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Sony beefs up bottom-end Alpha DSLR

Alpha 200 created

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Sony has taken the wraps off the successor to its Alpha 100 (a100) digital SLR camera, predictably dubbed the Alpha 200 (a200).

Sony_Alpha_200_front

Sony's Alpha 200: an 18-70mm lens is included

At first sight, the a200 doesn’t represent a massive improvement over the a100, which launched back in 2006. The a200 has the same 10.2-megapixel sensor, BIONZ image processor to help reduce picture noise, and a battery that should last for about 750 shots, though that calculation doesn't take into account flash use.

However, the a200 ups the LCD display from 2.5in to 2.7in and adds in a feature called Camera Function Display. This, Sony claimed, removes the clutter of numerous icons from the display to give users faster access to the camera’s adjustments settings. Although this sounds remarkably similar to the Quick Navi interface found on the more expensive a700 model.

While the a100’s ISO sensitivity stopped at 1600, the a200 tops out at a slightly more acceptable ISO 3200. Sony is also throwing in an 18-70mm kit lens with the a200, but the camera’s 1/4000 shutter speed remains unchanged from the a100.

Blurred pictures shouldn’t be a problem though, because Sony’s increased the 2.0 to 3.5 step Super SteadyShot effectiveness found on the a100 to 2.5 to 3.5 steps for the a200.

Sony_Alpha_200_side

The new version has a bigger display

The a200 is suited to CompactFlash cards and has a USB 2.0 port built-in. But sadly it lacks the HDMI jack that now features on its 12.2-megapixel a700 cousin.

Sonys Alpha 200 digital SLR will be available next month for around $700 (£350/€420), including the lens. A UK specific price hasn’t been released yet.

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