Sony DIME Press Event – Foam City, Miami

Sony DIME in Miami

Last weekend, Sony DIME (Digital Imaging Europe) held a press event in Miami, Florida in conjunction with the evolution of its popular like.no.other advertising campaign. Specifically, Sony wanted to build on the scale and stature presented in the iconic Bravia commercials, which, according to Sony, display colour like.no.other.

2005

Sony sent 250,000 bouncy balls down the streets of San Francisco:

2006

Sony exploded 70,000 liters of paint in Glasgow:

2007

Sony unleashed 2.5 tons of Play-Doh bunnies on New York:

2008

So, how is Sony planning to up the ante of its like.no.other experience in 2008? [Read more...]

Sony A350 First Impressions Review

Today, I spent some hands-on time with the Sony A350 today at Sony’s like.no.other commercial and ad shoot in downtown Miami, Florida (We’ll have more about the shoot itself in a later post.) After a few hours of shooting, I’ll have to say that I’m very impressed with this newcomer from Sony. There are a few features and functions that really set this camera apart from other entry-level offerings. [Read more...]

Sony A300 Review at The New York Times

New York Times has posted a review of the Sony A300 with plenty of praise for Sony’s breakthrough Live View feature.

The camera focuses quickly as you aim the lens, without ever blacking out the screen. When you press the shutter, the screen doesn’t go on-off-on, there’s no loud clacking, and there’s no baffling exhibition of mirror calisthenics inside the camera.

For the latest news and reviews, check out Photography Bay’s Sony A300 page.

Sony A350 Review at PhotoReview

Photo Review Australia has posted a full review of the Sony A350.

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.

For the latest news and reviews of the A350, check out Photography Bay’s Sony A350 page.

Sony W130 Reviews

sony w130The Sony DSC-W130 is a 8.1-megapixel compact point and shoot digicam with a 4x optical zoom and 2.5 inch LCD screen.  The Sony W120 features a number of powerful features, including: Sony’s D-Range Optimizer to retrieve picture detail in photos with harsh highlights or dark shadows; semi-manual focus that allows you to select the focusing distance based on your subject’s location; an improved auto focus system that includes macro ranges; Super SteadyShot image stabilization; high sensitivity settings up to ISO 3200; and in-camera editing functions such as “unsharp mask” to sharpen images.

Reviews

Digicam Review

The Sony Cybershot W130 is very “point and shoot” friendly – the camera produces great results in almost every situation – and provides features designed specifically for taking photos of friends and family with face detection and smile shutter technology.

Steve’s Digicams

It is incredibly easy to use with several automatic shooting modes to assist you in difficult situations (not to mention a very handy Smile Shutter mode). The quality of our images was very good, as was the video.

Imaging Resource

It has a great selection of useful preset modes and creative shooting tools, and most impressive, it combines its Face Detection technology with a smile detector for an extremely useful Smile Shutter mode, giving you in-focus images of wiggly kids or small groups of people, without resorting to a continuous shooting mode.

Cnet

The W130′s quick performance and decent image quality make it a solid follow-up to the W90, and a good choice for a pocket point-and-shoot camera.

Where to Buy

If you’re buying online, I recommend sticking with Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama. These three vendors are reliable, trustworthy and generally have the best (legitimate) prices.

Sony W120 Reviews

The Sony W120 is a 7.2-megapixel compact point and shoot digicam with a 4x optical zoom and 2.5 inch LCD screen. The Sony W120 features a number of powerful features, including: Sony’s D-Range Optimizer to retrieve picture detail in photos with harsh highlights or dark shadows; semi-manual focus that allows you to select the focusing distance based on your subject’s location; an improved auto focus system that includes macro ranges; Super SteadyShot image stabilization; high sensitivity settings up to ISO 3200.


Reviews

Megapixel.net

Combines design, sturdiness, layout of controls, comfort in use.

Steve’s Digicams

The W120, like almost all other “W” models, is a stylish and durable digicam that can be tucked almost anywhere. It offers some appealing features for an ultra-compact, like 7- megapixels of resolution, a versatile Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 4x optical zoom lens, 9 area AF system, 2.5-inch LCD monitor, zoom-coupled optical viewfinder (something you almost never see anymore) as well as an exposure mode for just about everyone in your household or office.

