by Zak Billmeier
Sony's Alpha line of digital SLRs employ a translucent mirror instead of the traditional flipping mirror, letting you shoot faster than ever.
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Item #: 158A37M
This item is no longer available.
Original Price: $799.99
If you're looking for a great entry point to the world of high-end photography, you've clicked on the right page. Take a look at the images up top and the specifications below and see if you don't agree. The Sony Alpha SLT-A37's got the features pro shooters demand, but it's geared toward the aspiring photographer.
Plus, the 'A37 is designed to be helpful for the developing shutterbug. Features like the Auto Portrait Framing mode use classical photographic composition concepts like the Rule of Thirds, to aid you in crafting perfect portraits of your friends and family. It's easy to keep track of opportunities through the lens, too. Unlike most SLRs, this camera is always in "live view mode," which means you can see the effects of any changes you make to exposure settings before you take the shot. Its newly designed electronic viewfinder displays comprehensive shooting information, and a tilting LCD screen makes it easier than ever to get fantastic looking shots of a fast-moving world.
The 'A37 shoots an impressive 7 frames per second in Tele-Zoom High-Speed mode, so you'll be poised for catching fleeting photo opportunities. While Tele-Zoom crops your image to 8.4-megapixels, that's plenty of resolution left over for detailed prints and crisp blow-ups. And you can still capture 5.5 frames per second in full 16.1-megapixel resolution. With continuous auto-focus throughout the burst, you'll be sure to get clean, dynamic shots of all the intense action in front of you. That's perfect for shots of kids and sports, neither of which are known for their predictability.
Traditional DSLRs rely on a moving mirror that flips out of the way when you press the shutter button. When that happens, the camera momentarily loses its ability to autofocus, and your viewfinder or live view LCD screen go black at the same time a less than desirable situation. Sony's fixed-position translucent mirror works around the problem by splitting the light coming from the lens, sending it to the camera's imaging sensor and autofocus sensor simultaneously. That means the 'A37 can continue focusing and shooting at the same time. Fast-moving subjects will always stay sharp, whether you're snapping still shots or recording full 1080/60i HD video.
This kit includes Sony's long-range 18-135mm zoom lens. Its zoom range spans from wide-angle to long-telephoto to give you a wide range of framing options. Snap indoor group shots of guests at your child's birthday party, and then follow the guests outside and capture detailed close-ups as they play with the newly opened presents in the backyard. Add optional Sony wide angle, extra-long telephoto, and close-up lenses to expand your camera's picture-taking power even further.
The 'A37 can give you more "oomph" from your zoom lens as well. Clear Image Zoom mode will give you up to 2X magnification by blowing up the center of your image with nearly imperceptible degradation. Think of it as traditional "digital zoom" capability on steroids. When you need a bit more reach than your current lens can give, you'll appreciate this feature. Need that shot of your daughter's intense look of readiness as she stands by the pool's starting platform, but you're not close enough? Give Clear Image Zoom mode a try.
The SLT-A37 also has other cool tricks up its sleeve. Superior auto mode is your camera's internal advisor. It analyzes the conditions while you shoot, and activates advanced functions when necessary for optimal results in almost any setting. All the technical details are taken care of, leaving you to concentrate on your creative inspiration.
The next time you find yourself admiring a stunning mountain vista or beautiful cityscape, you can put Sony's ingenious Sweep Panorama mode to good use. It lets you capture the scene around you by sweeping the camera across your field of view the camera automatically stitches multiple shots together to form one seamless photo. And you can play back your photos and movies for everyone to see later on. The camera connects directly to your compatible HDTV with an optional mini HDMI cable.
|LCD Screen Size||2.7"|
|Lens 35mm Equivalent||27-202.5mm|
Memory Stick PRO Duo + PRO-HG Duo
|Effective Megapixel Count||16.1|
|Image Stabilization||Sensor Shift|
|Highest Resolution||4912 x 3264|
|HD Video Recording||1920 x 1080, 1440 x 1080|
|Weight With Battery (ounces)||25.3|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
Zoom Lens Kit: The Sony SLT-A37 α (alpha series) DSLR camera kit contains the SLT-A37 camera body, and the SAL18135 DT18-135mm F3.5-5.6 SAM 7x zoom lens, along with a rechargeable battery, adjustable neck strap, USB cable, and software on CD-ROM. The camera is compatible with Sony A-mount lenses.
