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Bought this camera as a deal with the 50mm and 75-300mm lenses and havent looked back since. Having prviously owned a 35mm film Canon AE1. I was unsure about SLR digital cameras however stuck with what I knew which is Sony. It came with very easy to use instructions and after charging I was able to run through all the menus on the large LCD screen on the rear of the camera. You look through the viewfinder on the top as with a SLR camera however the picture you get sits slightly outside of this area.
This is OK as you never just miss anything and with the ability to crop pictures then there is no real issue with having too much. Like an ordinary SLR film camera you also have the ability to change your settings on the top left of the camera body or leave it in automatic mode and the camera focuses on its own and chooses to use the flash or not dependent on conditions. The flash pops up from the top of the camera body and is robust and easy to push back down after use. It also has a non flash mode for those times that you just know your going to get red eye.
The battery in contained underneath the body in an easy to access pop open flap and it can only go back in one way which makes it easy to put back. I have used the camera for several days and not run out of juice - there is an indicator on the screen giving you the percentage left in the battery and this is very acurrate. The camera only comes with one battery and a charger but I invested in another just in case. However it dosnt take long to get 50% charge into the unit so that you can use it.
The memory card is sony's own and as you would expect can come with a heafty price tag. But shopping around gives competitive prices and some good deals a 2 GB can take about 300 pictures on a high setting so no need to buy too many cards. The strap for the camera is very good and sits the camera in the right place if you have it hung around your neck. I have taken this camera to France and dragged it around every World War Two bunker on the Normandy coast and also to the top of Ben Nevis and I dont believe there is a scratch on it. The caps for the front of the lense can be awkward but not a major issue and the caps supplied for the other end of the lense is better and screws on to save any damage.
As with most cameras like this you need a bag to carry it around and the Sony alpha bag is not up to the job, I tried one and it didnt last and went for a small rucksack version by a differnet maker.
Ultimately the pictures that the camera takes are second to none. You can also review as you go and delete the ones that "didnt quite make it" The quality as you enlarge on the screen stays with you and allows you to print to A4 size without any issues at all. I have had excellent feedback from people I have taken pictures for at do's etc and of course you can just send them a disc with them all on.
Great DSLR for beginners! I was a complete novice when I purchased this camera and found it easy to use with easy to understand menus. The price was excellent I would recommend it to any budding photographer. Be warned though the lenses are a little steep compared to Nikon or Canon. I liked the fact that you can use the 'Duo' type memory sticks as well as the Compact Flash variety so if you have other Sony equipment this will save you some pennies.
The body of the camera feels well built and solid, doesn't feel plasticky like others I tried. I found the picture quality very good for a budget range camera even on fairly large blow ups.
The only real annoying thing is not being able to get a live view on the LCD screen before you take the shot but I suppose you have to compromise on certain things!
This is my first DSLR camera, i have had it for about a year now. the quality is really good and some of the photos i have taken are amazing, it is really easy to navigate around all the buttons and use its features. It isnt too heavy or too bulky and was rather cheap (i got it for £227), it came with one lense, a lense cap, charger and USB cable and a carry strap (which is good quality).
It has been the perfect camera to start a hobby in photography. The down side to it is that i am bored with it and want a camera with better quality and takes photos to more of a proffesional standard, it also takes quite a long time to focus on objects especially in low lit areas, and when it is dark it will very rarely take pictures and the flash seems to be REALLY bright making some pictures look to intense and leaving people blinking for a while afterwards!
Though all in all i would reccomend this camera as it is the perfect first DSLR camera!
I like to take lots of photos when I go away on holiday and do like to take pictures that look professional. This camera is very versatile with the various different modes so you can get the perfect shot for any occasion. I found the macro mode on this camera is very sharp but I would say that it takes a long time to focus on what you actually want especially if the background is very busy. It gets a little confused. The display screen is very ingenius by the way that it has the variety to move. It helps if the sun is behind you and you get glare on the screen, it also helps if you are taking photos of things that are on the ground. For example if you are an older person you won't really have to bend down so far to take that lower picture as the screen can move to face up so you can view what you are photographing. I think for the money, this camera is a bargain as you can use it as a very professional camera or you can literally point and click as it is very light and very easy to use.
I wouldn't say I'm a pro photographer at all, so forgive me if in this review I do not discuss 'aperture' or the likes of, but look instead to the quality and user-friendliness of this starter DSLR.
Until now, I've had crap cameras. Always wanted a good one but baulked at the thought of spending hundreds on one. Finally that time came last month. As we were sick of having no decent photographs of ourselves and our pets, me and the other half bit the bullet.
We were worried. A good DSLR will set you back quite a few hundred. Then we found the Sony Alpha 200, at £259 from Argos (reduced from £299). When you are used to questionable quality photographs, the images you get from the Sony Alpha just take your breath away. Such depth, clarity and quality, we could see each and every hair in fine definition on our kitten's head.
