The Sony DSLR A350, turns out to be a well-organized and structured digital SLR camera. The main settings, for example ISO sensitivity, can be adjusted through the menu as well as a dedicated button. That's a plus, but in the beginning you might argue with yourself as to which one is the most convenient to use. After a while though, and after shooting for sometime, you will get used to it and the Sony A350 will work as you want it to work. It also keeps up the speed which might come in handy in some situations.
Quick AF Live View function
I think you can imagine how curious I was to see how Quick AF Live View would do in practice. Would it really not matter shooting via the viewfinder or the Live View function? That was the question. And indeed, as far as AF speed is concerned it makes no difference. The Sony Alpha 350 focuses in both cases with the same speed and that is similar to the A200's focus speed. Unfortunately not many innovations are carried out perfectly and that goes for Sony Alpha 350's Quick AF Live View too. It is a pity that you only view 90% in Live View of what is really captured. One of the benefits of Live View on other brands is the fact that they offer 100% field of view. The fact that the Live View sensor on the A350 looks at the matt glass is the cause for the 90% view, which means you'll never be able to see more than through the viewfinder. And ironically the viewfinder offers a larger view this time; 95%.
Sony A350 with high resolution LCD monitor
Anyway, if you take into account that you will capture more in the picture than what you are viewing on the monitor, Sony's Live View system is pleasant to work with, also thanks to the high resolution of the LCD monitor. The 230,000 pixels do a great job. And of course the ability of tilting the screen adds to this. Not only does the LCD monitor serve well for a high or low position, in bright sunshine you can also tilt the LCD until it offers a perfect view again. It is a truly welcome addition.
Optical viewfinder of the Sony Alpha 350
Personally I enjoyed the LCD monitor very much; I used it a lot more than I thought I would. Still I am a typical viewfinder user and I must admit that the optical viewfinder is also great to work with.
The only minus of the viewfinder is the fact that the focus points are hard to see in bright sunlight. They don't light up sufficiently and are on the small side. I think the design department ought to find a solution for this and I reckon that shouldn't be too hard.
Sony Alpha A350 image speed
A thing that strikes me as odd is the fact that the image speed has decreased compared to that of the A300. Obviously the high resolution is the spoilsport here and Sony clearly haven't considered a larger buffer or a faster processor, or maybe it simply wasn't possible to use them. You can shoot a maximum of two frames per second and that is slower compared to the current competition. The action photographer might have his objections. But if you mainly shoot architecture, landscapes or snapshots, the frame speed is not of great importance.
User friendly DSLR camera
Operating the Sony Alpha 350 is pleasantly fast. The start-up time takes approximately half a second which suffices for normal use. The camera's ergonomics are well thought-out and won't be a problem for the majority of users. If you shoot with the Sony A350 for a longer period of time, you will get familiar with the buttons and because the adjustments are rendered in the viewfinder you will be able to work fast. The saying that practice makes perfect applies to this camera too, and if you practice enough you will soon be able to find most functions without hesitation.