Sony Alpha a450 review
Review Date : Thu, 18 Mar 2010
Author : Mike Lowe
The Sony a450 is a new mid-level DSLR to the Alpha range, but is it a successful release? The What Digital Camera Sony Alpha a450 review...
|Pros:||7fps shooting, in-camera HDR, sub-£500 price point|
|Cons:||Build quality a bit ‘plasticy’, noisy AF, no proper AF-illuminator lamp|
Sony's latest Alpha model sits at the lower end of its mid-level range. Splicing together the speedy continuous shooting mode as found in the a550, but lacking the class-leading Quick AF live view from the rest of the Alpha range. Is this new model a fine balance of user demand at an affordable sub-£500 price-point, or more a play to further bulk out the Alpha range to tempt potential buyers by Sony's sheer mass-presence in the marketplace?
Sony Alpha a450 review - Features
Sat in the range between the lower-end Sony a380 and marginally higher mid-level a550, the Sony a450 offers the majority of the a550's spec at a sub-£500 price point. There are some key differences however: the rear screen is a 2.7in, 230K-dot LCD version that cannot be freely tilted as per the a550's larger 3in, 920K-dot tilt-angle version. The other significant omission is that the top-performing Quick AF live view capability lacks - where other Alpha models have a dedicated live view image sensor, the a450 does not, meaning Manual Check Liveview is the only method available.
Apart from these changes the a450 is very much like the a550 found above it in the range. The high-resolution 14.2megapixel CMOS sensor outputs large images as either Jpegs or using Sony's ARW Raw format. Steady Shot INSIDE image stabilisation technology features as standard, with the sensor capable of countering a claimed 2-4 stops of shake whichever lens is attached to the front. The Bionz processor provides images up to an extended ISO setting of 12,800 and there is even an Auto HDR feature that takes two images in quick succession and auto-combines in camera for a single images with extended shadow and highlight exposure captured.
The a450's Priority Speed Mode also offers the same high speed continuous shooting of seven frames per second, as per the a550. When not in this specific mode an ample 5fps is offered or a potential 4fps when in live view. The 9-point AF system keeps things up on the speed-front, including an Eye-Start activation that readies the AF system when your eye nears the viewfinder.