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Sony Alpha SLT-A37 First Impressions Review
The Sony Alpha A37 is a fairly standard upgrade for the company's entry-level SLT DSLR lineup. It replaces the A35 with some basic upgrades to control, a new image sensor, but a largely unchanged design.
The A37 is aimed largely at beginners, with most of its features designed for those adapting to DSLRs from point and shoots. The highlight feature is the auto portrait framing mode, which will automatically crop your portraits shots to better highlight your subject according to standard rules of photographic composition.
Shooting with the A37 feels much like shooting with the A35; it's a compact DSLR that features fast autofocus (even while recording video), with a plush grip, but an overall lightweight feel. The articulating LCD allows you to capture from tough angles, while the electronic viewfinder functions well in most environments.
Choosing the Sony A37 over competing options like the Nikon D3100 and Canon T3 largely comes down to a decision for speed versus the comfort of an optical viewfinder. The A37's 5.5fps full resolution burst is well ahead of the Nikon and Canon options, but the electronic viewfinder still isn't as nice as an optical option.
Despite this, we enjoyed shooting with the A37, and find it a rather simple camera for beginners to adapt to. With its beginner-friendly modes, superior auto exposure, and simple menu design the A37 presents a fairly low learning curve. It's a design that shouldn't intimidate, even if it's mostly unchanged from last year's A35.
Overall, we definitely wouldn't suggest upgrading from the A35 to the A37—the benefit just isn't there—but we would say that it has enough about it that it's worth some serious consideration for anyone looking for a good sub-$800 DSLR with more speed than most.