To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Sony Alpha SLT-A37 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £419
inc VAT

Designed to a budget, but there's a lot to like about this unusual SLR-like camera


23.5×15.6mm 16.0-megapixel sensor, 3.0x zoom (27-82.5mm equivalent), 716g

Prices and image quality mentioned in this review are of the Sony Alpha SLT-A37 with 18-55mm lens kit

The A37 is Sony’s latest entry-level Alpha camera, but while its petite dimensions are in keeping with the low price, some of its specifications suggest otherwise. Continuous shooting is at 7fps, and the video mode captures 1080p videos with full-time autofocus – something that very few SLRs are able to do. There’s even full manual control in video mode, plus a microphone input.

Sony Alpha SLT-A37

The key to the fast burst mode and video autofocus is the fact that this isn’t technically an SLR. The SLT in the name stand for single-lens translucent. A single-lens reflex (SLR) camera uses a mirror that directs light to the viewfinder and autofocus system, and flips out of the way to let the light reach the sensor to take a picture. The A37 uses a translucent mirror that sends light to both the autofocus system and the sensor at the same time. That effectively prohibits the use of an optical viewfinder, though, so the A37 – like all the cameras in Sony’s SLT range – uses an electronic viewfinder (EVF) instead.

That shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing, though. An SLR’s optical viewfinder may seem more upmarket but the A37’s 1.44-million dot EVF is bigger than any SLR’s optical viewfinder at this price, and to our eyes it’s just as detailed. Its picture struggles in dimly lit scenes, but that’s a reflection of the sensor rather than the screen. We find it useful to see a live preview that reflects how well the camera is coping with the current lighting conditions.

Sony Alpha SLT-A37

This is the third generation of Sony’s SLT cameras, and it’s good to see that some problems we experienced with the first-generation Sony Alpha SLT-A33 have now been ironed out. There was no sign of the sensor overheating after recording an hour of video. We’re also happy to report that it’s now optional whether the LCD and EVF screens reflect exposure settings in their live previews. On the A33 this caused serious problems when using off-camera flash systems, as the screens became pitch black. There’s a welcome improvement to battery life, too, up from 340 shots to 450.

Pages: 1 2 3

Basic Specifications

Rating *****
CCD effective megapixels 16.0 megapixels
CCD size 23.5×15.6mm
Viewfinder electronic (1,440,000 pixels)
Viewfinder magnification, coverage 1.09x, 100%
LCD screen size 2.7in
LCD screen resolution 230,400 pixels
Articulated screen Yes
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 3.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 27-82.5mm
Image stabilisation optical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution 4,912×3,264
File formats JPEG, RAW; AVCHD, MPEG-4


Memory slot SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
Mermory supplied none
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 450 shots
Connectivity USB, mini HDMI, microphone, wired remote
Body material plastic
Lens mount Sony Alpha
Focal length multiplier 1.5x
Kit lens model name Sony SAL-1855
Accessories USB cable
Weight 716g
Size 93x124x155mm

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £419

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed 30 to 1/4,000 seconds
Aperture range f/3.5-22 (wide), f/5.6-36 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 100 to 16000
Exposure compensation +/-3 EV
White balance auto, 9 presets, manual, Kelvin
Additional image controls contrast, saturation, sharpness, noise reduction, dynamic range optimisation, colour space
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 25cm
Auto-focus modes 15-point
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, HDR, sweep panorama, 3D sweep panorama

Read more

Reviews | DSLRs