Sony A37 vs Zeiss ZX1

Sony SLT-A37 front
Zeiss ZX1 front

Sony A37 vs Zeiss ZX1 Key Specs

Sony A37
(Full Review)
  • 16MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 2.6" Tilting Screen
  • ISO 100 - 25600
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Sony/Minolta Alpha Mount
  • 506g - 124 x 92 x 85mm
  • Introduced May 2012
  • Superseded the Sony A35
Zeiss ZX1
(Full Review)
  • 37MP - Full frame Sensor
  • 4.34" Fully Articulated Display
  • ISO 80 - 51200
  • 1/8000s Maximum Shutter
  • 3840 x 2160 video
  • 35mm (F2-22) lens
  • 800g - 142 x 93 x 46mm
  • Launched September 2018
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Sony A37 vs Zeiss ZX1 Overview

Its time to take a deeper look at the Sony A37 and Zeiss ZX1, former being a Entry-Level DSLR while the other is a Large Sensor Compact by brands Sony and Zeiss. There is a large difference between the sensor resolutions of the A37 (16MP) and ZX1 (37MP) and the A37 (APS-C) and ZX1 (Full frame) come with totally different sensor sizes.

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The A37 was manufactured 7 years prior to the ZX1 and that is quite a serious difference as far as tech is concerned. Each of the cameras offer different body type with the Sony A37 being a Compact SLR camera and the Zeiss ZX1 being a Large Sensor Compact camera.

Before getting in to a full comparison, below is a simple highlight of how the A37 grades vs the ZX1 in terms of portability, imaging, features and an overall grade.

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Reasons to pick Sony A37 over the Zeiss ZX1

 A37 ZX1 

Reasons to pick Zeiss ZX1 over the Sony A37

 ZX1 A37 
LaunchedSeptember 2018May 2012More recent by 77 months
Display typeFully ArticulatedTiltingFully Articulating display
Display sizing4.34"2.6"Larger display (+1.74")
Display resolution2765k230kSharper display (+2535k dot)
Touch friendly display Easily navigate

Common features in the Sony A37 and Zeiss ZX1

 A37 ZX1 
Manual focus Very exact focusing
Selfie screen Neither provides selfie screen

Sony A37 vs Zeiss ZX1 Physical Comparison

For anyone who is going to lug around your camera often, you should think about its weight and volume. The Sony A37 provides external dimensions of 124mm x 92mm x 85mm (4.9" x 3.6" x 3.3") with a weight of 506 grams (1.12 lbs) whilst the Zeiss ZX1 has sizing of 142mm x 93mm x 46mm (5.6" x 3.7" x 1.8") having a weight of 800 grams (1.76 lbs).

Contrast the Sony A37 and Zeiss ZX1 in our completely new Camera & Lens Size Comparison Tool. Camera Size Comparison with Lenses

Take into consideration, the weight of an ILC will differ dependant on the lens you have at that time. The following is the front view overall size comparison of the A37 against the ZX1.

Sony A37 vs Zeiss ZX1 size comparison

Factoring in size and weight, the portability score of the A37 and ZX1 is 67 and 67 respectively.

Sony A37 vs Zeiss ZX1 top view buttons comparison

Sony A37 vs Zeiss ZX1 Sensor Comparison

In many cases, it's tough to see the contrast between sensor measurements simply by reading through a spec sheet. The graphic below will give you a better sense of the sensor dimensions in the A37 and ZX1.

As you can see, both of these cameras offer different resolutions and different sensor measurements. The A37 featuring a tinier sensor will make achieving shallower DOF tougher and the Zeiss ZX1 will give greater detail due to its extra 21 Megapixels. Greater resolution will allow you to crop pics a little more aggressively. The older A37 is going to be disadvantaged in sensor technology.

Sony A37 vs Zeiss ZX1 sensor size comparison

Sony A37 vs Zeiss ZX1 Screen and ViewFinder

Sony A37 vs Zeiss ZX1 Screen and Viewfinder comparison
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Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Sony A37 Portrait photography information
Zeiss ZX1 Portrait photography information
manual focus
megapixel count good (16 megapixels)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
supports face detection focusing
delivers RAW files
focusing manually
sensor resolution is amazing (37MP)
sensor size is large (Full frame)
offers face detect focusing
exports RAW formats
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Street Comparison

Sony A37 as a Street photography camera
Zeiss ZX1 as a Street photography camera
screen tilts up and down
image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
delivers RAW files
above average high ISO (25,600)
screen articulates fully
sensor size is large (Full frame)
exports RAW formats
boasts focus by touch
good ISO range (51,200)
no image stabilization
heavier than competitors (800g)
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Sports Comparison

