Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:36 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

I rate this review <#> (1 worst, 5 best)
5 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
4 43%  43%  [ 3 ]
3 14%  14%  [ 1 ]
2 14%  14%  [ 1 ]
1 14%  14%  [ 1 ]
1 14%  14%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 7
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:30 am 
Where I live, the A200K kit (Body+18-70mm) costs SGD$1099. Add $300 to the kit price for the 75-300mm telephoto lens($399 on its own). This is an attractive price, compared to the Canon 400D, which costs $1199. The Sony A200K was $1099 all along, whereas the 400D's (18-55mm kit) price just dropped from $1349 not too long ago. Another good thing is that the A200's kit lens is 18-70mm, a bit longer than most other brands' kit lens of 18-55mm.

Design: Feels somewhat plasticky. Although its nice to the touch for me, some people may not like this. I agree that a plasticky feeling isn't always good. I had to get used to the scroll dial's(aka control dial) position in front of the shutter release button, because I'm used to the 400D's opposite position. Depending on the size of your hand, the grip may not be large enough for you. The weight is reasonable, but as it is designed for people who just entered the world of dSLRs, it may require some getting used to. The 2.7 inch LCD screen is slightly larger than some competitors'.

Noise: The NR(Noise Reduction) is good for high ISO settings. It reduces the noise level by substantial amounts(See: Sample images paragraph) especially at dark areas. This is important when using an ISO sensitivity of 3200 at night. One disadvantage of the NR when switched on is that after shots of longer shutter speeds (e.g. 10 seconds), the processing time takes a bit of time. The NR is automatically deactivated in Drive mode. NR available for shutter speeds above 1 second and ISO values of over 1600.

Function dial: The norm, M(anual), S(hutter speed), A(perture value), P(semi-automatic), green rectangle (fully automatic). Presets consist of Sunset, Landscape, Macro, Portrait, Night view/Night portrait, Sports, and flash off. I liked how the function dial is 360degrees compared to Canon's approx 300 degrees. Means you can turn from Manual to Flash Off straightaway, instead of having to go (anti)clockwise.

Creative styles: Gives settings for better shots. Standard, Vivid, Adobe RGB, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night view, Black/White(aka monochrome).

Continuous drive: Cliche 3.0fps for 'Fine' and 'L' size, gets slower per shot after 4th shot; until memory card is full. RAW file format, 6 frames. RAW+JPEG, 3 frames.

Highlights

Eye Start AF: This is really cool! :D Automatically focuses on whatever you look at through the viewfinder, when it is switched on. More use for this at low depths of field.

SuperSteady Shot: Warns of handshake. Tells you when vibrations too strong to be corrected.

InfoLithium battery: Accurately gives you the percentage of battery power left.

Additional
Built-in flash: Type:Auto pop-up. Flash metering and control: ADI and Pre-flash TTL flash. Flash coverage:18mm but Sony catalogue claims its able to cover 16mm fisheyes. Flash modes: Auto, Fill flash, Red-eye reduction, Rear Sync, Slow Sync, High-speed sync, Wireless. Guide number: GN 12.
Recycling time(imagine this as how much time to the next shot of the Tommy gun): approx. 4 seconds.

Viewfinder: Type: Fixed eye-level, penta-Dach mirror. Focusing screen: Spherical Acute Matte. Field of view: 95%.

Other lenses: Minolta and Konica Minolta AF lenses.

ISO range: 100-3200.

Operating temperature range: 0-40 degrees Celsius. (Don't think it'll last very long in the Sahara or the Arctic. But then again, how many of us go there? =P)

Final thoughts
All-round good for an entry-level dSLR camera. Made by electronics powerhouse Sony, this has not disappointed me so far. (Even though I have/had 4 different camera brands at home.) One disadvantage is Sony' habit of making propietary additions. Flash gun, lens, you name it. Only the CF card(for the Alpha series) is not from Sony.

Recommended additions for slightly more advanced users: Flash gun($475 for more basic one). 50mm f/2.8 Macro lens.($899)

Sample images: Request if needed and I'll do my best to get them for you.

Signed, your fellow CL reviewer,
SnS 8)

P.S.: For a more in-depth description, please go to Gordon's CameraLabs review at this link.

For my review: All feedback is most welcome! :D

Note: All prices were given in Singapore Dollars(SGD).

EDIT on 21st May-------------

Image

Final Say: With the other, newer and better models like the A300 and A350, you may want to consider spending just a little more for better features. However, the A200 is for those on a pretty tight budget wanting a decent entry-level camera.


