Sony Alpha a380 review

Review Date : Mon, 27 Jul 2009

Author :

Sony Alpha DSLR

Boasting the same Quick AF live view system of its predecessor, what else does the latest Alpha model provide for the entry-level consumer?

 

Sony's four-year incursion into the DSLR market has been successful for many reasons. Aside from carrying Konica Minolta's flame, it's been its innovation and emphasis on value for money which has bought it a whole new audience. Whether it's the budget A200 tempting users into the system, or the pro-grade A900 competing with more established lines, there seems to be little territory the company is afraid of entering.

But with the whole market now catered for, the company has started to refresh its range with the next generation of models. The Sony A380 is the better specified models from the trio of Alpha cameras announced earlier in the year, continuing where the Sony A350 left off. Externally, the focus with new models seems to be on creating a stronger brand identity over the previous Konica Minolta design, as well as cutting down on weight and simplifying operation. But what does the Sony A380 offer that's new for the entry-level consumer?

 

More info:

Sony Alpha a380 - features

Sony Alpha a380 - design

Sony Alpha a380 - performance

Sony Alpha a380 - image quality

Sony Alpha a380 - verdict

Sony Alpha a380 - specifications

Verdict

That the Sony A380 is only a minor upgrade indicates one of two things. Either the entry-level user is already well-catered for, with everything they need to take the kind of images they would require, or a better-specified model which would sit a little higher up is in the pipeline. After all, a replacement for the A700 is long overdue, and the video recording and high-resolution LCD screens tend to be seen as niceties geared towards the mid-range market than limitations to this one. It's when using live view that the camera shines, and while other manufacturers have made their own advances in this area Sony still remains on top. It's only really the design of the body which may be problematic, though of course, this won't bother everyone. Even so, the usual advice of handling a camera before you buy it is something we'd strongly suggest here.


Lens Reviews

Price as reviewed

£500.00

Scores

Scores
Design 15/20
Image Quality 18/20
Performance 18/20
Value 17/20
Features 17/20
Overall Score 85%