Where to Buy

First off, consider going to your local camera store (and I don’t necessarily mean Wolf Camera at the mall). By going to your local camera store, you’re supporting your community and you just might build a lasting relationship with people you can rely on when you need some help or answers. If you’re buying online, I recommend sticking with Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama. These three vendors are reliable, trustworthy and generally have the best (legitimate) prices.

Sony A350 Reviews & Resources

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:

Sony A350 (body only)

Sony A350 w/ 18-70mm lens

Sony A350 w/ 18-70mm & 55-200mm lens

Photography Bay Resources

Sony A350 Full Review

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.

Sony A350 Sample Images

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 A350 First Impressions Review

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

PhotographyBLOG

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.

PC Mag

With some handy innovative features, the A350 is an easy-to-use, entry-level D-SLR that takes great pictures.

Photoclub Alpha

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.

DP Review

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.

DC Resource

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.

Pocket-lint

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.

What Digital Camera

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.

PopPhoto

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.

Let’s Go Digital

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.

Imaging Resource

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.

Anandtech

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.

Photoclub Alpha

It [Live View] is one of the best compromises yet in terms of user friendly functions and suitability for full-time use. While failure to preview sharpness or focus well enough is a failing, previewing manual or over-ride exposure and white balance without entering a special ‘disable auto gain’ mode is an equal strength.

Photo Review Australia

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.

Imaging Resource Hands-On Preview

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.

DP Review Hands-On Preview

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

If you’re buying online, I recommend sticking with Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama. These three vendors are reliable, trustworthy and generally have the best (legitimate) prices.

Press Release

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-megapixelintroduction 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]

Sony A300 Reviews & Resources

The 10.2 megapixel Sony A300 features a flip-out 2.7-inch swivel screen and live preview that retains the ability to autofocus with speed. The A300 features sensitivity up to ISO 3200 and feature burst modes of 3fps. The A300 was made available in April 2008 for $800 with a 18-70mm kit lens (now substantially less).

You can order the Sony A300 through Amazon via the following links to the product pages:

Sony A300 w/ 18-70mm lens

Sony A300 w/ 18-70mm & 55-200mm lenses

Reviews

Trusted Reviews

Image quality is pretty much identical to the A200, so no surprises there. The same 10.2-megapixel APS-C sensor has been used in the A100 and A200, as well as the Nikon D60 and D80, and it is a well-proven piece of kit.

PhotographyBLOG

The Sony A300 is certainly a fun camera to use, owing to its zippy Live View performance, tilting screen and advanced feature set. While plastic, it is well made, looking and feeling like it was built to last.

Photo Review

Despite some evidence of edge softening, resolution was retained right up to ISO 1600 and only declined slightly at ISO 3200, as shown in the graph below. Flare was negligible with the supplied lens and the test camera’s spot metering system provided correct exposures with strong backlighting.

Camera Labs

The Sony Alpha A300 is a feature-packed DSLR with a compelling price tag. With built-in stabilisation, Live View and a flip-out screen, it ticks the boxes of most new DSLR buyers. Sony’s fuss-free Live View is also arguably the best implementation yet for general consumers. It’s quick, quiet and offers uncompromised auto-focusing performance.

New York Times

The camera focuses quickly as you aim the lens, without ever blacking out the screen. When you press the shutter, the screen doesn’t go on-off-on, there’s no loud clacking, and there’s no baffling exhibition of mirror calisthenics inside the camera.

Engadget Hands-On Preview

. . . we’re here with a plethora of hands-on shots to prove that they’re the real deal. Since you already know the specs by now — 10.2 megapixel (a300) or 14.2 megapixel (a350) sensors, 2.7-inch screen, ISO up to 3200, and traditional CF slots — we’ll just let you get right to the eye candy below.