Sports photography with Sony A37
Sports photography with Zeiss ZX1
image stabilization (Sensor based)
megapixel count good (16 megapixels)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
comes with phase detect AF
slow continuous shooting (6.0 frames per second)
not so great battery life (500 shots)
maximum shutter speed is high (1/8,000 seconds)
sensor resolution is amazing (37MP)
sensor size is large (Full frame)
offers tracking focus
focal length is fixed (35mm)
very slow continuous shooting (3.0 fps)
no image stabilization
doesn't have phase detect AF
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Travel Comparison

Sony A37 Travel photography advice
Zeiss ZX1 Travel photography advice
megapixel count good (16MP)
built-in flash
doesn't have Timelapse mode
not so great battery life (500 shots)
does not posses selfie friendly display
connects via bluetooth
boasts focus by touch
sensor resolution is amazing (37 megapixels)
good max aperture (f2)
does not have Time Lapse function
heavier than competitors (800 grams)
doesn't contain selfie friendly screen
Photography Glossary

Landscape Comparison

Sony A37 Landscape photography highlights
Zeiss ZX1 Landscape photography highlights
manual focus
switch lenses (Sony/Minolta Alpha mount)
image stabilization (Sensor based)
megapixel count good (16 megapixels)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
above average high ISO (25,600)
delivers RAW files
small screen (2.6 inches)
not so great battery life (500 shots)
doesn't have Timelapse mode
focusing manually
good max aperture (f2)
lovely big screen (4.34 inch)
sensor resolution is amazing (37 megapixels)
sensor size is large (Full frame)
good ISO range (51,200)
exports RAW formats
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
focal length is fixed (35mm)
no image stabilization
does not have Time Lapse function
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Vlogging Comparison

Sony A37 Vlogging information
Zeiss ZX1 Vlogging information
image stabilization (Sensor based)
supports face detection focusing
high res video (1920 x 1080 resolution)
does have external microphone socket
does not posses selfie friendly display
good max aperture (f2)
offers face detect focusing
video resolution high (3840 x 2160 pixels)
doesn't contain selfie friendly screen
no image stabilization
does not have mic jack
heavier than competitors (800 grams)
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Sony A37 vs Zeiss ZX1 Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Sony A37 and Zeiss ZX1
 Sony SLT-A37Zeiss ZX1
General Information
Company Sony Zeiss
Model type Sony SLT-A37 Zeiss ZX1
Type Entry-Level DSLR Large Sensor Compact
Introduced 2012-05-16 2018-09-27
Body design Compact SLR Large Sensor Compact
Sensor Information
Sensor type CMOS CMOS
Sensor size APS-C Full frame
Sensor dimensions 23.5 x 15.6mm 36 x 24mm
Sensor area 366.6mm² 864.0mm²
Sensor resolution 16 megapixels 37 megapixels
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio 3:2 and 16:9 3:2
Full resolution 4912 x 3264 7488 x 4992
Max native ISO 25600 51200
Lowest native ISO 100 80
RAW images
Manual focusing
AF touch
AF continuous
Single AF
AF tracking
Selective AF
AF center weighted
Multi area AF
AF live view
Face detection focusing
Contract detection focusing
Phase detection focusing
Total focus points 15 255
Cross type focus points 3 -
Lens support Sony/Minolta Alpha fixed lens
Lens zoom range - 35mm (1x)
Highest aperture - f/2-22
Available lenses 143 -
Focal length multiplier 1.5 1
Range of screen Tilting Fully Articulated
Screen sizing 2.6 inches 4.34 inches
Resolution of screen 230 thousand dot 2,765 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch capability
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder Electronic Electronic
Viewfinder resolution 1,440 thousand dot 6,221 thousand dot
Viewfinder coverage 100% 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.73x -
Lowest shutter speed 30s 30s
Highest shutter speed 1/4000s 1/8000s
Continuous shooting speed 6.0 frames/s 3.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation Yes Yes
Change WB
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance 12.00 m no built-in flash
Flash options Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High Speed Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in, Wireless no built-in flash
External flash
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Highest flash sync 1/160s -
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Supported video resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60, 29.97 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30fps), 640 x 424 (29.97 fps) 3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
Max video resolution 1920x1080 3840x2160
Video data format MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264 MPEG-4, H.264
Mic input
Headphone input
Wireless Eye-Fi Connected Built-In
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
GPS None None
Environmental seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight 506 grams (1.12 lbs) 800 grams (1.76 lbs)
Dimensions 124 x 92 x 85mm (4.9" x 3.6" x 3.3") 142 x 93 x 46mm (5.6" x 3.7" x 1.8")
DXO scores
DXO All around rating 75 not tested
DXO Color Depth rating 23.3 not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating 12.9 not tested
DXO Low light rating 799 not tested
Battery life 500 photos -
Form of battery Battery Pack -
Battery ID NP-FW50 -
Self timer Yes (2 or 10 sec, 10 sec 3 or 5 images) Yes
Time lapse recording
Storage media SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo 512GB internal
Storage slots 1 1
Launch price $522 -