Sony Alpha 200 digital SLR
Surprise super snapper from Sony
Review Sony came to the digital SLR party late, with its first model, the Alpha 100 - launched in 2006. Its successor, the Alpha 200 (A200), is also aimed at the entry-level market. First announced in January, Sony recently sent one over for a more in-depth look.
That isn’t to say that the A200 is a basic camera – no sireee – but it has enough automatic and semi-automatic features to satisfy anyone new to digital SLR photography.
Sony's Alpha 200: an 18-70mm lens is included
Take the A200 out its box, attach the supplied 18-70mm F3.5-5.6 lens and you’re presented with a very handsome camera. Measuring 130.8 x 98.5 x 71.3mm and weighing 532g and you also have a fairly compact machine too.
At the top is a large mode dial, a pop-up flash, a small drive mode/self timer button, ISO button, shutter button and small dial for adjusting parameters such as shutter speed and aperture setting. On the back is a power on/off slider and two small buttons for adjusting, respectively, the exposure compensation and the AE Lock.
The Alpha 200 has a bigger display than its predecessor
Below these are a large, 2.7in LCD screen; rocker selection switch; and Super Steady Shot on/off slider. There’s also a handy function button that makes it dead easy to adjust a range of settings including flash mode, autofocus mode, metering mode and white balance. On the left hand is a vertical row of four small buttons for the menu, display mode, deleting pics and playback.
You never mentioned whether this was a full frame or cropped sensor SLR (One would assume cropped), or whether the lens mount is compatible with existing Minolta or Sony lenses, the quality of the supplied lens the general availability of other lenses etc etc. Your battery test was hardly comprehensive either.
I think the register might need to brush up on the quality of it's SLR reviews. This is almost as bad as that Canon 400D review the other day. You can't review SLRs like they're mobile phone cameras or digital snappers.
This is rather disappointing from the register as your other reviews are generally very good and I've used them before to guide my purchase.
"The macro mode wasn’t bad, but the A200 struggled at times with close-up shooting and we often had to move a fair bit back from the subject to get a sharp image"
Perhaps try using a macro lens or extension tubes then. You can't expect the cheapo kit lens to do everything.
>You’re presented with a very handsome camera.
Are you a Pug owner as well ? In the eye of the beholder etc.
Had to be asked, sorry :)
Glass for class
Well and something other than completly fugly light would help too. Seriously...
Btw, the D range optimisation will bring out detail in shadows - think shooting through trees into the sun, more things in shadow will bring on the jiggery pokery :) As an A100 owner I dont use it often but it works - an in camera HDR trick sort of.
Its well known that kit len's are far from optimal when it comes to sharpness & clarity, go the whole hog & and pay Sigma a visit once you get used the the settings on the camera, you wont go far wrong with one of these for a start :)
And for half decent flicks from the Alpha range & probably the odd kitten, look here...
Mine is the one with embroidered Sony logo and the built in card reader.
The Sony camera will support all the old Minolta AF lenses, going back something like 15-20 years. Indeed I recently tired the original 50mm standard on my last generation Minolta and was quite happy.
The advanage over Nikon and Cannon is that the image stabilizer is in the camera so lense can be much cheaper and still be image stabalized.
Also it has my favour lense which is a 500mm AF Mirror lense. Not you can't control the aperture; but by god do you get a lot of zoom for the weight. No-one else sell an AF Mirror lense that I know of. :-)