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A33/55 or A57 for street use.

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BearairCactus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote BearairCactus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A33/55 or A57 for street use.
    Posted: 25 August 2018 at 16:30
Looking for a second body for my A mount lenses, I want it for taking to biker rallies, street photography and areas where I do not feel happy taking my beloved A-68. I do not want to spend much over £100 since it will be used in some "dodgy" areas, do want an articulating screen which I hope will help with some mobility issues I have.
An A33 or 55 appears the obvious answer because of their smaller size, but the A57 uses the same batteries as my A-68 which would be an advantage. Since I will probably end up buying on line not being able to get to a camera shop to try them out, what are the real life differences in the body sizes between the A33/55 and the A57?
Is there a noticeable difference in IQ considering that the final results will most likely not be used for anything but publishing on the web or maximum of A4 prints?
I think it will be used for lots of night photography/low light situations with a tripod if possible, but again if there is a big difference between the low light performance I might go for that one.
Considering the use I intend for the camera has anyone an opinion of what will be the best of the three or should any of them do the job and I should just pick up the best bargain that I can find?

I really do not want to spend to much as I am saving hard for an A99 so later models are not an option.
Any advice will be appreciated.

Edited by BearairCactus - 25 August 2018 at 16:35
 



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QuietOC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 August 2018 at 17:00
I've had the A58->A65->A68 and am trying out an A57 right now. I've also tried an A55 briefly in a camera store. I recently won the A57 + 18-55 + 75-300 for $245 shipped on eBay. It is actually a PAL model from the UK. I am returning it to the seller because I wasn't aware of the video limitations.

The A68 has better image quality than the earlier SLTs. The A57 does seem to have the best image quality of the earlier SLT models. The A58 uses a slightly smaller sensor with a weaker low pass filter. I would avoid the A65. For low light you might want to consider the A580 DSLR or an E-mount body with adapter.

I know you are asking for an articulating screen, but I find the bottom swivel hinge design Sony used on SLTs worse than their tilt-only mechanism.

You may be able to find an A58 for less than an A55 or A57. It is more of a 3-series camera after all. The A58 has the best battery life of any SLT since it uses the bigger battery. It has the nice OLED EVF that you are familiar with on the A68.

The A65/A57 body with the rear rubber thumb pad is more comfortable than the smaller/lighter A58. I believe the little A55 was actually quite nice to hold. I probably only held it with the 18-55 though. All the bodies feel nice with that lens.

Edited by QuietOC - 25 August 2018 at 17:16
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BearairCactus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote BearairCactus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 August 2018 at 17:36
Thank you for your comprehensive and informative reply. It has certainly made me consider the A58 aswell. I loved the articulating screen on my Olympus e-30, but if the Sony version is not that good I can live with just a tiltable screen.

Regards Roger
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 August 2018 at 17:49
I love the swivel system on the A77m2 and A99m2. Why don't you like it? Or are you talking about the limited version of the A57?

The A33 has the 14mp sensor that is not that good (did not like it in the NEX3) especially in low light - avoid. The A55 and A57 are basically the same cameras in different bodies. With the very good 16mp sensor. Look at A57 reviews that describe the difference like the imaging resources one.

I do not know what QuietOC means by smaller sensor in the A58. It is exactly the same size as the A57 and has more megapixel (20 VS 16) and according to DxoMark these are very comparable. The screen of the A58 is less pixels and it has a plastic mount (would not bother me, but bothers some).

So, I would consider the A58, to me it always seemed a viable option. I just wonder if you can get any of these cameras under a 100 GBP
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Post Options Post Options   Quote BearairCactus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 August 2018 at 18:08
Thank you Addy for your reply, I really have no idea what the swivel system is like on the cheaper Sony models and so will take the advice of the forum. The plastic mount would not bother me either. I think I can forget the A33 and look at 55/57 or 58/580, I realise I will have to look hard to get one for £100 or less but I have seen a A55 in poor cosmetic condition for £109 and will stretch to £150 if I must.

