Sony SLT-A57 Features

The Sony SLT-A57 features a high-speed mode that can capture any action subject you decide to photograph.

Sony SLT A57
Release Date: April 2012
Price With Lens: $650 USD
Available at:
Amazon  •  Adorama  •  B&H Photo Video

To really understand some of the speed offered by the SLT-A57, you have to know a bit about how it differs from a typical digital SLR.

On the outside, it looks very much the same: large body with a substantial hand grip, and a hump on top to make room for the viewfinder.

But on the inside, things are quite different. That viewfinder is electronic: it's a small video screen instead of the system of reflective mirrors that you'll find in other digital SLRs from Canon, Nikon and Pentax.

The mirror that blocks the sensor (to reflect an image up to the viewfinder) is translucent, allowing some light to hit the sensor while also reflecting some light to the viewfinder.

This translucent mirror results in a very high-speed camera, which I'll talk about more after we take a look at some more of the Sony SLT-A57 Features.

Sony SLT-A57 Features

StabilizationIn Body
Memory CardSD / SDHC / SDXC
Max. Shutter Speed1/4000
Max. Photo Capture12 per second
ISO Range100 to 25600
Movie ModesAVCHD
1920 x 1080p (60, 24 fps)
Motion JPEG
1440 x 1080 (30 fps)
640 x 480 (30 fps)
LCDFlexible 3in (921,600 dots)
ViewfinderElectronic (1.44 million dots)
Autofocus15 point
Face Detect AFYes
Sensor Dimensions23.4 x 15.6 (1.5x crop factor)
HDMI PortYes
Live ViewYes
Built-in FlashYes
Compatible LensesAll Sony ALPHA
BatteryNP-FM500H LiIon
Dimensions5.2 x 3.86 x 3.19in
132 x 98 x 81mm
Weight21.8oz (618g)

Need for Speed

Consider this: the top consecutive shot speed of some of the most expensive "traditional" digital SLR cameras (those with optical glass viewfinders) is around 6 photos per second.

In contrast, the Sony SLT-A57 features a top speed of 12 photos per second.

What slows down other DSLRs is the mirror that sits in front of the sensor (reflecting an image up to the optical viewfinder) must FLIP UP in order to snap a picture.

This mechanical action can only be sped up so much before it reaches an upper limit. Since the semi-transparent mirror on the SLT-A57 does NOT need to flip up, the camera can grab consecutive shots at a much higher rate.

While impressive on paper, is this something that you can actually use?

Children Race - Sony SLT-A57

The answer is yes, but only if you take a lot of photos of fast-moving subjects and you don't mind sifting through hundred of images looking for the best one.

Simply put: at 12 photos per second, you can rip through 60 photos in 5 seconds.

This can help you capture your daughter playing soccer or your son hitting a ball or your dog sprinting across the lawn, but it also means you'll sped a great deal of time in front of your computer editing all those shots.

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