Sony A850 and A900 Review

Sony A850 and A900

The Sony A850 and A900 are full frame cameras that pack in 24.6-megapixels on that big sensor.  The cameras appear at the top-end of the Alpha system line up.  At first blush, the A850 appears almost identical to the pricier Sony A900.  After delving deeper into the A850, you’ll discover that there’s really not a whole lot of difference between it and the A900.

Because of the similarities between these two cameras and the fact that I reviewed them simultaneous, I decided to publish one review for both cameras rather than than two separate reviews with only minor changes in the text. [Read more…]


Canon EOS 7D Review

Canon 7D

The Canon EOS 7D is a 18-megapixel DSLR featuring an APS-C format CMOS sensor.  At the time of its release, the 7D is situated in the EOS lineup between the 50D and the 5D Mark II.

The Canon 7D brings a number of improvements and new features to the Canon prosumer lineup.  Taking these advancements into account, Canon has finally produced a DSLR whose specs outshine its Nikon counterpart – in this case the Nikon D300s. [Read more…]

Sony A550 Review

Sony A550

The Sony A550 is a 14.2-megapixel DSLR that boils down to a more expensive entry-level camera.  As with other Sony Alpha DSLRs, the A550 features a built-in stabilization system that uses sensor-shift functions rather than lens-based stabilization.  As a result, every lens you attach to the camera benefits from image stabilization – as opposed to Canon and Nikon, for which you must buy “stabilized lenses” that can be more expensive.

Another familiar feature on the Sony A550 is the articulating LCD screen.  Like the lower-level models, the A330 and A380, the A550’s LCD will tilt up and down, allowing you to hold the camera up high or down low and still be able to easily see the LCD screen.

A tilting LCD screen wouldn’t be much use without the ability to compose your scene on it.  Again, the A550 offers the same Live View system that I have loved since it was originally introduced on the A300 and A350.  In my opinion, no one does DSLR Live View better than Sony.  It just works intuitively and feels very natural for those moving from point and shoot cameras. [Read more…]

Canon SX20 IS Reviews and Resources

Canon SX20 IS

The Canon SX20 IS features a 20x optical zoom lens and is paired with a 12-megapixel sensor.  As a point & shoot camera, it is often referred to as a “bridge” camera, somewhere between compact cameras that go in your pocket and the even larger DSLRs that use interchangeable lenses.

The SX20 IS offers many advanced features that help it live up to the “bridge” camera designation, including a hotshoe for using external flashes (like the Canon 270EX), 720p HD video capture and high quality UD glass in the lens.  Speaking of the lens, the 20x stabilized zoom lens covers the equivalent focal length of 28-560mm on a traditional 35mm-format camera.

For the sake convenience, the Canon SX20 IS uses (4) AA batteries for power.  While you can pop in alkaline batteries that can be found virtually anywhere, I would recommend using rechargeable batteries to ease the cost of use over the long term. [Read more…]

Sony A500 and A550 ISO Comparisons

Sony A500 and A550

Recently, I’ve been getting to know the new Sony A500 and A550 DSLRs, which feature 12.3-megapixel and 14.2-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensors, respectively.  Sony has hyped these consumer-grade DSLRs as low-light and low noise shooters thanks to their BIONZ image processing.  Both cameras cover a sensitivity range of ISO 200-12800, which is a pretty bold spec for cameras priced under $1000.  So, I decided to take a closer look at the noise performance of the cameras side-by-side. [Read more…]