Click for full-size images
We adjusted the contrast with the supplied RAW software to make the water look black rather than the muddy version in the original
We were impressed with the low noise level (clockwise from top left: ISO 100, 200, 400, 3200, 1600, 800)
Even when shooting in auto mode, you have a fair degree over the exposure level using the exposure compensation setting
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 - or, in the case of auto mode, to get the A200 to even take a shot. We weren’t that impressed with the D-Range system either, which didn’t seem to make a lot of difference when we shot against a backlight.
But these gripes aside, the A200's image quality was very good indeed. We also liked the software that came with the camera – the Picture Motion Browser lets you organise your images on a calendar, as well as retouch, print or save to disc. The Image Data Lightbox offers a good way of displaying and sorting images on your PC, while the Image Data Converter is a neat way of displaying, editing and converting RAW images.
The software lets you tweak a number of parameters, including white balance, hue, saturation and contrast, and once tweaked, you can save the edited image as a RAW, JPEG or TIFF file. It’s quick, simple and very useful for various image adjustments.
This is an impressive camera that is ideal for anyone starting on the road to digital SLR photography. It’s got a fair spec and performs well, but it’s in the handling department that this camera really shines. It won’t confuse you with lots of bells and whistles or confusing menu systems, but it will let you take good pictures with little effort.
Sony Alpha 200 digital SLR
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. :-)