Feb 27 2010

Guide to Sony Consumer Level Alpha DSLR Model Cameras

Published by at 5:25 pm under General

Are you thinking you want to buy a Sony DSLR camera online? Are you confused about which models offer the features you want? Read this review for a detailed overview of the entry level DSLRs on offer from Sony.

When Sony produced their first DSLR camera in 2006, their intention was to deliver a new camera that was comparable to the current offerings from Canon and Nikon. They quickly succeeded. These DSLR cameras from Sony offer unique features that match, or even surpass, entry level Nikon cameras, or those at a similar price point from Canon.

Sony A100: This was the camera that launched the Sony Alpha series. Introduced in 07/2006 the DSLR-A100 is a 10.2 MP camera with built in image stabilization so that will work with any lens you choose. Like all the models that succeeded it, the Sony Alpha 100 used the Minolta A-type bayonet mount that was gleaned from the merging of Sony with Konica Minolta. It had an anti-dust system, a 2.5 inch LCD, and could shoot at 3 frames per second. It was a very good camera at the time and considered a successful first DSLR by Sony. Status: Discontinued model.

Sony A200: The Alpha 200 was a moderate update of the popular Alpha 100. It also became Sony’s cheapest digital SLR when it was introduced in January 2008 alongside the Sony A300 and A350. Changes to the A200 included the ability to shoot pictures in a 16:9 widescreen format, increased ISO sensitivity to 3200, noise reduction software, and a larger 2.7” LCD screen. Other refinements included an updated Super SteadyShot and a useful shadow/highlight warning system. Status: Replaced by Alpha 230.

Sony A300 and A350: These two digital SLR cameras were released at the same time by Sony because of their similar feature set. Unveiled in January 2008, the A350 is more expensive than the Sony A300, because of its higher resolution, 14.2 MP image size. (The A300 has the same 10.2 MP image size found in the A200 camera). Doing this increased the price of the A350 by $100 but allows you to be able to print very large prints, though nobody ever does.

One of the best features of these cameras are their Live View and adjustable 2.7” LCD screen. Two sensors were included in the Sony Alpha 300 and Alpha 350 to help ensure that you could take pictures as quickly and easily with live view as you could with the optical viewfinder. It made the conventional ‘mirror flip’ live view systems from Nikon and Canon look slow and cumbersome, and meant that photographers moving up from point and shoot cameras had a much easier transition to the world of digital SLR cameras. Status: Replaced by Alpha 330 and 380.

Sony A230: Sony’s A230 was the 2009 update of the Alpha 200, and the foundations for a 3 model lineup that included the Alpha 330 and 380. The Sony Alpha 230 is lighter and more compact than the Alpha 200, and was also revised to make it more user friendly to first time DSLR users. There is an easy to use help mode available on screen, as well as 6 easily accessible automatic scene settings. The camera also comes equipped with dynamic range optimization to help produce pictures with both good highlighting as well as shadow detail. A multi shot self timer, a new graphic display for selecting aperture or shutter speeds, and a nine point autofocus system round off the rest of the features included in this great value Sony Alpha camera. In fact the one thing not available on this camera is Live View which was saved for the DSLR-A330. Status: New model.

Sony A330 and A380: Announced in May 2009, (at the same time as the A230), the Sony A330 and Sony A380 became direct replacements for the A300 and A350. They share many features with the budget priced Alpha 230, and are the most recent entry level digital SLRs from Sony. Both the Sony A330 and the A380 include the unique Sony live view, and a tilting 2.7” LCD, to an already impressive feature list. The DSLR-A380 takes it even further with a professional level resolution with a 14.2 megapixel sensor. Status: Both are new models.

Our recomendation is to buy the Sony Alpha DSLR-A330. Overall it’s a great camera with every feature you need as well as many you will never use. The DSLR-A330 is very affordable and will fulfill all your photographic needs for quite some time.

If you need to find a good spot for Sony Alpha DSLR camera repair you will be able to find repair shops to compare quotes with just a quick Google search or two. If you call Sony first to get a baseline price, then you may find that your Sony camera repair will cost less by not going through the manufacturer directly.

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