Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Review
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.
|Sony DSLR-A380||Compare to:|
Artificial light White Balance
Like many cameras in its class the A380 struggles slightly with white balance under artificial light. Using presets produces more accurate results than Auto mode and annoyingly not even the custom WB setting delivers perfect results (we tried with a variety of gray cards and other white balancing devices). Therefore shooting RAW and correcting the results in the conversion is your only resort if you require perfect white balance results.
|Incandescent - Auto WB
Red: 6.9%, Blue: -10.4%, Average
|Incandescent - Incandescent preset WB
Red: 3.9%, Blue: -6.6%, Average
|Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red: 6.6%, Blue: -12.1%, Average
|Fluorescent - Fluorescent preset WB
Red: 6.1%, Blue: -7.3%, Average
The A380's built-in flash unit performed pretty well, delivering good exposure and color accuracy on both the test chart and the skin tones in the portrait shot. The flash is, for a DSLR, pretty low power though and because of its small extension we're also worried that larger lenses may cause shadowing in flash images. If you do a lot of flash photography an external flash gun may be a sensible investment.
Like most cameras in its class the A380 comes with a dynamic range enhancement feature. The Sony variant is called DRO - Dynamic Range Optimizer. There are two modes of DRO - Standard and Advanced Auto. In standard mode, the camera will try to reduce the contrast of the image when it identifies very high contrast in the scene being shot. This tries to ensure that the highlight and shadow detail aren't all pushed to white and black and that image more accurately represents what the photographer saw. Advanced Auto takes this a little further and, upon being confronted with a contrast with extremes of light and shade, tweaks the brightness and gradation in different parts of the image to give a balanced result. This second option is much more like Nikon's "D-lighting" feature. (And this isn't surprising, since both manufacturers state that their features use technology from the company Apical).
However, we've found it quite hard to provoke the system to activate, despite intentionally trying to photograph scenes with extremes of light and shade. On the occasions it did kick-in, the Advanced Auto mode gave the best results - lifting detail out of the shadows.
DRO doesn't appear to to interact with the camera's exposure metering, so it makes no additional attempt to retain highlight information - it's all about the shadows. As a result, users who shoot exclusively in RAW mode will not see any effect of DRO (it's a post-shot processing step so it only appears in JPEGs). The included software doesn't allow you to simply apply the same DRO effects to RAW files, instead giving two sliders to control its effects on shadows and highlights.
|DRO Off||DRO Advanced Auto|
|100% crop||100% crop|
Overall Image Quality / Specifics
At base ISO the A380 performs very well and delivers good detail and natural if slightly vivid colors. Default output is a little soft. Shooting in RAW can definitely gain you some extra detail, especially in low contrast areas of the frame where some careful sharpening in RAW conversion will get you a good amount of additional detail. The Sony's dynamic range is in line with the competition in this class. It delivers a decent amount of highlight range and blown highlights weren't more of a problem on the A380 than on other cameras in the upper entry-level segment during our sample shoots.
Where the camera starts to struggle is at higher sensitivities. It's not horrible in low light but it's not on the same level as its current direct competitors. That's not really a surprise as the A380's sensor and imaging pipeline are virtually identical with the A350's which was launched in January 2008 - an eternity in digital imaging terms. The sensor is noisier than the competition to start with and this is exacerbated by the A380's heavy-handed approach to noise reduction which blurs a lot of detail but also results in unsightly chroma noise blobs. You can get better results by shooting RAW and optimizing your own noise reduction but the outcome will generally still be inferior to a camera that generates less noise in the first place.
All in all, if you don't do a lot of low light photography, you won't have any reason to complain about the A380's image quality but if you do you might want to have a look for alternatives.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Specifications
- 3 Body & Design
- 4 Body & Design
- 5 Body & Design
- 6 Operation & Controls
- 7 Operation & Controls
- 8 Operation (Live View)
- 9 Displays
- 10 Menus
- 11 Menus
- 12 Performance & IS
- 13 Photographic tests (RAW)
- 14 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 15 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 16 Photographic tests (DR)
- 17 Photographic tests (Kit Lens)
- 18 Photographic tests
- 19 Compared to
- 20 Compared to (JPEG)
- 21 Compared to (JPEG)
- 22 Compared to (JPEG)
- 23 Compared to (JPEG)
- 24 Compared to (RAW)
- 25 Compared to (RAW)
- 26 Compared to (RAW)
- 27 Compared to (RAW)
- 28 Compared to (Higher ISO)
- 29 Compared to (Resolution)
- 30 Compared to (Resolution)
- 31 Conclusion
- 32 Samples
Aug 24, 2009
May 18, 2009
Aug 20, 2012
Aug 20, 2012
|Big Steaming Pile by WhistlerOne|
from Product Shoot: Coffee
|AU4_6418_BB-35 by DaveInHouston|
LEE has released a new series of Reverse ND filters that are most opaque in the middle and become progressively clearer towards the top. This makes them ideal for capturing scenes where the sun is close to the horizon.
