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172 of 173 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dollar for dollar a truly great camera!
When I set out to buy a digital SLR I was first looking at the Nikon D40 ($499) and the Canon Rebel XTi ($599). I was turned off by the D40 due to it's 6MP sensor and lack of JPEG (fine) + Raw capabilities. I ended up passing on the Canon Rebel XTI because of the complaints about the low-quality kit lens which would've added costs beyond it's initial price tag...
Published on April 17, 2008 by Gronne

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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars AF Illuminator??? Read Warranty.....
additional Info FYI
Hi guys just wanted to share this with you..........

About a week ago I was taking some nature photograph's ...It was a hot day here in Miami and I was sweating quite a bit. After about 30-40 shots the lcd turned orange then green then the camera died. I sent it to the service center in Laredo TX, They told me there was corrosion on one...
Published on May 5, 2008 by J. Carag


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172 of 173 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dollar for dollar a truly great camera!, April 17, 2008
This review is from: Sony Alpha A200K 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (Electronics)
When I set out to buy a digital SLR I was first looking at the Nikon D40 ($499) and the Canon Rebel XTi ($599). I was turned off by the D40 due to it's 6MP sensor and lack of JPEG (fine) + Raw capabilities. I ended up passing on the Canon Rebel XTI because of the complaints about the low-quality kit lens which would've added costs beyond it's initial price tag.

Looking in various photography forums I discovered the Sony Alpha being recommended to other people looking in the same price range I was. It had a 10.1MP sensor, a good lens and was in the same price range as the Rebel XTi. I'm really happy with the purchase. Picture quality is excellent with the kit lens (SAL-1870). I also purchased the SAL-55200 telephoto lens and it is also a very nice lens for the money.

The battery life on the camera is excellent. The auto-focus is super fast and delving into the manual a bit will reveal many powerful configuration options (I don't think a lot of the Nikon and Canon fans who are critical of this camera ever did that because I've seen claims made on forums that just aren't true).

Some of the myths I've heard:

*No Shutter Lock (not true, just set the camera to "Manual" mode)
*Limited and expensive lens selection (Sony has a pretty decent selection on it's own but this camera can also use many Konica-Minolta lenses dating all the way back to 1985).
*Can't use standard flashes (while the Alpha does have a proprietary hot shoe which is lame, there are good adapters out there.

Lack of live preview a problem (this comes up a lot and apparently these people have never shot film before. most professionals I know do not need or use live preview)

There are many Pros but some that stand out in particular for this class are:

*Great bundled software (usually bundled software just sits in the box but the programs that Sony's included are actually quite good)
*3200 ISO (this is extremely rare in a camera in this price range)
*In camera image stablization
*Dynamic Range Optimization

All in all this camera is actually more in the class of the Nikon D80 as far as image quality goes but at nearly half the price.
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80 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Camera, Great Price!!!, April 3, 2008
By 
Reza K. (Emeryville, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony Alpha A200K 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (Electronics)
Sony has really done it. This isn't gonna be a technical review, just what I feel are strong points and weak points of this camera.

This is a great camera for beginners of SLR's to learn on but ain't too bad for those of you who know what you are doing. I myself have had film SLR's for many years, this is my first DSLR and cost was a factor for me. I am in no way made of money so the low price really sold me (no pun intended). The features you expect from an SLR are all there, and you can go from full auto to full manual and every point in between in a just a flip of a switch and the pressing of a few buttons to set up your shot.

Built in Image Stabilization is a great feature to have, especially when some camera makers build it into the lens, which, in turn, makes your lens prices considerably higher.

Some people complain about no live view on the LCD, but I personally prefer no live view. It saves on some battery life and it makes it feel like more of a real camera and less of a point and shoot. If you want live view, wait for the A300K

The camera feels sturdy and isn't too big or small. I have very large hands and the camera feels good in my hands. It is mostly plastic, which in a way can feel a bit cheap but doesn't seem to be a problem at this time.
ISO setting is great. If you want to shoot in low light situations you have ISO settings up to 3200 with a supposed noise reduction but I haven't checked that out yet. I personally have it set on 100 and will keep it there for the least amount of noise.