The camera itself is so easy to use. As I say, I'm a real amateur, but because the camera has auto-settings, I have been taking some amazing photographs. You can hardly tell I'm not a pro!
The camera is 10mp, with 3 frames per second in fast shoot mode. It has an anti-shake feature (for caffeine addicts amongst us!). You expect, for a 'cheap' camera, that the body will be made of cheap plastic. Not at all with this camera. It is sturdy, well built and all the mouldings are in the right place for a comfortable fit in the hand.
The only downside we have thus far experienced (and not sure if it is us or the camera!) is that we sometimes get a dark 'arc' on the bottom of some of the pictures. We can't figure out why this is happening and only seems to be when we use the flash in some circumstances. If anyone can clarify if this is the camera or us, that would be most appreciated.
This DSLR is my first 'proper' camera after not doing much photography since secondary school a few years ago. I have been using it now for several months and I am very pleased with the results. In the standard 'auto' mode you can use it just like any other point and click digital camera and still get fantastic quality photos. Along side this there several pre-set shot conditions such as sport, night and landscape mode, these add a bit more to any picture you are taking.
The full manual mode offers numerous options with complete control over all the camera's functions. Even better for a first time 'DSLRer' is the ease of which you can easily pick up the controls and functions of the camera leading you to be able to get to grips with taking great photos very quickly.
The camera's only slight downside is it does not have live view on the otherwise excellent display screen. The camera is comfortable to hold and so far I have found the battery life to be absolutely fantastic.
Would recommend for the amateur & casual photographer.
This is my first digital SLR and the first SLR I've picked up since my arty days at school 11 years ago...
I ordered the camera from Amazon for £253, the price seemed to fluctuate throughout the week I was planning my purchase going up to £290 at one point. I used www.camerapricebuster.co.uk to check prices across various retailers, but this site doesn't always have the latest deals.
In the box is......
1 x Camera body + cover
1 x lens + covers
1 x usb cable
1 x video cable
1 x strap
1 x view finder cover
1x software cd
1 x manual
1 x battery
1 x battery charger
Note no small capacity memory card is included like most standard digital cameras.
I also purchased a crumpler pretty boy XL bag to carry all the bits and bobs. I purchased this from Jessops for £27, which was a bargain considering it's usually around £50.
Setting up the camera was so easy; the manual has a pullout quick start guide which advised how long to initially charge the battery. It's rare to find the first words in a manual telling you the first bits you need to know....how long to charge the battery, it's usually how to dispose of a battery, then some safety information about not eating it as well.... Once the battery was charged, I fitted the memory card (8gb Sandisk extreme 3 £40 from Amazon), lens and strap. I set the mode to auto, turned it on and started snapping... The zoom is easy to use as are all the features in general.
After 40 or so photos using the auto mode, I switched to Manual where I started to discover the accessibility of all the settings. Setting the exposure, aperture and ISO is very easy, all options are within one button press as you'd expect. Manual focus is an easy to find switch which gives you that quick control when required.
The pictures to me are superb, it may not match a £1000 camera, but for a quarter of the price I believe the performance is amazing. Having read a large number of reviews before making my purchase it seems my opinion isn't on its own...
If you're looking for a starter camera which will give you a large amount of room to develop before upgrading, this is the best option around at the moment. I've only had it two weeks and I'm already looking for a second lens.
On the down side I was disappointed with the lack of being able to view the shot on the LCD screen when taking a photo... Someone, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm sure it just can't do it. The second down side is the lack of a black and white option when using the macro setting.
This camera is amazing and I love the results I see in my pictures. It has easy point and shoot available, plus more advanced settings for those who know what they are doing. A turn of the dial and I can switch from taking fun pictures with my friends to professional looking photos of scenery. The best part is being able to connect the camera to your computer to load your pictures for viewing and editing.
The camera is compatible with Tamaron and Minolta lenses, which are just as great as Sony lenses, but not nearly as expensive. The digital screen is also a great plus for reviewing your pictures both during the photo shoot and for deciding which ones to keep and which ones to get rid of. The down side to this is that you cannot use it to take the actual picture. You have to physically look through the view finder, which is the case with most of these types of cameras.
This is a great camera for someone trying SLR for the first time or for those SLR pros looking to go digital. I would also recommend getting a 70-300 lens to add to the versatility of this camera.
Set your creativity free. The Sony a (alpha) DSLR-A200 camera is poised to welcome you into the exciting world of DSLR performance. A DT 18-70mm and a 75-300mm lenses are included here, as well as superb 10.2-megapixel imaging, high-sensitivity shooting, and Super SteadyShot in-camera image stabilization that reduces blur with a brilliant array of Sony, Carl Zeiss and Minolta a-mount lenses. It's also fast, lightweight and incredibly easy to operate, with a large 2.7" LCD screen, simple Function Guide menu display and Creative Style settings to fine-tune camera performance. The powerful Bionz processing engine is also included to increase response time.
