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Sony Alpha DSLRA500 12.3MP Digital SLR Camera (Body only)

4.4 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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  • 12.3-megapixel resolution for incredible detail; new Sony Exmor CMOS image sensor
  • Body only; lenses sold separately
  • Quick Auto Focus Live View for composing shots in the LCD monitor; Manual Focus Check Live View enables critical focus in macro and tripod shooting
  • Auto HDR (High Dynamic Range) captures more scene contrast than a single exposure can handle by combining two exposures into one shot
  • Dual media slots for Memory Stick PRO Duo/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo and SD/SDHC media (sold separately)

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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

Sony alpha DSLR-A500 12.3 Megapixel Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) DSLRA500 Digital Cameras

From the Manufacturer

Step up to the Sony a500. Enjoy the spectacular imagery of 12.3 megapixels with ISO 12800 sensitivity. Experience the versatility of Quick Auto Focus Live View or MF Check Live View on the tiltable 3.0-inch LCD screen. Discover the superb response of up to 5 fps of continuous shooting.

Alpha A500 Highlights

12.3 megapixels for amazing pictures
This camera's 12.3-megapixel resolution makes for incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements. The all-new Sony Exmor CMOS image sensor ensures state-of-the-art response. The large, APS-C format means high sensitivity, powerful depth-of-focus control.

Sony Alpha Digital SLR highlights

Superb in low light (ISO 12800)
An all-new Sony's Exmor CMOS image sensor employs new low-noise processing, for uncommonly clear pictures. The BIONZ image processor with chroma noise reduction helps achieve low noise all the way up to ISO 12800, without sacrificing resolution.

More responsive Live View
All DSLR Live View systems enable you to compose shots in the LCD monitor, just as you would with a point-and-shoot camera. But not all Live View systems are created equal. Some take a painfully long time to focus. Some even black out the LCD before focus. Either can cause you to miss shots. Sony's Quick Auto Focus Live View solves these problems, making it easier to get the best shot.
Sony Alpha Digital SLR highlights

Quick Auto Focus Live View
Unlike competing cameras, the DSLR-A500 is just as responsive in Quick Auto Focus Live View mode as in optical viewfinder mode. That's because, unlike the others, the a500 uses the same "phase detection" auto focus for Live View as for the optical viewfinder. While other Live View systems are severely restricted, Sony's performs superbly any time--even if you're shooting handheld or chasing after moving subjects like kids or pets.

Manual Focus Check Live View
For critical focus in macro and tripod shooting, the a500 also offers Manual Focus Check Live View. Temporary 7x and 14x zoom views enable you to focus on extremely fine detail while the 1x view shows 100 percent framing in the LCD.

Face Detection technology
The a500 enhances Quick AF Live View shooting with Face Detection technology, which helps you get the best shot by recognizing faces and applying the proper focus, exposure and white balance. World's first Face Detection system to work with fast, high-precision "phase detection" Auto Focus.
Sony Alpha Digital SLR highlights

Smile Shutter technology
Another Quick AF Live View enhancement, Smile Shutter technology automatically takes the shot when your subject smiles. Works with Quick Auto Focus Live View to capture spontaneous moments, making the difference between a missed shot and a cherished memory.
Sony Alpha Digital SLR highlights

Tiltable 3.0-inch LCD
Even if you're completely comfortable with the optical viewfinder, Sony's tiltable LCD empowers your photography with a different point of view. Helps you frame high and low-angle shots that would otherwise be hit or miss. The LCD tilts up or down 90 degrees to capture a child's first steps or shoot over a crowd. The 3.0-inch LCD features 230,000 pixels and Sony's Clear Photo LCD display technology.

Up to 5 fps of continuous shooting
Up to 5 frames per second (with optical viewfinder) can capture the decisive moment in sports or get the ideal baby photo. You can also shoot at up to 4 fps with Quick Auto Focus Live View.

Auto HDR built into camera
High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography captures more scene contrast than a single exposure can handle by combining two exposures into one incredible shot. Until recently, you needed a computer and editing software to enjoy HDR. Now the a500 has Auto HDR built in. Handles severe backlighting and other high-contrast scenes. Captures in a split second. (Recommended for still subjects.)

Sony Alpha Digital SLR highlights
Advanced DRO in action
Dynamic Range Optimizer
Dynamic Range Optimizer improves results with backlit subjects and recovers details hidden in shadows. Normal DRO improves detail using standard gamma curves for fast shot-to-shot response time, while Advanced DRO adjusts dynamic range area-by-area for greater accuracy.

SteadyShot INSIDE stabilization
Image stabilization helps you take blur-free shots by compensating for camera shake. Typical DSLR systems build image stabilization into selected lenses only. SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization is built into the camera body itself. You'll reduce blur with every a-mount lens, including macro and wide-aperture standard zoom lenses.

