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Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR review

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Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR
  • alpha DSLR-A200 10.2 Megapixel Digital SLR Camera Body with Lens kit - 18 mm-70 mm - Black (6.9 cm 2.7" LCD - 3.8x Optical Zoom - 3872 x 2592 Image - PictBridge)

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Watching the strategies of the top players in the digital SLR market is like watching a game of chess with three sides, and the recent spate of product launches has shown some very interesting moves. Canon, the global market leader, has a comprehensive range covering the market with the entry-level 10-megapixel EOS 400D, the newly-announced 12.2MP EOS 450D and the semi-pro 10.1MP EOS 40D, as well as three full-frame professional cameras, the aging 12.8MP EOS 5D and the two EOS-1D MkIII variants, the 21MP EOS-1Ds and the high speed 10.1MP EOS-1D. Canon's main rival is of course Nikon, which has three consumer-level DSLRs including the 6MP D40, the new 10.1MP D60 and the D80, also 10.1MP. For the semi-pro it offers the 12.3MP D300 , while professionals get the full-frame 12.1MP D3.

Sony is a relative newcomer to the DSLR market, but has already moved into third place in the global market, mainly on the strength of its first consumer-level DSLR, the impressive Alpha A100, launched in June 2006. The A100 offered a superior specification to the then-current Canon EOS 350D and Nikon D40, but at a lower price and with the advantage of built-in moving-sensor image stabilisation. Sony followed this up in September last year with the semi-pro Alpha A700, competing in the same market as the EOS 40D and Nikon D300. However Sony has recently announced three more DSLRs in quick succession. Most recently we have heard about the Alpha A300 and A350, which will appeal the the more ambitious amateur with a range of features including an articulated live-view monitor and, for the A350, a 14.2-megapixel sensor. News of these interesting new models has somewhat overshadowed the launch of Sony's first new camera this year, the entry-level Alpha A200.

The A200 replaces the A100 as the base model in Sony's DSLR range, and its launch signifies the start of a major effort on Sony's part to grab a bigger slice of the lucrative DSLR market. While it sports the same 10.2-megapixel CCD sensor as the A100, in most other respects the A200 is a completely new camera. It features and improved Super SteadyShot moving-sensor image stabilisation system, improved Bionz image processor, faster focusing, faster shooting speed and a new more ergonomic body.

In terms of its overall specification it is a close match for both the Canon EOS 400D and the new Nikon D60 (which has the same Sony-made sensor). The crucial issue is going to be selling price, and the competition at this end of the market is fierce. The A200 is currently selling for £369 body only, or £449 with an 18-70mm kit lens. The Nikon D60 has just gone on sale for £449 body-only, or £499 with an 18-55mm kit lens, while the EOS 400D, which has been out for over a year now, is available for £349 body only, or £399 with an 18-55mm kit lens. It's interesting to note that the impressive 10MP Olympus E-510 is now available for around £420 with a 14-42mm kit lens, and that camera has both image stabilisation and live view.

pinkliverbird

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.

hesperus

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)!

Sencci

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?

stefan

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

tamila56

September 6, 2009, 2:08 am

asda have it for £247

Toby

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

hi

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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