Summary: so far the camara has performed well. I am using it with the Minolta Maxxum lens. The night shots are good. I would have thought that the overall picture quality would have been a little better because it is an SRL camera.
Excerpt: Last week i sold my sony A350 and bought the A500. I'm very happy with the results. instead of the A350 who's pictures were noisy above iso 200 the pictures from the A500 are noise free and detailed all the way up till iso 1600. Using the tamron 17-50 lens gives exellent results. The focus speeds are a litlle faster on the A500 than the A350. The speed of this camera is so much faster than the A350.
Excerpt: Its strengths: DRO (Dynamic Range Optimization) and HDR, Live view with fast auto focus, built-in image stabilization, tilted LCD screen. I am very happy with this camera. I purchased it one month ago. The A500 has built-in DRO & HDR with adjustable levels, live view with quick auto focus (4 fps with live view), and tilted LCD. These features are very useful for me. The image quality is roughly the same from A500, A700 and Canon Xsi (this my another DSLR).
Excerpt: I have used this camera since Dec 20, 2009. Live View: Ooutstanding and incredibly fast. Much much faster than every other DSLR that I tried. Face Detection, great for taking pictures of small children Image Quality: Very sharp at higher ISO settings and under low light. HDR: Have not played with it that much, but it does do a great job alingning picutures and merging into one photo fairly seamlessly.
Summary: The photo quality is very good, the ease of use is excellent, the camera is bulky (but most DSLR's have to be), and the battery has a long long lifetime as long as you don't take many flash photos. However, the RAW format for the highest resolution photos is a bit of a pain. It would be much more convenient to have all in .jpeg format which would bypass the intermediate step of using the Sony software to massage your images. RAW format is NOT compatible with PhotoShop.