Smart Teleconverter 2x Digital Zoom
In Quick Auto Focus Live View mode, you can extend the optical zoom of your lens with digital zoom. One touch zooms in at 1.4x, while a second touch advances to 2x zoom. The system reproduces pixels on a 1:1 basis so there's no degradation in picture quality.

Powerful Supplied Software
To help you refine and manage your images, the a500 is equipped with comprehensive computer software, including Image Data Converter SR, Image Data Lightbox SR and Picture Motion Browser (PMB).(Compatible computer required, not included).

BIONZ image processor
A newest version of Sony's BIONZ image processor uses chroma noise reduction to deliver high-resolution, low-noise photos even at ISO 12800 sensitivity. This powerful Sony Large Scale Integrated circuit (LSI) also delivers fast processing for quick response on data-intensive 12.3-megapixel images.

Help Guide and Graphic Display
An informative on-screen Help Guide and Graphic Display provide ready reference to advanced camera functions. The Help Guide explains the camera's modes and settings, while the Graphic Display clarifies the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, as well as the effect each has on photographic results.

HDMI output for HD viewing
Connect your camera to a compatible HDTV and play back your images in stunning high definition. The a500 includes an HDMI output (HDMI cable required, sold separately). In addition, the BRAVIA Sync system works with compatible Sony BRAVIA HDTVs to let you control camera playback using the television's remote.

Sony Alpha Digital SLR highlights
Eye-Start Autofocus
Eye-Start Autofocus
For maximum speed, Eye-Start Autofocus begins focusing as soon as you raise the camera to your eye. So the camera is ready to catch the perfect moment.

9-Point AF Sensor
To get the best shot under a wide range of situations, the a500 uses a 9-Point AF Sensor with Center Cross. In addition, predictive focus control automatically calculates the position of fast-moving subjects, perfect for pictures of kids and pets.

Six Creative Style settings
Control how the camera processes your images with six finishing styles: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset and B&W. You can even fine-tune contrast, saturation, and sharpness to your personal taste.

Sony Alpha Digital SLR highlights
Anti-Dust Technology helps keep the CMOS imager clean
Built-in Auto Pop-Up Flash
To help you shoot more effectively, the built-in flash automatically pops up and fires as needed when the camera is set to certain scene selection modes. The built-in flash also triggers a wireless accessory flash (sold separately). The integrated hot shoe enables you to expand your lighting options with a range of accessory flashes (sold separately).

Anti-Dust Technology
Anti-Dust Technology helps keep the CMOS imager clean, resulting in consistently better pictures. First a static-free coating on the CMOS filter helps repel dust. Then vibration automatically dislodges dust from the CMOS each time you shut off the camera.

Up to a 1000 Shots of battery life
Take up to 1000 shots on a single charge (optical viewfinder mode)1; up to 520 shots (Live View mode) with Sony Stamina battery power. Sony's InfoLITHIUM battery system enables you to see the percent of power remaining, so you can keep shooting in confidence.

PhotoTV HD compatibility
PhotoTV HD compatibility enables you to automatically create high-resolution thumbnails optimized for viewing on a compatible Sony BRAVIA HDTV.

Six Scene Selection Modes
To help you get the shot, Scene Selection Modes optimize the camera settings for common shooting situations. Just turn the Mode Dial to select from Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports, Sunset, and Night View modes.

Index and Slide Show Display
Quickly review your photos using 4- or 9-frame index views, or as an automatic slide show with fade-in/fade-out effect.

Dual Media Slots
For cost-effective, convenient storage and sharing of your images, the a500 accepts Memory Stick PRO Duo/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo and SD/SDHC media (sold separately).

Product Information

Product Dimensions 5.4 x 3.3 x 4.1 inches
Item Weight 1.4 pounds
Shipping Weight 3 pounds
Item model number DSLRA500
Customer Reviews
4.4 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #33,444 in Camera & Photo
#933 in Camera & Photo > DSLR Cameras
Date first available at August 27, 2009

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roger A. Knopf VINE VOICE on February 3, 2010
Verified Purchase
I'm going to contain my enthusiasm for long enough to get some details down about what I love about the A500. This is one GREAT camera body and I am having a ball using it.

I previously used both a Minolta 9xi (their top of the line 35mm film camera) as well as Mamiya medium format gear which I still use for weddings and portraits. With the advent of good digital cameras and especially digital darkroom (AKA Photoshop) I had become increasingly frustrated dealing with film but had not found a digital SLR that performed well enough for my relatively limited amateur budget so made do with a nice pocket-sized digital Nikon zoom which takes great pictures but is slow slow slow compared to what I was used to. Since I had an investment in Minolta lenses I was inclined toward the Sony line (which takes the Maxxum lenses) but earlier models seemed like too much of a compromise for the $$$. Enter the A500!

