The 14.2 megapixel A350 features a flip-out 2.7-inch screen and live preview that retains the ability to autofocus. The A350 sensitivity goes up to ISO 3200 and features a burst mode of 2.5fps. The A350 will be available in April for $900 in a kit or an $800 body-only package. The Sony A350 is available through Amazon via the following product page links:
Photography Bay Resources
The intuitive controls and menus make the camera a strong competitor to other entry-level cameras. The fast focusing Live View and tilting LCD panel, however, sets the A350 apart from the pack. If you are in the market for a DSLR, then I can highly recommend the Sony A350.
All in all, the white foam tricked the camera’s meter, which resulted in underexposed images for the most part. Nothing was really too far off. A few of the high contrast scenes had some highlights blown out or overly dark areas in the shade; however, I was pretty satisfied with what I got out of in-camera JPEGs from the Sony A350.
Sony has truly revolutionized the use of Live View with the fast and accurate phase difference autofocus . . . . I had high hopes for this feature and, based on my short hands-on time, I can say that Sony delivered on those hopes.
Sony A350 Reviews
If you have no investment in a DSLR system and you’re looking to upgrade from a point-and-shoot or cheaper DSLR, the Sony A350 is the logical choice, and it’ll also attract some admiring glances from Canon and Nikon owners too.
With some handy innovative features, the A350 is an easy-to-use, entry-level D-SLR that takes great pictures.
Sony uses that slogan – ‘like.no.other’. Dead right. You can not call the Alpha 350 ‘recommended’ or ‘best buy’ or anything else like that. It is unique at the price, it offers performance features entirely out of line with the expected aims of a new DSLR at £399, and it can do half a dozen things which no competitor can match.
It’s certainly a competitively-priced, well-specified camera and one that feels better-constructed than many of its rivals. It’s also one that smoothes down the learning curve and will totally satisfy users who aren’t familiar with what the best modern DSLRs are capable of.
Camera performance was excellent in most areas. The DSLR-A350 is ready to start taking pictures as soon as you flip the power switch. The camera focuses very quickly, except in low light, where things were a little sluggish. Shutter lag wasn’t an issue (even when using live view), and shot-to-shot delays were minimal.
Excellent performance and great image quality combine neatly within in an easy to use body and good price that make the Sony Alpha 350 worthy of serious consideration.
The standard of images from the A350 is generally very high. Even when the camera may struggle, features such as the Dynamic Range Optimiser and adjusting parameters of white balance presets make tweaks easy to carry out.
Based on our DxO Analyzer 3.1 Blur tests of A350 images shot using a 100-300mm zoom set to 200mm, this sensor-shift system delivered between 2.5 and 3 stops of improvement, similar to the A100 and slightly less than the A700.
My first impression of the Sony A350 is an excellent one. It is a pleasant camera, quite well-organized and beautifully designed. On top of that it is a solid camera and with the abundance of accessories in the back of my mind, it is also a camera that could be the start of a long relationship with Sony.
Having reviewed several digital SLRs in the past few months, I can summarize the Sony A200 and A350 in two sentences: They’re simple to use and take good pictures, and you don’t have to wade through complicated menus to use them. It’s refreshing.
Most of the recent DSLR cameras feature Live View that was pioneered by Olympus, but Sony takes the feature from checklist novelty to a truly useful viewing alternative. This makes the transition easier for point-and-shoot users accustomed to Live View composing with the LCD screen.
Low-light performance was very good, with accurate colours in long exposures (up to 30 seconds) and no apparent noise in exposures up to ISO 800. Colour noise became evident at ISO 3200 but at a relatively low level, although some shadow detail was lost with this setting. Neither of the noise reduction processing settings produced visible image softening but they did provide an obvious reduction in both colour and pattern noise.
Having reviewed several digital SLRs in the past few months, I can summarize the Sony A200, A300 and A350 in two sentences: They’re simple to use and take good pictures, and you don’t have to wade through complicated menus to use them. It’s refreshing.
The A300 is essentially an A200 with the tilting screen and live view, while the A350 is an A300 with a more pixel-dense sensor. In addition to the live view mode switch that mechanically blocks off the optical viewfinder, the A3XX cameras get a button to zoom in on the live view image.
