Sony Alpha SLT-A33 Review / Test Report - Verdict
DSLR Reviews -
Page 9 of 9
The SLR idea has been around for ages and it's concept has never really been questioned till the EVILs came around. It's probably not surprising that an electronics company is actually going to evolve the DSLR and not one of the classic and more conservative manufacturers (although Canon offered a couple of translucent camera during the film SLR era). The Sony Alpha SLT-A33 (and A55) is a milestone for sure. Its translucent mirror technology allows high-speed photo shooting and Full HD video with fast and reliable auto focus ... without a mirror design.
Technically an electronic viewfinder has many advantages including a live-histogram, instant WB control, instant exposure control, an amplified view in dark situations and playback review without external light interference. However, the technology is still not perfect - the viewfinder resolution is still something to be improved and the refresh rate could also better. Nevertheless the technology is now matured enough to be ready for prime time. In the field we had no major issues with it.
The 14.2 megapixel sensor delivers a remarkable image quality at lower ISO sensitivities and the articulating display leaves nothing to be desired - the same applies of course to the good electronic viewfinder. Apart from the more conventional feature set the Sony SLT-A33 offers lot's of more or less useful options from smile detection over panorama to a HDR functionality. Despite its very small size the camera handling is excellent. Subjectively we didn't really like the camera's finish due to the amount of plastics but objectively it did the job during the tests and that's where it counts after all.
|Pros and Cons
|SLT concept||EVF refresh rate (limiting for sports photography)|
|Very good resolution in RAW mode||poor high-ISO performance|
|Fast and reliable AF||Only rudimentary noise reduction settings|
|build-in imagestabilizer||A bit too much plastic all around (finish)|
|Small and lightweight body|
|Superb viewfinder display with high resolution|
|Full HD video functionality|
|Efficient dust reduction system (primarily due to fixed mirror)|