Conclusion: The Sony Alpha DSLR-A230 delivers terrific value and solid shots for an entry-level SLR, but it lacks features such as HD video capture and Live View, which you'll often find on higher-end models.
Pros: Competitive price. Lightweight. Good image quality. Noise is unnoticeable up to and including ISO 1600. Clever interface guides beginners. HDMI port with support for HDMI CEC.
Cons: LCD does not support Live View. Kit lens produces soft images at wider apertures. Still image frame rate is a bit sluggish when compared with comparable cameras.
Summary: Underneath the veneer, very little has changed from the old model but that is not necessarily a bad thing, as this still offers a very competitive performance, and currently a cheaper price than its competitors once you take into account the kit lens.
Summary: Sony’s Alpha A230 is the cheapest of three models in the company’s consumer DSLR range, featuring 10.2 Megapixel resolution and built-in image stabilisation which works with any lens you attach. It’s a fair specification for the price, although one which shares a great deal with its predecessor, the Alpha A200 – indeed as we mentioned at the start of this review, the internal specification is almost identical, with most of the changes being external.
Pros: Built-in IS which works with any lens., Beginner-friendly user interface., One of the cheapest DSLRs around.
Cons: More noise than rivals at high ISOs., Slow continuous shooting., No live view or movie mode., Body shape may not be to all tastes.
Excerpt: The first thing you notice when picking up the Sony A230 is that the build quality feels cheaper than its predecessor. There is little doubt that at least some of its weight loss comes from the use of less robust materials (which probably helps Sony's bottom line too), and is not only due to the smaller overall dimensions. The right-hand grip has been completely redesigned - for the worse, unfortunately.
Excerpt: Since it launched its initial Alpha A100 in 2006, Sony has slowly but steadily increased the breadth of its DSLR range, inserting models here and there until there is barely any difference between neighbouring Alpha units - the aim of course being increased market share.
Pros: Good, sharp results using 18-55mm standard zoom, user friendly, realistic colours, small form factor, large-ish LCD
Cons: Plastic feel, blocky design, no Live View, grip too small to hold as comfortably or tightly as we'd have liked