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Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 Gordon Laing, April 2008
 
Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 Gallery

The following images were taken with a Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 running version 1.0 firmware and fitted with the Sony DT 18-70mm kit lens. Sony has asked us to describe this unit as pre-production, although it is at the same firmware revision as other review samples. We will update this page with samples from a retail A350 when one becomes available.

The A350 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.

Note: you may wish to open our Sony Alpha DSLR A200 Gallery for a direct comparison of detail and noise. As a further comparison, you may also be interested in our Canon EOS 40D Gallery and Nikon D300 Gallery.



Landscape: 4.66MB, Program, 1/250, f10, ISO 100, 18-70mm at 18mm (equivalent to 27mm)

  This first shot was taken with the A350 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.

The crops show plenty of detail and no noise to worry about, although the kit lens is exhibiting some fringing in areas of high contrast.

Like the A200 before it, the A350 also displays a modest amount of sharpening with its default settings. This can be boosted if you prefer.
     


Landscape: 5.73MB, Program, 1/100, f10, ISO 100, 18-70mm at 40mm (equivalent to 60mm)

 

Another shot taken at 100 ISO, although low light meant zooming-in to a mid-way focal length to avoid shadows.

As before, the crops appear slightly soft, but a boost in sharpness can coax out plenty of detail if desired.

There is however a feeling the A350's high pixel density is pushing the DT 18-70mm kit lens to its limits and you'd definitely be better-served with higher quality optics.

     


Landscape: 5.11MB, Program, 1/200, f13, ISO 200, 18-70mm at 70mm (equivalent to 105mm)

    Our next shot was taken of an approaching boat. The lens was zoomed-into it maximum focal length, the AF mode set to continuous and the sensitivity increased to 200 ISO.

The A350's AF tracked the approaching boat with no problems even with the basic lens, but close examination at 100% reveals a perceptible increase in noise in shadow areas.

It's subtle and won't concern most people, but it's definitely there.
     
   
     
   


Portrait: 3.75MB, Program, 1/125, f13, ISO 200, 18-70mm at 70mm (equivalent to 105mm)


  For this portrait shot we kept the sensitivity at 200 ISO and the lens at 70mm, but manually popped-open the built-in flash to fill-in harsh shadows.

The A350 has done a good job of balancing ambient light with the flash and produced a natural-looking result.

Again the crops reveal lots of detail which can handle additional sharpening, but doing so will make the faint smattering of noise more apparent.
     


Macro: 5.13MB, Program, 1/125, 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 has seen a further softening of detail and a slight increase in noise.

Again it's subtle, but it's more apparent than most 10 Mpixel DSLRs would be at this point.

     


Indoor: 4.56MB, Program, 1/30, f3.5, ISO 400, 18-70mm at 18mm (equivalent to 27mm)


  Our first indoor shot was taken with the A350 at 400 ISO.

As with the previous example, close examination reveals greater textures from noise and softening of ultimate detail than you'd find with lower resolution DSLRs.

It'll only really bother pixel peepers at this point, but it's still worth mentioning. The push to 14 Megapixels on an APS-C sensor is having a negative impact at higher sensitivities.
     


Indoor: 5.39MB, Program, 1/13, f3.5, ISO 800, 18-70mm at 18mm (equivalent to 27mm)

 

Our second indoor shot was taken with the sensitivity increased to 800 ISO. Like many cameras, the A350 metered low for this shot, so we applied +1EV compensation.

As you'd expect, there's a decrease in quality when viewed at 100%, with a noticeable increase in chroma noise. Again it's still usable, but not as smooth as many lower resolution DSLRs.

The built-in stabilisation has however eliminated any camera shake.

     


Indoor: 5MB, 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 and smearing of ultimate detail.

Compared to lower resolution DSLRs, the noise levels are higher, although it's worth noting Sony's own 10 Mpixel A200 is also no angel at higher sensitivities.

Ultimately as you'd expect, the A350's 14 Mpixel sensor can capture a lot of detail at low sensitivities, but suffers as you increase the ISO.

     


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All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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