Review

Build Quality and Ergonomics:

Sony Alpha 35 - Left Side zoomed In

Sony Alpha 35 – Left Side zoomed In

The build quality of the Sony a35 is quite good in my opinion. It has really tight tolerances at all the seams and as far as I can tell would be able to take a little bit of mist and light drizzle worst case. I would not say weather proof though by any means. I can’t feel any flex  or play in the camera even with the lens beefy 16-80mm lens mounted to it. Sony really does do a great job in this department. As far as ruggedness goes, I would never recommend dropping a camera, but I think the a35 would take a light fall and survive assuming it didn’t land in a puddle 😉 The alpha 55 definitely was not as rugged feeling as the a35 in my opinion, so Sony is definitely listening to there customers! For comparison purposes I would say the Sony alpha 35 is just as rugged as the Canon T3i, which I could not say for the Alpha 55.

The camera overall is really light, but once I added the lens it has a nice balanced weight.  I’ll go into more detail about the Carl Zeiss 16-80mm lens in another review specifically for that 😉  When holding the camera normally with my right hand I can reach every button easily except the menu button which is on the left side.  I assume Sony put it over there so you don’t hit it accidentally.

Sony Alpha 35 - Battery annd Memory Card Compartment

Sony Alpha 35 – Battery annd Memory Card Compartment

Moving on to the battery compartment. The door is a little cheesy feeling, but most cameras are believe it or not. It works perfectly however, and the compartment accommodates both Memory Stick PRO Duo™/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™ and SD/SDHC/SDXC media cards. That is a great little talked about feature 😉

OLED

The OLED although not the greatest resolution like the new 2nd Gen version coming out in the A77,  works quite well on this camera and is certainly good enough to get the job done. There is a slight lag between what you see on the screen vs real life, but it’s not that noticeable in my opinion.  The dynamic range is also pretty poor on the oled, but again it’s certainly good enough to get the job done. I usually review the photo anyway on the better quality LCD screen after I take the shot, this way I can check out the histogram and focus closer etc…

sony Alpha 35 - OLED

sony Alpha 35 – OLED

One interesting thing about the OLED that I didn’t give enough credit to in my a55 review is the fact that it’s live with your current settings. So, you can actually see your white balance settings Live for example!! This is an awesome feature and I use it all the time now. You can simply look through the oled view finder and then hit the wb button. You will then see a little Warm/Cool temperature indicator pop up on your screen. At that point you can simple select left or right and adjust your white balance temperature live while comparing it to the actual scene.  This is a huge advantage over the standard SLR style camera system where your looking through the lens itself.

The a35 also shuts the LCD screen off when your face gets close automatically as it assumes your using the OLED. Another advantage of using the OLED over the LCD Screen is it will significantly save battery life for you.

The LCD screen looks great in good lighting, but pretty much sucks in the sun like every other lcd screen. I did use it often to review, but found myself hunched over trying to create some shade so I could see the screen.

Image Quality:

The Sony a35 comes with a 16.2 megapixel APS-C sensor size and Sony® Exmor™ APS HD CMOS technology. This backlite sensor technology makes the slt-a35 capable of high resolution with very little penalty in the low-light and noise department. I didn’t do any “Lab” style test shots with the a35 as dpreview I’m sure will have that covered 😉 I did however take over 1000 “Real World” shots with the alpha 35, and I can say with confidence that this camera is capable of taking  great pictures!

DXOMark Agrees:

DXOMark a35

DXOMark a35

The auto modes work very well for the most part and I have a ton of sample pics to show you! The Exif info is below the images, and don’t forget all these photos are available in Full Res over Here >>.

Be sure to Click the Photos for a nice large Gallery style view!

Sony Alpha 35 Sample Photos

Layla – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ F/8, 1/125sec, ISO 250, 18mm

Layla - Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/4.5, 1/250sec, ISO 400, 80mm

Layla – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/4.5, 1/250sec, ISO 400, 80mm

100% Crop of Layla - Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/4.5, 1/250sec, ISO 400, 80mm

100% Crop of Layla above – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/4.5, 1/250sec, ISO 400, 80mm

 

I drive past this cool spillway/ waterfall on the way to pick up Layla, and it was a great opportunity to check out the AutoHDR feature of the a35. It works incredible well; in my opinion being an avid HDR shooter. The dynamic range in the scene was huge and a single image produced a blow out sky, even with the dynamic range optimizer on auto.

Sony a35 Sample Photo

Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss @ f/16, 16mm, 1/50sec, AutoHDR, Handheld

Sony a35 Sample Photo

Michele and Layla – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/8, 70mm, 1/250sec ISO 100 – Custom Lightroom BW Preset

Sony a35 Sample Photo

Welcome – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/8, 80mm, 1/200sec, ISO 100

Sony a35 Sample Photo

Layla – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/8, 80mm, 1/500sec ISO 400

Sony a35 Sample Photo

A Lonely Shroom – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/4.5, 70mm, 1/4000sec ISO 400

Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @  F/4.5, 1/640sec, ISO 100, 80mm

Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ F/4.5, 1/640sec, ISO 100, 80mm

Sadie - Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @  f/4.5, 1/1250sec, ISO 100, 80mm

Sadie – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/4.5, 1/1250sec, ISO 100, 80mm

 

We had the opportunity to check out the local fair a few weeks ago and I took advantage of the A35’s Shutter Priority mode with these long exposure images. I also utilized my Manfrotto Tri-pod.

Sony a35 Sample Photo

Mini Ferris Wheel – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/20, 18mm, 1.2 seconds, ISO 100, Tri-pod

Sony a35 Sample Photo

The Roundup – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/18, 35mm, 4 seconds ISO 100, Tripod

Sony a35 Sample Photo

Trabant – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/14, 45mm, 4 seconds, ISO 100, Tripod

Sony a35 Sample Photo

The Roundup – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/18, 30mm, 10 seconds, ISO 100, Tripod

Sony a35 Sample Photo

Demon Loop by Night – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/16, 20mm, 20 seconds, ISO 100, Tripod

The weather was awesome the other day and these cool weeds made for a great Depth of Field demonstration.

Sadie - Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @  f/5.6, 1/1250sec, ISO 400, 75mm

Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/5.6, 1/1250sec, ISO 400, 75mm

Sadie - Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @  f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 400, 40mm

Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 400, 40mm

Sadie - Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @  f/8, 1/160sec, ISO 100, 70mm

The Green Bridge – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/8, 1/160sec, ISO 100, 70mm

SadieBelts - Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @  f/5.6, 1/125sec, ISO 1000, 80mm

Belts – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/5.6, 1/125sec, ISO 1000, 80mm

Spider - Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/5.6, 1/640sec, ISO 400,75mm

Spider – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/5.6, 1/640sec, ISO 400,75mm

100% Crop of Spider - Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/5.6, 1/640sec, ISO 400,75mm

100% Crop of Spider – Sony a35, Sony 16-80mm 3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens @ f/5.6, 1/640sec, ISO 400, 75mm

 
 


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Jay
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