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Sony A200 digital SLR

Ralf Jurrien
CES report
Monday 7th, January 2008
Posted by: Ralf Jurrien

Sony is launching the DSLR-A200 as an entry-class model of the popular α series of digital SLR cameras with interchangeable lenses. As the successor model to the α100 that has been well received since its July 2006 launch, the Sony Alpha 200 upgrades basic performance to meet a variety of photographic needs, to note high resolution from effective 10.2 Megapixels, low noise image quality and simple operation that even novice users of DSLR cameras will find easy to understand. In addition to the Super SteadyShot image stabilization built into the camera body compatible with all Sony α lenses, the Sony A200 supports high sensitivity shooting of ISO 3200. With all of this, users will enjoy blur-free pictures.

Sony A200

Sony Alpha 200 DSLR - CCD sensor and BIONZ processor
The new Sony A200 incorporates a CCD sensor (APS-C type, 23.6 x 15.8 mm) of 10.2 Megapixels effective and an optimized version of the BIONZ image processing engine to draw out the maximum performance of the α lenses. This combination of hardware and software pushes the performance of the α lenses to the limits and delivers greater sharpness, richer tonal expression and color reproduction, and lower noise quality than before. Moreover, exposure accuracy and white balance performance have been improved so as to render beautiful images overflowing with a sense of actually being there.

Sony A200 digital SLR - ISO and Noise reduction
The Sony α200 offers ISO 3200 sensitivity, the highest level available among entry class cameras. Thanks to it, the faster shutter speeds are available to help reduce blurring and increase shooting opportunities in dark places. When set to ISO 1600 or ISO 3200, High ISO Noise Reduction activates to minimize the graininess of the finished image.

Sony A200

Sony Digital SLR camera - Super SteadyShot
The already popular body-integrated Super SteadyShot image stabilization system original to the Alpha series has evolved even more with an improved control algorithm, etc. The stabilizing effect allows shutter speeds slower by 2.5 to 3.5 steps, compatible with all Sony Alpha lenses. Scenes that normally require a tripod or flash can be sharply captured by hand-held shot with far less blurring.

Sony DSLR-A200 - Dust protection system
With interchangeable lenses, dust and dirt can enter the camera body when changing lenses, and stick to the surface of the image sensor. This dust then appears sometimes in the captured image. The α series, therefore, uses an anti-dust coating on the low-pass filter and an anti-dust drive. First, the anti-static coating prevents the dust particles from adhering to the filter surface and also makes it easier to remove them with a blower. And the anti-dust drive moves the sensor using the image stabilization control mechanism to dislodge dust each time the camera is turned off.

Sony A200

Sony Alpha 200 SLR camera - Clear Photo LCD
The new Alpha 200 incorporates the largest size of LCD monitor for entry class cameras*3 at 2.7-inch. It is Clear Photo LCD with low reflection and high contrast, therefore, captured images are easy to view and users will have no problem checking details. The big screen can be used to view RGB histograms that allow users to check not only brightness of captured images but also color balance. Also it enables fast search for images on index displays (selectable formats of 4, 9 and 25 frames).

Sony Alpha 200 camera - Auto focus and Algorithm
With the wide coverage of the center-cross 9-point AF system incorporating Sonyís unique Eye-Start activation, users can assuredly capture the subject and reduce missed shots. Lens drive time has been greatly shortened*4 and response further enhanced by employing the same motor used with the enthusiast-class model α700. Moreover, because of the improved AF control algorithm, low contrast subjects which are sometimes troublesome to DSLR cameras, are easily focused on, and fast moving subjects can be tracked more accurately.

Sony A200

Sony A200 digital SLR camera - Dynamic range and Brightness
Thanks to the D-Range Optimizer image analysis technology, images are automatically adjusted according to shooting conditions to keep highlight and shadow details and deliver suitable tonality and exposure. Users can select from Standard Mode to evenly optimize brightness and contrast of the entire image, or Advanced Mode to separately analyze each area of the image with different levels of brightness, or can turn the function off. The improved scene detection delivers natural images more similar to what the human eye perceives even in backlit scenes which typically end up with underexposed subjects or lack of details in highlight.

Sony digital SLR camera - Creative styles and Battery performance
With Creative Style function, images can be finished to suit the scene or userís intention. There are 8 styles: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Night view, Sunset, Black & White and Adobe RGB. With each, contrast, saturation and sharpness can be customized. Thanks to the high density InfoLITHIUM battery pack NP-FM500H, users enjoy a long battery life for up to approximately 750 shots on a single full charge. Remaining battery power is indicated in 1% accuracy with 5-level icon display, enabling precise power management.

Sony A200

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