Sony Alpha SLT-A35 digital SLR camera
A compact, simple entry-level digital SLR that's OK but not great
- 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)
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). ISO 100 is as clean as you’d expect, and ISO 200-400 is similarly well handled. Heavy-handed noise reduction starts to rob detail at ISO 1600 and things get progressively worse towards the only-useful-for-photographing-Bigfoot ISO 12800. The A35’s high-ISO images are still usable enough if you’re just going to be putting them on Facebook or Twitter or viewing them on your mobile phone screen, but full size viewing on a computer monitor shows a heady combination of graininess, colour noise, noise reduction and JPEG compression. 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. We were consistently capturing clean images at the 55mm focal length at 1/8 seconds, and 1/4 was usable around 30 per cent of the time. This is a very good result. We think the inbuilt image stabilisation is a good selling point for the Alpha A35, as it means any lens you use is stabilised.
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 PC World newsletter!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Samsung's UHD Monitor covers 99.5 per cent of Adobe colour spectrum
- HP settles cases with inkjet cartridge vendors
- Study predicts PS3 will win the console war
- Samsung wave makes a splash at Mobile World Congress
- Sony returns to profit, cuts full-year loss forecast
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)Other
- FTProject / Implementation Coordinator (Junior-Mid Level) Sunshine Coast LocationQLD
- CCWPF .NET EngineerNSW
- FTApplications DeveloperACT
- FTSenior Software EngineerVIC
- FTFront-End DevOps Developer/Consultant - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- CCCommercial Contract AdministratorNSW
- FTConsultant Business AnalystQLD
- TPLinux Desktop Support SpecialistWA
- TPSenior Business Project ManagerNSW
- CCCrystal Reports DeveloperSA
- CCNetwork Engineer (cisco)NSW
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperNSW
- FTFront End DeveloperQLD
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- TPFull Stack .NET DeveloperWA
- CCADABAS Natural DeveloperNSW
- TPInformation Security OfficerACT
- TPSenior Analyst Programmer - ContractQLD
- TPPerformance Test Analyst - Perth BasedQLD
- CCTest ManagerWA
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperVIC
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- CCNetwork ArchitectWA
- CCSenior Systems EngineerNSW