While everyone’s trying to go EVIL (electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens camera), Sony has reinvented the DSLR. That’s right, amidst all the hubbub of making smaller, mirrorless micro machines, the big S has decided to give everyone the slip and improved the good old pro shooter.
So what came out of their factories exactly? The Sony SLT-A37 or Alpha 37: a versatile pro-cam with an array of accessories ala SLR, but nearing the compact size of an EVIL cam.
Honey, I shrunk the SLR!
First, the obvious: The Alpha 37 is by definition a DSLR. By that, we mean that when you take a photo, you can hear and feel the mechanical clicking of the camera’s mirror. It looks like one, too—only it's a bit smaller (great for typical Pinoy hands) and with virtually the same feel, minus a few grams. Despite its relatively smaller size, the ALpha 37 still has a long list of features and capabilities for your pakialamero hands to get busy with. This one's also on the entry-level side of the DSLR scale, which means it's cheaper—although, as we've found out throughout our time with it, that shouldn't worry you in terms of what this bad boy can bring to the table.
Speed, speed, speed, it got speed
The similarities between the Alpha 37 and your run-of-the-mill DSLR end at looks, feel, and sounds, as the Alpha 37 sports something called the Translucent Mirror Technology. In a nutshell, Sony equipped the Alpha 37 with a translucent mirror which, unlike an opaque SLR mirror, allows some light to pass through it. This eliminates the so-called blackout time which occurs every time you press the shutter button (i.e. when the sensor/film is exposed).
With no blackout time, the Alpha 37 can achieve super-fast frame rates: seven frames per second, to be exact. That's F-A-S-T! In fact, there’s a special setting on the mode knob which allows you to do just that: one click, seven shots, which will come handy if you’re into shooting marathons, car races, or even your li’l ones that zoom in an out of your living room.
Sample daytime shot
Speaking of speed, this same zippy capturing capability is also of much use when you take panoramic shots. Unlike regular cameras that “cheat” when taking panorama pics (they’re actually taking HD videos which the software chops up into individual stills instead of taking separate frame by frame shots), the Alpha 37 takes a different, more "legit" route. You can literally hear the lightning-fast shutter activations as you click away and, if you didn’t know any better, you’d think the cam had a built-in vibrator.