Summary: Offering high performance at a relatively low price, the Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 is one of the cheapest ways to enter the world of full-frame photography. If you can afford it, you're unlikely to be disappointed.
Cons: No video mode; no pop-up flash; not everyone will need the high detail it offers.
Conclusion: The a850 is undoubtedly a very good camera, and if you've been waiting for full-frame photography to become affordable, Sony has just answered your prayers. But with the a850 so closely based on the pricier a900, it struggles for an identity of its own, and you're left wondering if there's room for both in Sony's lineup.
Pros: That whopper of a sensor is unquestionably the star of the show, and Sony deserves credit for bringing full-frame photography more within the reach of the mass market. D-SLR purists will no doubt approve of the suitably imposing body and large optical viewfinder, but inside the a850 is jam-packed with Sony's increasingly impressive arsenal of digital goodies. Picture quality is broadly impressive too, though not quite a match for its pricier full-frame rivals.
Cons: Sony doesn't have any sort of SLR legacy to live up to, so we're quite surprised to see modern touches such as the increasingly obligatory Live View and movie mode not present on the a850. The 3fps maximum frame rate is nothing to write home about either, and the downside of that huge resolution is not only huge file sizes, but the tendency for noise to creep in at lower ISOs than on its rivals.
Summary: The Sony DSLR-A850 is the most affordable full-frame DSLR on the market. It's a no-nonsense photographer's camera that delivers excellent image quality at base ISO but cannot quite keep up with the competition at higher sensitivities.
Pros: Class-leading resolution (as long as your lenses are good enough), Very solid build quality, environmental sealing, Intuitive operation and uncluttered control and menu system, Excellent out of camera JPEG results with superb tonality, dynamic range, color, Excellent raw dynamic range gives lots of headroom, Almost 100% reliable metering and exposure, In-body image stabilization that works well (around 2 stop advantage), Superb screen and attractive menu system, Excel...
Cons: Noise reduction settings applied to raw as well as JPEG files - cannot be 'turned off for raw but left on for JPEGs' (as is normal practice), Relatively high levels of noise at anything over ISO 400 (ISO 6400 is of very, very limited use), JPEGs a little soft by default (some loss of detail due to NR visible even at ISO 200) - you really need to shoot raw (and use ACR or similar) to get the best out of the sensor, Top panel LCD very limited compared to all competitors...
Summary: An overall assessment of the Sony A850 Digital SLR is that it is very good, even with the pros and cons. The pros are as follows: 1) this is the most affordable full frame 24-megapixel camera currently available; 2) it produces sharp images and provides excellent resolution; 3) if offers good color reproduction; 4) it comes with a wide range of features and options; 5) this model features an effective dynamic range optimizer.
Pros: Amazing- most affordable full-framed 24.6-megapixel digital SLR, Full-fledged- too many features to list, most of which enhance images, Durable- magnesium-allow body safely resists wear, tear, and dust, Versatile- produces sharp images with excellent dynamic color ranges
Cons: Suffers- noisy images at high-ISO, slow shooting speeds
Summary: Although slightly less capable than its older sibling, the A850 offers just about everything I liked about the A900 including a slew of sophisticated features that make it easy to capture great images. Its 24 megapixel sensor provides plenty of resolution, but be prepared to push all those pixels through your software in post-processing, especially if you're shooting at high ISOs.
Pros: The most affordable full-frame, 24 megapixel camera on the market, Excellent resolution, sharp images (when used with a high end lens), Natural color reproduction, Sophisticated feature set providing extensive user controls, Effective Dynamic Range Optimizer
Cons: High end lenses can cost as much as, or more than, the camera, 3 fps continuous shooting is below average for current DSLRs, High ISO performance could-and should-be better/less noisy, Proprietary hotshoe so you need an adapter to use other flash units, Pocket Wizard, etc.
Conclusion: Sony Alpha 850 advanced digital SLR camera Sony's introduction of the Sony A900 last year, managed to shake the renowned professional camera industry to its foundations. At that time, it was quite unbelievable indeed; a high resolution professional DSLR at such a sharp retail price, bringing the seemingly unattainable PRO segment within reach for the serious amateur photographer.
Conclusion: It’s hard to call a $1,999 DSLR a great deal, but the Sony alpha DSLR-A850 is one. It’s the cheapest 24.6MP full-frame model available, $700 less than the Sony A900 and six grand less than the 24.5MP Nikon D3x. The camera requires a serious commitment in dollars (our test rig with lens has an MSRP of close to $3,600). It also demands you spend the time learning its intricacies. We had it for just a few weeks and really enjoyed every minute of it.
Pros: Great 24-megapixel images; intelligent Preview a real aid; built-in image sensor-shift stabilization; tweaks galore
Cons: Still expensive; noise at ISO 1250 and higher; poorly positioned preview button; no built-in flash; it's a must-have add-on; no Live View or HD video
Summary: I am a little confused by what Sony is doing at the moment. The company started out with such determination to shake up the DSLR market and seemed set to introduce all sorts of new and exciting features, yet it has failed to include technology such as Live View and video recording in its higher-level DSLRs.