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Sony SLT-A65 Digital Camera Review
sony20121113aa.jpgDigital Camera Review by: Ashley Akers 

There comes a time in every man, woman and child's life when it's finished. When the drain of day to day life is over. When the job is done and you're finally set free. You build your whole life up to this moment. This one moment you have to stand out from the crowd. And when you finally make it, when you finally reach the end and embark upon what is known by many as: "a holiday" you'll want to be sure to bring your Sony A65 along for the journey. With amazing quality images, high pixel counts and the many opportunities presented with a DSLR this is one item you won't want to forget to pack.

Appearance / Functionality


The Sony A65 resembles the majority of the market’s cameras in appearance making it easy to pick up, use and get the absolute most out of. It's black plastic in finish and feels comfortable to hold. The sleek orange logo and circle around the base of the lens attachment adds a flashy standout look to an otherwise boring market average. It's easy to identify this as a Sony DSLR and with the quality presented by the A65, that's something you'll want to be identified by.

sony20121113ab.jpgMenu navigation is fairly simple and straight forward on the Sony A65 allowing you to easily tap into it's many features and get the best quick snaps or planned posed shots you want. The directional buttons navigate the simple pop out menu and settings can be changed easily with these. In addition there is a scroll wheel on front under the shutter button for easy setting adjustments. Add to the already easy to access menu a bunch of dedicated buttons for even quicker access to common functions and you've got yourself a winner.

One of the many functions available with the Sony A65 is the sweeping panorama mode. This mode works easily to create stunning panoramic images of any environment or scene. Simply select the mode, press the shutter and the image on the screen will guide you to swipe the camera across the scene from left to right. The camera does all the hard work taking a number of photos and automatically stitching them together. It's no longer hard to create a panorama which would otherwise involve extra work or software. The results are spectacular and the stitches are seamless.

Image Quality / Lens Quality


sony20121113ad.jpgThe ability to change your lenses is a feature that only increases the draw of the Sony A65. The included kit lens of 18-55mm is fairly common within the market and gives you a decent range from fairly wide to slightly zoomed. This lens should be suitable for a range of uses, from large group family shots or wide holiday landscapes to close-up stage shots of a performance or a close-up portrait. Add to this the option to upgrade or expand your lens library and you'll be set with the A65 for good. The options are no doubt endless with wide angle lenses, large aperture lenses and telephoto zoom lenses.

With the higher quality lenses provided with a DSLR system and the processing power of the A65’s 24.3MP sensor comes amazing image quality. Images are extremely sharp at all levels of zoom. Colours are presented naturally and vivid which is especially evident in outdoor colours of greens and blues. Skin tones also appear natural and realistic. You often don't realise what you've been missing until you see something much better like the images on the Sony A65.

sony20121113ac.jpgThe quality of image on the Sony A65 doesn't stop there. While the f.3.5 - 5.6 aperture kit lens which was used for tests is not the fastest lens available it does represent a majority of kit and entry level lenses around. Add onto this lens: excellent low light capabilities of the sensor and you won't even notice. The sensitivity of the sensor can be pushed all the way up to ISO12 800 and ISO16 000. At these high levels however images become very grainy and the quality of the image is diminished. At lower levels such as ISO3200 and ISO6400 grain is evident but doesn't distract from the quality of the image. Drop it down to ISO1600 you'll be able to notice some grain still in dark areas of images however below this value down to the start at ISO100 you'll find it difficult to notice image grain or noise.

In addition to the ISO capabilities as they are, there is an option for multi-frame noise reduction. This involves the camera taking multiple shots in quick succession of the same scene to provide a better all-around representation of the image with reduced noise.
 
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LCD / Viewfinder


The A65's LCD is as useful as it is beautiful. It accurately displays images in high quality and vivid colours. This gives you a good indication of how your images will translate onto a larger screen, tv or computer.

sony20121113ag.jpgThe 7.5cm screen can flip completely down and backwards for extremely high or self-shots. It can then spin around so it can be viewed from above for low shots. These screen features are useful for unique photos or videos of subjects. Get down low to a child's level or shoot over the heads of a crowd; it's all possible with an LCD screen like this.

In addition to the LCD on the Sony A65 is the viewfinder. This electronic viewfinder is an exact copy of the LCD screen. With the addition of framing and shooting a shot while looking through the viewfinder you can also access menus, change settings and playback your images. The use of a viewfinder makes it much easier to see the scene in extremely bright sunlight. Where an LCD can be reflective and often difficult to see a viewfinder is not. With the ability to playback images in the viewfinder it also makes it easier to guarantee you've captured the image you want by being able to double check where you could otherwise have not seen the image on the LCD. Another handy feature on the A65 involves the LCD turning off via sensors when you lift your eye to the viewfinder.

Video


The full HD, 1080p video on the Sony A65 is a feature quite common for digital still cameras in the market place. However where it may just be an addition or tack on feature in other digital cameras, with the Sony A65 it shines. The incredible image quality of still images directly translates to video. Video is sharp on the edges and colours are represented accurately.

