The A200's menu screen is clear, bright and very informative, providing a wealth of useful information including flash mode, exposure compensation setting, ISO, white balance and the number of shots available. If that’s too much information for you, press the display button and you can either reduce it or switch it off completely. The function button even lets you adjust the colour temperature on the white balance control.
Sony's Image Data Converter SR software lets you make adjustments to RAW images and then save them in various file formats
Naturally, there are plenty of camera modes, including auto, program auto, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual and pre-sets for sport, landscape, macro, portrait, sunset and night view. Sadly, only icons are provided for these modes - on the mode dial and screen display. We think it would be helpful if there was just a short text description too as some of the icons are rather vague when it comes to indicating what a particular mode is.
But this is just nit-picking, because the A200 was a delight to use. We especially liked the playback options, including one that displays the previous four or next four pictures as tiny thumbprint images above the main image, making it easy to select images. The camera grip is comfortable and the A200 feels well balanced in the hands. The viewfinder gives you a good view of the scene and provides useful information like shutter speed and aperture setting. The tabbed menu system is straightforward to use too.
When it came to performance, the A200 didn’t let us down either – well not too much, anyway. In auto mode, you’re more than likely to get good shots, whatever the shooting situation. Picture noise was low, and even at ISO 1600, images weren’t plagued with noise. The exposure compensation control works well and the nine-point AF system was swift and accurate. The sport mode, which causes the A200 to shoot continuously at 3 frames per second, the camera locked on to the target well and the AF system coped as we panned around quickly.
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. :-)