Succeeding the acclaimed Alpha A55, the A57 marries an updated set of specifications with an enthusiast-oriented body. The What Digital Camera Sony Alpha A57 review finds out if the partnership is a success

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Sony Alpha A57

Overall score:90%
Image Quality:90%


  • Focusing performance, electronic level indicators, class-leading burst rate


  • Handful of operational grievances, dated menu system, occasional underexposure


Sony Alpha A57 Review


Price as reviewed:


Value and Verdict

Sony Alpha A57 review – Value

With its 18-55mm kit lens the A57 is currently priced at just under £700, and around £80 less for just the body. With the outgoing A55 being less available, the closest model for comparison would be the A65 which is only around £70 dearer. Reflected in this premium is the A65’s 24.3MP sensor, 2.36million dot OLED viewfinder and GPS system, alongside a handful of smaller differences, all of which makes the A65 appear as the better value model. Once the A57 has spent as long on the market as that model, however, its price may descend to a more competitive point. Both two models are competitively specified when compared with their immediate peers, though, value for money being something of a hallmark for the Alpha line.


Sony Alpha A57 review – Verdict


Aside from its more enthusiast-focused design, the A57 can’t be said to be a significant update over the A55 it replaces. True, this isn’t entirely a bad thing, as it shares many of that camera’s positive attributes, from its snappy focusing performance and reliable image and video quality, to the handful of features which make it as enjoyable to use as the camera is capable. Anyone looking for a camera which marries entry-level simplicity with enthusiast control should, without question, add it to their shortlist along with the similarly-priced Nikon D5100 and Canon EOS 600D. Nevertheless, while it’s welcome to see improvements to the camera’s burst shooting functionality and sensitivity span, it’s disappointing that basic issues which impede operability continue to be ignored. Despite this, the A57 is still a capable and cheaper alternative to the A65, and one likely to appeal to those who’d take advantage of its slightly better noise performance. In its own right it earns itself a warm recommendation, although those interested in one are advised to look closely at the other too.


Sample Photos:
White Balance:Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Warm White, Cool White, Day White, Flash, Colour Temperature Set, Custom
ISO:100-16,000 (extendable to ISO 25,600 in Multi Frame NR mode)
Video:AVCHD 2.0 (1920 x 1080 @ 50p, 1920 x 1080 @ 50i, 1920 x 1080 @ 25p)
Built-in Flash:GN10 @ ISO 100
Lens Mount:Sony A-mount
Memory Card:MS Pro Duo, MS Pro HG Duo, SD, SDHC, SDXC
Exposure Comp:Yes, ±3EV (in 1/3 stops)
Cable Release:Optional
Compression:Fine or Standard (JPEG)
PC Socket:No
Viewfinder Type:1.44M-dot EVF
Output Size:4912 x 3264
Max Flash Sync:1/160sec
Sensor:16.1 megapixels Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor (total pixels 16.7MP)
White Balance Bracket:Yes, 3 frames, selectable 2 steps
AF Points:15-point system with 3 cross-type sensors
Colour Temp Control:2500-9900 Kelvin with 15 step adjustment over each Magenta/Green and Amber/Blue
LCD:3in, 921,600dot tilt-angle Xtra Fine LCD with TruBlack technology
Focal Length Mag:1.5x
DoF Prview:Yes
Dust Reduction:Charge protection coating on Low-Pass Filter and electromagnetic vibration mechanism
Built-in Image Stabilisation:Sensor-based SteadyShot INSIDE
Movie Mode:Yes, 1080p HD capture
Metering System:1200-zone evaluative metering
Live Mode:Yes
Exposure Modes:P, A, S, M, iAuto, Auto+, Sweep Panorama, Continuous Advanced Priority AE, Scene
Connectivity:HDMI (c-type), USB 2.0 (standard mini connection)
Power:Rechargeable li-ion battery (NP-FM500H)
Weight:539g (excluding battery, card and accessories)
File Format:Raw, JPEG, RAW + JPEG
Dimensions:132.1 x 97.5 x 80.7mm
Shutter Speeds:30 – 1/4000th second (plus Bulb)
Focusing Modes:Single AF, Automatic AF, Continuous AF, Manual Focus
Drive Mode:Single, Continuous, 10 seconds and 2 seconds Self-timer, max 12fps in Tele Zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE, max 10fps in Continuous Advance Priority AE, max 8fps in Drive Mode
Colour Space:sRGB, AdobeRGB
  1. 1. Sony A57 review - Features
  2. 2. Design
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Image Quality
  5. 5. Value and Verdict
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