Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 Review
In July 2005 Konica Minolta and Sony made an announcement that they were to jointly develop digital SLR cameras. This agreement hinted at shared technology between the two companies such as auto focus, metering and Anti-Shake coming from Konica Minolta and sensors, electronics and batteries from Sony. Some six months later Konica Minolta dropped a bomb on the camera market by announcing that they were withdrawing from the camera business and had transferred certain camera assets including the Maxxum/Dynax lens mount and related SLR technologies to Sony.
Almost a year on since that first announcement we have the new Sony Alpha DSLR-A100, a compact, ten megapixel (CCD) digital SLR with a (Konica) Minolta lens mount, Anti-Shake (now Super SteadyShot) and a definite cross-breed appearance. It's fair to say that while this camera may share some components with previous Konica Minolta digital SLR's Sony's involvement has brought external styling, build quality and finish up to a higher standard. The lens mount is to be called the 'Alpha mount' and Sony has announced no less than 19 lenses which will carry the Sony Alpha branding (although many are based on existing Minolta lenses).
Key features and technologies
Sony Alpha lens mount
|10 megapixel APS-C CCD
Interestingly Sony has gone for CCD rather than CMOS with this camera, so it's not the same sensor as used in the DSC-R1. We've no official confirmation but it seems likely that this is the same 23.6 x 15.8 mm CCD used in the Nikon D200.
Sony has renamed Minolta's CCD shift Anti-Shake system as 'Super SteadyShot', but the principal is the same. However we have it on good authority that Sony's engineers have made some significant improvements to the system and now claim shutter speeds 3.5 stops slower can be used with Super SteadyShot enabled. The second part of the Anti-Blur story is the availability of high sensitivities of up to ISO 1600.
Bionz Image Processor
Eye Start AF
Continuous shooting until media full
40 segment honeycomb pattern metering
2.5" 230,000 pixel 'Clear Photo LCD Plus' monitor
Related articles on other sites
If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).
Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.
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This article is Copyright 2006 Phil Askey and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey
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