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  DSLR Tips

Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 final production review Gordon Laing, November 2007
Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Gallery

The following images were taken with a final production Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 running version 2.0 firmware and fitted with a Sony DT 16-80mm zoom lens. The A700 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 Normal and Standard settings respectively.

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: 3.84MB, Program, 1/160, f10, ISO 100, 16-80mm at 24mm (equivalent to 36mm)

  This first shot was taken with the A700 and the 16-80mm zoomed-in a little to deliver an equivalent of 36mm. 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, although as also seen in our results pages, there's a lack of ultimate crispness due to modest in-camera sharpening. This can of course be increased or applied later though as desired.


Landscape: 4.21MB, Program, 1/320, f9, ISO 100, 16-80mm at 75mm (equivalent to 113mm)

    This second shot was again taken under bright conditions at 100 ISO, but this time with the 16-80mm zoomed almost all the way in.

Once again there's a great deal of detail and lack of noise, although again a softness compared to many camera's default image processing settings.

Landscape: 5.66MB, Program, 1/15, f3.5, ISO 100, 16-80mm at 16mm (equivalent to 24mm)

    Our final 100 ISO shot was taken with the 16-80mm zoomed all the way out, but under much dimmer conditions.

The crops are again noise-free and detailed, and the ability to handhold at slower shutter speeds thanks to built-in anti-shake allows you to easily blur moving water without the need for a tripod.

Portrait: 3.27MB, Aperture Priority, 1/1250, f4.5, ISO 200, 16-80mm at 80mm (equivalent to 120mm)

  For this portrait shot we increased the sensitivity to 200 ISO, zoomed the 16-80mm all the way in and opened the aperture to its maximum.

As you'd hope there's still no noise and the crops contain plenty of detail - again with latitude for additional sharpening if desired.

The Carl Zeiss 16-80mm also makes it easy to throw backgrounds out of focus.

Landscape: 5.45MB, Program, 1/320, f10, ISO 200, 16-80mm at 16mm (equivalent to 24mm)

  Another shot taken at 200 ISO, although with the zoom working at an equivalent of 24mm to capture a big wide angle view.

As before the crops are noise-free, detailed and able to handle extra sharpening for a punchier result.

The Zeiss lens is also a great quality kit lens option for the A700.


Macro: 4.90MB, Program, 1/640, f13, ISO 400, 16-80mm at 80mm (equivalent to 120mm)

  For this macro shot we increased the sensitivity to 400 ISO and positioned the camera as close at it would focus.

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 noise reduction artefacts to speak of.


Indoor: 3.88MB, Program, 1/13, f5, ISO 400, 16-80mm at 16mm (equivalent to 24mm)

  Our first indoor shot was taken with the A700 at 400 ISO. The camera metered a little dark, so we've applied +0.7EV compensation here.

The Zeiss lens can be demanding on your focusing in lower light, and has a surprisingly small depth of field even when zoomed-out. So we shot this in Aperture Priority and slightly closed the aperture.

The areas which fall into the depth of field are sharp.

Indoor: 4.77MB, Aperture Priority, 1/4, f5.6, ISO 800, 16-80mm at 16mm (equivalent to 24mm)

  Our second indoor shot again suffered from the same issues as above, so we applied +0.3Ev compensation and slightly closed the aperture to ensure our normal crop areas were sharp.

The result is a shot which shows plenty of detail and minimal noise despite an increase in sensitivity to 800 ISO. Do compare this to rivals like the Canon 40D though.


Indoor: 3.96MB, Program, 1/40, f5, ISO 1600, 16-80mm at 16mm (equivalent to 24mm)

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

The crops reveal the first real signs of noise in this gallery, although if you check our A700 noise results page, you'll notice visible artefacts at 800 ISO.

You may wish to compare this sample with one taken at 3200 ISO by the Canon 40D.


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All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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