We tested the Sony A33 and A55 cameras at IFA 2010
We really wanted to test Sony's new SLR cameras, the A33 and A55, to see first-hand the results of that translucent mirror that has been so talked about lately. And it is that with its late arrival in the DSLR market, Sony has once again demonstrated with the new Sony A55 and A33 that they are going at a slower pace but with more firm steps, betting on imaginative technologies in many cases with the aim of being able stand up to the two big established: Nikon and Canon.
We were especially interested in doing some tests with the A33, mainly because it is less professional than the second, more affordable for all budgets and still with very good benefits. Also practically the difference between the A55 and the A33 is in the number of megapixels and in the number of fps and photos that are capable of launching in their bursts, all these major indicators on the A55, so it is a little more expensive than the A33 that has a little less battery and less weight (just 10 grams less than the A55), yes the A55 model has Gps incorporated which is quite an advantage.
At IFA We were able to test the performance of these fantastic cameras at the stand dedicated to the photography of the Sony pavilion, so if you are seriously thinking of buying any of these models, I would not miss our first impressions in the extended entry.
Outside you are already surprised
The truth is that the behavior of this camera in making contact with it has not disappointed us at all. We focus more on the A33 than the A55 but both are very similar. The Sony A33 responds very well, it has very accessible buttons and its grip is very ergonomic, especially the right side of the camera, the grip It is very good, the feeling of holding it with very little effort is really amazing. In addition, the screen has a lot of resolution, at least that's the feeling it gave us, all the indications are read fantastically well and the LiveView function looks amazingly well.
And it is that one of the characteristics of the new translucent mirror is that it has made it possible to create cameras that are smaller and lighter than the rest of the reflex cameras on the market. To give you an idea my Nikon D5000 is much more voluminous compared to one of these new Sony SLRs.
The button layout is correct and we will have at our fingertips the most basic functions to change the aperture and shutter speed in the blink of an eye, the video mode is accessible through a button that after pressing the camera will go on to record without any mediation, this aspect will be particularly liked by those who value the possibility of accessing the video mode very quickly. Of course, a success compared to other models, such as the one mentioned by Nikon (the D5000), where accessing the video mode is not very intuitive and slow to access.
The folding screen is a success since it gives us a lot of play to be able to take photos from unconventional angles, although that may not be as well resolved as in other reflex and hybrid models. It has a somewhat rough touch. But to coarse the built-in flash extender, which places it in an elevated position but has a peculiar and not very fast deployment system for my taste, making the movement transmit a lot to the body, I suppose it is the price to pay for having a camera with smaller dimensions and less weight given by that system with a fixed translucent mirror that is capable of sending 70% of the light to the sensor and the rest to the focusing system.
And inside conquers you
But it is clear that if the light that enters the camera is distributed all over the sensor and the 15-point focusing system, it does not reach the viewfinder. Indeed, the solution has been to eliminate the traditional viewfinder of the SLR and replace it with a high-resolution electronic viewfinder (1.44 megapixels) that reproduces in miniature 100% of the image that we can see on the main screen. We should test it in different lighting conditions and outdoors to see if the results are really as satisfactory as in the tests we have done, where we have found that the viewfinder is really good and the image projected on it is very sharp and it gives us a lot of additional information that cannot be displayed in lifelong viewers. The transition between the viewfinder and the screen LCD It works wonderfully, it is very fast, just like with the Samsung NX-10 hybrid models.
The menus are very intuitive and show the information in a clear and diaphanous way, it is difficult to get lost since they are organized in tabs that we will access by pressing the buttons located on the back. Through them we can configure to the millimeter any of the options that the camera allows, although perhaps a more customizable menu or quick access to the common functions of the shooting mode is missing. LiveView mode is really very good, fast and with many indications and controls on the screen.
In burst mode is when we see the really great of these models, in the A33 those 7fps and 7 RAWs impress but in the A55 being able to reach 10fps and 20 RAWs continuously is a delight, it roars at the top of our lungs when we press the fire button . Although the shot is very quiet, the results are certainly great.
Continuous focus mode in video, a success
The strong point of these Sony A55 and A33 is the continuous focus in video mode. Really excellent, the objective does not stop focusing on what we aim with the lens. As you can see, the green dot indicates the area you are currently focusing on and when you change planes, the lens refocuses correctly.
It really is one of the biggest advantages of these models, it is really intuitive and fast to record HD video on them, we press the button, we look on the screen using LiveView and we forget to focus and retouch anything, the camera does it for us as you can see in the video.
Despite everything, let no one misunderstand me, it is a great camera but within the segment that is located; Of course, the translucent mirror is a success and has very good benefits, but it still has the advantages and disadvantages that Sony has always had in the world of photography, a world that is very bipolarized by Canon and Nikon and in which it is a difficult decision to make. with a Sony out of the blue (unless we are Konica Minolta fans of Leica Carl-Zeiss lenses or other companies absorbed by the Japanese giant).
In Xataka | Sony A55 and A33: say goodbye forever to shaky photos