Where to Buy
SONY INTRODUCES TWO MAINSTREAM DSLR CAMERAS WITH UNIQUE “QUICK AF LIVE” VIEW SYSTEM
SAN DIEGO, Jan. 30, 2008 – Sony is bringing live-view shooting to its digital SLR camera line with today’s (alpha) DSLR-A350 camera and 10.2-megapixelintroduction of a 14.2-megapixel α (alpha) DSLR-A300 model. Both cameras feature new technologies that make picture taking faster, easier, and more familiar for first-time DSLR users.
Quick AF Live View System
They both offer Sony’s new “Quick AF Live View” technology so you can frame photos on the camera’s LCD without sacrificing auto-focusing speed common to other live-view systems.
Sony’s innovative Pentamirror Tilt mechanism directs light to a dedicated live view image sensor, enabling fast and responsive TTL phase-detection auto-focusing, even during live view.
Eliminating the focus delay of other systems, the new models are equally responsive whether using live view or optical viewfinder.
With its two sensor design, Quick AF Live View can even continuously focus-track the subject and provide live view during burst shooting, helping you capture that special moment.
Taking further advantage of Quick AF Live View is the models’ variable angle 2.7-inch Clear Photo LCD ™ screen. This makes it easy to frame scenes from high or low positions difficult to reach when using an eye-level viewfinder.
With Live View and an adjustable LCD, the cameras do not need to be in front of the user’s face, allowing parents, for example, to maintain eye-contact when photographing their children.
“Mainstream users stepping up to DSLRs are looking for a similar experience to their point and shoot cameras, but without compromise in speed or performance” said Phil Lubell, director of marketing for digital cameras at Sony Electronics. “Quick AF Live View gives these new models a familiar shooting style without compromising speed – ideal for the growing market of first-time SLR users.”
Exceptional Image Quality
The new models produce images with fine detail, rich tonality and vibrant color due to their APS-C CCD image sensors and BIONZ® processing engine. To aid shooting in low light, Super SteadyShot® image stabilization enables shutter speeds 2.5 to 3.5 steps slower than otherwise possible, with every compatible Minolta Maxxum® and Sony α (alpha) lens (sold separately) attached to the camera.
High sensitivity operation at ISO 1600 and 3200 and very low noise are made possible by the user-selectable high-ISO noise reduction features. Sony’s D-Range Optimizer delivers suitable tonality and exposures with rich shadow and highlight detail, even under high contrast situations.
Powerful Performance, Easy to Use
The DSLR-A300 model can shoot about three continuous frames per second and the DSLR-A350 model can shoot up to two-and-a-half continuous frames per second, when using the optical viewfinder. Both are powered by the Bionz processing engine and supplied InfoLITHIUMTM battery for fast start-up times, quick response and long battery life – up to 730 shots per full charge when using the optical viewfinder and up to 410 shots per full charge in live-view mode.
Both models feature lighter, slimmer bodies for easy handling; an improved user interface; an automatic pop-up flash; a comfortable camera grip with an easily accessible mode dial; an anti-dust system to keep the CCD image sensor clean for spot-free pictures; and JPEG and RAW file format support. Both have a slot for CompactFlash™ Type I/II media cards.
An adaptor for Memory Stick Duo™ media cards is also available for the cameras and sold separately.
The new DSLR-A300 and DSLR-A350 cameras are compatible with a range of accessories, including the ergonomic Sony VG-B30AM vertical grip. Also available as an option is the new Sony HVL-F42AM flash unit. It offers advanced features such as automatic white balance adjustment with color temperature information, adjustable bounce angles, ADI metering and wireless remote operation to suit the needs of most photographers.
Price and Availability
The DSLR-A300 kit with a DT 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens will ship in April for about $800. The DSLR-A350 camera body will be available in March for about $800, and the DSLR-A350 kit with a DT 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 3.9x zoom lens will be available for about $900 at the same time. Both models will be available at sonystyle.com, Sony Style® retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail ), military base exchanges, and authorized dealers nationwide. Pre-orders begin online today at www.sonystyle.com/dslr.
[tags]sony, a350, review[/tags]