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Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Gordon Laing, February 2008
 
Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Gallery

Updated February 2008 with final production model


The following images were taken with a final production Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 running version 1.0 firmware and fitted with the Sony DT 18-70mm kit lens.

The A200 was set to Large Fine JPEG quality, Auto White Balance, Multi-segment metering and Standard Colour mode. High ISO NR and the D-Range Optimiser were set to their default On and Standard settings respectively. Super SteadyShot was enabled for all handheld shots here.

The individual exposure mode, file sizes, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the default Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the default High quality preset. The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.



Landscape: 3.58MB, Program, 1/200, f10, ISO 100, 18-70mm at 18mm (equivalent to 27mm)

  This first shot was taken with the A200 and the 18-70mm zoomed-out to an equivalent of 27mm. It was bright and the sensitivity set to 100 ISO, so this represents ideal conditions.

As you'd hope, the crops are detailed and bereft of noise. Sony's also resisted from applying too much sharpening - unusual for an entry-level model - although you can increase it if desired.
     


Landscape: 5.22MB, Program, 1/250, f10, ISO 100, 18-70mm at 18mm (equivalent to 27mm)

  Another shot taken at 100 ISO with the kit lens zoomed-out under bright conditions.

As before, the crops are detailed, although again could certainly stomach a slight boost in sharpening if that's your preferred style.
     


Landscape: 4.45MB, Program, 1/400, f10, ISO 200, 18-70mm at 55mm (equivalent to 83mm)

  In this third shot we increased the sensitivity to 200 ISO to ensure a sufficiently fast shutter speed to capture the moving boat without blurring.

Despite bright sunlight shining against a predominantly white hull, the A200 has resisted the temptation to under-expose and the result looks great.

As you'd hope, the increase in sensitivity also hasn't had a detrimental impact on quality. The crops are detailed and noise-free.
     


Portrait: 2.97MB, Program, 1/160, f16, ISO 200, 18-70mm at 70mm (equivalent to 105mm)


  For this portrait shot we kept the sensitivity at 200 ISO and manually popped-open the built-in flash to fill-in harsh shadows.

The A200 has done a good job of balancing ambient light with the flash and produced a natural-looking result.

Again there's plenty of detail in the crops and no processing artefacts to worry about.
     


Macro: 4.64MB, Program, 1/160, f8, ISO 400, 18-70mm at 70mm (equivalent to 105mm)

  For this macro shot we increased the sensitivity to 400 ISO and positioned the camera as close at it would focus with the kit lens fully zoomed-in.

We shot his in Program mode, but a larger depth of field could have been achieved in Aperture Priority.

The increase to 400 ISO hasn't had an adverse effect of the quality, with the crops revealing lots of detail and no noise or processing artefacts to speak of.

     


Indoor: 3.98MB, Program, 1/30, f4, ISO 400, 18-70mm at 18mm (equivalent to 27mm)


  Our first indoor shot was taken with the A200 at 400 ISO. Many cameras meter a little dark in this location, but the A200's exposure is fine.

Unlike the previous example, a smattering of noise is visible if you look closely enough.

But there's little to complain about and we'd be happy using the A200 at 400 ISO.
     


Indoor: 4.40MB, Aperture Priority, 1/6, f6.3, ISO 800, 18-70mm at 18mm (equivalent to 27mm)

 

Our second indoor shot was taken with the sensitivity increased to 800 ISO. We've seen the quality fall at 800 ISO on other A200 samples, but here it's still retaining a good degree of detail.

Texture from noise and processing has become more obvious, but it won't worry any other than the pixel-peepers among us.

That said, some rival 10 Mpixel DSLRs are capable of cleaner results at 800 ISO.

The built-in anti-shake has also allowed us to handhold at 1/6.

     


Indoor: 3.30MB, Program, 1/40, f4.5, ISO 1600, 18-70mm at 18mm (equivalent to 27mm)

 

Our final indoor shot was taken with the sensitivity increased to 1600 ISO.

The crops reveal a significant increase in processing artefacts, smearing ultimate detail. The hymn board exhibits chroma noise, while the flowers look posterised.

The A200 at 1600 ISO is acceptable for small prints, but doesn't stand-up to close examination at 100%.

     


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