Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Quick Review
This is the first camera to be reviewed using our new 'Quick Review' format. From now on we will be using this format for cameras that are in terms of operation close and in terms of image quality fundamentally identical to either their predecessors or other models in the line that we already treated to a full review. We first confirm the image quality is identical by running a couple of basic image quality tests (noise test and shots of our 'compared to' studio scene at all ISOs) and then concentrate in the review on the differences between the two cameras. For a fuller view of the camera's qualities we therefore recommend you not only read this Quick Review, but also the full review of the Sony DSLR-A900.
When the Sony DSLR-A900 was introduced in September 2008 it looked like an incredibly good deal: a full-frame DSLR with a weather-sealed pro body and a whopping 24.6 million pixels resolution for $3000. This was price-wise in a similar ballpark to what were at the time its closest competitors, the Canon EOS 5D and Nikon D700. However, the only camera that (at 21.1 million pixels) came close in terms of resolution, the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, was significantly more expensive ($8000 at launch). The Sony A900 seemed like the obvious choice for resolution-hungry photographers on a smaller budget.
The digital camera market moves fast though, and within weeks of its launch the Sony's price advantage had vanished with Canon's announcement of the EOS 5D Mark II ($2,699 at launch). Canon's new 'compact' full-frame not only had a 20+ MP resolution but also came with a maximum ISO of 25,600, live view and a 1080p HD movie-mode, making the Sony look a little weak in the features department.
Sony's answer came, with a slight delay, in August 2009 in the shape of the DSLR-A850. Rather than upping the new model's feature set Sony decided to leave the A850 (compared to the A900) almost unchanged and compete exclusively on price. The new model is available at a RRP of $2000, making it the cheapest full-frame DSLR currently on the market. Obviously something had to be done to justify the price difference to the flagship A900 (and not completely annoy existing A900 owners), so Sony decided to differentiate the A850 from its bigger brother by slightly reducing the viewfinder coverage and the buffer size (the latter resulting in a 3.0 fps vs 5.0 fps continuous shooting rate). All other key features remain unchanged and are listed below.
- 24.6 MP 35mm format full-frame CMOS sensor (still the highest res in class)
- SteadyShot INSIDE full frame image sensor shift stabilization (world first)
- Dual Bionz processors
- Eye-level glass Penta-prism OVF, 98% coverage, 0.74x magnification
- 9 point AF with 10 assist points, center dual-cross AF w/2.8 sensor
- 3 frames per second burst
- Intelligent Preview Function
- 3 User programmable custom memory modes on mode dial
- Advanced Dynamic Range Optimizer (5 step selectable)
- 40 segment honeycomb metering
- 3.0" 921K pixel Photo Quality (270 dpi) LCD display, 100% coverage
- Direct HDMI output
- ISO 200-3200 (ISO 100-6400 expanded range)
- User interchangeable focusing screens (3 options)
- CF Type I/II and MS slots, LI-ION battery, STAMINA 880 shots
- Weight 850g (without battery, card, accs)
- New Image Data Converter SR software (includes vignetting control)
- Optional vertical Grip
- Magnesium Alloy body and rubber seals for dust and moisture resistance
- AF micro adjustment
|First, Let me check its expiry date. by rajeev22675|
from Best Photo of the Week
|Dairy Way by BodkinsBest|
from Best Astrophotography Landscape #4
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery has teamed up with Kodak to release a beer that's capable of doubling as a film developer.
The Diana Instant Square is a retro-inspired camera with manual controls that's fun to shoot in good light, but largely unpredictable in its operation.
Residents of a Paris street plagued by Instagrammers, selfie takers and music video crews are asking the city government for a weekend and evening ban to give them some peace.
The adapter plugs into the Osmo Pocket's USB Type-C port and features a 3.5mm TRS jack to plug in various external microphones.
Checkout allows Instagram users to select products for purchase and make payments directly in the app.
GauGAN as it's known, can create photorealistic images from basic drawings using the power of artificial intelligence.
The EOS RP is Canon's latest full-frame mirrorless camera, with diminutive dimensions and a diminutive price. Find out how it stacks up and get our thoughts in our early review.
Montana judge Dana L. Christensen has ruled the Republican National Committee did not infringe upon the copyright of photographer Erika Peterman after they took a photo from a Democratic candidate's Facebook page without permission and altered it to use in a derogatory promotional mailer.
Nikon has launched updates for three of its programs to address various bugs and glitches that could cause crashes and unwanted results.
LEE Filters has launched the LEE100, its next-generation filter holder that improves the design and looks in all the right places.
With the arrival of some much-needed sunshine and final production firmware for the Panasonic S1, we've been able to get outside and really start putting the camera through its paces.
Importing, culling and tagging photos is about to get a whole lot faster and look a whole lot better with the impending arrival of Photo Mechanic 6.
On its own, the FTZ adapter retails for $250 and when bundled it dropped the cost to just $150. Now, Nikon is offering it for free with all Z6, Z7 purchases in the United States.
Profoto said it spoke with Godox back at Photokina 2018 and continues to contact Godox in an effort to stop it from marketing its V1 light.
Product renders in Italian publication Notebook Italia show an unusual design that conceals all cameras with the help of a slider mechanism.
Canon says its new EF 400mm F2.8L IS III and EF 600mm F4L IS III lenses can suffer from an intermittent flickering when shooting video in M or Av modes with certain cameras.
Leica recently announced the Q2, a digital rangefinder with a fixed 28mm F1.7 lens. It's a heck of a lot of fun to shoot with, but is it right for you? Based on our time with the camera, and its specifications, we've examined how well-suited it is for common photography use-cases.
Now that our Panasonic Lumix S1R has final firmware, we couldn't wait to get out shooting with it - and we also tried the high-res mode, which combines files to get 187 megapixel images. Because sometimes, 47 megapixels just isn't enough.
In this article, travel and landscape photographer Mitch Green encourages us to spend more time in the the field.
the lens lacks any electronics whatsoever and is constructed entirely of glass and metal. Of course, that comes at the expense of weight — this thing weighs in at 1.1kg / 2.43lbs.
Drones can be useful tools in urban areas, where they're utilized for everything from news reporting to building inspections, but flying in these areas requires careful preparation. Here's what you need to know to do so safely.
Hasselblad has released a new cable release and USB double battery charger for its X1D medium format camera .
After a report published by NBC News, Flickr has taken heat for allegedly letting IBM 'scrape' photos for use in its facial recognition datasets. But the problem isn't what it seems on the surface.
Samyang has announced the impending arrival of the AF 85mm F1.4 FE lens for full-frame Sony cameras.
Some Photoshop shortcuts are simple and obvious. Others, not so much. Here are 15 shortcuts that are actually useful.
Twitter has redesigned its in-app camera for easier access from the timeline screen.
Independent cinema lens manufacturer SLR Magic has announced it will offer all of its existing MicroPrime range in the Fujifilm X mount and has even created a Fuji-specific 12mm lens.
We've updated our buying guides with three more cameras: the Canon EOS RP, Nikon Z6 and Olympus E-M1X.
CFexpress 2.0 cards will come in three different form factors, each of which will offer different maximum speeds.
Lensbaby has added a third tilt lens to its Optic Swap system, this time a 35mm lens, adding to the existing 50mm and 80mm options.