Conclusion: Sony Alpha 350 digital reflex camera Sony are betting on the lowest segment of the D-SLR market with no less than three models. The Sony A200, the A300 and the A350 offer the consumer sufficient choice. It also shows that Sony, after a timid start, are willing to conquer the photography market and aim at the top 3.
Excerpt: What's in a name? With DSLRs, not much. Case in point: Sony's new Alpha 350 ($800, street, body only; $900 with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Sony DT lens). Based on quick math, you might guess it's half the camera the Alpha 700 ($1,300, body only) is. But the A350 actually boasts a higher-megapixel (14.2) sensor than the A700, plus several conveniences such as a tilting LCD and a live-view mode with fast autofocusing.
Conclusion: Both the greatest compliment and greatest criticism you can level at the Alpha 350 is that it's probably the most compact-camera-like DSLR we've ever reviewed. The secondary-sensor live view system is interesting: most modern DSLR designs are saddled with their film legacy and the A350 makes the strongest bid to step out of that shadow.
Pros: Good detail at lowest sensitivities, competitive with best in class, Reliable metering, JPEG output makes good use of the sensor's dynamic range, Most seamless live view system of current DSLRs, Probably the easiest DSLR to use for a compact camera user, Super SteadyShot helps keep snaps sharp, External ISO button, Above-average ergonomics for its class, Well-featured and usable software included, Very good battery life, Wireless flash capability, Solid-feeling constr...
Cons: Soft JPEGs with poor low-contrast detail, Smallest viewfinder to appear on an APS-C DSLR, Screen obstructs use of viewfinder, Image quality suffers above ISO 400 (from both noise and excessive noise reduction), Long exposure noise reduction turns hot pixels black, Slower and less responsive than its contemporaries, Poor continuous shooting rate, Most convenient button on body given least useful function
Excerpt: Sony released two new DSLR cameras: the Alpha A300 and Alpha A350. They really only differ in pixel count. The A300 has a 10.2MP sensor, while the A350 has a 14.2MP sensor. The only other notable diffference is that the A300 (with the lower pixel count) has a slightly faster continuous drive speed - 3 fps vs. 2 fps for the A350. These cameras contain two features, which are new on DSLRs.
Conclusion: With some handy innovative features, the A350 is an easy-to-use, entry-level D-SLR that takes great pictures.
Pros: Great image quality in nearly all environments. Tilting LCD. Innovative Live View system. In-camera mechanical image stabilization. Fast autofocus. Handy function button provides easy access to settings.
Cons: Slightly overexposed flash. Cropping occurs when framing via Live View. Too few quick-access buttons. Similar model available for $200 less.
Excerpt: When the Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 was launched at PMA, I suspected Sony might be onto something with their new live view system. After I spent a few minutes shooting in live view mode with a demo version, I was even more intrigued. When the A350's junior sibling, the A200, earned our Editor's Choice recognition for being a solid all-around camera at a great price, I almost couldn't wait to get an A350 review unit.
Pros: Most integrated, best performing live view system on the market, Superior flash metering means better flash shots, Articulating LCD a nice touch, Long list of picture styles, processing controls
Cons: Noise performance is middle of the pack, White balance a bit of a mess, Build quality feels unremarkable, Tiny, dark optical viewfinder
Summary: Sony has brought Live View shooting to their digital SLR camera line with the release of a 14.2-megapixel (alpha) DSLR-A350 camera and 10.2-megapixel (alpha) DSLR-A300 model. Both cameras feature a wealth of new "cool" technologies, which will help make these dSLRs faster and easier to use for first-time users.
Excerpt: The Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 (priced from $799) is a midrange digital SLR, whose
biggest claim to fame is "live view" on its tilting 2.7" LCD, with
super-fast autofocus speeds. The A350 also features a whopping 14.2 Megapixel
sensor, Alpha lens mount, image stabilization, dust reduction, full manual
controls, and the performance and expandability that you'd expect from a D-SLR.
Pros: Very good photo quality at lower ISO settings or in RAW mode, Well built, easy-to-hold body, Sensor-shift image stabilization reduces blur on most legacy Minolta and all Sony lenses, Best live view system on the market on a tilting 2.7" LCD; focuses just as quickly as it does with LV off, Dust reduction system, Full manual controls, RAW image format supported; good editing software included, Snappy performance in most respects, Support for wireless flashes, Best-in-cl...
Cons: Photos are on the soft side, with heavy noise reduction above ISO 200 (in low light) and ISO 800 (in normal light); shooting in RAW improves things noticeably, Tends to underexpose, Sluggish low light focusing, Live view issues: only shows 90% of the frame; poor low light visibility; reduces burst mode frame rate; no way to enlarge frame for manual focusing, Small optical viewfinder, LCD is difficult to see outdoors, Legacy hot shoe limits third party flash options, 1...
Summary: I have thoroughly enjoyed my time thus far with the Sony A350. The intuitive controls and menus make the camera a strong competitor to other entry-level cameras. The fast focusing Live View and tilting LCD panel, however, sets the A350 apart from the pack. If you are in the market for a DSLR, then I can highly recommend the Sony A350.