Superb image quality gives you great DSLR shots right from the start, with a large APS-size CCD imager developed by Sony to expand dynamic range, minimize noise more effectively and provide greater detail for making big prints or cropping in tight on your subject.
Broad sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200 enables the ± (alpha) DSLR-A200 to capture beautiful color images even in very dim light - with High ISO Noise Reduction technology that reduces picture noise artifacts at high-sensitivity ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 settings by eliminating noise from RAW data after analog-to-digital conversion.
A high-performance sensor detects vibrations and the image stabilization system automatically compensates. Because image stabilization is built into the ± (alpha) DSLR-A200, every lens benefits - and with an advantage of from 2.5 to 3.5 stops, you can shoot effectively at higher shutter speeds even in very low light with minimum blur from shaky hands or fast-moving subjects.
The "brain" of the ± (Alpha) DSLR-A200 is the advanced Sony Bionz Image Processor, using hardware-based Large Scale Integrated (LSI) circuitry to enhance images with rich tonal reproduction, improved white balance and exposure control, and expanded D-Range Optimizer capabilities. With 2-channel data transfer from CCD to processor, your camera can also respond faster.
To improve results with backlit subjects and recover details hidden in shadows or lost in glare, the ± (alpha) DSLR-A200 provides Dynamic Range Optimizer at two levels: Normal DRO, to improve detail using standard gamma curves for fast shot-to-shot response time, or Advanced DRO, to adjust dynamic range area-by-area for the greatest precision.
Changing lenses in a DSLR can allow dust to enter the camera - so to keep the CCD imager cleaner for better pictures, the ± (alpha) DSLR-A200 utilizes both static-free anti-dust coating on the CCD filter and anti-dust vibration that automatically shakes the CCD to dislodge dust each time the camera is shut off.
In Auto or some scene selection modes, the camera flash automatically pops up and fires when needed to help you shoot more effectively. Flash is cancelled in Landscape, Sport or Sunset modes and in "Flash Off" position on the Exposure Mode dial.
Eye-Start Autofocus System begins precision autofocus adjustments the moment you raise the camera to your eye - so unlike some DSLR cameras that don't start focusing until the shutter button is half-pressed, the Sony ± (alpha) DSLR-A200 never slows down your ability to catch fast action.
A fast focus motor and improved focus control help bring images into sharp definition more quickly, with predictive focus control that automatically calculates the position of a fast-moving subject.
A 40-segment honeycomb sensing system provides multi-pattern measuring for superior exposure control accuracy - and you can also select center-weighted or spot metering modes. You'll also have 6 preset White Balance control settings and RGB Histogram display to check color balance.
Along with auto exposure, the ± (alpha) DSLR-A200 gives you scene selection modes to optimize camera performance for Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports, Sunset and Night Portrait/Night View situations.
To express your creativity and personal taste, you can adjust contrast, saturation and sharpness settings for any of 8 finishing styles - including Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Night View, Sunset, B & W and Adobe RGB modes.
A large built-in screen with anti-reflective coating makes it easy to read camera setup menus even in bright sunlight and improves image quality when you check your shots.
To quickly review your photos, the ± (alpha) DSLR-A200 can display 4, 9 or 25-frame index views - or present automatic slide shows with fade-in/fade-out effect.
The ± (alpha) DSLR-A200 can also create high-resolution thumbnail images for viewing on a Sony BRAVIA HDTV in optimized PhotoTV HD mode, with image format adjustable for standard 3:2 or widescreen 16:9 display.
On-screen menus are intuitive and easy to use - and a simple Camera Function Display can be activated and operated with one hand using the Fn (Function) button and controller button to adjust Flash mode, Autofocus mode, White Balance, Metering mode, AF area and D-Range Optimizer.
To capture action more effectively, the ± (alpha) DSLR-A200 offers continuous JPEG shooting up to the limit of your flash memory card - plus RAW Burst Mode (up to 6 shots) with intelligent buffer management to allow more shots to be captured without waiting for the buffer to clear.
You can take up to 750 shots on a fully charged NP-FM500H InfoLITHIUM battery - and you'll be able to see about how much power remains in percentage increments, so you can keep shooting in confidence.
For conveniently storing and sharing your images, the ± (alpha) DSLR-A200 accepts CompactFlash Type I/II media and Memory Stick PRO Duo media via an optional adaptor.
The Sony ± (alpha) system gives you everything you need to expand your creativity in DSLR photography: precision Sony DT zoom lenses and specialty lenses, Sony "G" Series lenses with advanced motorized autofocusing, amazingly bright Carl Zeiss T coated lenses, professional-quality flash units, and over 16 million Minolta a-mount lenses sold worldwide.