Sony Alpha A850 Digital SLR Review: Field Test Report

The World’s Most Affordable Full-Frame DSLR

a850 Product

Boasting the highest resolution available in a 35mm size DSLR, the latest Sony camera is also the most affordable full-frame model on the market. Priced to sell at about $700 less than the Sony A900, the Nikon D700 and the Canon EOS 5D Mk II, the A850 is a downright bargain (from Amazon Sony Alpha DSLRA850 24.6MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only); from B&H Photo).

In spite of the moderate price, it’s identical to the A900 in most aspects, including the 24x36mm CMOS sensor with 24.6 million effective pixels. Each light-sensitive dot is quite large: 5.9 microns squared. In addition to excellent light gathering ability, analog-to-digital conversion and noise reduction processing- right on the sensor-combine to provide optimal image quality.

Because the A850 employs a sensor that's the same size as a 35mm film frame, there's no field of view crop. Hence, even a 24mm focal length includes a very wide portion of any scene. The 24.6 MP CMOS chip provides superlative resolution at commonly used ISO's, making this camera an ideal choice when huge prints are required. (Carl Zeiss 24-70mm zoom at 24mm)  ©2009 Peter K. Burian

Because the A850 employs a sensor that's the same size as a 35mm film frame, there's no field of view crop. Hence, even a 24mm focal length includes a very wide portion of any scene. The 24.6 MP CMOS chip provides superlative resolution at commonly used ISO's, making this camera an ideal choice when huge prints are required. (Carl Zeiss 24-70mm zoom at 24mm) ©2009 Peter K. Burian

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Sony A500 and A550 Digital SLR Review: Field Test Report

Peter Burian tests this affordable prosumer-grade duo with some digicam-style features for novices



A very prolific manufacturer, Sony markets more DSLR models than any other company. The new A500 (Amazon: Sony Alpha DSLRA500 12.3MP Digital SLR Camera (Body only); B&H: Sony A500) and A550 (Amazon: Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 14.2MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only); B&H: Sony A550) target photo enthusiasts and they’re identical except for a few aspects. The A550 boasts a 14.2 megapixel CMOS sensor and an ultra-high resolution LCD while the more affordable A500 is a 12.3 megapixel camera with a more typical LCD. While they will satisfy experienced photographers, with their digicam-style features these cameras should be equally attractive to novices.

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These DSLRs retain the best of the earlier A350 including live view with remarkably fast autofocus. Their most notable new benefits include much faster continuous drive speed, face detection plus Smile Shutter technology-plus a second, new live view mode. [Read more...]