Sony a65 Review

The Alpha 65 was introduced simultaneously with Sony’s flagship SLT camera, the Alpha 77. Although the Alpha 65 is sometimes called the “little brother” of this powerful camera, it is in no way inferior to the Alpha 77 in its own right.

The new Sony A65, which is being marketed as a slightly scaled-back and more affordable alternative to the A77, is designed for photography enthusiasts who are looking for a camera that is easy to use while still providing sufficient features and manual functionality to enable them to develop their photography skills without outgrowing it too quickly.

The A65 has many of the same core high-end features as its more expensive sibling, including a high-resolution 24.3mp APS-C-sized “Exmor” HD CMOS, top-notch OLED EVF (Electronic Viewfinder), full-time phase-detection AF, and Live View, to name a few of them. Despite its lower price point, the A65 shares many of the core high-end features of its more expensive sibling.

Sony a65 Features

Suppose you have not read our earlier evaluations of Sony’s groundbreaking SLT cameras. In that case, the following concise description of how their design varies from that found within a conventional DSLR camera: The latter kind of camera has a mirror built into it, reflecting light coming in through the lens into a prism. The prism then resolves the picture, as seen in the viewfinder.

When the photographer clicks the shutter release button, the mirror must move out of the way so light may strike the imaging sensor instead. Only then can an image be captured.

SLT (Single Lens Translucent) cameras incorporate TMT (Translucent Mirror Technology), which is a translucent mirror that allows the majority (70%) of the light entering through the lens to pass directly through it and onto the imaging sensor, with a smaller proportion (30%) being reflected up to the camera’s phase-detection AF sensor. SLT cameras are also referred to as “single-lens translucent” cameras. Because of this, the mirror can be secured in its current position, reducing the time it takes to snap a picture and enabling full-time, rapid AF.

Sony a65 Build Quality.

The body of the A65 is made of a sturdy plastic rather than magnesium alloy like the body of the A77. However, it still gives the impression of being well-made and robust enough to withstand the everyday use that it is subjected to. The A77 has a magnesium alloy body, while the A65 is plastic.

Even though it is quite a bit more compact than its older sibling, the camera has a comforting weight, and with the 18-55mm kit lens mounted, it has a sense of balance that is pleasing to the senses.

Along with the curved thumb pad that wraps around the rear of the grip, the front grip has substantial proportions, and it is covered in a rubber coating that provides a sense of traction and comfort.

The control configuration of the A65, although comparable to that of the A77, has been streamlined, making it far easier to pick up and immediately begin shooting with the camera. This makes the A65 an excellent choice for beginners.

One significant difference between the two brothers is that the A65 does not have a top-panel LCD, which allows it to have a more compact profile than its sister. Those who are used to shooting with a camera with a top panel LCD may find that they miss it at first; however, the rear LCD (and the EVF) can display a very comprehensive set of shooting information if you choose to leave it permanently said. Likewise, those used to shooting with a camera with a top-panel LCD may miss it initially.

Sony a65 Performance

Since the A65 uses the same 24.3-megapixel sensor as the A77, we anticipated it would produce photographs of the same impressively high Quality as those we praised in our previous review of the more costly model. We were not let down in this regard.

The images produced by the A65 include a significant amount of fine detail, a reasonable edge-to-edge sharpness (due to the kit lens), and well-controlled noise over most of the A65’s ISO sensitivity range. All of these qualities are displayed in the images.

The Auto White Balance feature of the A65 delivers satisfactory results for the most part. However, it misses the point slightly when used under artificial lighting, producing results that are, on the whole, too warm. Nevertheless, we may thank the manufacturer for including many adjustments and manual settings for white balance (WB) in the camera.

Raw files provide the ability to pull extra detail out of under-exposed and slightly over-exposed areas in high-contrast images, as well as the capacity to fine-tune the colors after the fact, allowing you to get the most out of the A65’s excellent sensor. Raw files also provide the ability to fine-tune the colors during shooting.

Sony a65 Image Quality

During our evaluation, the Sony A65 captured photographs of exceptionally high Quality. The ISO range of the Sony A65 is highly useable and stretches from 100 to 16000. ISO 100–1600 are noise-free, although ISO 3200 and 6400 yield more than acceptable results, and even ISO 12800 and 16000 may be used successfully in an emergency.

However, the RAW examples show how much processing the camera undertakes by default since they are significantly noisier than their JPEG counterparts across the board, regardless of the ISO value.

