Sony A350 Review

Review Date: June 18th 2008
Author: Mark Goldstein

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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

Sony have certainly hit the ground running in 2008, with three new digital SLR cameras that really deserve to threaten the Canon / Nikon status quo. The A200 model that we reviewed a couple of months ago was a snappy, easy-to-use, entry-level DSLR that we highly recommended. Sony have now built on the success of that camera with the A350, which in many ways is virtually identical, but in certain areas is simply a lot more fun to use. The key feature is the combination of Live View mode and the tilting LCD screen - together they allow you to use the A350 just like a compact camera, held above your head, at arm's length, and even at waist-level. Crucially you won't notice too many differences between shooting using the optical viewfinder or in Live View mode, with auto-focusing being equally responsive in either mode. This is a big advantage over the Sony A350's competitors - simply put, if you're looking for an easy upgrade path from a compact to a DSLR, the A350 is currently the best option on the market. And even if you're a dyed-in-the-wool, traditional DSLR owner who swears by their optical viewfinder, we'll bet that you'll still find a lot of use for the A350's innovative Live View mode.

As for the rest of the camera, thankfully the move up to 14 megapixels hasn't compromised image quality, which is on a par with the excellent images from the 10 megapixel A200 and with the Canon EOS 450D / Rebel XTI and Nikon D60, even at higher ISO speeds. You also get the substantial benefit of built-in image stabilisation system, which means that you won't have to buy expensive stabilized lenses to benefit, as with Canon's and Nikon's systems. At the outset of this review, we asked if the A350 could translate all of its tickbox marketing advantages into real-world performance, and the emphatic answer is yes. If you have no investment in a DSLR system and you're looking to upgrade from a point-and-shoot or cheaper DSLR, the Sony A350 is the logical choice, and it'll also attract some admiring glances from Canon and Nikon owners too. With an aggressively affordable price-tag of less than 500 / $400 with the 18-70mm kit lens, the Sony A350 is a compelling reason to join the DSLR world, and a worthy recipient of our highest Essential! rating.

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 A350 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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