Feeds
85%

Sony DSLR-A900 Alpha 900 digital SLR

Looks great on paper

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Review If cameras were rated on specifications alone, Sony’s Alpha 900 would be a hard act to beat. Let’s consider the evidence: there’s a full-frame Exmore CMOS sensor packed with 24.6 million pixels - and, please note, this is the effective number. The sensor measures 35.9 x 24mm. Other goodies include a built-in image stabilisation system, SuperSteadyShot Inside; two image processors to handle all that extra picture data; twin anti-dust systems and HDMI output.

Sony Cyber-shot Alpha 900

Sony's Cyber-shot Alpha 900: on paper, perfect

But as we all know, figures are one thing - facts are another. What looks on paper doesn’t always turn out that great in practice. So the question is: does the A900 cut the mustard?

Naturally, this is a top-end model - Sony calls it its “flagship” offering - aimed at professionals and serious enthusiasts, but we think that Sony may have missed a trick or two with its target audience, because the A900 has no Live View, no video mode, no eye start optical viewfinder and no pop-up flash. No doubt some serious photographers won’t miss these features, and will probably thank Sony for delivering a DSLR that cuts out the 'frills'.

But one person’s frill is another person’s handy feature, and we think a fair number of the so-called 'prosumer' market will miss some of these elements, not least when you consider that one potential rival to the A900 – Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II – offers HD video capture.

That said, the A900 is impressively built. With a magnesium body and aluminium alloy chassis, it certainly feels solid and robust. And - ye gods - you certainly feel its weight. When loaded up with a Sony DT 16-105mm f3.5/5.6 lens, CompactFlash card and battery, our review sample tipped the scales at 1.5kg. The camera body weighs 928g. Add a flash unit and you’ll certainly need to ensure you’ve eaten your spinach. Incidentally, the camera is compatible with a-mount lenses from both Sony and Konica Minolta.

Sony Cyber-shot Alpha 900

Hefty to handle

A brief tour reveals at the front, a remote sensor window, flash sync terminal, focus mode dial and preview button – more on this later. On the top are a mode dial - which has the usual PASM modes, plus three user-defined custom settings - a hot-shoe sitting atop a massive pentaprism head, small LCD panel, and buttons for ISO, drive mode, white balance, exposure compensation and illuminating the top LCD panel. In front of these are the shutter button and front control dial.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.