Summary: Sony’s latest DSLRs, the A300 and A350, double the Alpha range and illustrate Sony’s commitment in the market. Indeed by discontinuing the original A100 and introducing four brand new models in as many months, Sony has been more aggressive than any other DSLR manufacturer.
Unlike rival manufacturers, Sony is also interestingly now applying the same strategy to its DSLR range as it has with compacts for years – that is, producing a base model (in this case the A200), then...
Pros: Built-in anti-shake - works with any lens., No-fuss Live View with quick AF., Tilting monitor., InfoLithium battery gives accurate feedback.
Cons: Relatively small optical viewfinder., Noise levels not much better than A350., Live View not 100% accurate., Anti-dust system not 100% effective in our tests.
Summary: The Sony A300 is certainly a fun camera to use, owing to its zippy Live View performance, tilting screen and advanced feature set. While plastic, it is well made, looking and feeling like it was built to last. The control interface is largely intuitive and easy to use, although allow yourself a bit of time to get used to it if you are switching from another brand. If I had to pick one of its many features, I would cast my vote in favour of Manual Exposure Shift.
Conclusion: Sony’s photo expertise was developed in compact cameras and this shows all too clearly in the A300 . It’s certainly well built and festooned with fancy features: a good SteadyShot image stabiliser, powerful batteries (700+ shots between charges) and an anti-dust system. Sadly, while it’s ahead on technology, it’s behind in two crucial areas: shooting speed and image quality.
Pros: The A300 tries to make the transition from compact camera to SLR as smooth as possible, thanks to a unique dual-sensor system that lets you use Live View framing during focusing and even burst shooting (up to 3fps). It also has a big 2.7-inch screen and a kit lens with more zoom power (3.8x) than its mostly 3x rivals.
Cons: The Sony shares some of compact cameras’ less appealing habits, too. Soft, grainy 10-megapixel images are only average, plus the A300 suffers from some of the most sluggish focusing and unresponsive menus we’ve seen on a digital SLR. If you don’t want to use the Live View function, the optical viewfinder is rather cramped.
Summary: A competitively-priced, feature-rich DSLR camera with a tilting LCD and live viewing.Sitting between the DSLR-A200 and DSLR-A350 models (both of which have been reviewed on this website), Sony's DSLR-A300 offers the resolution of the A200 model plus the Live View system of the A350. Initially the company had no plans to release the A300 in Australia but it obviously saw a need to compete with other manufacturers that offered live viewing in their entry-level models. . .
Summary: While some competing units may be better for more advanced users, Sony's Alpha A300 is a compelling option for first-time SLR buyers with its combination of image quality, features and an intuitive menu.
Pros: Best Live View implementation on the market, good image quality, sensor-based stabilisation, intuitive interface
Cons: Images come out somewhat soft with default lens, resolution a little lower than some of the competition
Summary: This camera will appeal to customers moving up from a compact because the live view arrangement will feel immediately familiar. But can anyone explain why holding a heavy DSLR at arm’s length makes more sense than using the optical viewfinder? We feel that image quality is not up to par, even shooting RAW, mainly because of the indifferent performance of the lenses.
Pros: This camera has two stand-out features — the swivelling LCD screen and the live view function. Although the LCD is relatively small and only moves through limited angles it is wonderful for overhead and low level shooting. And this is the first DSLR with live view that works pretty much as it does on a compact. You just point and shoot. Focus is fast and fairly accurate and there is no double-clunk as on other SLRs with live view.
Cons: JPEG images straight from the camera are soft. We suspect that this is not a camera fault but a lens issue. We would strongly recommend buying the body plus one of the excellent Zeiss lenses that Sony offer as an option — expensive but good.
Summary: Die Alpha 300 (400 Euro) ist als 10-Megapixel-Modell eine nahe Verwandte der 14-Megapixel-Kamera Alpha 350. Bei beiden kann das Gehäuse nicht restlos überzeugen: Der Handgriff ist zwar griffig gummiert und ergonomischer geformt als etwa bei der EOS 1000D, doch fehlt das gummierte Gegenstück an der Rückseite, so dass der Daumen nicht so recht Halt findet. Und der eingebaute Blitz klappt zuwenig über das Gehäuse hinaus, so dass rote Augen bei Porträts vorprogrammiert sind.