Top critical review
14 people found this helpful
Excellent camera - disappointing kit lens
on 17 June 2012
I bought this camera at Christmas 2011 with the standard 18-55 kit lens SAL 1855. I have used Sony digital cameras since 2000 and have always been delighted with the quality of the camera, autmatic and manual functionalities and the pictures themselves. (I am certainly not a pro photographer but take alot of family, wildlife, vacation photos and would like to think there are a few great ones in there.). All the previous cameras were with zeiss lens, and the quality superb, within the specs of megapixels of the day. I bought the a65 as my first dslr to improve focus and response time and give me some flexibility with lenses, and importantly, more light (lower fstop).
The a65 has met all my expectations for functionality, with perhaps the exception of battery consumption. Is this due to the fact the viewfinder is electronic? Perhaps, as the specs do say the battery time is reduced with the viewfinder. I have also bought a memory card with integral wifi capability - and that certainly is power hungry, but not the cameras fault! I do highly recommend the wifi memory card as i can load the photos directly to my ipad almost in real time.
Enough background! The standard 18-55mm kit lens destroys all the good things about the camera. The autofocus is noisy, not all that accurate, ok on speed, but worst of all, is of very poor quality at low light levels. We noticed this at a wedding where friends were using a Nikon in exactly the same environment, and without exception, the photos were sharper. About the only good thing is its very lightweight - but i suppose that goes hand in hand with the image quality.
Before getting rid of the camera, I tried other, better lenses, and am now quite satisfied the issue is the kit lens, and NOT the camera.
My recommendation - great camera but don't buy the kit lens with it. You might save a few pennies, but at the end of the day, you waste the true value of the a65. Better buy a 'superzoom' which delivers better, as I know from previous purchases and will save you money.
I have since bought a Sigma 18-250 f3.5-6.3. Its heavier (alot), but its has superb stabilisation, is quiet, covers the range I had with 2 lenses (had also bought the Sony 70-300 which is a struggle as it means changing lenses frequently). Photos are sharp and because the stabilisation is so good, a lower shutter speed can be survived to compensate for the relatively small aperture. I tried a zeiss 18-50mm f2.8, which has unbelievable sharpness, but at almost 4 times the price, i really couldnt afford it......and it is huge and heavy.