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Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 First Thoughts
by J. Keenan -  5/25/2008

The Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 is the follow-on model to Sony's first DSLR, the entry-level A100. According to Sony, the 10.2 megapixel A200 is faster, lighter, and easier to use than its predecessor, in addition to providing improved noise control and AF acquisition times. Not having ever had my hands on an A100, I'll have to defer to Sony on those points.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A200
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But having got my hands on the A200, I can tell you that after only a brief time with the camera that the shutter response is very good, AF acquisition times are also very good, and image quality (JPEG Fine so far, until I figure out how to open Sony's RAW file) seems fine, no pun intended. One of the first shots I took was an auto WB of a framed picture lit by an incandescent floodlamp, and color reproduction was very true.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A200
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Flash recycle times appear to be good as well.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A200
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The camera is a little larger than the recently reviewed Olympus E-420, but I still have the little finger of the right hand completely under the camera body - not a completely comfortable grip for me, but better than the Olympus (which was just a little too small for my taste).

Sony Alpha DSLR-A200
(view large image)

There's a small bump on the bottom of the Sony that rubs right on the second joint of my little finger as it curls under the body, and my index finger wants to fall naturally in front of the shutter button when I grab the camera.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A200
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But these ergonomic nitpicks aside, the A200 looks like an interesting and capable entry-level DSLR at first blush.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A200
(view large image)
Sony Alpha DSLR-A200
(view large image)

 

Our complete review will follow in a few weeks (the Sony gets to go to Bryce Canyon!) and give a better picture of just how good Sony's second try at an entry-level DSLR might be.