Sony a (Alpha) DSLR-A200K

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Sony a (Alpha) DSLR-A200K

The Sony a (alpha) DSLR-A200 camera is perfectly positioned to carry a new generation of photographers into the creative world of DSLR performance. A ...

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Review of "Sony a (Alpha) DSLR-A200K"

published 10/05/2009 | joeyjojoe1971
Member since : 23/10/2007
Reviews : 8
Members who trust : 1
About me :
Super
Pro Great pictures, great price with lots of old quality kit to be had for it a not a lot of money
Cons Not the build quality I was expecting and a few setting need tweaking.
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Picture Quality
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"A Very Good Choice DSLR And For The Price Cannot Be Bettered"

There are a few reasons you may be considering buying this camera. Either you are upgrading from an older Minolta camera and want something that will be compatible with your existing equipment or you are new to DSLRs and you are tempted by the brand at this price (£259 if you shop around at the time of writing).

I came to this after owning a few Minolta cameras in film and digital flavours and I chose the Sony as it meant all of my kit fits. My previous camera was an aging Konica Minolta D5 and I decided on the upgrade due to a few hot pixels and the higher spec of the new Sony. A WORD OF WARNING here... The build quality of the Sony came as a bit of a letdown when compared to the older camera. The D5 had a nice solid feeling rubberized body but the Sony feels more plasticy and light weight. They have also made the body smaller but not by any amount that makes it easier to lug about but just smaller enough to make it a little bit awkward to hold comfortably. You do get used to it but at first it is a squeeze.

It may sound like I am moaning about this camera but these things are just the small little niggles I want to get out of the way first.

It focuses whenever you put your eye to the viewfinder which might be a good feature, speeding up you taking your shot but anything near the viewfinder sets this off making carrying the camera when switched on noisy and battery draining. You can switch this off so it is not a big niggle.

It has a built in flash that if set on Auto will pop up whenever it feels it must. This also can be switched off.

So, that's it for my list of bad points about this camera. Aside from the above very minor moans it is a very, very good camera. The results from it are amazing. If this is a first step into owning a DSLR then you really will not be disappointed. Many will moan that the lense that comes with the camera isn't great but it will do and besides, that is what ebay is for. There is a world of great quality used Minolta lenses out there for not a lot of money that will really make this camera shine.

One thing worth mentioning is that thanks to improved image processing, my 4 gig CF card will hold nearly 1000 10.2 MP images on it but only 650 lower resolution pictures on my older Minolta camera.

The screen is a great size displaying sharp, clear previews. No live view but this isn't something I will miss just yet. If you feel that you cannot live without it though, the Alpha 300 isn't a great deal more expensive and is basically the same camera. I just didn't feel it was worth paying the extra for.

The camera has image stabilizing built into the body of the camera and not the lenses like some other cameras making lenses for it cheaper (but remember what I said about ebay). It also utilizes this technology to shake the sensor whenever the camera is turned off to eliminate the dreaded dust blobs on pictures. It might better than nothing but do get yourself a blower (not canned air) for the more stubborn particles.

I would have given this camera 5 stars as its pictures really do deserve it but as it has a few minor (but easily overcome) niggles and it just isn't up to the build quality of the older Minolta cameras I have to give is 4. On the whole though it is a great camera.

Thank you for reading my review.

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Comments on this review

  • morticiaaddams published 10/05/2009
    Nice review, interesting without tons of technical data. Well done!! :)
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Product Information : Sony a (Alpha) DSLR-A200K