Translucent Mirror Technology: The A37 features Translucent Mirror Technology, which directs light to both the image sensor and the Phase Detection AF sensor simultaneously. This allows the camera to focus and capture the image at the same time. Since the mirror never moves, the time needed to raise and lower the mirror is eliminated.
Tiltable 2.7" LCD Screen: The A37 uses a 2.7" TFT Clear Photo LCD screen with 230,400 dots. The LCD monitor can be tilted upward 135° and downward 55° for best visibility when shooting at difficult angles.
0.46" Electronic Viewfinder: The 0.46" Xtra Fine electronic color viewfinder has 1,440,000 dots, and provides approximately 100% field of view. The brightness can be manually or automatically adjusted in 3 steps. The built-in diopter lets you adjust the viewfinder image to your individual eyesight. If you're using the electronic viewfinder to frame your shots, the LCD turns off automatically when you bring the camera up to your eyes.
Display Options: You can choose how much information appears in the viewfinder and LCD monitor. There are three options: Display all information, No display information, and Graphic Display. The histogram displays the luminance distribution that shows how many pixels of a particular brightness exist in the picture.
Live View: The A37's Live View lets you use the LCD screen and Electronic Viewfinder to frame your photos as you shoot. The Live View image will provide an accurate preview of your photo, including the white balance, focus, depth of field, exposure, and framing. In addition, the on-screen displays will keep you informed on all your settings and recording information.
Image Sensor: The SLT-A37 features an APS-C-sized Exmor HD CMOS image sensor (23.5 x 15.6mm). It has approximately 16.5-million total pixels and 16.1-million effective pixels.
Still Image Recording Formats: Still images are recorded in JPEG file format in Standard and Fine compression rates. You can choose to shoot in 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratio, and in large, medium, and small image sizes. You can also record still images using the RAW format, which is uncompressed with no processing performed in the camera. RAW images must be transferred to a computer for processing, editing, and printing using the supplied Image Data Converter SR software. You can select the following image sizes:
Panorama Photos: The 3D Sweep Panorama mode lets you record panoramic images by holding down the shutter button as you pan across the scene. Panoramic photos can be taken in 3D or Standard in several different resolution settings:
Movie Recording Formats: The A37 can record 16:9 Full High Definition movies in AVCHD 2.0 Progressive with MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video and 2-channel Dolby Digital audio. Movies can also be recorded in MP4 mode with MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video and MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2-channel audio. You can select from the following bit rates/image quality:
|File Format||Average Bit Rate||Resolution|
|AVCHD 60i 24M (FX)||24 Mbps||1920 x 1080 (60i)|
|AVCHD 60i 17M (FH)||17 Mbps||1920 x 1080 (60i)|
|AVCHD 24p 24M (FX)||24 Mbps||1920 x 1080 (24p)|
|AVCHD 24p 17M (FH)||17 Mbps||1920 x 1080 (24p)|
|MP4 1440 x 1080 12M||12 Mbps||1440 x 1080|
|MP4 VGA 3M||3 Mbps||640 x 480|
Dual Media Options: The A37 camera accepts two types of media for capturing still images: Memory Stick PRO Duo (including Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo), and SD, SDHC, and SDXC Memory Cards. The maximum number of images that can be recorded on a memory card formatted with this camera varies slightly between the two types of media.
Clear Image Zoom: Clear Image Zoom, powered by Sony's By Pixel Super Resolution Technology, increases the effective focal length of the lens by up to 2x by digitally magnifying the center of the image.
