With the Alpha a37, Sony has developed another interesting and very usable camera to sit in its lineup.

Image quality - arguably the most important factor - is great, with excellent colour, details and dynamic range.

However, the handling could be improved, and there are a fair few disappointments when it comes to what can be shot in raw format, and what can't.

We liked

Image quality is fantastic, and the kit lens does a great job too. The high quality digital zoom function is also a great bonus.

We disliked

Several elements of the handling left us frustrated, as did the amount of functions that can't be used when shooting raw format.

Final verdict

Sony's offerings in the entry-level arena are perhaps more interesting than its Canon and Nikon counterparts, with the translucent mirror technology, Clear Zoom and Auto Portrait Framing giving the beginner photographer a lot of bang for their buck.

Beginners need to be aware, however, that there are downsides to using a translucent mirror technology. Firstly, the amount of light reaching the sensor is reduced, so focusing in lower light conditions can be a little tricky, and secondly it's fair to say that although good, an EVF won't be to everyone's tastes.

It's not quite as novice-friendly as the Nikon D3200 either, which includes on-screen guides to photography, along with a greater level of in-camera editing, not to mention a higher resolution sensor.

The Sony Alpha a37 is an interesting proposition that delivers great image quality in a neat little package. We can see Sony's share of the market increasing as it manages to cram more and more exciting technology into this area of the market - something that Canon and Nikon must keenly be aware of at the moment.