Press Release

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-megapixelintroduction 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, a300, review[/tags]

Sony A200 Reviews and Resources

Somewhat unexpectedly, Sony has announced the A200 at CES (rather than PMA), the follow up to the aging A100. Opting out of the megapixel race, Sony has kept the A200 at the same 10.2 megapixels that the A100 had. Instead, Sony has introduced more subtle upgrades/updates and made the A200 more of a Sony product – as opposed to a rebadged Konica Minolta. In hindsight, the CES announcement may be more fitting because of Sony’s desire to market this as more of a “consumer” camera than to the budding amateur photographer.


The A200 is available with a 18-70mm kit lens or a two-lens kit with an additional 75-300mm lens. For all the details, see the Press Release below.

Photography Bay Resources

Sony A200 Sample Images

Reviews

Digital Camera Review

Image and color quality are good and there’s a host of inputs available to customize image parameters if the default shots don’t suit your fancy. The shutter is “DSLR quick” and auto focus performance is good in normal to marginal light, and acceptable in dim light.

Neocamera

The Sony Alpha A200 is a compelling entry-level DSLR due to its high image quality and excellent speed of operation. In many ways, this is what new DSLR buyers are looking for. Beginners often want to improve image quality and speed of operation without getting something significantly more complicated then they are used to. The A200 fulfills this role very well as well.

ePhotozine

Having a dedicated processor like Sony’s BIONZ certainly helps with noise. It’s not until ISO400 that any kind of alteration starts to appear in the image at full size and all that happens is a slight discolouration of the grey card.

Steve’s Digicams

The Sony Alpha 200/DSLR-A200 is a worthy competitor in the entry-level market, offering awesome image quality, robust performance, great ergonomics and loads of useful exposure options. One feature that stands out is the Super SteadyShot option.

Photography BLOG

If you have no investment in a DSLR system and you’re looking for an entry-level model, the Sony A200 is a real alternative to the likes of the Nikon D60, Canon EOS 450D and Olympus E-510. It may not be the most exciting camera on paper, with no Live View and “only” a 10 megapixel sensor, but in practice it’s an easy-to-use, solid proposition from which you can confidently upgrade in the future to a more feature-rich model.

Digital Camera Resource Page

Overall, the A200′s photo quality was very good, but the difference between RAW and JPEG images is disconcerting. JPEG images are considerably softer than those taken in RAW format, with noticeable noise reduction artifacting starting at ISO 200 in low light, and ISO 800 in good light.

Cnet

The Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 is a solid entry-level dSLR that doesn’t really stand out in its very competitive field.

Imaging Resource

I’m happy to report that Sony has shipped a digital SLR that I find easy to recommend to anyone, a position previously held mainly by the Nikon D40/D40x and Canon Rebel XT/XTi.

Alpha Mount World

For first time DSLR users, it should make transitioning from a point and shoot camera to a DSLR as painless as possible. The A200 has plenty of manual features to keep a new user busy and to encourage advancement, and plenty of auto features just in case the manual features get tiring from time to time or, there simply isn’t enough time to make adjustments on the fly.

Digital Trends

This entry-level D-SLR has a lot of things going for it: quick focusing, fast shutter speed, lots of tweaks for those who want them plus it captures good 10MP stills with accurate colors and nice contrast.

Trusted Reviews

In terms of overall performance the A200 is a definite improvement over the A100. As with most DSLRs the A200 starts up in well under a second, and shuts down again almost instantly on power-off. The AF system is now much faster and more accurate, and is noticeably better at locking on quickly to low-contrast or poorly lit subjects, something that was a bit of a problem for the A100.

PhotoReview

Pictures from the test camera were similar to our test shots from the A700, with natural-looking colours and an attractive tonal balance that minimised the need for post-capture processing. Raw files were clean and easily adjustable and the DRO control allowed us to take usable shots in contrasty lighting that would overwhelm a less-capable camera.

Let’s Go Digital

The new Alpha camera is Sony’s entry-level model and offers a stack of setting possibilities for a very attractive price. When we look back at the moment the Alpha 100 got introduced, and after that the Alpha 700 with on top of that Sony’s promise to introduce a professional DSLR in 2008, and we look at the A200 now, we can say that Sony are definitely branding their name on the DSLR market.

