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Sony's start into the world of Digital SLRs was quite a slow paced one. The first Sony branded model, the A100, appeared on the scene in June 2006 and it took over a year for it to be joined by a companion, the A700 prosumer model which was launched in September 2007. More recently though Sony has stepped up a gear and launched not one, but three cameras to replace the A100 - the DSLR A200, A300 and A350.

There is now something for everybody in the Sony line-up. The A350 for the feature-loving photographer on a budget, the A200 for those whose number one buying criterion is value-for-money and the A300 for bargain hunters who want a balance of the two. The A200 is, in terms of specification, not a million miles away from the veteran A100. It's got a larger screen, comes with an ISO3200 mode and user controlled High ISO noise reduction but in turn lacks the A100's depth of field preview (it's unsurprisingly much cheaper though).

Sony is not the only manufacturer which is diversifying its offerings in the entry-level sector and the A200 will have to face fierce competition in the bottom bracket of the market. Let's see how it shapes up on the following pages.

What's inside?

10.2 megapixel APS-C CCD
The A200's 'central organ' is a APS-C sized CCD chip with 10.2 million photosites.

Bionz Image Processor
Like the A700 and A350, the A200 is powered by the Bionz imaging processor (although presumably it's not exactly the same one that was optimized for the A700's CMOS sensor).

The Super SteadyShot system moves the sensor to compensate for user shake. The appearance of the mechanism suggests it may be the unit from the A700 (and A350).

Other new / upgraded features of note:

  • Larger LCD
  • 10.2 MP sensor
  • New software bundle with all-new raw converter
  • Creative Styles (expansion of color modes function on A100)
  • ISO 3200
  • Optional high ISO noise reduction
  • RGB histograms