Sony A300 Review

Review Date: December 22nd 2008
Author: Zoltan Arva-Toth

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Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

Conclusion


Ratings (out of 5)
Design
5
Features
5
Ease-of-Use
4.5
Image Quality
4.5
Value for Money
5

The Sony A300 is certainly a fun camera to use, owing to its zippy Live View performance, tilting screen and advanced feature set. While plastic, it is well made, looking and feeling like it was built to last. The control interface is largely intuitive and easy to use, although allow yourself a bit of time to get used to it if you are switching from another brand. If I had to pick one of its many features, I would cast my vote in favour of Manual Exposure Shift. This is by no means a new function in fact, some cameras had it half a century ago but is sorely missing from most contemporary SLRs.

Sony also deserve our accolades for resurrecting and rethinking Live View 'Mode A', i.e. live view obtained using a secondary sensor in the optical path. But while their solution has brought about a noticeable improvement in viewfinder brightness, it has left the OVF rather small when compared to other DSLRs, even those with a similarly sized sensor. In the long run, Sony may want to release DSLRs with dual-mode live view to please both those that want fast auto-focus and those who like to focus manually and compose their shots with utmost precision.

Using the supplied Sony DT 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 lens did not do justice to the ten megapixel sensor a sharper lens is mandatory for getting the most out of it. Sharper, however, does not necessarily translate into more expensive. Sometimes even a cheap kit zoom like the Minolta 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 that Minolta used to bundle with its entry-level film SLRs can produce satisfactory levels of sharpness, as demonstrated by most of the shots on our Sample Images page.

Of course, sharpness and detail are not the only criteria image quality is judged by. Fortunately, the Sony A300 scores good marks in this department, with the only criticism I would level against it being the strong noise reduction applied to JPEGs, even when high-ISO NR is turned off. This, however, is easily circumvented by shooting RAW.

At the end of the day, the Sony A300 deserves to be highly recommended by us to anyone except those who consider a big optical viewfinder a must have on an SLR.

Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

DIWAPhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Sony A300 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.

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