Sony A33 Specs & Features

Size

It weighs roughly one pound and measures in at 4.87″ long, 3.62″ tall and 3.33″ wide. As a result, the grip is super small for those with large hands. However, the rubberized material on the grip wraps all the way around to the back of the camera which increases handling.

Image Stabilization

The A33 comes with a sensor shift image stabilization system. It reduces camera shake by shifting the sensor ever so slightly in many different directions to dampen your hand movements. Sensor shift systems are great because they turn your regular Sony A mount lenses into image stabilized lenses.

LCD Screen

The A33 comes with a wide-angle 3-inch high resolution LCD screen (921,600 dots). The screen itself can swing and tilt which makes it great for shooting low to the ground or above your head.

Viewfinder

The A33 comes equipped with a high resolution EVF (electronic viewfinder) with roughly 1.5 million dots, which is extremely sharp. While some people like the advanced nature of EVF’s, I prefer optical viewfinders for their clarity, brightness and battery efficiency. When using the EVF on the A33, you’ll actually use up more battery power versus using the LCD screen.

Built-in Flash

The built-in flash is slightly weaker than the average DSLR. It’s best used as fill light for outdoor portraits and illumination for close subjects under low light.

Image Sensor

The Sony A33 comes equipped with the same 14 megapixel image sensor found in the NEX-3 and NEX-5. As an added benefit, the sensor has a self-cleaning feature that uses small vibrations to dislodge dust.

Processor

The A33 is powered by the Bionz image processor, also found in the NEX-3 and NEX-5.

ISO (Digital Film Speed)

The A33 has an ISO range of 100 – 12800, with expansion up to 25600 (identical to the Sony A55). It also comes with a noise reduction feature which captures six images in a split second and combines them to give you cleaner looking low light images.

Shutter Speed Range

The A33 has a shutter speed range of 30 seconds to 1/4000 of a second. The fastest shutter speed available when using flash is 1/160 of a second.

Auto-Focus System

Thanks to a translucent mirror design, the A33 uses a 15 point phase detection auto-focus system which is much faster than the contrast detection system included with ‘live view’ enabled DSLR’s, like the Canon T2i and Nikon D3100. The A33 also comes with a dedicated auto-focus assist lamp to help improve low light focusing.

Metering

The A33 comes with a 1200 zone metering system, which judges exposure directly from the image sensor. You can enable multi, center weighted or spot metering depending on your subject.

Burst Mode

Thanks to the Bionz image processor, the A33 is capable of shooting 7 frames per second when in Continuous Advance Priority mode. In this mode the camera will adjust focus and exposure between each shot. You can take up to 16 images or 7 RAW images in each burst.

White Balance

You’ll find seven preset white balance settings to help you get accurate color in many different shooting situations (Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash). This is especially helpful when trying to get natural looking tones and hues under artificial light.

Picture Styles

The A33 comes with six preset picture styles (standard, vivid, portrait, landscape, sunset, black & white) that allow you to customize the saturation, contrast, sharpness, etc… based on your preferences.

Scene Modes

The A33 has eight preset scene modes (portrait, sports, macro, landscape, sunset, night view, hand held twilight, night portrait) that make it easy to adjust in-camera settings. Say you see a vibrant sunset in your backyard. Instead of trying to decide which shutter speed and aperture to use, just enable the Sunset scene mode and the A33 will automatically adjust the settings for you.

Panorama

The A33 comes with a very cool panoramic mode that can capture wide vistas with a simple sweep of the camera (horizontally or vertically). There’s also a 3D panoramic feature which combines three panoramic images automatically into one 3D image (you’ll need a 3D TV to view the images).

HDR

If you’re not sure what HDR is, go to Google images or Flickr and type it in. HDR images capture a wide range of light, also referred to as a dynamic range. The A33 comes with an automatic HDR mode which merges three images automatically to capture more dynamic range. This is extremely helpful when shooting a scene with lots of contrast…like a landscape on a very bright day where the sky is usually washed out.

Face Detection

The A33 comes equipped with face detection and smile shutter technology. Face detection can help you achieve proper focus and capture accurate exposures when shooting portraits or group shots. Smile shutter technology basically reads the scene and fires off a shot the moment it detects a smile.

Video Recording

The A33 is capable of recording 1080/60i HD video in AVCHD format with stereo sound. This is about as good as it gets when it comes to HD video resolution. Those of you who are familiar with MP4 format, can record in 1080/30p. With SteadyShot (image stabilization) disabled you can take up to 29 minutes worth of video per segment, otherwise you’ll be limited to 9 minute clips. For increased audio quality, you can attach the optional ECM-ALST1 microphone which mounts to the hot shoe. An HDMI port is included with the A33, which allows for crystal clear viewing on an HDTV. Auto-focus speed is super fast thanks to the translucent mirror design, however, it performs best with motionless and slow moving subjects.

Crop Factor

Due to the image sensor size, the A33 comes with a 1.5x crop factor. This means that an 18-55mm lens is effectively a 28-82mm lens. Be mindful of this when selecting lenses.