The continuous autofocus on the A65 works well. As the scene changes so does the focus to match with no extra effort from the operator. The electronic motor that operates the autofocus however does record a little intrusively on the audio track of the videos. Despite this the video on the Sony A65 is definitely a welcome addition.
 
 
 

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Conclusion


The quality on the Sony A65 is it's essential drawing point. While the features it includes such as panorama mode and a rotating LCD screen are impressive, the overall standout feature is this camera's image quality. Combine this with good lowlight capabilities a massive 24.3MP sensor and full HD video and you've got yourself a definite winner. The Sony A65 is a great competitor for top prize in such a competitive market.

Accessories Used In Testing

Tamrac Evolution 8 / 5788l Bag 

SanDisk Extreme Pro 90MB/s CF Card

 

Recommended Retailer

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View / Buy The Sony SLT-A65 Digital Camera  

 

Appearance rating 3.5 stars
Functionality rating 4 stars
Image quality
5 stars
Video quality
4 stars
Lens quality
3.5 stars
LCD screen 4 stars
Value for money 3.5 star
Street Price - Body only $1,099.95 (AUD)
Street Price - Single Kit 18-55mm $1,199.95 (AUD)
Street Price - Twin Kit 18-55mm & 55-200mm
$1,399.95 (AUD)
SPACER.GIF  
Effective Pixels 24.3 megapixels
Sensor Type
23.5 x 15.6mm (APS-C type), Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with RGB primary colour filter
Image Sizes 3 Sizes / 2 Aspect / 3D / 3D Panorama
Lens Interchangeable
Lens Mount
Sony A-mount lenses
Resolution Settings: Stills Image Size (Aspect ratio 3:2)    
L(24M): 6,000 x 4,000; M(12M): 4,240 x 2,832; S(6M): 3,008 x 2,000
Image Size (Aspect ratio 16:9)    
L(20M): 6,000 x 3,376; M(10M): 4,240 x 2,400; S(5.1M): 3,008 x 1,688
Sweep Panorama (Wide)
Horizontal(23M): 12,416 x 1,856; Vertical(12M): 2,160 x 5,536
Sweep Panorama (Standard)    
Horizontal(15M): 8,192 x 1,856; Vertical(8.4M): 2,160 x 3,872
3D Sweep Panorama (Wide)     (7.7 M): 7,152 x 1,080
3D Sweep Panorama (Standard)     (5.3 M): 4,912 x 1,080; 16:9 (2.1 M): 1,920 x 1,080
Format/s: Video 1920 x 1080 (50p/28Mbps/PS, 50i/24Mbps/FX, 50i/17Mbps/FH, 25p/24Mbps/FX, 25p/17Mbps/FH)
Format/s: Stills
JPEG (DCF2.0, Exif 2.3), RAW (ARW 2.3 format), RAW + JPEG, 3D still image MPO
Shooting Modes: Video
AVCHD / MP4
Face Detection Yes
Manual Focus Yes
Auto Focus Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Shutter Speeds Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane shutter. 1/4000 sec. - 30 sec., bulb. 1/160 sec
Shutter Priority Yes
ISO Auto (ISO 100-1600); Selectable ISO100 - 16000 equivalent
LCD Monitor 3.0-inch (100% field of view), 921,600-dot TFT, Xtra Fine LCD with TruBlack technology
Viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (color), 100% Field of View
Flash Flash Compensation : ±2.0EV?1/3EV steps?
Flash Coverage : FOV coverage up to 18 mm (in the focal length)
Recycling Time : Approx. 3 sec.
Flash Bracketing : 0.3/0.7EV steps, 3 frames
Flash Metering System : ADI flash / Pre-flash TTL
Flash Modes : Auto, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Hi-speed sync., Red-eye reduction (on/off selectable for Autoflash and fill-flash mode), Wireless, Off
Flash Type : Built-in, Pop-up Auto
Guide Number : 10 (in meters at ISO100)
Hot Shoe Yes, proprietary
White Balance Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm White, Cool White, Day White), Flash, C. Temp 2500 to 9900k with 15-step, C. Filter (G7 to M7, A7 to B7), Custom, AWB micro adjustment
Self Timer 10 sec., 2 sec
Video Recording Time/s -
Storage Type - External Memory Stick Pro Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, SD Memory card, SDHC Memory card, SDXC Memory card
Storage Type - Internal
-
Connectivity USB2.0 Hi-Speed (mass storage mode / MTP mode), HDMI mini connector
Power Source AC-PW10AM
Battery Options Rechargeable battery pack NP-FM500H
Battery Life 510 shots(EVF) / 560 shots(LCD) (CIPA measurement)
Dimensions 132.1mm (W) x 97.5mm (H) x 80.7mm (D) (without protrusions)
Weight 543g (not including battery, memory card or accessories)
















 


 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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