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Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR - Test shots - Detail and contrast

By Cliff Smith


  • Recommended by TR
Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR


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A range of general test shots are shown over the next two pages. In some cases, the full size image has been reduced for bandwidth purposes, and a crop taken from the original full resolution image has been placed below it to show the overall image quality. Some other pictures may be clicked to view the original full-size image.


Here's my usual DSLR test shot of Sidmouth sea front. You can click on the image to view the full-res photo, or see the crop below. This shot was taken using the Carl Zeiss 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 lens rather than the supplied kit lens, and is processed from a RAW shot using Photoshop CS3.


Compare this shot with similar ones from other 10MP DSLRs such as the Pentax K10D, Nikon D80, Canon EOS 400D and Olympus E-510. As you can see the level of fine detail is extremely good, certainly comparable with the best of the competition.


This shot was taken in JPEG mode with the Dynamic Range Optimiser switched off.


This was taken with the DRO set to standard.


This was taken with the DRO set to maximum. As you can see it does produce noticeably greater shadow detail with no loss of highlights.


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February 7, 2009, 5:02 am

I am thinking of buying either the Sony Alpha A200 or the Nikon D60 and I am finding it difficult to decide. I see from the picture of the A200 that it has a Carl Zeiss lens, but the Sony A200 that I have seen for sale does not come with this lens. The reviewer has given image quality at 10 points. I am new to SLR cameras but I do believe that the image quality has a lot to do with the lens used. If the review has been written using the Carl Zeiss lens then doesn't that give a slightly false rating? Or should this camera come with a Carl Zeiss lens? As I said before I am new to photography and would appreciate any feedback on picture quality in relation to the camera used. Thanks.

Cliff Smith

February 7, 2009, 11:25 pm

You can buy the A200 with the Carl Zeiss lens shown, but it would be a lot more expensive. It normally comes with a standard Sony 18-70mm kit lens, which is obviously a lot cheaper. The quality of the Sony kit lens is actually pretty good, certainly better than some other manufacturers' kit lenses. I used the kit lens, the Zeiss lens and a Sony 70-300mm telephoto zoom when testing the A200, so my score for the image quality was based on the camera, not the lens, when compared to other cameras of similar price.


April 14, 2009, 5:39 am

You can now pick a sony alpha 200 with sony's kit lens for under 𧶲 which on reflection is a brilliant buy. However, having just bought one and taken my various test shots I take with all my new cameras. In my opinion if you are on budget save yourself 𧵎+ and buy a FujiFilm S5800(or similar)!


May 13, 2009, 7:03 pm

Hello Mr. Smith and others!

Please, could You tell me which dslr camera is the best buy solutions? (seeing parameters: picture quality and performance):

-Sony A200 (KIT 18-70mm)

-Nikon D60 (KIT 18-55mm) or

-Canon EOS 1000D (KIT 18-55mm)

I decide that is 9AF (sony) and 7AF (canon)advantageous against nikon, but is it crucial?

But nikon and canon has better reputation than sony, is it relevant, or sony is a good choice regarding a lower price? Please, tell me your opinion?


May 21, 2009, 2:05 am

im looking to start photography at school and of course need a fairly cheap dslr, i ahve spent alot of time looking around and this seems too pop up as the best. but i have been recommended quite strongly to go for a canon or a nikon. the only similar one too this camera is the canon 1000d for around £350 whereas i found this for £250. basically shall i listen to those chums who recomend the worse nikon's and canon's or just go take the risk with the sony ?

john whale

June 18, 2009, 7:41 am

I have a Sony A200 and a Nikon D40, even though the Sony has more pixels I find the Nikon to produce crisper pictures and a better focusing system, although I have to admit I am no expert and these are only my own opinions.

rob 10

June 27, 2009, 11:23 pm

i have just bought a sony a200 i have found it very easy to use and very light to hold i have allready been out using it and i find the quality very very good and clear i would recomend this camara to others my brother is know looking to bye one

Chris Lyons

July 21, 2009, 9:09 pm

I have just also bought a A200 and it is by far the best camera on the market for the money, the only trouble and downside is there is no live view, but hay hoe you do get what you pay for and for £250 you cant go wrong, if you are a beginner then look no further, a great investment.

Tim 12

August 28, 2009, 2:19 am

I'm struggling to find this and a lense kit for £250, any pointers?

Geoff Richards

August 28, 2009, 3:26 am

£300 seems to be the going rate these days... I certainly can't find anywhere selling it near £250 either


September 6, 2009, 2:08 am

asda have it for £247


October 7, 2009, 5:56 pm

Hi guys Argos are selling the camera and lense kit for 225 as a managers special only available in Store. I know as I just managed to pick one up : )

Neeraj Deneeraj

December 14, 2012, 4:32 pm


Neil Tuttle

September 13, 2014, 8:55 pm

i have one of these 200, i do believe its one of the worst cameras on the market, i dont claime to be a super picture taker, but i have used this camera for over 8 years, and to this day, using ever setting, i know, i cannot get this camera to shoot a clean clear picture. no matter the pic quality sucks big time... i wanted a camera that would talke sports pics at inside arenas , etc with enouhg speed for stop action.. this camera will not get the job done.. shooting inside at sports areas is useless. i have a nikon cool pic that takes better pics... my advise simple, you dont want this piece of crap, .. i made a mistake and listen to a sales person whom i though had some knowledge of cameras.. spent a lot of money at that time for nothing.. i wrote sony a letter years ago explaing that this camers would not do what they said it would do. never heard back from them, as of that time, i dont buy sony any more.. i will stick with canon or nikon.... my advise is stay away from sony cameras.

Neil Tuttle

September 13, 2014, 8:56 pm

dont take the risk, this is the sorries camera on the market,, you will not like it ,,

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