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Dennis Hissink : October 3th 2009 - 15:10 CET

Sony DSLR-A850 review


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SonySony A850 SLR camera review : One year after Sony forced a price-breakthrough for full-frame DSLR cameras by introducing the Sony Alpha 900 at a sharp price, it seems that Sony is about to pull the very same trick again. The new Sony Alpha 850, introduced to the world on the eve of the IFA 2009 in Berlin, also comes with a very sharp price tag. Suspicious as we are, we still expect to find significant differences between the two Alpha DSLR cameras, and we are thus truly surprised when it appears that these differences are extremely marginal.

• Read our full Sony A850 review.
Sony DSLR-A850 reviews

Sony DSLR-A850 review - Full-frame SLR camera
We have already briefly mentioned the handful of differences between the Sony DSLR A850 and A900. Firstly, the Sony A850 is slower when it comes to continuous shooting; offering 3 fps compared to the A900 (5 bps). Compared to competing full frame DSLR cameras, the A850 also trails slightly behind the average. Furthermore, the optical viewfinder with 98% frame coverage is slightly less than the 100% coverage the Alpha 900 provides. Further differences are found in very small things such as a slightly better color saturation as default setting.

DSLR-A850 test

Sony DSLR-A850 test - Camera operation
The operation of the Sony Alpha 850 is similar to that of the Sony A900. This means that the points of improvement we put forward in the Sony Alpha 900 review, will actually remain the same. When it came to the dual card slot, we made some criticism heard. Sony simply doesn't succeed in making this type of card slot work with optimal functionality. It is not possible, for example, to program the slot to write RAW files to the CF card and JPEG to the MS Pro Duo card. Nor is it possible to write data to card 1 and card 2 simultaneously (backup), or tell the camera to use card 2 to write to, in case card 1 is full. Either by using the Fn button or through the menu, you can select which card must be used at a certain time, but that is as far as it goes. A missed opportunity for Sony with the Sony Alpha 850.

A850 review

Sony A850 review including technical DIWA Labs test
Shortly after its launch, we received a Sony Alpha 850 DSLR test camera in combination with one of the Zeiss lenses that Sony has included in its range. We are curious to find out the impact of such a price below the current market conditions. Will the competition respond? And if so, at what speed and with what product? It is obvious the game for market shares is being played the hard way, and it is not yet determined who will benefit after all the cards have been played. The Sony A850 is tested extensively both technically and in practice. Our findings can be read in the following Sony DSLR-A850 review.




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