Summary: The Sony Alpha A200 is a well valued digital SLR. While it is the new entry-level DSLR from Sony, it keeps image quality and performance high. This 10 megapixel digital SLR is packed with useful features and technology such as built-in stabilization, dynamic range optimization and dust-reduction. With body-based stabilization, all lenses automatically benefit from stabilization, even ultra-wide-angle lenses, at no additional cost.
Pros: Built-in stabilization that works with all lenses, Status display and autofocus activated by eye-start sensor, Very fast focusing and good overall speed, Good metering accuracy, Effective dynamic range optimizer, Good construction, Excellent battery-life
Cons: Above average image noise starting at ISO 400, Loss of details due to noise reduction from ISO 400 on, Color-shift at ISO 1600 and 3200, Tiny AEL and EC buttons, Flash-compensation only menu-accessible, Limited customization, No depth-of-field preview
Excerpt: In its new Alpha 200, Sony has given its original DSLR (and our 2006 Camera of the Year), the Alpha 100, a makeover. Although it bears a slight outward resemblance to Sony's higher-end A700, inside, not much has changed. The camera does get new firmware, a boost in ISO sensitivity to 3200 from the previous 1600, and a tweak of the sensor-based Super SteadyShot image stabilization that Sony says will allow a half-stop more handholding leeway than the A100.
Excerpt: When Sony introduced its first DSLR, the Alpha 100, we liked it enough to name it our 2006 Camera of the Year. While its replacement, the new Alpha 200, doesn't break much new ground, it will certainly give its entry-level competitors a run for their money. And money is the operative word, given the A200's bargain street price of $500 with a 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 lens ($700 with additional 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens).
Excerpt: The Sony Alpha A200 is an upgrade of the Sony A100 (introduced in June 2006). Like the A100, the Sony A200 is compatible with all A-mount Minolta SLR and DSLR autofocus lenses and accessories (excluding Minolta MD-mount manual focus lenses). According to Sony, compared to the A100, the A200 adds ISO 3200 sensitivity, 1.7x faster autofocus, a larger (2.7") LCD, lower image noise, a quieter shutter, and adds automatic popup to the built-in flash.
Conclusion: If you're currently in the market for an entry-level DSLR and you've come across the Sony DSLR-A200 one of the first things you have probably noticed is its incredibly tempting price point. If your budget is limited the A200 is by default one of your top options. But does it actually provide value for money or would you be better off spending a little extra and getting a competing model?
Pros: Good detail at lowest sensitivities (but some loss of low-contrast detail when shooting jpeg), Class leading battery life (displayed as a percentage), Sophisticated AF system for this class of camera, Large viewfinder, Solid construction (although slightly cheap looking plastic surfaces), Wireless flash control, Efficient in-body image stabilization and dust reduction, Comprehensive recording mode display, Good selection of image parameters, Good ergonomics and contro...
Cons: Poor rendition of low-contrast detail in JPEG (shoot RAW to avoid this), AF button (multi-controller) can unintentionally be operated with your nose (if you're left-eyed), Large amounts of chroma noise and little shadow detail in high ISO images, Longer than average start-up time, Record review takes longer than average, No built-in AF assist, Poor white balance performance in artificial light, High ISO noise reduction blurs a lot of detail, Screen difficult to view i...
Conclusion: Sony A200 - Entry-level digital SLR camera With the introduction of the Alpha 100, Sony entered the DSLR market. This model has now been replaced by the new Sony Alpha 200. The new Alpha camera is Sony's entry-level model and offers a stack of setting possibilities for a very attractive price.
Excerpt: The Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 is the follow-on model to Sony's first DSLR, the entry-level A100, and according to Sony it's faster, lighter, and easier to use than its predecessor, in addition to providing improved noise control and AF acquisition times. Not having ever had my hands on an A100, I'll have to defer to Sony on those points.
Pros: Good image and color quality/range of adjustments, Stabilized/dust reduction sensor, Accepts a variety of lenses, Good AF and shutter response
Cons: Plastic used in lens body seems questionable as to durability