Sony SLT A33

Released August, 2010
New: SLT A35 (Jun, 2011)
  • 14 MP
  • APS-C 23.5 x 15.6 mm CMOS
  • 3" LCD
The Sony A33 can shoot full-resolution 14.2 megapixel pictures at up to 7fps whilst maintaining continuous auto focus and auto exposure, an impressively fast rate for such an inexpensive camera.
by Photography Blog (Dec, 2010)
8.9 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Sony SLT A33

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

SLT A33
8.4
Nikon D600
10.0
SLT A37
8.8
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

SLT A33
7.5
SLT A37
9.0
Focus lag, cross type focus points and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

SLT A33
8.7
SLT A37
9.4
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

SLT A33
9.5
SLT A37
9.4
Reviews from techradar.com, sonyalpharumors.com, photographyblog.com and reviews.cnet.com

8.9

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

SLT A33
8.9
SLT A37
9.1

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Sony SLT A33

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

SLT A33
591 ISO
Nikon D600
2,980 ISO
D5200
1,284 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

SLT A33
1,900 LPH
Nikon D600
2,900 LPH
D5200
2,800 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

SLT A33
215 ms
NEX-3
670 ms
SLT A37
109 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

SLT A33
102 ms
Nikon D600
54 ms
SLT A37
57 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

SLT A33
800 ms
NEX 5N
1,900 ms
Nikon D600
300 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

SLT A33
7 fps
NEX 5N
10 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Sony SLT A33


9.0
As with Live View, continuous phase-detection AF is possible whilst shooting movies on the A33, a distinct advantage over DSLR cameras and fast enough to rival Compact System Cameras like the Panasonic Lumix GH1/2..

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Video

The A33 can record 1080i HD 1920 x 1280 pixel movies at either 25fps (PAL) or 30fps (NTSC) in the AVCHD format, or 1440 x 1080 pixels at 25fps in the MPEG-4 format, useful as this format can currently be shared more easily.
by Photography Blog (Dec, 2010)
But their closest competitor is really the Panasonic DMC-GH1, which offers an even better set of video chops, albeit at a much higher price (in part due to the pricey lens it comes with).
by c|net (Aug, 2010)
But typical consumers used to point-and-shoot video, Flip camcorders, or even your typical sub-$600 HD camcorder will likely find it both comfortable to shoot video and will like the result (although as I mentioned I'm withholding judgment on the potential lens noise).
by c|net (Aug, 2010)

Lens

The quieter lens is one of the rationales behind the electromagnetic activation in the NEX series' E-mount lenses, and it's hard not to feel like Sony's entering some confusing territory by pairing its most video-oriented still camera with its old-fashioned lens system.
by c|net (Aug, 2010)
This is how Sony achieves the faster phase-detect continuous AF for movie capture, while most current interchangeable-lens cameras (ILCs) and dSLRs use the slower contrast AF, which is based off the imaging sensor.
by c|net (Aug, 2010)
6 fps (10fps with aperture locked open) 20 raw/35 JPEG.
by c|net (Aug, 2010)

Focus

Because of the fast AF, large sensor, and better metering system, the few pieces of footage I shot looked as good as anything I've shot with a decent consumer camcorder, and with some practice would probably look even better.
by c|net (Aug, 2010)
There are some limitations of this ambitious design, most notably the almost complete inability to pan with your subject, limited creative control over movies, and rather noticeable jumps in focus if using continuous auto-focus during video recording, but overall the first-generation A33 feels remarkably mature.
by Photography Blog (Dec, 2010)
A dynamic AF tracking mode would really be useful here, but I suspect Sony's saving that for an even more expensive model.
by c|net (Aug, 2010)

Sensor

The 14 megapixel images are a little soft straight out of the camera using the default creative style and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera sharpening level.
by Photography Blog (Dec, 2010)
There are technological limitations that prevent the use of a traditional TTL optical viewfinder with this mirror design, though; while the mirror can bounce enough light for the phase-detection sensor, it's not sufficient to illuminate a viewfinder and you don't want to divert much more from the imaging sensor.
by c|net (Aug, 2010)
Noise doesn't rear its ugly head until ISO 3200 for JPEGs, although the A33 does apply some pretty aggressive noise reduction to keep the files clean, resulting in loss of fine detail.
by Photography Blog (Dec, 2010)

Screen

The A33 has a clever eye level sensor that switches off the rear screen's info display as you bring your eye close to the optical viewfinder, plus a facility that automatically flips the same display through 90° should you turn the camera on its side to shoot portrait fashion.
by Photography Blog (Dec, 2010)
The A33 features an adjustable rear 3-inch LCD, still a relative rarity on a digital SLR.
by Photography Blog (Dec, 2010)
The continuous shooting speed of 7 fps at full resolution when using the EVF or in Live View mode is excellent for a mid-range camera, while Sony's long-standing D-Range optimizer function helps to even out tricky exposures, for example where a bright background would normally throw the foreground into deep shadow.
by Photography Blog (Dec, 2010)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

Type CMOS
Megapixels 14 MP
Resolution 4592 x 3056
Size APS-C
Area 23.5 x 15.6 mm
Crop factor 1.5x
Pixel size 26.1 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 12,800 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 12,800 ISO to 25,600 ISO
Codecs
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes
Tested vertical resolution 1,900 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,100 LPH

focus system

Type Phase detection
Focus points 15
Cross type focus points 3
Supports continuous No

shutter

Min 30 s
Max 1/4000 s

performance

Max continuous shooting 7 fps
Battery life 270 photos
Continuous shooting 7 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 215 ms
Shutter lag 102 ms
Startup delay 800 ms

video

Video 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps
Shoots video in 24p No
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack 3.5mm
Autofocus while shooting video Phase detection
Autofocus type Phase detection

display

Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 921 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen Yes
Supports live view Yes

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror Opaque
Viewfinder Viewfinder
Type Electronic

form factor

Size 124 x 92 x 85 mm
Thickness 85 mm
Weight 500 g
Is weather sealed No

features

Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR Yes
Automatic panorama Yes
Create realistic 3D images Yes
Image stabilization Sensor shift
Report a correction

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