Media options are GREAT!!! Sony MemorySticks are ridiculously priced. Especially when you need to have a high capacity one for these big pics (esp. shooting in RAW). Luckily this camera takes CompactFlash cards, which are some of the cheapest one you can get. (I got mine here on Amazon 4GB for $42).
The only thing I have a problem with on this camera is that you have to pay an extra $12 for an LCD protector (small plastic cover for LCD screen). Some camera makers include this with their SLR's. Sony should have included this as well.

Just don't forget the accessories. It will be nice to get the 70mm-300mm lens (which I got for $229) for those far away and macro shots. Screen protector is $12. Memory will vary by the amount you get. I also bought a nice tripod/monopod for $40.

So that's it. With this camera you will be taking very nice pictures, at high resolutions and at a reasonable price. There are very few downfalls in the design, and a lot of extremely nice features. Hope this helps with your decision.
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76 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First hands on...very nice entry level DSLR!, March 30, 2008
This review is from: Sony Alpha A200K 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (Electronics)
I've been able to handle one of these off and on for several weeks now, and I'm very pleased with the handling and features for such a value price.

Compared to the older Alpha 100, this camera is a bit smaller, but not so much that a person would find it "too small" for their hands. It uses the same, full sized battery as the other current Alphas, including the now top-of-the-line Alpha 700. Additionally, it can be made bigger by adding the vertical grip (although this might make it a bit too large for some).

Typical of the Alpha series, the LCD is very good quality, and, when set to the larger type size, easily readable by older eyes.

Autofocus speed has definately been improved over the A100, and all performance levels seem to be at least as good, most improved to various degrees (but you'll notice the AF most).

Features that are lacking are a wireless remote option; depth-of-field preview; and a quick AF/MF (autofocus/manual focus) button or setting. Then again, there aren't any other cameras this inexpensive with a 9-point AF system, built-in anti-shake, and 10 megapixels! You should value the anti-shake as at least $100 bucks for every lens you plan on purchasing!

A decision to make might not be which camera brand to buy, but which model. The Alpha 300 will have the same features as the 200, but will add the articulated LCD with Live View, for an extra $100. Personally, my experience with this feature on the Alpha 350 says, to me, it is worth $100. You get the same 2.7" LCD, but now it articulates. The Live View works great (no autofocusing lag like other brands), and allows a live, digital crop of 1.4x or 2x. [The Live View feature does have one drawback the way Sony uses it. It only shows 90% of the entire image].

All-in-all, this is a fine camera at a GREAT price!

Here's some accessories you might find useful:

Sony PCK-LH2AM LCD Protector Cover Type for Sony A200 DSLR
Sony VG-B30AM Vertical Grip for Sony Alpha A200 DSLR
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars AF Illuminator??? Read Warranty....., May 5, 2008
This review is from: Sony Alpha A200K 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (Electronics)
additional Info FYI
Hi guys just wanted to share this with you..........

About a week ago I was taking some nature photograph's ...It was a hot day here in Miami and I was sweating quite a bit. After about 30-40 shots the lcd turned orange then green then the camera died. I sent it to the service center in Laredo TX, They told me there was corrosion on one of the boards and it was'nt covered by the warranty.
Wow...was I dissapointed , They gave me the option to repair it for $350.00 or trade it in for a new camera ....I opted to upgrade to the A300 for $347.00 (Duh!) .
My point ....These cameras should be able to withstand some drops of sweat...we do take photos in the heat.....so take extra care of yours ...unless u want to upgrade to the A300 Hahahah. Another expensive lesson for me..........
I'm looking forward to the A300 it should be arriving by early next week. hopefully the live view will minimize sticking my face on the camera while sweating........hahaha. Hope to post more photos soon...
If I hadnt bought so many accessories and lenses for the sony i wouldve gone another direction.....

I agree it's a great camera for its price. I sold my D40 to buy the A200.
Great sharp shots in daylight. One thing bugs me .....The AF illuminator does'nt work well in dim light. I was actually looking for the AF illuminator on this and could'nt find one. I did some research and one site said it's built in w /the flash....Does'nt work too well as far as i'm concerned ....The AF goes loco in really dim conditions. This is one thing sony should improve on.

