Here you can see a generated GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart, place your mouse over any of the labels below it to see the color reproduction in that mode. Select a camera/setting combination from the 'Compared to' drop-down to comparative boxes inside each patch.
Artificial light White Balance
When shooting our gallery samples in daylight we hardly encountered any White Balance problems with the A200 but under artificial light the story is a slightly different one. Using the camera's Auto White Balance the A200 produces fairly poor results. Using the White Balance presets produces more accurate results but if White Balance is absolutely crucial we recommend you use the custom setting or shoot RAW and correct the results when you process the images.
Incandescent - Auto WB
Red: 8.5%, Blue: -11.5%, Poor
Incandescent - Incandescent preset WB
Red: 4.0%, Blue: -6.9%, Average
Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red: 8.9%, Blue: -12.9%, Poor
Fluorescent - Fluorescent preset WB
Red: 5.1%, Blue: -4.6%, Average
The A200's built-in flash unit performed pretty well producing a very slight warm cast which works well in portraits. Exposure is good on the test chart as well as on our human subject. The built in flash only extends very little though, so you're likely to get some shadowing on larger lenses or when using a big lens hood.
Overall Image Quality / Specifics
At low sensitivity (ISO) settings, the A200 performs pretty well when compared to other cameras in its bracket. It delivers good levels of detail and vibrant (although slightly saturated) colors which is the preference of many photographers. If you would like to fine-tune the appearance of the camera's output you've also got a number of in-camera adjustment options to do so.
Dynamic range is quite impressive too, especially in the highlight areas. The Sony's BIONZ imaging processor also does an excellent job in preserving the Dynamic Range that is captured in the RAW data when generating its JPEG output.
Unfortunately things go slightly downhill when shooting at higher sensitivities. Sony's approach towards noise reduction is fairly heavy-handed and results in a visible loss of fine detail at higher ISOs. Unfortunately it's not capable of eliminating the noise either, so you often end up with blurred blotches of chroma noise in your shadow detail.
Low contrast detail and JPEG
The default sharpening on the A200 is not very high and JPEG output can sometimes appear a tad soft. However, we suspect that there is also some noise reduction applied even at base ISO which results in a loss of low-contrast detail in the camera's JPEG output. Our sample below shows that you can visibly recover detail by converting a RAW file and applying some careful sharpening in the process. In the ACR converted file on the right you can see individual roof tiles while the JPEG image only shows a gray area. You could improve the latter slightly by applying some more in-camera sharpening or sharpening the JPEG in post processing but you would struggle to achieve the same result you get out of the RAW conversion.