Good starter DSLR
This camera comes with on-screen helps to remind beginners what all the bells & whistles do. Many functions are buried in the menu (white balance, focusing & metering methods, ISO), but you learn to navigate them fast. I like that the scene modes are on the PASM dial -- sometimes for speed's sake you just want the Auto or scene settings. The adjustable LCD screen is very nice for different shot angles or for seeing the screen better in bright sunlight. IQ is excellent though noisy above ISO 400, just like all lower to mid-range cameras. The wireless off-camera flash feature is easy to use even for beginners -- another skill to master! I like that I can set the camera to wide AF, but if I want centered spot AF, I can press the AF button to override wide AF. The kit lens is quite good -- sharp, nice colors. This model got lots of complaints about the grip design, but I love it. My thumb and index finger are free to navigate the controls instead of clutching the camera -- very nimble. The a330 is small and light even by APS-C standards. It fits in a lumbar pack easily even with the 55-200 lens -- easy to travel with or take along on a bike ride. For people graduating from a P&S into the world of DSLRs, this small, light, easy to understand camera is rewarding to use.
A separate AEL button would have been nice. Instead, pressing the shutter locks both exposure and focus. Battery life could be better -- carry an extra one with you.
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