Roger
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 August 2018 at 19:01
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

I love the swivel system on the A77m2 and A99m2. Why don't you like it? Or are you talking about the limited version of the A57?

I am talking about the mechanism on the A65 and A57. Something similar was used on the A55.

The Sony 20MP sensor is somewhat smaller than the 16 MP and 24 MP sensors. It's crop factor is 1.55x instead of 1.53x--it is still bigger than the Canon APS-C sensors. It doesn't matter too much.

Edited by QuietOC - 25 August 2018 at 19:07
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sybersitizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 August 2018 at 21:55
Originally posted by BearairCactus BearairCactus wrote:

... should any of them do the job and I should just pick up the best bargain that I can find?

I vote yes on that. Each has pros and cons, but the results shouldn't look very different.

I really have no idea what the swivel system is like on the cheaper Sony models and so will take the advice of the forum.

I also vote that any of the swivel systems can do the job ... some inevitably better or worse than others depending on what the specific job is.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil Wood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 August 2018 at 22:35
I like my A58, which seemed a big step up from the A350, but then moved on to an A77 which is considerably better again. The swivel screen on the A77 (and, I think, the A55 & A57) is far more flexible, but I suspect it is also less robust - which might be a consideration. The A58 tilt is good enough for most situations.

My A58 still gets plenty of use when I want a smaller, lighter load (it goes on holiday with me coupled to the 18-55mm SAM II or a Tamron 16-300mm - all I need for holiday snaps). The A58 also uses the A68 sized FM500H battery.

If I was going somewhere that seemed risky I'd rather take A58/SAL1855 than A77/SAL1650 - the IQ might not be so great, but it wouldn't be bad.

Good luck getting any of them for under £100.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote beautiophile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2018 at 05:53
I own an A57. The flexibility of its LCD is certainly inferior in comparison with A77 & A99 lines, however, still more useful than the one of A58,A68. For street, I pair it with Minolta 28f2 (day) and Sony 50f1.4 (night). It beats all pre-2013 Sony's crop A-mount cameras, in term of ISO performance. A57 was a Sony's response to complaints of noise in A65's photos. Sadly, Sony also replaced it so quickly with A58, which should have been named A38.
Other downside of A33-A55 vs A57 is the lack of focus-peaking. The peaking somehow helps me a lot to deal with front/back-focusing lenses.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote BearairCactus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2018 at 09:26
Thank you all for the very helpful replies, I am leaning towards an A57 or A58/580 if I can find one at the right price, was quite surprised how much more the A580 seams to go for S/H compared with SLT.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mirthseeker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2018 at 09:44
There are far more reports on forums of the shutter mechanism failing on the A55, than for later models. Impossible to tell how frequent this is, but something to be aware of if tempted by high usage A55's.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hobgoblin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2018 at 09:57
Originally posted by BearairCactus BearairCactus wrote:

Thank you all for the very helpful replies, I am leaning towards an A57 or A58/580 if I can find one at the right price, was quite surprised how much more the A580 seams to go for S/H compared with SLT.


The A580 was Sony's last OVF camera and is a very fine camera. I'll never let mine go it is far better than the A700 that I had before and which I never used again after I got the A580.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote BearairCactus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2018 at 10:24
Thank you Hobgoblin, just been offered a A550 at a really silly cheap price by a mate. It appears similar to the A580 just without video and a slightly smaller MP sensor. We are talking £50 here, unless anyone can tell me of a problem with the A550 or it is in poor condition(which knowing my mate it will not be) I think I will settle for that.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2018 at 11:47
@QuietOC: you're correct. I only checked DXoMark and they say they are the same size, but now I checked other sites and the 20mp sensor indeed seems to be a little bit smaller. Indeed, doesn't really matter.

@OP:the A550 has the 14mp sensor, that one is not that good, especially in low light. But then, for 50 quid it is plenty good

I do not understand the fascination with the A580 as it is basically a larger A55 with a small optical viewfinder. But I guess people differ...
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