Chromatic aberrations are extremely well managed; you will only see them in places with much contrast. However, the 24-megapixel photographs come out of the camera slightly soft when using the default creative style. For the best results, you should sharpen them some more by utilizing an application such as Adobe Photoshop; alternatively, you may adjust the degree of sharpening that the camera applies automatically.

The built-in flash performed admirably indoors, preventing red-eye and producing photographs with adequate exposure overall. The night shot turned out well thanks to the camera’s maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and its Bulb mode, which allow lots of room for creative experimentation during nighttime shooting. In addition, the built-in SteadyShot anti-shake feature performs exceptionally well when shooting slower shutter speeds while holding the camera by hand.

Sony a65 Specs

Body materialHigh-grade plastic
Sensor• APS-C “Exmor” HD CMOS
• 23.5 x 15.6 mm
• 24.7 million total pixels
• 24.3 million effective pixels
• RGB (Primary) color filter array
Anti-dust systemCharge protection coating on the low-pass filter and Image Sensor-Shift mechanism
Image sizes• 6000 x 4000 (3:2)
• 4240 x 2832 (3:2)
• 3008 x 2000 (3:2)
• 6000 x 3376 (16:9)
• 4240 x 2400 (16:9)
• 3008 x 1688 (16:9)
Sweep Panorama• Wide: horizontal 12416 x 1856 (23M), vertical 5536 x 2160 (12M)
• Standard: horizontal 8192 x 1856 (15M), vertical 3872 x 2160 (8.4M)
Image sizes (Video)NTSC:
• AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (60p/ 28Mbps/ PS, 60i/ 24Mbps/ FX, 60i/ 17Mbps/ FH, 24p/ 24Mbps/ FX, 24p/ 17Mbps/ FH)

