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Sony Alpha 200 | Digital Camera Review | Adjustments
The description of an entry-level model of a compact camera usually concerns a full automatic camera with a limited amount of settings. This description would not fit the DSLR camera. That goes for the Sony Alpha 200 too. The Sony A200 may be an entry-level model, but it offers a wealth of possibilities. You can shoot in RAW and JPEG simultaneously, it offers extensive white balance possibilities and you can even adjust the dynamic range just as you can on the Alpha 700. Sufficient reasons for the enthusiastic photographer to step over to the DSLR from a compact or traditional camera.
Sony Alpha 200 | Digital Camera Sony Alpha 200 | Digital Camera
Sony Alpha A200 - Automatic white balance
The many setting possibilities of the Sony Alpha enable the photographer greatly to get a good result. For example, take the auto white balance of the Alpha 200. It is standard set to auto white balance but just like many other (competing) predecessors, it fails when the Alpha 200 is shooting in incandescent or fluorescent light. The solution is to adjust the white balance manually which may be an extra action, but it will deliver better end results.

Sony Alpha 200 - CCD APS sensor
The Alpha 200 owner will not gain more resolution, but ten Megapixels are sufficient for excellent photography. The sensor remained the same and it is the same one, CCD APS format sensor, the A100 features. Unfortunately Sony left the compression choices untouched too. You have a choice from Fine and Standard which I would have liked to have seen enhanced with at least one more. For those who shoot in RAW or RAW + JPEG it doesn't matter too much because they have the freedom of editing afterwards. Besides the 3:2 format, the 16:9 format is also offered. A format we see more and more in an SLR camera. The frequently used 4:3 seems to be history for Sony.

Sony DSLR-Alpha 200

Sony A200 DSLR - JPEG & RAW pictures
The quality of the test pictures made in the lab is excellent, as we expected. The JPEG images will do for most photographers and for them RAW is not really necessary. RAW is ideal for example when you accidentally set the white balance incorrectly. It does offer a lot more freedom to adjust the picture afterwards to you own preferences. The resolution of the sensor is high and of fine quality.
Colours turn out to be accurate and natural. Saturation could do with spicing up a little but that is a matter of taste and of course it can easily be adjusted. JPEG pictures could do with some more sharpness; the Sony A200 is a bit laidback on this subject. An advantage is the absence of the so-called artefacts. If you get going with RAW format you will be able to control everything yourself which will show the true quality of this camera, in my opinion. In other words, RAW should be the standard setting for the A200 camera as far as I'm concerned.

Alpha Sony A200

Sony A200 digital SLR - ISO values
The latest series of digital SLR cameras have almost all gained a step concerning the ISO range. So did the Sony Alpha 200; now offering ISO 3200 as highest ISO possibility. I am quite happy with the results. The improved noise reduction in combination with the high ISO offers more possibilities to actually use it. It clearly stays behind compared to low ISO sensitivities but still details are kept nicely and making a picture in bad light circumstances makes up for the loss of quality. Noise is visible at ISO 800 and higher but it seems to be under control compared to the Alpha 100. Something I do miss here is an Auto ISO setting that lets you select the maximum ISO value the camera can automatically choose from. In practice this works wonders, but the Sony Alpha 200 only offers the option of AUTO at which a maximum of ISO 400 is available in P, A, S mode.

Sony Alpha 200 vs Sony Alpha 100
Compared with its predecessor no big changes have been made to the Sony Alpha 200. The high ISO setting and the improved noise reduction offer a surplus value. Besides that the speed of the camera has increased tremendously. Unfortunately I was not able to measure the exact figures but using the camera it becomes obvious straight away. The Sony A200 leaves an excellent impression concerning image quality and performance. Although an entry-level model, the camera is delivered with full features and for a large group of photographers it could easily be the stepping stone to a semipro or to a future professional Alpha camera.
Sony Alpha 200 Sony Alpha 200
   
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