The Sony a850 is a pro-spec, stripped-down version of the Sony a900. As the most affordable full-frame DSLR to the market, does the Sony Alpha a850 really open full-frame shooting to the masses? The What Digital Camera Sony Alpha DSLR-a850 review finds out...
The a850 pleases yet perplexes in equal measure. It’s certainly a fine camera, like the a900 before (and still currently above) it, yet one that seems a little misplaced in the market place.
If its price point really undercut the competition then it’d be a genius proposition to full-frame hungry consumers. But despite the removal of the in-camera remote, lowering the burst rate and shaving 2% from the viewfinder’s field of view the effective monetary compensation is somewhat paltry.
The a900 was, by and large, a superb studio camera thanks to its 24.6MP count, but lacked low-light capabilities to the same standard of some of the competition. What the next generation of Sony DSLR is really waiting for is the implementation of the Sony’s backlit ‘Exmor R’ technology – something that lacks here and leaves the a850 in a curious position of offering nothing ‘new’.
In effect there’s an argument to bag an a900 over this newer, less-equipped venture each and every time. That is unless, of course, your savvy shopping locates it at a sensible price that trounces its initial RRP.
The a850 is a solid piece of kit that pulls down the full-frame DSLR price-point by a whisker, but otherwise sadly lacks that anticipated next-level punch and, as such, feels like a bit of a gap-filler in Sony’s newly and rapidly expanding DSLR range.