Home / Cameras / Camera / Sony Alpha A300 / Sony Alpha A300

Sony Alpha A300 - Sony Alpha A300

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


In terms of performance, the A300 is about average for an entry-level camera. Like most DSLRs it starts up almost instantly, and shuts down again nearly as fast, although there is a slight delay for the sensor cleaning routine. Shooting performance varies depending on the image quality setting. In single shot mode and fine JPEG quality it can keep up pretty much as fast as you can press the button, and in continuous mode it can average approximately two shots a second, although the rate is uneven, with a faster burst of three frames at first. Adding Raw mode into the mix slows things down considerably. In single shot mode and Raw + Fine JPEG quality setting it can only manage a shot every 1.2 seconds, which is a bit slow by recent standards, while continuous shooting is limited to a three-shot burst.

Image quality is pretty much identical to the A200, so no surprises there. The same 10.2-megapixel APS-C sensor has been used in the A100 and A200, as well as the Nikon D60 and D80, and it is a well-proven piece of kit. Overall image quality is very good, with excellent colour reproduction and plenty of fine detail. Image noise is reasonably well handled, with excellent quality as 100 and 200 ISO, a little noise at 400 and 800, and progressively worse quality ate 1600 and 3200 ISO. Dynamic range too is quite good, and the D-Range Optimiser feature does a good job of preserving shadow detail without compromising image quality with shadow noise.

The only real problem I encountered with the A300 was some slightly questionable metering while shooting in the snow we've had this past week. With the camera set on auto it was inclined to under-expose, although this was not entirely unexpected under the circumstance and was easily corrected by using exposure compensation.


The Sony Alpha A300 represents good value for money, offering virtually the same features as the more expensive A350 with only a slight reduction in overall picture quality. It stands up well to the competition, offering a excellent handling, reasonable performance, a good range of features and decent image quality for a competitive price. If you're looking for an entry-level DSLR for under £350, the Sony Alpha A300 should definitely be on your short list.


February 7, 2009, 3:31 pm

In a200 tests you used Carl Zeiss 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 lens but in here the kit lens was used.

Shouldn't the image quality be the same in these two cameras(a200 and a300) because these are basically the same camera but a300 has couple more options. So doesn't the Carl Zeiss lens give a bit advantage for the a200? and please correct if im wrong.

Cliff Smith

February 7, 2009, 11:15 pm

The sample photos were actually taken using the same Carl Zeiss 16-80mm lens, apart from the wide/telephoto shots which were taken using the 18-70mm kit lens. It has the kit lens fitted in the product shots because it was supplied to me as a kit, and also because the Zeiss lens was on the camera I was using to take the product shots (Sony A100).


February 8, 2009, 6:35 pm

How does the Sony Alpha A300 compare with the Panasonic G1, if I may ask. I'm not very skilled when it comes to camera linguo but I recently bought the G1 at a rather hefty price tag and I just wondered if I did the right choice. Thanks TR


February 9, 2009, 12:22 am

I've owned the A100 & A200, and now have the A300, I have to say that this is easily the better camera, simply because of the live view which provides simple but effective tweaks that enable me to get better shots; the live view Histogram (good exposures), the ability to use live view to correctly dial in white balance , the ability to shot over other peoples heads, etc. The review seemed to give the impression that the A300 is inferior to the A350, not helped by the 9/10 score that that camera receives. A350 files sizes are larger, images are slightly noiser at higher iso settings, burst speed is slower and to get the best out of it you really need to spend big on a decent lens. I had the choice of the A300 and A350 and I feel I made the right choice & if the Salesman in Jessops was telling the truth, they've shipped "a lot" more A300's than A350's. For the price & spec there is no other camera that can touch the A300.


February 9, 2009, 7:23 pm

II've had this camera for a few months now and I think the 2 frames per second shutter speed you got was because you wer using liveview. When using the viewfinder with the shutter mode set to "continuous" you get a consistant 3.5 fames per second


February 9, 2009, 10:44 pm

Having looked at the rating for the A300's sister cameras I do wonder if Trusted Reviews has either got something against the A300 or have just under scored it. A200 scored 9/10 getting a 10/10 for IQ, the A350 got 9/10 and 9/10 for I/Q and yet the A300 only managed an 8 in both, does'nt it have the same sensor as the A200 & does'nt it have more features ?. As a "kit lens" purchase which of the 3 would be considered the best option ?.

Ref 3.5 fps (from aaron88) was'nt aware that either of the 3 could burst that fast, the Canon 450d can.

scott donaldson

February 10, 2009, 7:42 am

"On the subject of the viewfinder, it’s hard to say definitively without having an A200 or A350 side-by-side for comparison, but it seems to me that the A300’s viewfinder is slightly smaller with lower magnification than either of its siblings"

The A300 & A350 viewfinders are the same & both are worse than the A200's - it's the penalty paid for Sony's particular LiveView implementation.


February 11, 2009, 12:07 am

The viewfinder conumdrum (it's smaller than the A200's / is like a tunnel etc,etc) can be seen in many a review, Personally I find the A300/A350 viewfinder better & prefer it to the A200's, and I wear glasses, it also seems to have better dioptre adjustment, the trade off to a slightly smaller viewfinder is a very good live view system, if you are interested in any camera & not just the A200,A300& A350 try for yourself, what some don't like, others will.

Mike 21

June 19, 2009, 11:51 pm

Reviews like this are helpful but I bought one because it felt "right" (my hands are big for a compact or small DSLR)and was at a good price. It's REALLY nice to use and the tilted screen live-view is worth the extra if you can afford it. It's easy to use straight from the box. I took a couple of pics and enlarged them a LOT. They looked just fine and, like most people, I don't usually enlarge much anyway. The kit lens has bad comments but is fine for what 99% of people need, I don't see the problem, some people worry too much.


May 17, 2010, 5:09 am

I've owned this camera now for about 2 years and it been great nad very easy to use .i love the features it poses and over all it is the best camera that i have owned.the view finder is a great option and the clarity is awsome.

comments powered by Disqus