• MP4:
1440 x 1080 (30fps/ 12Mbps), VGA: 640 x 480 (30fps/ 3Mbps) PAL:
• 1920 x 1080 (50p/ 28Mbps/ PS, 50i/ 24Mbps/ FX, 50i/ 17Mbps/ FH, 25p/ 24Mbps/ FX, 25p/ 17Mbps/ FH)
• MP4: 1440 x 1080 (25fps/ 12M), VGA: 640 x 480 (25fps/ 3M)
Aspect ratios• 3:2
• 16:9
• Variable (Sweep Panorama & 3D Sweep Panorama)
File formats• RAW
• JPEG – Standard
• JPEG – Fine
File formats (Movie)• AVCHD 2.0 (Progressive) / MP4
• MPEG-4 AVC (H.264)
Lenses• Sony A-mount
• Konica-Minolta AF mount
Focus modes• Auto Focus (15-point phase-detection AF system)
• Manual Focus
• Direct Manual Focus
• Face Detection
• AF Tracking
AF modes• Single-shot AF (AF-S)
• Continuous AF (AF-C)
• Automatic AF (AF-A) selectable
AF assist lampNo (inbuilt flash strobes when required)
Image stabilizationSteadyShot INSIDE
Exposure modes• Program AE
• Aperture-priority AE
• Shutter priority AE
• Manual
• Auto
• Auto +
• High-speed mode (10 fps)
• Sweep Panorama 3D
• Sweep Panorama
• SCN (see below)
• Continuous Advance Priority AE
Scene modes• Portrait
• Sports Action
• Macro
• Landscape
• Sunset
• Night view
• Hand-held Twilight
• Night portrait
Picture Effect• Posterization (Color, B/W),
• Pop Color
• Retro Photo
• Partial Color (R, G, B, Y)
• High Contrast Monochrome
• Toy Camera
• Soft High-key
• Soft Focus
• HDR Painting
• Rich-tone Monochrome
• Miniature
Sensitivity• Auto
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200
• ISO 6400
• ISO 12800
• ISO 16000
• ISO 25600 (multi-shot NR mode – JPEG only)
ISO steps1/3 or 1.0 EV
Metering range-2 to 17 EV
Metering modes• 1200-zone multi-segment
• Center-Weighted
• Spot
AE Lock• AEL/AFL button
• With shutter release half-press
AE Bracketing• three frames
• in 1/3, 2/3 EV
Exposure compensation• -5 to +5 EV
• 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps selectable
Shutter speed• 30 -1/4000 sec.
• Bulb
• Flash X-sync 1/160 sec
White balance• Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Cloudy
• Incandescent
• Fluorescent (Warm white /Cool white/ Day White/ Daylight)
• Flash
• Kelvin temp (2500 – 9900K, 100K steps)
WB fine-tuningYes (magenta/green bias)
WB BracketingThree frames, H/L selectable
Color space• sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Image parameters• Standard
• Vivid
• Neutral
• Clear
• Deep
• Light
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Sunset
• Night Scene
• Autumn leaves
• Black & White
• Sepia (Contrast (-3 to +3 steps)
• Saturation (-3 to +3 steps)
• Sharpness (-3 to +3 steps)
Drive modes• Single
• Continuous Hi (8 fps)
• Continuous Lo (3 fps)
• ten fps via high-speed mode
Continuous buffer• 17 JPEG Fine images
• 18 JPEG Std images
• 13 RAW images
• 11 RAW+JPEG images
Self-timer• 2 sec
• 10 sec
Flash• Auto pop-up
• ADI flash / Pre-flash TTL / Manual flash
• Guide no. 12 (ISO 100)
• Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Rear sync., Slow Sync., Red-eye reduction (On/Off), Wireless
• Flash exposure compensation: Up to +/- 2EV in 1/3, 1/2EV steps
Flash X-sync speed1/160 sec
External flash• Hot shoe
Viewfinder• Eye-level fixed XGA OLED, 1.3 cm (0.5 type) electronic viewfinder
• 2,359,296 dots resolution
• Magnification approx.1.09x
• 100% frame coverage
Live View• Display Real-time image adjustment display (reflects exposure compensation, white balance, Creative Style )
• Focus Magnifier: 5.9x, 11.7x
DOF previewYes
Orientation sensorYes
LCD monitor• 3.0″ TFT tilt/swivel LCD monitor
• Xtra Fine LCD with TruBlack technology
• 921,600 dots
• Approx 100% frame coverage
• Auto / Manual (5 steps between -2 and +2) / Sunny Weather
Playback functions• Single (with or without shooting information)
• RGB histogram and highlight/shadow warning
• 4/9-frame index view
• Enlarged display mode (L: 13.6x, M: 9.9x, S: 6.8x)
• Auto Review (10/5/2 sec., Off)
• Image orientation (On/Off) Slideshow
• Panorama scrolling
• Folder selection (Still)
• Forward/Rewind (movie)
• Delete
• Protect
Connectivity• USB 2.0 (High Speed)
• HDMI type C
• external microphone
Print compliance• Exif Print
• Print Image Matching III
• DPOF setting
StorageSD/SDHC/SDXC/MemoryStick Pro Duo
Power• NP-FM500H Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (1650 mAh)
• Battery charger included
• Optional AC adapter
• Battery life Approx 510 shots with the viewfinder, 560 in Live View mode (CIPA standard)
Dimensions132 x 97 x 81 mm
Weight (camera body)Approx. 543g (1 lb 3 oz)
Weight (camera body, card, and battery)Approx. 622g (1 lb 6oz)

Sony a65 Final Verdict

The A65 may be purchased from the official Sony online store for either £789 (for just the body) or £869. (with 18-55mm lens). This positions the A65 in the same category as other mid-entry-level DSLRs, such as the Canon EOS 600D and the Nikon D5100, but at a higher price point justified by the plethora of high-end capabilities that it possesses.

In essence, the A65 garners roughly the same points of acclaim and criticism as the more costly A77 because it shares much of the same technology behind its unassuming plastic exterior shell. This is because the A65 and the A77 both use the same processor.

If you are not concerned about having a weather-sealed camera body, top LCD panel, marginally faster continuous burst mode, or more sophisticated autofocus system than the one that the A65 offers (which is still very good), then it makes perfect sense to save some cash and go with the A65. You won’t be missing out on that many features.

Sony a65 FAQs

When did the Sony a65 come out?

2011 noted the introduction of the Sony a65.

Is the Sony a65 a DSLR?

To answer your question, the Sony a65 is a DSLR camera.

Is the Sony a65 a mirrorless camera?

Incorrect; the Sony a65 is a single-lens reflex camera (DSLR), not a mirrorless camera.

What is the frame rate of the Sony a65?

The Sony a65 can shoot up to 10 frames per second when using the continuous recording setting.

Is Sony a65 suitable for professional photography?

Because of its age and lesser resolution, the Sony a65 may not be up to the standards for professional photography, even with thoriated features.

Is an a65 a good beginner camera?

Because it is simple to use and relatively inexpensive, the Sony a65 can be an excellent option for novice photographers.

Is Sony a65 Netflix approved?

It appears that Netflix does not recognize the Sony a65 as a good camera.

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