.......follow up... i just received my HVL-F36AM flash by Sony and the AF Assist on the external flash works much much better...I reccomend u get one if you're planning to take a lot of shots in dim lighting....
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly capable--and, such a deal!, May 2, 2008
By 
N. C. Henss Jr. (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony Alpha A200K 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (Electronics)
I have used a wide variety of film SLRs and digital point-and-shoot cameras before. The Sony A-200K is by far the finest I've used.

I simply haven't found anything this camera can't do--and that's a surprise, given its teeny-tiny flash. Indoors or out, pictures are invariably sharp and well-lit. (Letting the camera make the decisions has worked well to date; I haven't needed to get into the manual settings.) The 18-70 mm lens is lightweight, amazingly sharp, and, at a 35 mm equivalent of 27 mm to 105 mm, is an almost ideal range for around-town and travel use. Built in image stabilization (Super Steady Shot) and sensor self-cleaning are features you don't get in comparable Nikon or Canon models.

One of the major selling points of this camera is its backward compatibility with Minolta Maxxum film lenses and flashes. This means that lenses can be acquired inexpensively, on Craigslist or elsewhere--to evaluate a lens for your needs, just multiply its focal length by 1.5. I haven't yet tried my very complicated Maxxum 5400xi flash with this camera, but Sony says it will work.

Dollar for dollar, there's no better entry-level SLR on the market today. I'm thrilled with this camera.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent camera, June 21, 2008
By 
Robert Field (Spanish Fork, UT USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is really an excellent camera. I definitely don't consider myself an expert in DSLRs (I have only spent time shooting with Nikon D200, D70, and Canon Rebel XTi), but I've been very pleased with this one so far.

Image quality is extremely comparable to the Rebel XTi, except in the greens, where it appear to be superior. Noise reduction is where the Sony sort of fails- low ISO noise is very acceptable, and definitely on a par with the Canon, possibly even better depending on the image. Once you get up to ISO 1600 the Canon appears superior and the Sony is beginning to look fairly noisy- check out sample images on camera comparison sites to see if it's acceptable to you. ISO 3200 results in very noisy images, but frankly the Canon can't hit 3200 anyway, so at least there's that! In short, at low ISOs the Sony holds it's own or slightly exceeds it's competitors, at high ISOs it looks worse, but at the same time it's capable of hitting ISO 3200 whereas the competition isn't. Kind of a toss up, I guess.

The kit lenses are about what you'd expect- a little soft, but overall not something the average user is likely to complain about. Image distortion and chromatic aberation don't really appear to be a significant issue. They're decent lenses, overall, definitely comparable to the kit lenses you'd get from any other maker.

Battery life so far is totally acceptable. The Dynamic Range Optimization isn't as powerful as I'd like, but does work and is actually fairly cool. The in-camera image stabilization is truly a great feature, and works well. From what I've seen it maybe buys you two speeds' slower shooting that without it.

The thing that really sets this camera apart from the others I've played with is accesibility- it's truly easy to use. I mostly got this camera for my wife, who's interested in SLR photography but generally unfamiliar with it. She's had absolutely no trouble or intimidation in picking up and learning the camera quickly.

Overall a very good little camera that's an excellent choice for learning and having fun with, and is also capable of taking great pictures in experienced hands.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I simply cannot BELIEVE this kit is priced so cheap!, June 24, 2008
By 
This review is from: Sony Alpha A200K 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (Electronics)
Prequel: I am coming from a strict Nikon background and due to having my $4000 kit(D80, 3 VR, 3 2.8 pro lenses, etc) stolen out of my car, am starting all over again.

That being said, I don't have $4000 to plop down at once, so I decided to get an "entry to mid-level" system and after many internal battles, decided to try something different and go with the Alpha system. My thoughts were if things didn't work out with this setup, I haven't spent that much and could use it for a carry-around camera. So far I see absolutely NO reason to go back to Nikon. Yes, this system is THAT good.

First off, the built-in Image Stabilization(Super Steady Shot) works wonders. I was able to hand hold the camera at a shutter speed of 1/5th of a second with an ISO of 400 and still get usable output.