Things I love about it:
- 12.3 megapixels
- really easy and intuitive controls, which in a lot of ways are similar to the 9xi so especially easy for me
- fast initial and shot-to-shot speed - I use the 5fps continuous mode for sports all the time
- fabulous low-light performance
- in-body (vs in-lens) antishake - still have not resorted to a tripod!
- very high maximum ISO
- excellent battery performance (covered two school basketball games using Live View with juice to spare)
- high memory capacity - I think I have 8Gb in it, and shooting in "fine" resolution I get about 1450 images and about 500 in "raw" mode. I LOVE LOVE LOVE never having to stop to change film cartridges and never worrying about running out!
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I have had my a500 for a few months and am very happy with my purchase. This is a great camera for someone wishing to switch from advanced point-and-shoot to full d-SLR. The menus are intuitive, and this camera is generally easy to use. It has some nice features like HDR imaging, manual live focus, and an amazing live view. I tested this camera with Nikon and Canon models in the same price range and felt this was the superior product. I also like that this camera has the autofocus motor inside the camera itself (unlike many similarly priced models by other brands), making it compatible with my 20-year old Minolta lenses. As you probably know, lenses are as important, if not more important, than the camera body so it's nice to be able to use older, reasonably-priced, solid glass. This generally takes nice low light shots although there is some noise at higher ISOs if you are really picky. This is to be expected from a camera in this price range. Also the kit lens is not the greatest, but this is usually the case with entry level SLR cams and I do feel that it's a lot better than the kit lens that comes with comparable Canons and Nikons. At any rate, I'd recommend buying the body only and picking up a used Minolta 50mm 1.7 prime lens (readily available and inexpensive). Then start shooting. I gave this 5 stars because it's great at what it is --- a starter SLR camera with some room for the photographer to grow. This of course can't compete with $2000-$3000 full frame models, but it has none-the-less exceeded my expectations. Great value. In general, I think this brand is underrated in the digital camera world. If you are in the market for your first d-SLR, give Sony a try.
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Verified Purchase
I have an alpha 350 body that needs work (I dropped it while on a shoot in a nightclub). I got this for less than the repair bill would have been. I've just used this body, along with my other alpha 500 while shooting pics for my blog while at the HIMSS13 conference in New Orleans. My Sony 300 mm lens on one, my Sony 18-250, wide/tele lens on the other. So, now I have uniformity of functionality, and perfectly fine photo quality for the money (I'm not a pro photographer; I can't invest 30 grand in bodies and lenses). I got through the entire week on one set of batteries, too, btw, while shooting tons of shots. I'm a happy camper for now. This body showed up ahead of schedule and has worked just fine. The alpha 500 does quite well in low light settings; barely noticeable grain at ISO 6400, which you can tweak down in Photoshop.

Very "Gladd" I bought this.
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This camera is easy to use yet has the functions of a pro level DSLR. Tilt screen is large and clear coupled with the live view it has been very helpful since I broke my wrist. Pictures are clear and very sharp. If you have old Minolta AF lens like I do it was an easy decision as to what camera to choose. Was almost going to choose a Canon but found out in time that their Live Veiw could not be used in manual mode.

In Short this camera is an excellent choice for all levels of experience however the a550 "might" be of more appeal if you have the extra 200.00 to spend.
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Verified Purchase
I'll try to review aspects of this camera body purchase, and not just to repeat "camera test" reports which you can find several by googling it. I am happy with the price and solid reputation of Amazon on this "fulfilled by Amazon" purchase. This is important as there are other lower prices offered by some dubious sellers. (Now you can get a good "sold by Amazon" price.)

The Sony A500 body replaces my A300 body, and the improvements (confirmed in my 2 day makeshift tests)are definitely there , while retaining the two best and also improved features that I treasure -- the tiltable screen and the best live-view system. On a value basis, I would give it 5+ stars. I agree with the previous reviewer that Sony is under-appreciated. Sony delivers value, best bang for the buck. As you can tell by the price, the camera has been heavily discounted, making it a tremendous value over Nikon and Canon, who I think are too traditional photography bound. They lack innovation and usable features. Who introduced dust removal, anti-shake, live view, tilt screen? Not them. (Don't respond to this. I am not trying to start a war with Canon fanatics. Oops, I mean fans.) To the pixel peeping Toms, Canon is the epitome. But Sony shooters can still use old Konica-Minolta AF lenses and have auto focus and anti-shake function because they are built into the camera, not in the lens. In the lower price category, the Sony A500 is a very capable camera, as others. So it boils down to personal preference on features or brand name when choosing a camera. The most important part of the camera however is the photographer. Composition is the key and post software editing does the rest. Go out and take some pictures.
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