Sony Alpha a200 review
Image Quality and Value for Money
Noise appears on all sensitivities, but isn’t generally a problem up to ISO 400. Only areas of little detail show this on lower ISO settings, and even then it’s relatively fine-textured. Noise reduction can be applied at higher sensitivities, but is reasonably gentle, with images remaining fairly noisy but retaining a good amount of detail. Noise visible at ISO 3200 resembles ISO 1600 on the Sony Alpha A100
Tone and Contrast
Exposures are generally very good. The camera does well to hold detail in both shadows and highlights, but can occasionally be fooled by a few highlights and underexpose as a result. Using the D-range Optimiser, detail may be brought out of shadow areas when shooting a backlit subject, but with just two modes it lacks the more comprehensive level of control found on the Sony Alpha A700 model.
Colour And White Balance
The camera’s white balance system does well to produce accurate images. JPEGs straight from the camera turn out marginally colder than the magenta-toned Raw images, with a slight greenish cast.
Sharpness and Detail
Despite images appearing a little soft on occasion, sharpness is generally fine and artefact free. As with most other adjustments, this can be tweaked with the supplied Data Converter software, as well as third-party packages such as Adobe Lightroom.
Value for Money
The camera offers a lot for its £369 body-only price tag, and even the 18-70mm kit lens package can be found for as little as £400. In comparison to similarly priced and specified models, the camera’s only major omission is live view, so if you’re happy without this then the camera will give you everything else you need. Should you want a live view-sporting Alpha model, the forthcoming Sony Alpha A350 will provide this as well as a 14MP sensor, for around £600 with its kit lens, but for £400 you can’t really ask for (and shouldn’t need) anything else.