SteadyShot INSIDE In-Camera Image Stabilization: The SteadyShot INSIDE in-camera image stabilizer shifts the image sensor to compensate for camera shake without sacrificing image quality. The compensation effect is equal to 2.5 to 4.5 shutter speed steps, giving you more creative freedom when shooting in low light. And, because it is integrated into the camera body, SteadyShot INSIDE technology works with all compatible α (alpha) system lenses.
Eye-Start Auto Focus: The camera features the Eye-Start Auto Focus system, which begins precision auto focus adjustments the moment you raise the camera to your eye. This feature can be turned off in the menu, if desired.
15-Point AF System: The A37's high-performance auto focus system uses 15 focus points to deliver fast and precise focusing. It has a predictive focus control to automatically calculate the position of fast-moving subjects. You can choose from the following Auto/Manual Focus Modes:
Face Detection/Smile Shutter: The camera can detect human faces, and adjusts the focus, exposure, performs image processing and adjusts flash settings for best results. Faces can be registered, and priority given to those faces over others in the frame. Up to 8 faces can be detected and/or registered. When the Smile Shutter feature is enabled, the camera will automatically release the shutter when a slight, normal, or big smile is detected.
Focus Lock: If a subject is off-center and outside of the AF area, you can lock the focus of the camera.
AF Illuminator: When you press the shutter button halfway down a red illuminator is emitted until the focus is locked. Under dark lighting conditions or when you shoot a low contrast subject, the AF illuminator allows the camera to focus more easily on the subject.
Drive Modes: The camera offers the following shooting modes:
Shooting Modes: The top-mounted Mode Dial lets you select from the following shooting modes:
Exposure Compensation: Exposure compensation is used to alter the camera's standard exposure setting. You can make the image look lighter (increased exposure) or darker (decreased exposure). The exposure compensation amount can be set up to +/-3.0 EV in 1/3-step increments.
AE Lock: You can fix the exposure before deciding on the composition when taking a picture. This is effective when the metering object and focusing object are different or when you want to shoot continuously while keep the same exposure value.
Metering Mode: A 1200-zone evaluative sensing system provides multi-pattern measuring for superior exposure control accuracy in a wide range of lighting conditions. You can select the method for measuring the brightness of a subject from the following three methods:
White Balance: You can adjust the color tones according to the lighting conditions. You can choose from the following WB options, and adjust the +/- 3 to fine tune the colors:
Color Temperature/Color Filter: You can adjust the white balance further by selecting Color Temperature or Color Filter in the Custom White Balance option. With Color Temperature, the higher the number, the more reddish the image, and the lower the number, the more bluish the image. Color Filter achieves the effect of Color Compensation filters for photography. Based on the set color temperature as the standard, the color can be compensated to Green (G) or Magenta (M).
Picture Effect: You can select the desired effect filter to achieve more impressive and artistic expression. There are several Picture Effect options, including Toy Camera, Pop Color, Posterization, Retro Photo, Soft High-key, Partial Color, High Contrast Mono, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Mono, and Miniature.
ISO Settings: ISO is a unit of measurement of sensitivity to light. The larger the number, the higher the sensitivity. The camera's ISO can be set manually or automatically, depending upon the exposure mode:
Built-in Flash: In a dark location, using the built-in flash, or optional flash, allows you to shoot the subject brightly, and it also helps prevent blurred photos due to camera shake. The SLT-A37 features a pop-up flash, and an accessory shoe for attaching an optional external flash. The range of the built-in flash depends on the ISO sensitivity and aperture value. The A37 offers the following flash modes:
Noise Reduction: The camera offers Long Exposure and High ISO Noise Reduction (NR) to automatically reduce the grainy noise found in photos during long exposures or high ISO settings. You can also select Multi Frame Noise Reduction when shooting multiple images continuously.
Anti-Dust Technology: Changing lenses in a DSLR can allow dust to enter the camera. To help keep the image sensor cleaner for better pictures, the A37 utilizes a static-free anti-dust coating on the imager's filter. The camera also has a cleaning function which vibrates the image sensor for a short time to knock off any dust that may have settled on the imager.
