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3.75
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Sony's start into the world of Digital SLRs was quite a slow paced one.

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Pros

Image sizes (3:2) . 3872 x 2592 (L) . 2896 x 1936 (M) . 1920 x 1280 (S) . 3872 x 2176 (16:9, L) . 2896 x 1632 (16:9, M) . 1920 x 1088 (16:9, S)

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* Larger LCD * 10.2 MP sensor * New software bundle with all-new raw converter * Creative Styles (expansion of color modes function on A100) * ISO 3200 * Optional high ISO noise reduction * RGB histograms

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Bracketing 3 frames . 0.3 or 0.7 EV steps

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Improvements to Super SteadyShot RGB histogram in playback mode . Shadow/highlight warning in playback

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ISO sensitivities . Auto . ISO 100 . ISO 200 . ISO 400 . ISO 800 . ISO 1600 . ISO 3200

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Optional vertical Grip VG-B30AM

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10.2 megapixel APS-C CCD The A200's 'central organ' is a APS-C sized CCD chip with 10.2 million photosites.

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Comfortable to Hold

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Bionz Image Processor Like the A700 and A350, the A200 is powered by the Bionz imaging processor (although presumably it's not exactly the same one that was optimized for the A700's CMOS sensor).

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Cons

Not friendly to manual focus lens: No menu to tell the camera what is the focal lenght of a given lens and, thus, use Aperture Priority and Super Steady Shot.

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High ISO noise

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Proprietary Flash Hot Shoe

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Edit

 

Sony's start into the world of Digital SLRs was quite a slow paced one. The first Sony branded model, the A100, appeared on the scene in June 2006 and it took over a year for it to be joined by a companion, the A700 prosumer model which was launched in September 2007. More recently though Sony has stepped up a gear and launched not one, but three cameras to replace the A100 - the DSLR A200, A300 and A350.

There is now something for everybody in the Sony line-up. The A350 for the feature-loving photographer on a budget, the A200 for those whose number one buying criterion is value-for-money and the A300 for bargain hunters who want a balance of the two. The A200 is, in terms of specification, not a million miles away from the veteran A100. It's got a larger screen, comes with an ISO3200 mode and user controlled High ISO noise reduction but in turn lacks the A100's depth of field preview (it's unsurprisingly much cheaper though).

Sony is not the only manufacturer which is diversifying its offerings in the entry-level sector and the A200 will have to face fierce competition in the bottom bracket of the market. Let's see how it shapes up on the following pages.

 

10.2 megapixel APS-C CCD
The A200's 'central organ' is a APS-C sized CCD chip with 10.2 million photosites.

Bionz Image Processor
Like the A700 and A350, the A200 is powered by the Bionz imaging processor (although presumably it's not exactly the same one that was optimized for the A700's CMOS sensor).

he Super SteadyShot system moves the sensor to compensate for user shake. The appearance of the mechanism suggests it may be the unit from the A700 (and A350).

Other new / upgraded features of note:
  • Larger LCD
  • 10.2 MP sensor
  • New software bundle with all-new raw converter
  • Creative Styles (expansion of color modes function on A100)
  • ISO 3200
  • Optional high ISO noise reduction
  • RGB histograms

 

Price (body only)
(With 18-70mm kit lens)

• $460 / £260 [check]
• $460 / £270

Body material Plastic exterior
Sensor • 23.6 x 15.8 mm CCD sensor
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in fixed low-pass filter
• 10.8 million total pixels
• 10.2 million effective pixels
Image sizes *

• 3872 x 2592 (L)
• 2896 x 1936 (M)
• 1920 x 1280 (S)
• 3872 x 2176 (16:9, L)
• 2896 x 1632 (16:9, M)
• 1920 x 1088 (16:9, S)

File qualities / formats • RAW (.ARW)
• RAW + JPEG Fine
• JPEG Fine
• JPEG Standard
Dust reduction • Static-resistant anti-dust coating
• CCD-shift dust reduction mechanism
Lenses • Sony Alpha lenses
(also compatible with Minolta A-type bayonet mount lenses)
FOV crop 1.5x
Super Steady Shot • CCD-Shift 'Super Steady Shot' system
• Five level LED shake indicator in viewfinder
• Claimed equivalent to 2.5 – 3.5 steps in shutter speed
Auto Focus * • TTL CCD line sensors (9-points, 8 lines with center cross-hair sensor)
• EV -1 to 18 (ISO 100) detection range
• Predictive focus control for moving subjects
• Auto-tracking focus point display
AF area selection

• Wide AF area
• Spot AF area (center)
• Focus area selection (any of 9)

Focus modes • Single-shot AF
• Direct Manual Focus
• Continuous AF
• Automatic AF
• Manual focus

AF assist
illuminator

• Yes (using built in flash)
• Range approx 1m - 5m
Eye-start AF Yes, selectable from menu
Shooting modes