Last edited by SCREAMnSHOUT on Wed May 21, 2008 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:35 pm 
Congratulations on your new camera!

Small question though, are you sure the eye-start AF allows you to focus on whatever you look at? I was under the impression that it merely activates the AF to focus on the selected focus point.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:41 pm 
Thanks for your kind words,

Yes, the Eye Start AF uses the eye sensors (in other cameras, these sensors merely switch the LCD screen on and off) to detect your eye movement. They then adjust the focusing point. Like I said, it works more obviously with low depths of field.

Its a strange thing Sony calls it Eye Start AF. Maybe they couldn't really find a better term for it, lol.

SnS 8)


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:09 pm 
I find it quite odd that none of the reviews or Sony themselves mention this. Very cool though if it does work.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:06 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9833
Location: UK
grahamnp wrote:
I find it quite odd that none of the reviews or Sony themselves mention this. Very cool though if it does work.

Yep, it's there in the manual. It will be interesting to hear how useful it is, though. Comparing this feature with the behaviour of the Canon 40D, with which I am familiar, on that camera focussing doesn't start until you depress the shutter button halfway but once focussing is complete that's it. You can recompose and provided you don't release the pressure on the shutter button the focus remains locked unless AI Servo AF or AI Focus mode is selected.

On the A200 pressing the shutter button halfway stops AF (unless Continuous AF or Automatic AF is selected: c.f. Canon's AI Servo AF or AI Focus) at which point you recompose. I'm not clear how the A200 behaves if you need to take a shot but can't use the viewfinder. Do you have to disable "eye-start AF" first?

Anyway, it seems to me that all you gain by using eye-start AF is the fraction of a second lost while cameras like the 40D focus as you depress the shutter button halfway and this is at the potential expense of continual focussing on the A200 draining the battery. Probably not a lot in it but I am, of course, guessing.

Bob.

P.S. @SCREAMnSHOUT - great way to celebrate your 100th post. Congratulations. 8)

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:19 am 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9975
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Hey Graham, I've mentioned the eyestart feature in my Sony DSLR reviews! See the AF section in our A200 review here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_ ... lens.shtml

Personally I didn't get on with the feature and prefer to half-press manually, but eye start certainly gives the camera a head-start.

Interestingly the A700 was rumoured to have a grip start feature too, but it never emerged on the final prodict


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:52 am 
Yea I realise that the A200 has the eye-start AF but I think SnS was referring to an AF system that tracks your eye movements to determine the selected focus point. Was that what you meant SnS? Or have I misunderstood you?

I noticed that you mentioned: "Automatically focuses on whatever you look at".


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:42 am 
Err just to clear things up:

If the Eye Start AF is switched on, you can leave it on a table(for example) and not touch it with your hands and it will focus. Just use your eye to look through the viewfinder and whatever you look at will be the focus point. This may not work if you have a habit of putting your eye a little away from the centrepoint of the viewfinder(like me sometimes.)

SnS


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:15 pm 
I think I know what you mean now. I had assumed you were referring to a kind of focusing system that was discussed here.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 2:21 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9833
Location: UK
SCREAMnSHOUT wrote:
...If the Eye Start AF is switched on .. use your eye to look through the viewfinder and whatever you look at will be the focus point...

Err, are you absolutely sure about that? I don't have any way to check but I definitely get a sense from the manual that the A200 does not have eye-controlled focus as featured on the EOS 3. Sorry if I'm being a bit thick, here. :oops:

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:01 am 
I was quite sure that it didn't have it either but SnS seems to have suggested otherwise. I haven't used the camera so there's a good chance that I'm wrong.

Good timing with the review btw, 100th post and all. :wink: :D


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:10 am 
It definitely doesn't have eye-focusing from an extended use of one here in the UK. Perhaps the confusion is with letting the camera auto select the focal point(s) and SnS interpreted this and eye-selection?

It's not a bad review you have there. You've covered the main points. What goes for the A200 though is the price point and the feature set. I think that's all the positives I can come up. I would be stressing certain flaws more though - the focal point indicators in the viewfinder aren't terribly visible, the noise handling is par for an entry model, and not as stellar as that of the competing (and getting dated) 400D. Build quality compared to the 400D is similar, though I've yet to experience a rattle with an A200; the grip is bordering on the meagre side and is more suited to smaller hands. Without carrying on too long, I'll end with shutter sound being loud.

I don't mean to say the A200 is not a good camera, but on the list of cameras I've had extended play with, it's close to the bottom.


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group