reduction delivers high-resolution, low-noise photos even at ISO 12800 sensitivity. Also enables 7 fps continuous shooting at full resolution, Sweep Panorama mode and more.
1200-Zone Exposure Metering
Reads exposure directly from the main image sensor. Choice of Multi, Center and Spot metering accommodates a full range of shooting situations
RAW Image Capture
Saves your pictures as compact JPEG files or ultra-high quality RAW files or both. RAW files save images prior to de-mosaicing, white balance, sharpness and color enhancement. This retains maximum latitude for enhancing the image on your PC.
Smile Shutter Technology
Captures a smile the moment it happens. Simply select the Smile Shutter mode and the camera takes the picture automatically. You can prioritize children or adults and adjust the smile sensitivity.
Face Detection Technology
The camera can automatically detect up to eight individual faces and adjust focus, exposure, white balance and flash to help deliver crisp, properly lit images of family and friends. Can prioritize children or adults.
Six Creative Style Settings
Control how the camera processes your images with six finishing styles: Standard, Vivid, B&W, Sunset, Portrait and Landscape. You can even fine-tune contrast, saturation, and sharpness to your personal taste.
Eight Scene Selection Modes
These help you get the shot by optimizing the camera for specific shooting situations. Select from Portrait, Sports Action, Macro, Landscape, Sunset, Night View, Night Portrait and Handheld Twilight Shot modes.
Anti-Dust Technology helps keep the CMOS sensor clean, resulting in consistently clear pictures. First a static-free coating on the sensor’s low-pass filter helps repel dust. Then vibration automatically dislodges dust from the sensor.
HDMI Output for HD Viewing
Enjoy HD movies and stunning still images on a compatible HDTV. The camera includes an HDMI output9. In addition, the BRAVIA Sync system works with compatible Sony BRAVIA HDTVs enabling you to control camera playback using the television’s remote4.
Built-In Auto Pop-Up Flash
To help you shoot more effectively, the built-in flash automatically pops up and fires as needed when the camera is set to certain scene selection modes. The built-in flash can also trigger a wireless accessory flash (sold separately). The integrated hot shoe enables you to expand your lighting options with a range of accessory flashes (sold separately).
P/A/S/M Exposure Modes
The camera offers a full range of controls from the beginner’s AUTO+ mode to P/A/S/M: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual. On-screen prompts help you refine your skills, build your confidence and exercise greater creative control.
Up to 270 Shots of Battery Life
Take up to 270 shots on a single charge with Sony Stamina battery power.5 Sony’s InfoLITHIUM battery system enables you to see the percent of power remaining, so you can keep shooting in confidence.
Slot for Two Media Types
For cost-effective, convenient storage and sharing of your images, the camera accepts Memory Stick PRO Duo/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo and SD/SDHC/SDXC media (Class 4 or higher recommended). (Memory card is required
Works with the RMT-DSLR1 Remote Commander wireless remote control, sold separately.
Versatile On-Screen Displays
Informative displays in the LCD monitor and electronic viewfinder include digital level gauge, graphic display of exposure settings.
PhotoTV HD Compatibility
Optimizes compatible BRAVIA televisions for gorgeous display of digital pictures.
Index and Slide Show Display
Quickly review your photos using 6- or 12-frame index views, or as an automatic slide show with fade-in/fade-out effect.