• Auto
• Programmed AE (with shift)
• Aperture priority AE
• Shutter priority AE
• Manual
• Scene modes (below)

Scene modes • Portrait
• Landscape
• Macro
• Sports
• Sunset
• Night portrait
Sensitivity

• Auto (Range varies depending on shooting mode)
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200*

Metering modes • Multi-segment (40 segment Honeycomb pattern)
• Center-weighted
• Spot
Metering range • EV 2 to 20 (Multi-segment / Center-weighted) *
• EV 4 to 20 (Spot metering) *
(at ISO 100 with F1.4 lens)
AE Lock • AEL button
• Half-press shutter release
AE Bracketing • 3 frames
• 0.3 or 0.7 EV steps
Exposure compen. • -2.0 to +2.0 EV
• 0.3 EV steps
Shutter Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane Shutter
Shutter Speed • 30 to 1/4000 sec
• Bulb
Flash X-sync • 1/160 sec
Aperture values Depends on lens, 0.3 EV steps
DOF preview No
White balance

• Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Flash
• Color temperature/filter (2500 - 9900 K)
• Manual (Custom)

White balance fine tuning • Auto (none)
• Preset WB: -3 to +3
• Fluorescent WB: -2 to +4
• Color temperature WB: G9 to M9 (Magenta to Green)
White balance bracketing • 3 frames
• 10 or 20 Mired steps
Dynamic range optimizer

• Off
• Standard
• Advanced

Color space • sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Color modes • Standard
• Vivid
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Sunset
• Night view
• Sunset *
• B&W
• Adobe RGB
Image parameters • Contrast (-3 to +3)
• Sharpness (-3 to +3)
(Available in all color modes)
• Saturation (-3 to +3)
(All modes except B&W)
Noise reduction * • Long exposure for exposures longer than 1 second
• High ISO NR at ISO 1600 or higher
• User controllable: On / Off
Viewfinder

• Eye-level fixed pentamirror
• Spherical Acute Matte focusing screen (not changeable)
• Magnification approx. x0.83
• 95% frame coverage
• Diotric adjustment (-2.5 to +1.0)
• Eye-relief 20 mm from eyepiece, 16 mm from frame
• Eyepiece cup removable
• Viewfinder info bar

LCD monitor * • 2.7" TFT LCD ('Clear Photo LCD Plus')
• 230,000 pixels
• Anti-reflective coating
• Auto dimmed by viewfinder eye sensor
Flash • Built-in pop-up flash (manual release)
• Metering: ADI, Pre-flash TTL, Manual flash control
• Guide number 12 (ISO 100/m)
• Angle of coverage 24 mm (35 mm equiv.)
• Flash sync 1/160 sec
Flash modes

• Auto
• Fill Flash
• Red-eye Reduction (pre-flash)
• Wireless/Remote Off-camera Flash
• Rear Flash Sync.
• High Speed Sync.
• Slow Sync with AE Lock

Flash compensation -2.0 to +2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
External flash (optional) • Sony HVL-F56M (guide no. 56)
• Sony HVL-F36M (guide no. 36)
• Macro Twin Flash Kit HVL-MT24AM
• Ring Light HVL-RLAM
• Off camera flash shoe FA-CS1 AM
Drive modes • Single-frame
• Continuous
• Self-timer (10 or 2 sec)
• Continuous bracket
• Single-frame bracket
• White balance bracket
Continuous
shooting
• RAW: 3 fps, up to 6 frames
• RAW+JPEG: 3 fps, up to 3 frames
• JPEG: 3fps, unlimited
Self-timer

• 10 sec
• 2 sec

Orientation sensor Yes, for shooting, playback and control panel display
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mass storage, Multi-LUN or PTP)
• Video out (NTSC or PAL)
• DC-IN
• Remote terminal
Video out • AV (Selectable NTSC or PAL)
Storage • Compact Flash Type I/II
• Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo (Via optional adapter)
• Supports FAT12 / FAT16 / FAT32
Power * • NP-FM500H Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (1650 mAh)
• Battery charger included
• Optional AC adapter
• Batter life Approx 750 shots (CIPA standard)
Vertical grip * • Vertical Grip VG-B30AM
• One or Two NP-FM500H batteries with auto switchover for power (additional battery is optional).
Dimensions 131 x 98.5 x 71 mm (5.2 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
Weight (body) • No battery: 532 g (1.2 lb)
Post Review
Sony-alpha
06/12/2008 11:15

I have had several digital cameras, and this is my first dslr. I love taking pictures with it, especially action shots. Super fast auto focus, choices of programs etc. are found on lots of dslr's. The reason I bought this one is that it accepts Minolta af lenses and the anti-shake technology is in the camera and not in the lens. This makes additional lenses much more affordable.
Sony Alpha

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