Manufacturer's product description

The Sony a (alpha) DSLR-A200 camera is perfectly positioned to carry a new generation of photographers into the creative world of DSLR performance. A DT 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens is included here, as well as superb 10.2-megapixel imaging, high-sensitivity shooting, and Super SteadyShot in-camera image stabilization that reduces blur with a brilliant array of Sony, Carl Zeiss and Minolta a-mount lenses. It's also fast, lightweight and incredibly easy to operate, with a large 2.7" LCD screen, simple Function Guide menu display and Creative Style settings to fine-tune camera performance. The powerful Bionz processing engine is also included to increase response time. Superb image quality gives you great DSLR shots right from the start, with a large APS-size CCD imager developed by Sony to expand dynamic range, minimize noise more effectively and provide greater detail for making big prints or cropping in tight on your subject. Broad sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200 enables the a (alpha) DSLR-A200 to capture beautiful color images even in very dim light - with High ISO Noise Reduction technology that reduces picture noise artifacts at high-sensitivity ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 settings by eliminating noise from RAW data after analog-to-digital conversion. A high-performance sensor detects vibrations and the image stabilization system automatically compensates. Because image stabilization is built into the a (alpha) DSLR-A200, every lens benefits - and with an advantage of from 2.5 to 3.5 stops, you can shoot effectively at higher shutter speeds even in very low light with minimum blur from shaky hands or fast-moving subjects. The "brain" of the a (Alpha) DSLR-A200 is the advanced Sony Bionz Image Processor, using hardware-based Large Scale Integrated (LSI) circuitry to enhance images with rich tonal reproduction, improved white balance and exposure control, and expanded D-Range Optimizer capabilities. With 2-channel data transfer from CCD to processor, your camera can also respond faster. To improve results with backlit subjects and recover details hidden in shadows or lost in glare, the a (alpha) DSLR-A200 provides Dynamic Range Optimizer at two levels: Normal DRO, to improve detail using standard gamma curves for fast shot-to-shot response time, or Advanced DRO, to adjust dynamic range area-by-area for the greatest precision. Changing lenses in a DSLR can allow dust to enter the camera - so to keep the CCD imager cleaner for better pictures, the a (alpha) DSLR-A200 utilizes both static-free anti-dust coating on the CCD filter and anti-dust vibration that automatically shakes the CCD to dislodge dust each time the camera is shut off. In Auto or some scene selection modes, the camera flash automatically pops up and fires when needed to help you shoot more effectively. Flash is cancelled in Landscape, Sport or Sunset modes and in "Flash Off" position on the Exposure Mode dial. Eye-Start Autofocus System begins precision autofocus adjustments the moment you raise the camera to your eye - so unlike some DSLR cameras that don't start focusing until the shutter button is half-pressed, the Sony a (alpha) DSLR-A200 never slows down your ability to catch fast action. A fast focus motor and improved focus control help bring images into sharp definition more quickly, with predictive focus control that automatically calculates the position of a fast-moving subject. A 40-segment honeycomb sensing system provides multi-pattern measuring for superior exposure control accuracy - and you can also select center-weighted or spot metering modes. You'll also have 6 preset White Balance control settings and RGB Histogram display to check color balance. Along with auto exposure, the a (alpha) DSLR-A200 gives you scene selection modes to optimize camera performance for Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports, Sunset and Night Portrait/Night View situations. To express your creativity and personal taste, you can adjust contrast, saturation and sharpness settings for any of 8 finishing styles - including Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Night View, Sunset, B & W and Adobe RGB modes. A large built-in screen with anti-reflective coating makes it easy to read camera setup menus even in bright sunlight and improves image quality when you check your shots. To quickly review your photos, the a (alpha) DSLR-A200 can display 4, 9 or 25-frame index views - or present automatic slide shows with fade-in/fade-out effect. The a (alpha) DSLR-A200 can also create high-resolution thumbnail images for viewing on a Sony BRAVIA HDTV in optimized PhotoTV HD mode, with image format adjustable for standard 3:2 or widescreen 16:9 display. On-screen menus are intuitive and easy to use - and a simple Camera Function Display can be activated and operated with one hand using the Fn (Function) button and controller button to adjust Flash mode, Autofocus mode, White Balance, Metering mode, AF area and D-Range Optimizer. To capture action more effectively, the a (alpha) DSLR-A200 offers continuous JPEG shooting up to the limit of your flash memory card - plus RAW Burst Mode (up to 6 shots) with intelligent buffer management to allow more shots to be captured without waiting for the buffer to clear. You can take up to 750 shots on a fully charged NP-FM500H InfoLITHIUM battery - and you'll be able to see about how much power remains in percentage increments, so you can keep shooting in confidence. For conveniently storing and sharing your images, the ± (alpha) DSLR-A200 accepts CompactFlash Type I/II media and Memory Stick PRO Duo media via an optional adaptor. The Sony a (alpha) system gives you everything you need to expand your creativity in DSLR photography: precision Sony DT zoom lenses and specialty lenses, Sony "G" Series lenses with advanced motorized autofocusing, amazingly bright Carl Zeiss T coated lenses, professional-quality flash units, and over 16 million Minolta a-mount lenses sold worldwide.

Product Details

Product Description: Sony a (Alpha) DSLR-A200K - digital camera DT 18-70mm lens

Product Type: Digital SLR Camera

Lens Included: DT 18-70mm lens

Memory Card Slot: CompactFlash Card

Image Processor: BIONZ

Sensor Resolution: 10.2 Megapixel

Lens System: 3.9 x zoom lens - 18 - 70 mm - f/3.5-5.6 DT

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 38 cm

Image Stabiliser: Optical (Super Steady Shot, CCD-shift mechanism)

Camera Flash: Pop-up flash

Viewfinder: Optical - eye-level penta-dach mirror

Display: LCD display - 2.7"

Supported Battery: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 1600 mAh ( included )

