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Sony Alpha DSLRA850 24.6MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)

4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
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  • 35mm, full-frame 24.6-megapixel Exmor CMOS image sensor; SteadyShot INSIDE in-camera image stabilization
  • Body only; lenses sold separately
  • Dual BIONZ processors for up to fast 3fps performance; 9-point AF system w/ additional 10-point assist
  • Rugged magnesium alloy shell; dust/moisture-resistant design
  • Dual card slots; accepts both CompactFlash and Memory Stick Duo Media (not included)
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Technical Details

Product Description

Packed with innovative features to get the best shot, the rugged Sony A850 DSLR camera features a 35mm full frame 24.6 megapixel Exmor CMOS image sensor that provides a larger capture area, improved wide angle performance, and tighter depth of field control. The A850 also incorporates SteadyShot INSIDE in-camera image stabilizer which actually shifts the image sensor to compensate for camera shake without sacrificing image quality. Additional features include Dual BIONZ imaging processors for continuous shooting at up to 3 fps, an ultra-bright glass pentaprism viewfinder, 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD display and HDMI output.

Ultra-Fine Images
The camera's Exmor CMOS sensor delivers the photographic expressive power of wide angles and perspective that only a 35 mm full-frame sensor can offer, and is designed to take advantage of the resolving power of high-precision alpha lenses. Its high pixel count and large size provide enhanced image detail and a wider dynamic range for natural color reproduction and subtle tonal gradations.

Image processing gets a boost in speed and power from two BIONZ processing engines. Large amounts of data captured by the 24.6-megapixel sensor can be quickly processed to achieve a fast shooting response. Additionally, this dual BIONZ system applies advanced noise reduction algorithms producing images of exceptional quality and detail, especially at high ISO sensitivities.

The camera's innovative intelligent preview function takes the guesswork out of setting up a shot and the hassle of taking multiple shots to achieve a desired effect.

After pressing the depth of field preview button, the camera grabs a RAW preview image which is processed and displayed on the LCD screen. You can then fine tune white balance, determine the best level and effect of dynamic range optimization, adjust exposure compensation and check histogram data, all before you actually take the picture. Preview images are not recorded on the camera's

Product Information

Product Dimensions 6.1 x 3.2 x 4.6 inches
Item Weight 2 pounds
Shipping Weight 3.8 pounds
Item model number DSLRA850
Customer Reviews
4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #24,016 in Camera & Photo
#681 in Camera & Photo > DSLR Cameras
Date first available at Amazon.com August 27, 2009

Warranty & Support

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Smith on January 18, 2010
The Sony A850 is an awesome camera, as long as you know what to look for in a camera system. You just aren't buying the body, you have to buy the glass :)
That said, when I was deciding to move up to full frame, I had to make a decision: Did I stick with Nikon, or try Sony? Well, I went with the A850 and I'm glad I did. It's a great camera.
I got myself the A850, the Carl Zeiss 24-70 f/2.8, and the Sony 70-400G and 58AM flash. Although the review covers the camera, realize I'm using these items with the body.


Solid feel throughout, with a very positive grip on the right. Command wheels "click" firmly, unlike cheaper builds that will be accidentally turned. Viewfinder is awesome, big, bright. Most buttons are within easy reach, except the ISO and WB buttons on the upper-right. I also don't like the optical preview button orientation (I prefer to press the button towards my body instead of inward towards the lens), but a small niggle. Once you pick up the A850, you know you're holding a solid piece of machinery. CF & battery doors seem to lack any sealing, so I'd be hesitant to take this out in any more than a very light drizzle. Rubber covers on the ports of the camera are very well-designed and actually hinge out, as opposed to flopping around like almost every other camera on the planet. CF door opens and stops at 90 degrees to the camera body - more is needed, as it makes getting out a CF card too hard for larger fingers.


Overall, it's a camera that just gets out of your way, which is a compliment. First, some quibbles: There's no ISO listed in the VF display unless you're in the process of changing it. The AF points don't cover as much as the frame as I'd like (common complaint among FF DSLRs).
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I've had the chance now to use this camera for over a month and I love it. I have the 85 f/1.4 zeiss lens attached to it for portraits / weddings, and it gets the job done--the resolution is amazing. I will hopefully be adding the 16-35 or 24-70 later this year. Some make a big deal about this camera having high iso 'issues', but they are mistaken. I prefer natural light and have gone up to ISO 3200 without complications--using nik dfine's noise reduction software only makes it better! I also have used flash in order to lower my iso and deliver great imagery.

The camera feels solid and has some weight to it with good glass. The shutter noise is very distinct, but that is to be expected with such a large mirror. In-body stabilization is as advertised and is incredible--I'm able to get crisp, hand held shots at 1/15 s with an 85 mm lens.

I've always been told that with anything involving optics, you will never go wrong with the system with the best glass, and I believe Sony is the leader by offering zeiss lenses. Yes--they don't have all of the different lenses that Canikon offers, but 99% of my work is done in the 16-200 mm range, and they offer amazing lenses for that focal length range (I guess I could go even longer-twss-with the 400 mm G series lenses they offer).

Get this camera if you're looking for a well-built machine that can deliver professional images. Full frame for less than $2000 = awesome.
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The a850 is one fine camera. I've been a Leica user since age 12 and found most other brands imprecise and unsatisfying, and was waiting for a Leica full frame DSLR. But when Sony announced the sub-$2000 full-frame a850, I had to bite, especially at a price differential of $21,000. After all, I've owned [and own] an assortment of Sony products and over 40 years have never had to replace any of them due to product failure. So the risk was minimal.
Let me dispense with the frequently reported shortcomings of this camera, and the only reason I ranked it 4, instead of 5 stars. It does not include "Live View" or "Movie mode". As a traditional enthusiast "film" photographer I use neither of these features, so their omission is inconsequential to me. Their omission, however, allows highest end digital photography to become available at unprecedented low prices. If you need these features then look elsewhere.
However, the strong points are:
1 - When Konica-Minolta ceased camera production Sony purchased rights to use their auto-focus design, originally introduced in 1985 for Minolta's premium line of "Maxxum" cameras and lenses. Therefore, any Minolta "AF" lens works perfectly with this Sony; and I already had 3 of them covering from 28mm to 300mm. They are readily available used at very low prices. The 50mm f:1.7 primary lens is particularly sharp. Thus, for the price of the body, I had a complete camera outfit. The current Sony lenses for the a850 are basically repackaged Minolta AF designs with improved weather protection. Additionally, Zeiss makes a superb line of premium professional lenses for the purist [but at high prices].
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The Sony A-850 is simply an amazing camera. I was worried about some reviews claiming that the A-850 had a problem with high noise, but was pleasantly surprised when I began to use the camera. There is noise in high ISO (800+iso) images but this can EASILY be corrected in Photoshop or Lightroom. Also prime lenses are stabilized! This means that instead of using a high iso setting you can simply use a good prime at 1.8 30th.

The auto focus is extremely accurate, although a little slower with older Minolta lenses.

The image quality is incredible.

The price is incredible.

If you don't need video, and actually know how to use a camera, this is what you want.
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