Sony Alpha SLT-A33 Review / Test Report
DSLR Reviews - DSLRs

by Sebastian Milczanowski


The Sony SLT-A33 is one of two new cameras with Sony’s translucent mirror technology. SLT stands for "single-lens translucent" which - unlike conventional SLR cameras - uses a fixed, semi-transparent mirror.

This seemingly unspectacular approach combines the advantages of EVIL cameras with the precise phase detection autofocus of SLR cameras. The result is a compact, lightweight and handy camera with the speed of a high end DSLR. Well, that's at least the theory and marketing so far! We've taken the time to test the SLT-A33 in difficult conditions 200km north of the Arctic Circle at temperatures down to -30 degrees to see how the compact camera performs. The next pages will give you an idea of its skills.

Before we getting started let's have a closer look to some key features of the Sony compared to two other cameras. On the one hand, the D3100 from Nikon and on the other hand the EOS 550D from Canon.

Sony SLT-A33 Nikon D3100 Canon EOS 550D
Image Sensor 23.4 x 15.6 mm CMOS 23.1 x 15.4 mm Live MOS 22.3 x 14.9 mm CMOS
Effective pixels 14.2 MP (4592 x 3056) 14.2 MP (4608 x 3072) 17.9 MP (5184 x 3456)
Pixel pitch 5.1 µm 5.0 µm 4.3 µm
ISO latitude 100-12800 100-12800 100-12800
Focal length multiplier 1,5 1,5 1,6
Dust-reduction system Electromagnetic vibration Ultrasonic Ultrasonic
Frame rate 7 fps 3 fps 3.7 fps
HD video 1080i, AVCHD/H.264 1080i, H.264 1080i, H.264
Dimensions (W x H x D mm) 124.4 x 92 x 84.7 124 x 96 x 74.5 128.8 x 97.3 x 62
Weight (g) 433 505 530
Street Price (Feb 2011) 600,00 € 500,00 € 650,00 €

You may spot some of the advantages of the translucent mirror technology over the conventional SLR cameras at first glance. A compact light weight body combined with incredible 7 frames per second, which will be even surpassed by its bigger brother - the Sony SLT-A55 - with yet another 3 frames but these are only specs, of course.

But before you switch to the next page have a closer look to the 360 degrees of the Sony SLT-A33.

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