Optics: The Sony DT 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 SAM lens is compatible with Sony α-series (Alpha) DSLR cameras. The DT lens is a compact, lightweight lens, designed specifically for the APS-size CCD imager used in most Sony α-series cameras. The lens employs a Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) to deliver smooth and silent autofocus operation, and offers a flexible focal range that allows you to capture everything from wide angle to midrange telephoto shots with ease.
Zooming: The lens allows you to rotate the zooming ring to set the desired focal length. The 18-135mm lens features a 7x optical zoom.
Focusing: The lens can be used in the auto-focus or manual focus mode. You can switch between focusing modes using the 2-way switch on the lens barrel.
Dimensions: The lens has the following dimensions: Diameter=3", Length=3.5".
Playback Options: You can view images on the LCD monitor with 3 options: with recording data displayed, without recording data, or histogram display. A histogram is the luminance distribution that shows how many pixels of a particular brightness exists in a picture. The histogram display of this camera shows the brightness on the horizontal axis (left side is black, right side is white) and the number of pixels on the vertical axis.
Auto Review: After an image is recorded, you can have the camera automatically display it on the LCD monitor for two, five or 10 seconds. You can also turn off auto review.
Image Rotation: Vertical shots can be rotated automatically so that they are displayed upright during playback. This can be done manually or automatically.
Playback Screen: You can view your photos back as a single image on the LCD monitor, as an Index or as a Slide Show. During Index View mode, you can view 4 or 9 images at once. You can adjust the Slide Show mode interval from 1, 3, 5, 10, or 30 seconds.
D-Range Optimizer/Auto HDR: The camera allows you to correct the brightness and contrast of an image automatically, using the D-Range Optimizer (DRO) and Auto High Dynamic Range functions. The DRO optimizes the gradations of a recorded image in each area of the image; you select the optimal level from Lv1 (weak) and Lv5 (strong). When Auto HDR is selected, the camera shoots three images with different exposures, then overlays them to create one image with the correct exposure and an overlaid image.
Rotating Images: Images can be rotated counter-clockwise 360-degrees on the camera's LCD monitor during single image playback.
Protect Images: You can protect all images on your memory card or select only certain images to be protected from accidental erasure.
HDMI Output: The SLT-A37 provides direct mini-HDMI output to your HDTV, so you can view and share photos in clarity and detail. You can choose between standard 3:2 or widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. The output resolution can be set to Auto, 1080p, or 1080i. When connected to a Sony BRAVIA TV, you can control the image playback using the TV remote. A mini-HDMI-to-HDMI cable is not supplied.
Printing Options: The camera offers the following printing options.
InfoLithium Battery: The SLT-A37 is powered by the NP-FW50 InfoLithium battery (supplied). The battery communicates data to the camera, so that the percentage of battery power remaining can be displayed. The approximate number of images that can be recorded with the supplied battery is 500 using the LCD monitor and 450 with the viewfinder.
Charging: The supplied InfoLithium battery requires approximately 250 minutes for a full charge. The battery should be fully charged before initial use.
Power Save: You can set different time intervals for the camera to switch to Power Save mode. You can set the interval to 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, or 30 minutes. Once the camera goes into Power Save mode, you can return to the shooting mode by pressing the shutter button halfway. When the camera is connected to a TV or the drive mode is set to Remote Commander, the power save mode defaults to 30 minutes regardless of the setting.
Application Software CD-ROM: The following software is included with the SLT-A37:
PlayMemories Home Ver.1.2:
*Note: The "PlayMemories Home" software is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, and XP operating systems only. If you wish to play back images on a Mac, you can use applications that are pre-installed on your Mac.
Image Data Converter Ver.4.0:
Compatible Operating Systems (for USB Connection):
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Sony's Alpha line of digital SLRs employ a translucent mirror instead of the traditional flipping mirror, letting you shoot faster than ever.