A former New York Times photographer is suing both the newspaper and its photography director Michele McNally for over $500,000 for age discrimination and unfair classification as a freelancer for nearly a decade.
"CPS Platinum members will now enjoy next-day service, with equipment serviced and shipped the business day after an estimate is approved. For repairs that will take longer, Canon will offer next-day loaner equipment."
Irix is introducing a new filter system called the Irix Edge 100. The ultra-light, ultra-thin system is build specifically for wide angle lenses like Irix's own 15mm F2.4.
After conducting a series of safety tests, the FAA is recommending that all airlines ban cameras and other electronics with Lithium Ion batteries from checked baggage. The agency believe the risk of a catastrophic fire and explosion is too great.
The Pixentu jackets keep you and your gear warm and dry, offering useful features like lens and tripod pockets, in addition to some quirky ones like an extended hood to protect your camera from the rain.
Adobe gave the audience at MAX a sneak peek at some exciting new technology its developing. It's called Adobe Cloak: a highly capable Content Aware Fill-like feature for video editors.
Earlier today, Flickr moved its photo book printing service over to a third party services, and stopped offering any wall art options entirely.
The patent details a flipping rear LCD screen so large, Canon has had to hide the rear dial and several buttons underneath.
We've added a selection of extra images to our Nikon D850 gallery. As part of the process of rounding off the review we made sure a number of us had shot the camera in a variety of situations, we've added those shots to the gallery to give a broad cross section of how the camera performs.
Wiral LITE is an affordable, easy-to-use cable cam system that can do things a portable slider simply can't do, and go places no slider would dare go.
Not happy with the recent demise of Lightroom as a stand-alone, subscription free service? Macphun's got your back... or they will in 2018.
Once connected to a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone, Pholio automatically searches through the device storage and backs up all images and videos—complete with auto-tagging and intelligent search capabilities.
The 360 Round uses eight horizontally positioned camera pairs and one upward-pointing single lens to capture and livestream panoramic 4K 3D content.
Introduced just three years ago, the Samsung NX1 was both a technological tour-de-force and a great camera to use, earning one of the highest scores we've ever awarded and winning our 2015 Innovation Award. But its short-lived run in the photo world leaves us wondering what could have been.
The Fujifilm X-E3 is styled like a classic rangefinder, but features a built-in touchscreen, AF joystick, and electronic viewfinder – truly an old school meets new type of camera. Lay some eyes on our sample gallery to see how it performs in the real world.
Like it or not, Adobe is embracing a cloud-centric, AI-rich future with the introduction of Lightroom CC. And that's a great thing, though you may not see it now, argues Rishi Sanyal.
The announcement of a more cloud-integrated Lightroom product sees the death of the company's standalone version. This need to make payments in perpetuity (whether you choose Lightroom Classic or CC), chips away at the idea that your Lightroom library is a long-term solution, argues Richard Butler.
The XPro-C 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger that Godox released for Canon users last month now has a Nikon equivalent—the aptly named XPro-N. Sony, Fujifilm and MFT versions are in the works.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, camera and lens maker Sigma is extending its standard product warranty to cover damage caused by these three natural disasters.
The F4 Plus can can capture 360° stills, videos and broadcast livestream footage at 8K resolution... that's 7680 x 3840 pixels!
Lightroom is hogging the spotlight at Adobe MAX, but Photoshop CC got some substantial improvements as well. Find out what's new in the latest version of Photoshop CC.
The aptly-named 'Nude' app automatically detects NSFW images on your iPhone, moves them to a protected vault and deletes the original files in the camera roll and on iCloud.
The Zeiss Milvus family of manual-focus full-frame lenses just gained a new member. Meet the Zeiss Milvus 24mm F1.4: a fast, rugged new lens designed primarily for landscape and architecture photography.
Lightroom has built a brand new Lightroom CC from the ground up to be faster, easier to use, and cloud-based. The application formerly known as Lightroom CC will continue to exist, and will go by "Lightroom Classic CC."
Google Research did a deep dive on the Pixel 2 smartphone's background-blurring portrait mode that uses neural networking and dual-pixel technology instead of a dual-camera setup.
With the arrival of the PowerShot G1 X III, there are now seven Canon cameras built around the 24MP Dual Pixel sensor and Digic 7 processor. We take a look at the differences and what might prompt you to choose one over the others.
Meet the HP ZBook x2. The so-called 'world's most powerful and first detachable PC workstation,' it was built with creative professionals in mind, and is being debuted at Adobe MAX.
PDN sat down with Ahmed Fakhr, director of photography at RollingStone.com, to talk about how the famed publication is adapting to the changing photo and video needs of the modern era and how he 'evaluates the skills of potential contributors.'
Kudos to Canon. Earlier today, the camera giant announced that it had produced its 90 millionth EOS camera and 130 millionth EF-series lens.