Camera Labs

Well it may not have much beyond its predecessor (and indeed a couple of the A100′s features have gone missing), but for the money it’s still a great entry-level DSLR which stands-up well against the competition. Its predecessor’s old rival, the Canon 400D / XTi is likely to become the A200’s new nemesis, especially with its superior high ISO performance, but with built-in stabilisation at a similar RRP, the Sony still looks strong. It’s also looking good against Nikon’s new entry-level D60.

e-Photographia Pre-Production Hands-On

Images straight out of the camera look good, and the camera isn’t too intimidating for a beginner. Also, metering works really well, making it easy to get images that are sure to astound anyone who just jumped from point-and-shoot digicams to a DSLR.

Popular Photography First Look

You get a camera capable of Excellent image quality (with resolution right around 2,000 lines), useful image controls such as DRO, a fine-performing lens, and image stabilization that will work with virtually any lens that fits on the camera.

Sample Images

Master Chong: Several samples showing off the ISO range 100-3200

Resources

A200 User Manual

PDF Spec Sheet

Where to Buy

If you’re buying online, I recommend sticking with Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama. These three vendors are reliable, trustworthy and generally have the best (legitimate) prices.

Specifications

A200 Key Features

Camera type: Digital SLR with built-in flash and interchangeable lenses

Lens mount: Compatible with Sony lenses and Konica Minolta/Minolta MAXXUM/DYNAX lenses

Image sensor: APS-C size CCD with anti-dust system

Sensor resolution: 10.2 effective megapixels

Image processor: Sony BIONZ engine

Image stabilization: Super SteadyShot with approx. 2.5 – 3.5 EV decrease in shutter speed (actual stabilization depends on shooting conditions and lens)

Noise reduction: Long exp. & High ISO NR at ISO1600 / 3200

Creative Styles: Preset modes: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Night View, Sunset, B/W, Adobe RGB. Adjustable parameters: Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness

D-Range Optimizer: operating modes: Off, Standard, Advanced

Scene Selection modes: Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports, Sunset, Night Portrait / Night View

Viewfinder: Field of view: 95% / Magnification: 0.83x

AF system: TTL phase detection, centre-cross 9-point

Sensitivity: ISO100 – 3200 equivalent (Recommended Exposure Index)

Light metering: 40-segment honeycomb with multi-segment, spot and centre weighted modes

Flash modes: Auto, Fill-in, Wireless, Rear, High Speed Synchro and Slow Synchro (Wireless and High Speed Synchro modes require optional accessory flash HVL-F56AM or HVL-F36AM)

Built-in flash system: Auto popup (GN 12) with manual popup button

Shutter speed range: 1/4000 sec. – 30 sec., bulb (Flash sync speed 1/160 sec.)

Continuous shooting rate: Up to approx. 3 fps

Max no. of frames: JPEG Fine/Std: unlimited (until memory card is full), RAW+JPEG: 3, RAW: 6 recordable (continuous)

Monitor screen: Transparent TFT / 2.7-inch Clear Photo LCD (230k dots) with AR coating

Histogram display: Brightness, RGB

Function menu: Camera Function Display with direct control of Flash Mode, AF Mode, WB, Metering Mode, AF Area, DRO

Battery type: NP-FM500H with InfoLITHIUM % power remaining display on screen

Battery life: Approx. 750 shots (CIPA measurement)

Vertical control grip: VG-B30AM (optional) accepts up to 2x NP-FM500H batteries

Recording media: CompactFlash card: Type I, Type II (Microdrive), Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo with optional adaptor.

Dimensions: (WxHxD) Approx. 130.8 x 98.5 x 71.3 mm (excl. protrusions)

Weight: Approx. 532 g (w/o batteries or memory card)

PRESS RELEASE:

SONY UNVEILS NEW MAINSTREAM DSLR CAMERA

LAS VEGAS(CES BOOTH 14200), Jan. 6, 2008 – Sony is advancing the digital SLR category for mainstream photographers with today’s introduction of the new α (alpha) DSLR-A200 camera.

The DSLR-A200 model features upgrades influenced by the recently-introduced, enthusiast-class DSLR-A700 camera and replaces the former Sony DSLR-A100 model, which was Sony’s first in the DSLR class.

