This Sony SLT A58K Digital 18 55mm 20 1MP
As an intermediate-level “camera user” (I hesitate using the term “photographer” as it sounds too professional to describe my level of expertise), I require a camera that simply covers the basics of picture quality, ease-of-use, dependability and maybe a few “bells and whistles” for artistic experimentation purposes. While I do own a true classic photographer’s camera (Canon AE-1), I found that I lacked the patience to fully utilize all the amazing features of such a camera. Things have significantly changed in the digital era as so many of these features (and more) are simplified and more accessible to photographers of all experience levels. The SONY A65 is a great example of a camera that covers all the basics while including a multitude of nifty features that should serve as a digital playground for novice photographers.
Considering my average experience, I honestly found the SONY A65 a little overwhelming at first. While the versatility of such a camera provided an initial shock, I have grown to appreciate the adventure of discovering its many features, such as:
Design: the camera is “meaty”. Solidly built, a degree of heft and a rubber-coated right-hand grip, the A65 holds firmly and comfortably … especially those with larger hands.
Electronic View Finder and LCD: I simply feel more comfortable taking pictures with a view-finder(old school) and the image clarity of the A65 view-finder is outstanding. The LCD is amazingly vivid and clear as well.
Combination of Image Stabilization and Auto-Focus: All I can say is my 6-year old daughter shot some amazing photos of vintage World War II airplanes at a local airport by using the LCD for point-and-shoot.
Frame Rate: a whopping 10 FPS … this feature was perfect for photographing Fourth of July fireworks.
Custom Effects: I am still exploring the customizing effects (posterization, retro, partial colors, etc.), but these are on-board features that provide a palette for professional, artistic experimentation in lieu of a computer photo editor.
Panorama: I like the seamless the “sweep” panorama provides over the “matching puzzle” assembly my previous cameras required for panoramic photos.
The HD Video Quality: While other cameras I’ve owned had video capability none compare to the overall quality of the A65 … it instantly replaces my Sony Camcorder.
While I absolutely love this camera, there were a few issues I had with it:
Menu Options: I found the menu options to be a little confusing at times and I am still working my way around this camera to acclimate myself with Sony’s menu structure (I am more acclimated with the simplicity of my old Nikon camera).
Button Placement: I have experienced some problems inadvertently pushing buttons (mainly the zoom button) with my thumb while taking pictures. I believe it is more of an acclimation issue (I have larger hands) than a camera flaw and I am working on simply altering my grip.
Low Light Videos: I found the video quality a little disappointing at lower light settings.
Overall, as an amateur, the SONY A65 gives me everything I could possibly ask for in a camera. The options are almost limitless as I feel I have the perfect tool to take my photography skills to a higher level. While this may be considered a “mid-range” camera from the professional perspective, it delivers on every front for me. I believe Sony has firmly established itself as a serious player in the high-end camera industry with its Alpha series.
I recommend the Sony LCS-AMB/B Alpha Soft Carrying Case for the A65 if interested in a smaller, less cumbersome case designed specifically for the camera. The case features a lens “receptacle” that allows the camera to be placed face-down into the case for quick and easy access.
Get your Sony SLT A58K Digital 18 55mm 20 1MP Now!