AV Interfaces: Composite video/audio

Dimensions (WxDxH): 13.3 cm x 7.1 cm x 9.5 cm

Weight: 545 g

Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year warranty

General

MPN: DSLRA200K.CEE5, DSLRA200K.CEH

Product Type: Digital camera - SLR

Lens Included: DT 18-70mm lens

Sensor Resolution: 10.2 Megapixel

Optical Sensor Type: Super HAD CCD

Total Pixels: 10,800,000 pixels

Effective Sensor Resolution: 10,200,000 pixels

Optical Sensor Size: 15.8 x 23.6mm

Field of View Crop Factor: 1.5

Sensor Dust Reduction: Yes

Sensor Features: Dust Reduction (image sensor vibration)

Optical Zoom: 3.9 x

Image Processor: BIONZ

Image Stabiliser: Optical (Super Steady Shot, CCD-shift mechanism)

Auto Focus: TTL phase detection

Auto Focus Points (Zones) Qty: 9

Image Recording Format: JPEG, RAW, RAW + JPEG

AV Interfaces: Composite video/audio

Exposure & White Balance

Light Sensitivity: ISO 100, ISO 800, ISO 400, ISO 200, ISO 1600, ISO 3200, ISO auto

Exposure Metering: Multi-segment, centre-weighted, spot

Exposure Metering Zones: 40

Exposure Modes: Programme, bulb, automatic, manual, aperture-priority, shutter-priority

Shooting Programs: Landscape, portrait mode, macro, night portrait, sports mode, sunset

Special Effects: Black & White, Neutral, Vivid, sunset, landscape, portrait, Night View

White Balance: Custom, automatic, presets

White Balance Presets: Fluorescent, cloudy, tungsten light, Flash, daylight, shade

Max Shutter Speed: 1/4000 sec

Min Shutter Speed: 30 sec

Exposure Compensation: ±2 EV range, in 1/3 EV steps

Auto Exposure Bracketing: 3 steps

X-sync Speed: 1/160 sec

Exposure Range: EV 1-20 ( ISO 100 )

Lens System

Type: 3.9 x zoom lens - 18 - 70 mm - f/3.5-5.6 DT

Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera: 27 - 105mm

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 38 cm

Max View Angle: 76 degree(s)

Zoom Adjustment: Manual

Lens Construction: 9 groups / 11 elements

Filter Size: 55 mm

Lens System Mounting: Minolta A-type

Features: ED glass, aspherical lens

Camera Flash

Camera Flash: Pop-up flash

Guide Number (m / ISO 100): 12

Flash Modes: Fill-in mode, rear curtain sync, slow synchro, auto mode, flash OFF mode, red-eye reduction

Features: AF illuminator, flash +/- compensation, wireless off-camera control

Additional Features

Continuous Shooting Speed: 3 frames per second

Self Timer Delay: 10 sec, 2sec

Flash Terminal: Hot shoe

Additional Features: Direct print, USB 2.0 compatibility, RGB primary colour filter, digital noise reduction, DPOF support, depth-of-field preview button, sharpness control, PRINT Image Matching, PictBridge support, histogram display, AE lock, AF lock, contrast control, Dynamic Range Optimizer, Eye-Start AF system

Viewfinder

Viewfinder Type: Optical - eye-level penta-dach mirror

Field Coverage: 95%

Magnification: 0.83x

Dioptric Correction Range: -2.5 to +1

Viewfinder Frames: Autofocus frame

Viewfinder Information: Shutter speed, exposure compensation, AE lock, AF-in-focus, flash charge completion, aperture, anti-shake scale, wireless/remote flash, shake warning, manual focus, high-speed sync indicator, frames-remaining counter, flash compensation on/off

Display

Type: 2.7" LCD display

Resolution: 230,400 pixels

Display Features: Built-in

Connections

Connector Type: 1 x USB ¦ 1 x composite video output ¦ 1 x DC power input ¦ 1 x remote control

Memory Card Slot: CompactFlash Card

Software

Software: Drivers & Utilities, Sony Picture Motion Browser, Sony Image Data Converter SR, Sony Image Data Lightbox SR

System Requirements for PC Connection

Operating System Support: MS Windows 2000 SP4 or later, Apple MacOS X 10.4 or later, MS Windows Vista, MS Windows XP SP2

Peripheral Devices: USB port, CD-ROM Drive

Miscellaneous

Included Accessories: Eyepiece cover, lens hood, battery charger, dust cap, body cap, lens cap, shoulder strap, USB cable, shoe cap, video cable

Battery

Battery Type: Sony NP-FM500H

Details: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 1600 mAh ( included )

Memory / Storage

Memory Card Slot: CompactFlash Card

Supported Memory Cards: CompactFlash, Microdrive

Image Storage: 3872 x 2592 ¦ 2896 x 1936 ¦ 1920 x 1280

Manufacturer Warranty

Service & Support: 1 year warranty

Service & Support Details: Limited warranty - parts and labour - 1 year, Limited warranty - 1 year

Dimensions & Weight

Width: 13.3 cm

Depth: 7.1 cm

Height: 9.5 cm

Weight: 545 g

Environmental Parameters

Min Operating Temperature: 0 °C

Max Operating Temperature: 40 °C

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