The new model is designed to be faster, lighter and easier to use. Upgraded features include a wider, 2.7-inch Clear Photo LCDTM screen for easy playback viewing; a more compact body and an easily-accessible mode dial; an easy-to-use function menu (camera function display); improved noise control for higher quality images; an auto focus speed 1.7x faster than the previous model; improved predictive control performance; quieter shutter sound; automatic pop-up flash; and a battery life indicator that displays the percentage of battery life remaining so you know exactly when to recharge.

As seen in all α (alpha) camera bodies, the DSLR-A200 camera incorporates Super SteadyShot® image stabilization in the body to allow shooting at shutter speeds of 2.5 to 3.5 steps slower than otherwise possible – a benefit realized with every compatible lens attached to the camera. Compatible lenses encompass all Minolta Maxxum® mount lenses, in addition to Sony a (alpha) lens lineup – including Carl Zeiss® lenses.

“With the DSLR-A200, we are helping consumers capture high-quality images with advanced technology that’s practical and easy to use,” said Phil Lubell, director of marketing for digital cameras at Sony Electronics. “This model is an ideal step-up for point-and-shoot users who are looking for a camera that can capture virtually all of the photographs they want.”

High-Quality Images

With its 10.2-megapixel (effective) APS CCD image sensor, the DSLR-A200 camera continues to offer high-quality images by allowing more light to pass through to each pixel – increasing sensitivity, reducing noise, and providing greater detail.

Clean, reduced-noise signals are sent from the image sensor to Sony’s BIONZ™ processing engine, which processes data-rich picture information at high speeds and reduces picture noise in the RAW data stage before image JPEG conversion. The results are high-resolution, detailed images with rich tonal reproduction.

The DSLR-A200 model supports JPEG and RAW file format support. It has a slot for CompactFlash™ Type I/II media cards. An adaptor for Memory Stick Duo™ media cards is sold separately as an accessory.

Get The Photo Results You Want

In addition to Super SteadyShot image stabilization for virtually blur-free photos, the new model incorporates Sony’s D-Range Optimizer (DRO). It helps you capture well-exposed images, especially when shooting high-contrast or backlit scenes that often lead to loss of highlight and shadow detail. Sony’s DRO modifies the range from highlights to shadows, including gain and contrast, through its in-camera hardware processing to produce more natural, evenly exposed pictures. The camera’s image analysis technology studies the captured image data and instantly determines the best exposure and color tonality for the image before JPEG compression.

The BIONZ image processing engine powers the camera up immediately and the eye-start autofocus starts the focusing system before you even press the shutter. The camera can shoot up to three continuous frames per second at 10.2-megapixels at the finest JPEG compression level.

As seen in previous α (alpha) models, the new model carries a static-free anti-dust coating on the CCD filter which is gently vibrated to dislodge any dust that might have collected each time the camera is powered off.

Additionally, the DSLR-A200 camera’s supplied lithium ion battery offers up to 750 shots per full charge.

Bright and Easy Playback

The camera’s smaller, more compact body along with its wider, 2.7-inch Clear Photo LCD TM screen and a new on-screen navigation interface make it easier to carry and to use. The vibrant, easy-to-view screen features 230K-pixel resolution, an anti-reflection coating and glare-reducing layer assures vivid, accurate colors with a wide viewing angle, even in daylight. The on-screen navigation display shows camera settings and key shooting information in large, easy-to-read text. The display’s orientation automatically switches from landscape to portrait position when the camera is turned on its side.

Accessories Expand Creative Possibilities

Sony is providing a full line of accessories for the model, including flashes, rechargeable battery packs and several carrying cases. An interesting addition is the VG-B30AM ergonomic vertical grip equipped with the most essential controls for portrait orientation shooting. It also allows for the use of two InfoLITHIUM® batteries (sold separately) for up to 1,500 shots on a single, full charge.

The DSLR-A200K kit includes the camera body and a DT 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 3.9x zoom lens for about $700. The DSLR-A200W kit includes the camera body, the DT 18-70mm lens and a 75–300mm f4.5-5.6 lens for about $900. Both will ship in February and 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 on Jan. 7 at www.sonystyle.com/dslr.

[tags]sony, a200, announcement, release, specs, review[/tags]