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Sony Alpha Digital Slr Camera Review

Updated on November 24, 2014

Sony Alpha Digital Slr Camera Review

With the way latest advancements are going on in Camera technologies, we can rest assured that we are definitely moving to a better future in cameras. Till date Digital SLRs and DSLRs have been considered as the first choice for people who are into serious or professional photography. However, the new lot of cameras with their ever growing evolution is all set to challenge the trend now.

And where did it start from? - Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens cameras. Micro Four Thirds cameras generally have CMOS sensors, but their sensor size is quite smaller when compared to even a starter-level DSLR. Even Sony's NEX series makes use of a DLSR-size CMOS image sensor in a compact, mirror-less and lightweight body.

The main benefits of these technologies over the DSLRs are:

- Small size

- Light weight

Now Sony's Alpha SLT-A33L is all set to take things to another new level. Alpha SLT-A33L is not significantly smaller or lighter than a normal DSLR, but the major highlight of this camera is that it can open up continuous shooting mode at a very high speed, that too with fluent auto-focus for every shot. And to add the icing on the cake - its price, which DSLR's can't even be imagined at.

Let’s look at the main difference between Sony's Alpha SLT-A33L and a conventional DSLR:

DSLR vs. Sony Alpha SLTA33L DSLR Camera

DSLR: The mirror stays down at a 45-degree angle to deviate the light upwards into the viewfinder and to the fast, phase-detection auto focus system. When one presses the shutter button, the mirror flips up, enabling the light to pass through to the image sensor.

This is the reason that the viewfinder in a conventional DSLR goes blank while shooting. Also, the mechanical movement of the mirror is a relatively slow movement when compared to the actual recording of the light, which adds to the slower frame rate of starter-level DSLRs.

Sony's Alpha SLT-A33L: The mirror just remains in place, and most of the light just passes through to the image sensor, while a part of the light is deviated upwards towards the autofocus system and works on generating an image for the electronic viewfinder (EVF).

Here, as the mirror always remain down, the slow mechanical mirror flip movement is passed off and the recording of each image becomes much faster. In high-speed mode, the A33 can click 7 frames per second at full resolution. Since the mirror remains down, the autofocus engine stays active always.

As a matter of fact, the camera surprisingly can focus each frame while shooting in high-speed mode, i.e., 7 times per second. This kind of frame rate and autofocus speed can only be matched by high-end professional DSLRs that are priced three times more than what A33 comes for.

Let’s come to the pros and cons of Sony's Alpha SLT-A33L now:


1) It has great battery life

2) It provides a flip out screen and superlative image quality.

3) In addition to excellent picture clicks, the video recording features are also enhanced by the mirror. Since the AF system remains active always, the A33 can go on with focusing as it shoots the video - an advantage over the conventional DSLRs that certainly can not achieve this as the mirror has to stays up while shooting video to let light through to the image sensor, which is not there in DSLRs.

4) Provides a great panorama and 3D panorama mode, in which you just need to sweep  the camera from left to right, and the camera fires off quick shots and stitches them together to one image in a jiffy.

5) Sony's Alpha SLT-A33L offers the image stabilization system inside its body and not in the lens. So basically it offers a sensor-shift image stabilization instead of lens-shift. What does it mean? - It means that image stabilization remains active, no matter what lens you want to use with it.


1) Even though with enhanced video recording features, the A33's video is limited to 1080i rather than 1080p full HD.

2) Lacks an optical viewfinder which can be a drawback for people who are used to DSLRs and want to shift to this one (or to A55). Although the EVF is quite sharp and gives a 100% frame coverage along with a clear display of lots of other information, it doesn't give the appeal that an optical view finder can give.

Overall verdict: Although A33 is a great achievement in camera's technology, I wonder if serious professional photographers will still want to go away from the DSLRs. However, the camera is one great buy for amateurs for sure.


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