Sony Alpha A35 digital SLR camera
A good-but-not-great compact digital SLR camera
- Excellent live view
- Built-in IS
- Poor button ergonomics, no flip-out LCD
- Kit lens feels plasticky and cheap
The Sony Alpha A35 is a viable alternative for its entry-level Canon EOS 600D and Nikon D3100 competitors. It doesn’t have any special surprises in picture quality or usability, although we think the build quality of the bundled lens isn’t great and the buttons could be easier to press. The A35 is very compact and has effective built-in image stabilisation and excellent Live View.
Price$ 949.00 (AUD)
The Sony Alpha SLT-A35 is an entry-level digital camera. It’s half-way between a digital SLR camera like the Canon EOS 600D and a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera like the Olympus E-P3, because it has a ‘pellicle’ mirror — it can focus as fast as a digital SLR while showing a live view image on the rear LCD screen like a mirrorless camera. In theory it’s a good compromise between convenience and image quality but for all intents and purposes the Sony Alpha A35 is another good-but-not-great camera in an already-crowded market.
Read our selection of the top digital SLRs for August 2011.
Sony Alpha SLT-A35: Design and layout
The Sony Alpha SLT-A35 is laid out like a traditional digital SLR camera, with an electronic viewfinder above a 3in rear LCD screen and a large finger-grip on the camera’s right-hand side. This layout isn’t anything special, but what caught our attention was how about half the buttons are slightly recessed into the camera’s body. Another puzzling feature is the lack of articulating LCD screen that the earlier Alpha A33 had (which also appears on the competing Canon EOS 600D and Nikon’s step-up D5100). The body of the Sony Alpha A35 is compact for a digital SLR, but its ergonomics aren’t seriously compromised by the smaller size.
The Sony A35 accepts Sony A-mount lenses, with the camera available in single- and twin-lens kits. We tested the A35 with the kit 18-55mm lens, which is a general-purpose wide-angle zoom. Disappointingly, it’s cheaply built with scratchy plastics, and doesn’t zoom smoothly across the entire range. It’s also quite loud when focusing (which it does admittedly do reasonably quickly) — we’d opt for a different lens if possible.
The live view on the Sony Alpha SLT-A35 — the live video feed on the rear LCD and through the electronic viewfinder, in lieu of a through-the-lens view like on a regular SLR camera — is excellent.
Sony Alpha A35: Image quality, video and performance
The Sony Alpha SLT-A35 has image quality that’s comparable to other entry-level and mid-range consumer digital SLR cameras — it’s in the league of the Olympus E-P3, Samsung NX11, Canon EOS 600D, Olympus E-5, Nikon D3100, [artnid:376753|Panasonic LUMIX GH2]] and LUMIX GF2 and so on. We thought its JPEG images suffered from a little too much noise reduction, robbing sharpness and making captured photos a little smudged when viewed at full size on a computer monitor.
The Alpha A35 has an ISO range of 100 to 12800, so it’s versatile enough to use in low light situations (although we’d match it up with a lens better than the kit 18-55). We’d shoot the Alpha A35 in RAW mode if possible and process the images ourselves, but at the time of writing only Sony’s proprietary software supports the Alpha A35’s RAW files — we expect this will change within the month. The built-in image stabilisation, which floats the camera’s sensor to eliminate any hand shake or vibration from pressing the shutter button, works effectively.
The Sony Alpha SLT-A35 is able to record video at the full 1080p 25fps rate. It takes up a fair amount of space, so you’ll need to buy a large SD card if you’re going to be recording for more than a few minutes, but the video quality is generally good with clean and clear frames and reasonably good low-light performance. The in-built image stabilisation also means video is generally shake-free.
The Alpha A35 is reasonably quick to start as cameras in general go (it’s much quicker to start and use than a compact camera, for example), but it lags slightly behind its peers on start-up speed. It takes 0.9 seconds from flicking the switch before the camera is ready to take a photo, which is around twice the time of the Canon EOS 600D. There is neglible shutter lag though, and the A35 is able to capture 5.5 frames per second in continuous shooting mode — around as fast as the semi-pro Nikon D7000.
Sony Alpha SLT-A35: Conclusion
The Sony Alpha SLT-A35 is a small and feature-packed camera. We wish the kit lens was better built and the buttons were more finger-friendly, because those differences would have made the Sony Alpha A35 superior to its competitors. As it stands, it’s merely on par.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 2 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
- 3 Huawei GR5 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 5 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Sony’s New RX10 IV combines Fast AF and 24 FPS continuous shooting with 24-600mm F2.4-F4 Zoom Lens
- Sony announces Australian availability for new waterproof RX0 action-camera
- Panasonic Announces LUMIX DC-GH5 Firmware Update Service
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
PCW Evaluation Team
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
- LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- First Look: The Evil Within 2
- Huawei Y5 (2017)
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - Online PokerNSW
- FTInternal Communications ManagerOther
- CCSenior Marketing SpecialistVIC
- CCOrganisational Change ManagerNSW
- TPPHP DeveloperWA
- CCNetwork Planner - TelcoVIC
- TPSenior Project ManagerQLD
- CCProgram / Project AnalystVIC
- CCThe job "Automation Test Analyst Guidewire " is now ExpiredQLD
- FTWindows Rollout / Desktop Support AnalystOther
- FTApplication/Maintenance DeveloperOther
- CCPSRM Java DeveloperNSW
- FTHogan Technical ConsultantOther
- CCTRIM Support OfficerACT
- CCSenior Infrastructure EngineerNSW
- FTFront End Developer - Ractive.JS (Urgent)Other
- CC.NET DeveloperNSW
- FTMEAN Stack DeveloperACT
- FTINCIDENT MANAGEROther
- TPBusiness AnalystVIC
- FTLead Business Analyst - Logistics and Supply ChainOther
- CCXamarin Mobile Developer - East MelbourneNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - Accounting / Financial DataOther
- FTSenior BA Wealth ADVICEOther
- TPPrincipal Business AnalystQLD