Second, the kit lens is actually pretty darn good! There are some signs of CA(purple fringing) and softness wide open, but they are kept to a minimum. This lens is CERTAINLY better than the kit lens offered with the XT and Xti (I haven't had a chance to try out the XSi kit yet) and equivalent to the excellent 18-55mm Nikon kit lens(The De facto of kit lenses). Not to mention the image quality the body brings to the table! I have printed out and framed a picture taken at (ASA) ISO 1600! Now don't get me wrong, theres noise at that level, but its nothing like the 1st gen, a100. Of course, it goes without saying, lower ISO shots are very vivid and sharp.

Lastly, the menu structure and usability are second to none. Everything is laid out in a fashion that just makes sense.

All-In-All, this is a system I have NO problems recommending to ANYONE!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sony Alpha A200K, April 21, 2008
By 
A. Rossin (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sony Alpha A200K 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (Electronics)
I'd been in the market for a new digital camera for a few months after my Canon point-and-shoot started showing an error message and stopped working. I've wanted to move up to a DSLR for some time and now was the perfect time seeing as the prices for many of the entry level cameras has come down significantly in the past few years.

It was really a toss-up between this and the Nikon D60. I threw the decision to some of my photo friends who initially laughed at Sony (one of them actually said, "Sony makes TVs...would you buy a car from a skateboard company?" The Nikons are very popular at the moment, but I've had luck with Sony products--computers, camcorders, and yes, tv's--so I figured to give the Sony a shot.

I've really had a great experience with the camera thus far. I was able to get some great shooting time this weekend as there was a large festival at my campus and many of the shots came out great. For some night shots I wish I'd brought my tripod, but overall the shots were really great.

I feel that this camera has a good balance of features--auto modes and presets that are actually pretty good as well as really intuitive manual controls--AND it takes Minolta lenses (for more info on this, do a quick google search). The camera is light compared to regular film SLRs or other DSLRs, but it still feels very substantial.

Though they're not specific to Sony cameras, RAW images are great to work with. As one webpage put it, working with RAW images is like having a film negative to work with (in photoshop, iphoto, etc) whereas jpegs are like having a flat print. If you're into photoshop or other types of digital enhancing/manipulation, RAW format is the way to go. Sure, the files are huge, but it opens up a whole new world.
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent starter SLR. However options limited, April 29, 2008
This review is from: Sony Alpha A200K 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (Electronics)
I was thrilled to purchase this DSLR primarily because I had a bunch of old Minolta Maxxum lenses and could once again start to use them on a DSLR. As I did my research, I did notice that this model has won good reviews all around, even though it is considered a basic entry-level model in the SLR market.

The pictures I've taken so far have been nicely exposed and sharp. But you would expect that. So what's not to like?

1. Shortage of third party accessories. You can't get a cheap flash from, say, Sunpak like you used to for the old Minolta cameras. I haven't found a definitive yea or nay on whether the Minolta flashes work with the Sony.

2. Proprietary battery. Sony will take you to the cleaners when it is time to replace your (rechargeable) battery. I could buy batteries for the old Maxxum for less than ten dollars.

3. You won't be mistaken for a pro. But that's OK because you probably aren't one, otherwise you'd be buying the high end Nikons and Canons.

4. People stepping up from point and shoots -- note you won't be able to use the LCD screen as a "viewfinder". This is because of the mechanics of how an SLR works. Regardless there are other models (more expensive) within the Sony range that work around this limitation.

Overall I'm happy with what I got. Try to search around for used but useable Minolta Maxxum lenses, and you can get yourself a fancy DSLR package on the cheap.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for kids, May 23, 2008
This review is from: Sony Alpha A200K 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (Electronics)
Hi,
This is my first DSLR. I can't really compare it to the Nikon d40 or Canon XTi as I haven't used them, but I did read lots of reviews. What I can say if you are buying this in order to shoot photos of your small kids, you won't be disappointed.
The outside shots are professional quality.
Inside are very good - I would probably need a fill flash, but I don't wish to spend any more money.
I have always bought Canon, but the price differential btw this and the Canon was significant and in my opinion the Sony was the best buy.
Consumer reports rated it just behind the Canon that cost over $1000.

I am thrilled with the close up pics of my sons - now I feel like a pro.

This is the first review I have ever written.
I wrote it in case anyone finds themselves in the same quandry and can't make a decision.
You can't go wrong with this camera - I got it for $499.
Bargain!!
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